Linked by jrincayc on Fri 15th Jul 2011 17:14 UTC
Legal Patent term calculation is complicated in the US because there are essentially two different systems and quite a few corner cases. Even with a list of patents, it can be tricky to determine when the patents are all expired. Since I am a computer programmer (and not a lawyer), I created a program to try and automate this. This paper discusses how patent term calculation works, and some results from a combination of hand and automatic term calculation for MP3, MPEG-2 and H.264.
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RE[3]: Ouch
by ourcomputerbloke on Sat 16th Jul 2011 00:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ouch"
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If we are going to have software patents, they should last less than 5 years. Software patents should have pseudo code or source code. Lack of this makes it far to hard to figure out what the patent actually covers.

IMHO all patents, hardware, software, medical, whatever, should have an automatic expiry five years after their first commercial application irrespective of what other timeframes are imposed, and none of this extending BS. If the new additions are significant enough to warranty an extension they should be patented separately.

I do believe the notion that software patents shouldn't exist is misguided, but each to his / her own.

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