TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Software Should Not Be Copyrighted -- Lawsuit

Re: Software Should Not Be Copyrighted -- Lawsuit

Scott Dorsey (
16 Dec 2004 15:42:15 -0500

Mark Crispin <mrc@CAC.Washington.EDU> wrote:

> Patents, on the other hand, lock up techniques; and the history of
> software patents is a sad litany of numerous obvious and commonly-used
> techniques being claimed under patent. The necessary litigation to
> overturn such patents is ridiculously expensive.

This is not necessarily something wrong with patents. This is
something wrong with patents that are issued by a patent bureau with
no proper examination of the patents.

A quick look at recent software patents shows that the vast majority
of them are not new designs but entirely dependant on prior art, and
that anyone with any software experience should never have allowed
them to be issued.

The fact that the patent bureau does not have anybody skilled enough
to realize that the ring buffer is a forty-year-old idea and therefore
not patentable to Microsoft means that they should not be in the
business of issuing software patents. But that does not mean that
somebody out there should not be doing it.

I should add that software patents should also not last anywhere near
as long as they do.

> Something tells me that Aharonian is a lawyer who's looking to drum up
> even more business.

There is a need to protect innovative technology. In the best of all
possible worlds, patents will do that. In fact, issuing patents on
technology that is not innovative causes the system to collapse
completely. But that does not mean that there is not a kernel of
goodness in the idea.


"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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