Posts Categorized: Software Patents

Software Developers’ Culture Works Against Patenting

Many software developers have the mistaken belief that software is not or should not be patented. Many believe that copyrights are sufficient to protect their ideas.

Patents are reserved for the ideas behind the software. The big picture is patentable, but the code required to make the big picture a reality may not be.

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Semantic Warfare

I agree with this article on by Axel Horn about the move afoot to weaken or eliminate software patents in Europe.

The activists in Europe are very well organized and have infused the public (and even software developers) with the absurd notions that software is not inventive and should be available like music in the days of Napster.

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Various Business Theories for Software Patents

Some commentators have pointed out the story of Tim Berners-Lee who invented a certain portion of what is now known as the World Wide Web. In so doing, Mr. Berners-Lee opted to forego patenting and not collect money on his invention. This story is sometimes offered as an example of why the patent system should be abolished. I suggest that the story is an example of a business case where patents are not the best choice, but abolishing the patent system is not warranted.

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The Way Things Are Supposed to Work

A short article on shows a little about how software patents can be effectively used in business.

A lawsuit is filed, the parties negotiate a license, and they agree in some fashion to work together in the future.

I do not mean to paint too rosy a picture on it, but companies or organizations who have at least some software patents (like the OSS developers could have) have a big chip with which to negotiate and conduct their business.

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