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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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thats only one of the many problems ! | 67 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
s/Software Patent/Patent/
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 16 2012 @ 04:51 AM EST
Pulling the word Software from your post would still be just as true.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

thats only one of the many problems !
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 16 2012 @ 10:08 AM EST
I wouldn't even call that the "primary problem", although it is certainly a big one.

As a software developer, I totally hate software patents. They have almost no beneficial effects at all, and have vast harmful effects throughout the entire software ecosystem.

Here's a bunch of problems with them that I can think of off the top of my head.

Software patents:

  • Are written in obfuscated legalese, so when you think of a new algorithm (even a fairly obvious one) its almost impossible to search for any patent(s) that it might be infringing
  • Almost never explain how to actually build the patented "invention"
  • Cover broad swathes of abstract mathematics instead of being appropriately narrow
  • Patent subject matter which is entirely mathematical, even though U.S. law supposedly prohibits this
  • Pretend to patent "a specific machine that computes X", but actually patent "any use of a general purpose computer to compute X"
  • Often read on ANY implementation that can possibly solve the specific problem, rather than just the one implementation that the patent owner actually invented
  • Are mainly used by large companies as an anti-competitive weapon against their smaller competitors, and by patent trolls to extract money from real innovators.
  • Cause most sensible developers to avoid the patented algorithms, often leading to years of stagnation in the subfields where those algorithms are useful (e.g. data compression, video codecs)

    Software patents need to die, before they weaken our software industry any further than they already have.

    [ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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