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Exactly! | 182 comments | Create New Account
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Exactly!
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, February 14 2013 @ 06:01 PM EST

Perhaps to help finish your thought as you're not done thinking about it (hopefully to solidify it), a question to consider:

What is the difference between:

    a pattern of electrical voltage (on or not) as applied to a telegraph key and the human interpretation of the end result
vs
    a pattern of electrical voltage (on or not) as applied to a silicon circuit/transistor/etc and the human interpretation of the end result
There's obviously the physical difference between a modern computer chip and the telegraph key. But one could just as easily define "morse code as applied to a telegraph key" as software.... especially if the instructions coming through the telegraph key in morse code are directions for a recipe that the person on the other end of the line are following.

Once upon a time I was on the fence. I didn't know where the line should be drawn with whether or not software should be patentable. Even as a software developer I knew there were some pretty advanced codings out there I wasn't familiar with so I should give benefit of doubt.

As time wore on over the last couple years and we've had a chance to debate the situation with Patent Lawyers like Gene Quinn I came to realize software - if one could point to a physical embodiment of such - could only exist as "a pattern of the particular on-off state of electricity applied to a physical device" and the human interpretation thereof.

This truly is no different then electricity as applied to the telegraph key.

It was with that realization that I understood the true form of software:

    it's nothing more then another abstract language that humans utilize
Like any other language, it can be used to give design instructions:
    CAD vs paper blueprint
it can be used to present a fictional story (even if interactive):
    Stainless Steel Rat vs Deus Ex
it can be used to present a depiction of art:
    Da Vinci painting vs ascii art displaying a unicorn
Anything you can think to do with a language you can do with software. Anything you think you can do with software, you can do with any other language.

To patent software means you can patent a blueprint (it is truly equivalent), or a story (again, it's equivalent), or art (again, equivalent) or any other language on the planet. Including English.

The patent lawyers truly created a work of fictional art when they managed to convince the USPTO, the Federal Circuit and some software developers that software was anything more then an abstract concept - anything more then another language.

They have literally succeed in patenting the computer over and over and over the same way one could patent the calculator over and over and over simply by doing nothing different then "entering a different math formula into a calculator".

RAS

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