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I agree | 756 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
I agree
Authored by: Ian Al on Friday, July 20 2012 @ 06:38 AM EDT
It becomes a true example of the lawyers idea of taking a bundle of components
and switching paths between them (permanently, in this case) to produce the
newly invented machine.

However, Alappat shows the dangers of patenting a circuit on the basis of the
functions the circuit performs.

---
Regards
Ian Al
Software Patents: It's the disclosed functions in the patent, stupid!

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Does Programming a Computer Make A New Machine?~By PolR
Authored by: albert on Sunday, July 22 2012 @ 03:55 PM EDT
This stuff is silliness to the nth degree.

Years ago, I saw an automatic lathe that was programmed by sticking plastic pins
into a board. Who's going to tell me that changing the arrangement of pins
makes a new machine? Yet, this is an exact analogy of the 'new machine' issue.


CPU, PGAs, etc. in a computer take input and produce output. If the machine the
computer resides in performs some useful, unique, novel task, such as making a
part, or controlling a process, then that part or process may be patentable, and
there is no need to patent the program that controls it. (The machine itself
could be patentable, if it does something old in a new, novel, etc. way) If the
part or process isn't patentable, then how could the program be patentable?

The problem with software patents is that they are attempts to control only the
computer part of a machine, and in fact, most s/w patents don't require a
machine; the computer IS the machine, and the output in question is simply data.
Now, we are dealing with algorithms, procedures, methods, etc., which should
not be patentable.

Just for fun, try reading a patent for a simple piece of hardware, or a simple
machine. It's all right there, prior art, drawings, descriptions, explanations.
It all seems pretty straightforward to me, but I'm an engineer. These are the
things to patent system was designed for, and it does a pretty good job.
Contrast this to the weasel-worded software patents. One can immediately see
something's wrong there.

Nothing I've read has convinced me of the efficacy of s/w patents. To continue
to issue them amounts to a wholesale revision of the history of s/w development.
Imagine where we would be if s/w patents had existed back in the 50's.


[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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