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Can somebody please explain the "Software is Math" argument to me? | 380 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Can somebody please explain the "Software is Math" argument to me?
Authored by: PolR on Friday, May 25 2012 @ 02:15 PM EDT
This is a possibility. This poster may indeed be missing this point. But if he
has a legal background the error may be deeper.

In patent law circles they really think that loading software in memory actually
configure the hardware to make a new machine structure. They think the math of
software describe this machine structure in the same way the math of mechanical
engineering describes pulleys and levers. This notion is enshrined into case law
and forms the (alleged) factual basis of the legal theories of the patentability
of software.

An actual examination of the computer electronics reveals that no new machine
structure is being made. Here the key word is "structure". Loading
software in a computer makes physical changes because bits are written in
memory. These changes are not structural. They are the normal operation of the
machine.

If we attempt to construe operational changes as changes in machine structure we
get absurdities, like no machine can carry out computations because the
structure is changed every time data is written in memory. Then machine becomes
a different machine and none of these machines carry out the computation from
beginning to the end. This leads to the conclusion that no machine can practice
all the steps in the patent claim because the mere execution of a single step
turns the machine into a different machine.

Programs is data, and they can self-modify as they are run as the '104 patent
exemplifies. To construe writing data in memory as a change in machine structure
is technically wrong. As soon as a self-modifying program does so, but the very
logic of patent law it is a different machine. A patent such as the '104 patent
can't read on any machine because of this.

This kind of absurdities is part of why I say software patent case law is based
on fictional computer science.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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