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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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Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Does Programming a Computer Make A New Machine?~By PolR
Authored by: Rad59 on Friday, July 20 2012 @ 06:34 AM EDT
If I turn all the light switches in my house so different
lights (and a couple of ceiling fans)are lit and different
rooms can be entered safely or used for other purposes such
as reading or sleeping depending if they are on or off. Does
this mean I have a new house now?

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Does Programming a Computer Make A New Machine?~By PolR
Authored by: PJ on Friday, July 20 2012 @ 11:18 AM EDT
hahahaha

Say, that's a neat workaround. The smartphone
guys should give that a thought.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

huh?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, July 24 2012 @ 11:06 AM EDT
Assume that you've infringed my "machine" patent by running
program A on your CPU. (Actually, I think you violated the
patent just by installing program A, whether you ever run
the program or not, but we don't have to decide that for
this argument to work.)

Now install and run program B. Congratulations, you've just
implemented your third machine. (Original CPU is one, CPU +
program A is two, CPU plus B is three. Now run A and B
simultaneously: A fourth machine!

Note that CPU + A + B may be patentable as a new machine
that you've invented (though it's probably too obvious even
by USPTO standards), but this fourth machine also infringes
my patent on A. If you invent an improvement to a
patented device, that improvement doesn't magically negate
the original patent, even if the improvement is patentable.
(In this case the improvement is clearly an add-on that
leaves the patented invention intact; a redesign would not
infringe if it no longer matches the claims. Actually
that's one argument against software patents right there:
they don't claim enough detail to permit "designing
around".) Somebody wanting to use the improved device needs
your permission to practice the improvement, and they also
need my permission to practice my original invention which
the improved machine also embodies.

In short, running another program doesn't void any patents
and it doesn't give you a time machine. You infringed as
soon as you ran (installed?) program A, and that [legal]
fact won't change no matter what you do afterward.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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