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Software Patents

From: rjack
Subject: Software Patents
Date: Sun, 17 Jun 2007 10:32:26 -0500
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20070604)

During the current era, the cultural future is going to be heavily influenced by the debate over the protection (or lack thereof) for intellectual property concerning digital matters.

It is instructive to review the legal history of the patent-copyright dichotomy concerning computer program protection. Most telling is this Supreme Court ruling in 1978:

“To a large extent our conclusion is based on reasoning derived from opinions written before the modern business of developing programs for computers was conceived. The youth of the industry may explain the complete absence of precedent supporting patentability. Neither the dearth of precedent, nor this decision, should therefore be interpreted as reflecting a judgment that patent protection of certain novel and useful computer programs will not promote the progress of science and the useful arts, or that such protection is undesirable as a matter of policy. Difficult questions of policy concerning the kinds of programs that may be appropriate for patent protection and the form and duration of such protection can be answered by Congress on the basis of current empirical data not equally available to this tribunal.”[FN19].

[FN19] Articles assessing the merits and demerits of patent protection for computer programming are numerous. See, e. g., Davis, Computer Programs [437 U.S. 584, 596] and Subject Matter Patentability, 6 Rutgers J. of Computers and Law 1 (1977), and articles cited therein, at 2 n. 5. Even among those who favor patentability of computer programs, there is questioning of whether the 17-year protection afforded by the current Patent Act is either needed or appropriate. See id., at 20 n. 133.; PARKER v. FLOOK, 437 U.S. 584 (1978).

This was an open invitation by the Supreme Court directed to Congress
requesting that Congress simply do its job --- *LEGISLATE*.

Twenty-nine years later Congress is still sitting on its collective ass while the rest of the World moves on. Did you ever wonder why the U.S. is losing its competitive edge in the global struggle? Well it is not because of Congress. It is because the American people passively sit by and allow this kind of malfeasance to fester.

I have written my legislative representatives concerning intellectual property in the Digital Age. Everyone who has an interest in the debate, regardless of where their opinion falls, should express their opinion to their respective congressional representatives. Why wait for another twenty–nine years for those non-elected, life-time appointed Supremes to decide the peoples' business?

Those who don’t communicate with their representatives and then vote have no right to subsequently bitch.


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