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Software Patents


Software Patents

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Tom Thomson
Tom Thomson
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My feeling about software patents is that they are a total disaster and will continue to be a total disaster until the world's patent offices all take to rejecting patents for things which are glaringly obvious, looking seriously for prior art, and automatically rejecting claims and descriptions which are written so as to obfuscate. That's not going to happen, because to do that job would require far more patent clerks with far greater technical skill and knowledge, and no country could afford to divert that many engineers and scientists from industrial and academic empolyment into patent clerking. So the best course is to abolish the rotten things altogether.

Would you believe that a patent applied for in the 1980s could "protect" the "invention" of something which first appeared as pure mathematics in graph theory decades before, had a highly efficient algorithm for it published in CACM in 1962, and was described in Volume 1 of Knuth's "The Art of Computer Programming" (published in 1968)? If you don't believe that, you don't know anything about how software patents currently work! It happened, and it's the sort of thing that happens all the time.

It seems to have become standard practise to attempt to patent well known stuff, obfuscating it by inventing new names for the components instead of calling them by their well-known names. Sometimes (rarely) a court will notice this and kill a patent, but even in so blatant a case as the "shopping trolley" patent the first court upheld the patent despite having all the evidence and expert testimony and it was an appeal court which reversed that decision, so relying on the courts to repair the incompetence of patent offices is not a good bet.

Tom

patrickmcginnis59 10839
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jay-h (2/20/2014)
patrickmcginnis59 10839 (2/20/2014)
teresalinus (2/20/2014)

Let me try to answer your question in a very simple way.Suppose you have an idea, for example a mobile application, which you find worthy and therefore you disclosed it.Any of the user present on web can copy it or publish it claiming it as their own Idea.In such a case you denied with the access to your ideas.There are some legal terms like software patents which helps you to own your ideas legally.


Abstract ideas cannot be patented.


That's what we're told. But when people (trolls) actually DO get patents on scanning to email, music playlists, releasing movies to subscribers before they hit theaters, automatically encrypting purchasers information for online sales (Even having Whitfield Diffie testify about the history of encryption did not save Newegg)... that does not seem to be the case.

The common sense meaning of 'abstract idea' does not seem to mean what we think it means.

[all of the above are currently in the courts, some have already produced substantial licensing money]

It is simply become far to risky for entrepreneurial folks these days. I can guarantee you that Kickstarter is scanned daily from sleazy lawyer trolls to big name entities like Rockstar-- just looking for someone else to target.


The law intends that you do not patent abstract ideas. I imagine that the patent office will probably not be able to stop all instances of dishonest abuse of the system. And we can all probably think of any number of instances of jury trials gone bad that fail to protect us against dishonest actors.

to properly post on a forum:
http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/61537/
teresalinus
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Patent law has become something we are told about, but not followed.
teresalinus
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The patent law maker should classify the things to be patent and should decide it to carry under suitable law. This initiative will motivate the inventor also.
Andy Robertson
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What happens when two different people have the same idea? Who owns the idea then - the first one to patent it?
If thoughts can evolve out of a group or a culture then it seems to me that patents are just a way of appropriating the means of monetising ideas that come out the broader culture/society/science etc.
The other thing to consider is that patents and IP are often about ideas and this concept clearly does not give as much value to the people who have to realise those ideas and enhance them and bring them to market sensibly.
Just because one person has an idea to do something doesn't mean that someone else shouldn't have that idea also in fact it's very likely.
The idea that one person came up with a great idea in a vacuum and should have sole rights to it's monetisation is rubbish. Clearly they have been influenced by the culture and people around them - should they get some credit too?
Brad Allison
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Interesting that this topic is resurfacing. My husband and I this morning were just discussing the same topic, as we are both gamers, and we saw a story about Activision trying to put a patent on the gaming microtransaction system. Well, how can they claim that when there are many variations of the microtransaction system in different games? Activision/EA are going to be the death, sadly, to the gaming industry. I think this is why more and more indie titles (like Ori or Cuphead) are turning out to be excellent games.
Jeff Moden
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I think the people granting patents such as the "1-click" thingy need to find a new job. They've obviously not done any due diligence when it comes to "prior art" and have stretched to the breaking point the concept that new uses for prior art can be patented.

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It's really simple.

Software is math.

You can't patent math.

Full stop.

The fact the courts are ignorant of this simple truth has caused an uncountable number of crimes (i.e. unjust enrichment) to the detriment of the human race.
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When I was made redundant may years ago Human Remains came up with a document to sign regarding patents, IPR, etc. It was total nonsense as it would virtually mean I could not do a similar job for the rest of my life. I also said anything I had done was the product of my education, my experience and to a small degree to my work environment. I never signed but a number of people did. Subsequently the product,, and IPR, I had been working on was sold on. It still exists but obviously has been developed significantly. The company that axed me no longer exists!
Tom Thomson
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Jeff Moden - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 6:29 AM
I think the people granting patents such as the "1-click" thingy need to find a new job. They've obviously not done any due diligence when it comes to "prior art" and have stretched to the breaking point the concept that new uses for prior art can be patented.

What, only to breaking point? It seems to me that both USPO and EPO have stretched things way beyond the breaking point, the German courts have backed Apple in cases where it was claiming stuff for which there is a vast quantity of prior art so they have taken it beyond breaking point too, and the UKPO while not as bad as EPO or USPO probably goes beyond the breaking point too.


Tom

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