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Re: The patent process

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: The patent process
Date: Thu, 13 May 2004 15:20:25 +0200

Stefaan A Eeckels wrote:
> It would seem that the rĂ´le of software patents is to allow
> large corporates to sue the hell out of any competitor they
> want to sue. 

Read "Debunking the Software Patent Myths" by Paul Heckel, 
Communications of the ACM, June 1992, pages 121-140 and "Software 
Patents: Are they Here to Stay?" by John P. Sumner et al, The 
Computer Lawyer, October 1991, pages 8-15.

And once again:

<quote source=>

Altai has been viewed as a landmark decision as it incorporates 
many traditional principles of copyright law into a single 
analytical framework seemingly suitable for computer software. 
However, when honestly applied, the abstraction-filtration-
comparison test eliminates protection for computer programs by 
entirely filtering out not only the individual elements of 
computer programs such as software objects but also the 
compilation of selection and arrangement expression that is the 
program's structure, since both are designed with efficiency in 


It is more appropriate to consider the software objects of a 
computer program as analogous to the gears, pulleys, and levers 
of a mechanical invention, as by its very nature, the design of 
computer software is intended to optimize functionality by 
making a program run faster, use less memory, or be easier for 
the programmer to modify. When viewed as a collection of 
software objects combined in such a way as to optimally perform 
various tasks, the design of computer software closely 
resembles the design of functional devices protected by patent 
law rather than the non-functional, non-literal elements of 
creative authorial works protected under copyright law.



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