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Groklaw's Response to the USPTO's Request for Suggested Topics for Future Discussion & A Supplement ~pj | 179 comments | Create New Account
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Groklaw's Response to the USPTO's Request for Suggested Topics for Future Discussion & A Supplement ~pj
Authored by: PolR on Monday, March 18 2013 @ 06:05 PM EDT
Thanks for this answer. It clarifies some fine points that had escaped me until
now.

I don't agree with everything Collins says about computers. His analysis doesn't
factor the errors of facts reported in section B of the supplement. His sign
doctrine is appropriate when the errors are corrected.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Groklaw's Response to the USPTO's Request for Suggested Topics for Future Discussion & A Supplement ~pj
Authored by: PolR on Monday, March 18 2013 @ 06:32 PM EDT
I complete my thoughts on why I don't agree with everything Collins about
computers.

First Collins accepts the notion that programming a computer makes a different
specific machine. He analyzes the semiotic meanings of the programmed device as
a whole. I reject his approach in part because programming computer doesn't
make a specific machine different from the unprogrammed computer.

The other problem is that Collins considers the semiotic meaning only from the
perspective of the user of the computer. He only discusses what the computer
would mean to the user. But users are not the only observers of computer data.
Programmers routinely inspect the internal state of the computer when debugging.
The internal data has semiotic meaning to programmers even though it is not
observable to the user. Similarly an expert witness trying to determine whether
an accused device infringes on a claim will have to decide whether the internal
data has the meaning recited in a claim. This expert is an observer giving
semiotic meaning to the data and his observations are used to determine whether
there is infringement.

A proper analysis must not presume a different machine is made just because a
program is loaded in memory. And it must not presume that the internal state of
the computer which is hidden from the user has no semiotic meaning. As far as I
can tell, Collins makes both errors.

I understand that a programmed computer considered as a whole may function as an
icon or index. But when we do down to the bits it is all symbols.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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