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Re: Why are software patents wrong?

From: Paul Hovnanian P.E.
Subject: Re: Why are software patents wrong?
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2004 19:43:36 -0700

threeseas wrote:
> why do you think software should not be patentable? and is your answer
> cause or effect?

Software is the implementation of an algorithm, which is not patentable.
Copyright law is more suitable for the protection of software.

You can patent a physical method or device which achieves some end.
it is still possible to achieve that end with another means or device
and not violate that patent. Physical implementations are typically
constrained by practical engineering limitations, so there is value in
protecting the innovation involved in their development. IOW, figuring
out HOW to do something has value, not just WHAT to do. Software doesn't
suffer from the same kind of restrictions on alternative
implementations. Once the WHAT comes to mind, the HOW has multiple
solutions. I'll leave the arguments about bounded vs unbounded solution
sets to the math geeks.    

Software patents effectively prevent achieving the intended end by any
means rather than protecting the means. Patents are supposed to
encourage innovation (i.e. better ways of doing something). Preventing
that from happening is (or should be) counter to public policy.
Paul Hovnanian
definition: recursion; see recursion.

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