Facebook, Google, Zynga and Others Team Up to Fight Vague and Broad Patent

The companies are concerned that the patent covers a huge range of methods

It may be teaming up with Apple to buy a bunch of Kodak patents, but Google is still a big critic of the patent system and software patents in particular. In theory you can't patent an idea or a mathematical formula, yet most software patents are a little more than that.

Google along with Facebook, Zynga, as well as Dell, Intuit, Homeaway, Rackspace and Red Hat, filed an amicus curiae brief in a case between CLS Bank and Alice Corp. over a patent covering a method of protecting financial transactions.

None of the companies is involved directly in the case, but they have put together the document to present their side of the story in order to help the court reach, what they believe to be, the correct decision.

They're fighting against broad patents like the one Alice Corp. is using, which covers a "data processing system to enable the exchange of an obligation between parties." The wording is so vague that it could apply to any type of computerized system.

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