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That's *exactly why* it makes them unpatentable. | 756 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
From a Computer Scientist
Authored by: PolR on Friday, July 20 2012 @ 04:14 PM EDT
The whole point of a 'universal computer/turing-machine' (what we now know simply as a "computer"), is that it simulates the actions of a whole class of traditional machine (e.g., a non-programmable calculator can be simulated by a program running on a programmable computer).
No it is that the universal algorithm/Turing machine can compute every function which is computable. This is called the Church-Turing thesis and it is the mathematical principle which underlies the invention of the stored program architecture computer.

Another way of stating the same point, stored program computers don't work by simulating the actions of other machines. They work by implementing a universal algorithm.

Likewise, a huge number of traditional machines that clearly would be patentable can be effectively simulated and/or prototyped by a computer. If, in the end, the machine maker decides to directly market the computer program rather than build the physical machine, why should that make it unpatentable?
This topic of this article is not whether software is patentable. It is whether programming a computer makes a new machine. When you simulate a machine by definition you don't make it.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

That's *exactly why* it makes them unpatentable.
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 20 2012 @ 06:33 PM EDT
The basic principle: a special-purpose machine is patentable. Using a
general-purpose machine for a single special case is not patentable.

That's *always* been patent law. Sure, it may suck for the people who
previously would have invented special-purpose machines, which are now
irrelevant, but *tough luck*.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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