The Supreme Court agreed on Friday to rule on the divisive issue of what kinds of software are eligible for patent protection. With the rise of computer-based products in recent years, courts have struggled to apply patent law. Some legal experts, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital civil liberties group, say that courts are too keen to uphold patents on ideas that are too vague to deserve protection. "My hope is that this case will be a vehicle for the Supreme Court to clarify the law so that we can get back to business rather than playing language games at the patent office," said Dennis Crouch, a professor at the University of Missouri School of Law who blogs about patent law.
North Korean officials detained an 85-year-old American veteran of the Korean War last month as he sat in a plane set to leave the country and he hasn't been seen since, his family said. A uniformed official boarded the plane on Oct. 26 and asked Merrill Newman, a tourist from Palo Alto, Calif., for his passport before telling him to leave the plane, his son Jeffrey Newman said. "My dad got off, walked out with the stewardess, and that's the last he was seen," Jeffrey Newman said. "We don't know what this misunderstanding is all about. All we want as a family is to have my father, my kids' grandfather, returned to California so he can be with his family for Thanksgiving."
Volkswagen's factory at Chattanooga, Tennessee, is close to becoming the first U.S. car assembly plant run by a foreign company to have its workers officially represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, a German paper reported.
"Yes, we have a majority," UAW boss Bob King was quoted saying by business daily Handelsblatt in a preview of an article to be published on Friday.