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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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Programmable Read Only Memory | 756 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
welll...
Authored by: PolR on Friday, July 20 2012 @ 10:04 AM EDT
You replaced only some of the RAM with PROM. You know as well than me what would
happen if you had replaced all the RAM with PROM.

Replacing RAM with PROM is an operation that change the structure of the
machine. Storing the same program in RAM is not such an operation.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Programmable Read Only Memory
Authored by: Ian Al on Friday, July 20 2012 @ 03:10 PM EDT
This is analogous to a CD-R that has a program burnt into place by the CD-writer
laser. If that is left in a computer and it boots (in the manner of my Linux
Rescue CD) the RAM that receives the program is, in effect, a PROM (as long as
some bright spark does not do self modifying programs!). Part of it only ever
contains the fixed program from the CD-R.

The CD with Linux on it is not patentable. Does the RAM receiving the CD-ROM
program make the computer a new machine? I think it is the same argument as the
RAM that would have held the CD-ROM data being substituted by the PROM. The
programmed prom no more lets its programs fade when the power goes off than does
a CD-R.

PolR commented that there are other sorts of memory that are/have been used in
computers that do not keep their memory states as charges on a capacitor and
there may be some that keep their memory states intact even when the power
(including standby battery cells) goes off.

The programs being patented, these days, are not for running on those sort of
devices. If the actual general purpose computers for which the software is
patented use DRAM, then that is sufficient to invalidate the patents in the way
that PolR does. Just because they might also run on some hypothetical machine
that works differently does not make the patents on the inventions valid.

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

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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