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The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

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Does Programming a Computer Make A New Machine?~By PolR | 756 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Does Programming a Computer Make A New Machine?~By PolR
Authored by: PolR on Sunday, July 22 2012 @ 05:35 PM EDT
This is part of why I told another commenter that at the end of the day, the
lawyering must be done by the lawyers.

My task is to give the technical truth with complete details. The problem with
metaphors is they can be countered by alternative metaphors going in the
opposite direction. How do laymen know which one is correct? The argument needs
an anchor in scientific truth. The lawyers need be given the complete picture so
they can understand and prepare.

When will come the times to present the argument in court the lawyers can prune
it down to some essential metaphor with full knowledge of what their experts
will say. At that time they will know how to counter the opposing side
metaphors. We are not at this stage yet. The current task is to present the
complete technical information so lawyers can do their work. Of course a
drawback of this complexity is that a shallow examination will lead to
misconceptions. But who said fixing the errors in case law will be easy? Those
willing to do the work have to roll up their sleeves and take the time to learn
the technical details and do the work.

Besides the argument of the article is not that the programs are anticipated by
the computer. The argument is that the programs don't make a new computer. It is
like saying typing a new novel doesn't make a new typewriter as opposed to
saying the typewriter anticipates the novel. This simple observation should
answer the shallow reading you mentioned and invite a second and deeper look at
the argument.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Does Programming a Computer Make A New Machine?~By PolR
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 22 2012 @ 10:15 PM EDT
Perhaps the way out of the morass lies in understanding what a program is: it is
not a machine, it is not a process, it is simply _information_. And
_information_ cannot be patented.

Building a machine to use information--whether it's a computer to calculate
floating point arithmetic faster or with less power, or a DNA tester to find
specified strands of DNA cheaper or faster--that's a patentable device. But just
the information involved? Not patentable. Thinking about the information
involved in any way whatsoever? Not patentable (in fact, it's thought control!)
Build the device. And then people can use it in whatever ways they can
imagine--they just have to pay you if they build the device for sale or use it
in their own business.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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