Linked by Christian Schaller on Tue 19th Apr 2005 18:26 UTC
Legal We today face the risk of software patents being approved in the EU because not enough parliamentary members will be showing up to vote. Due to this it is important for those of us who oppose software patents to make sure EU parliament members see the damage software patents cause, so they realize it is important to be there to vote providing the needed absolute majority. But sending out a clear message is also important for the process of patent reform in the US and other places who have fallen into the trap of introducing them.
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RE:RE: for and against
by JJ on Wed 20th Apr 2005 00:35 UTC

I think you missed the point of what I said, SW patents of real substance equiv to any similar idea in HW deserve the same protections, there is no difference.

If there really is only a very few ways to do things, then that is or should be obvious to all concerned and is likely to be common practice ie unpatentable, these should also be simple to explain to a layman. The fact that we hear about grotesque violations of that doesn't meam SW patents are less than HW patents, those false claims should be fought.

Can anyone name one of the so called "few ways of doing something" that is actually non trivial. I bet an outsider could probably suggest an alternate approach in many cases.

Patenting user-interactions mouse clicks etc, xor cursor trick, anything that remotely looks like it came from a textbook etc make no sense. If the patent can be simply stated in a very few sentences as some can, its almost certain to have been already invented a hundred times.

A previous poster mentioned peer review, I like that idea,

BTW I have a HW patent from the EU even though I am in US for an algorithm that improves the throughput of a modem, yet the idea was implemented in SW for years before it could be turned into HW. Not sure if the patent covers both HW & SW implementations. If I had to do it again, it might well run as assembler on a DSP or embedded cpu, far more flexible if its fast enough.

I always like to bring up the point that the PC & most OSes are full of things that were once HW but moved into SW because the MMX/vector HW was fast enough to absorb it. So most all codecs are HW & SW.

Its gets a bit trickier for things you might think would never ever be in HW but possibly could. One example would be a language compiler, you might lough but I know of 1 ancient computer that included many SW tools built into real HW about 40yrs ago. More recently and again now I work on a cpu design that has the OS task scheduler in HW along with other usually SW components.