Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 6th Apr 2010 18:32 UTC
IBM And thus our true colours reveal. IBM made a patent pledge in 2005, promising not to sue open source projects over a list of 500 patents the computer giant holds. Today, however, IBM has threatened to sue TurboHercules, a French open source software house which provides support for the Hercules open source s390 mainframe emulator. Some of the patents in question are on the 500 list.
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RE: Captain Obvious strikes again
by bile on Tue 6th Apr 2010 19:50 UTC in reply to "Captain Obvious strikes again"
bile
Member since:
2005-07-08

If there's one thing that's in short supply in the corporate world, it's integrity. These companies are NOT to be trusted.


No entity with a coercively held monopoly should be trusted. The problem is patents, not software patents. The fundimental problem is government enforcement of arbitrary monopoly privileges not these companies. The companies are playing within the set of rules provided for them. Limit competition and this is what you get. There simply aren't the checks and balances (ie competition) to keep them in line.

Reply Parent Score: 1

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Patents provide an incentive for innovation. People aren't going to spend years working on an invention if some large corp can just take it without compensation. The problem with software patents is that they're given out too easily.

Reply Parent Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Patents provide an incentive for innovation. People aren't going to spend years working on an invention if some large corp can just take it without compensation. The problem with software patents is that they're given out too easily.


Almost, but not quite.

The problem with software patents is that software is not patentable subject matter. This is in part because software is mathematics, and mathematics should not be patentable.

It is also a fact that software has a very low capital investment required ... anyone can write software with no large outlay of capital required to start such a venture. Therefore, incentives to develop software should not be required, just as is the case for some other types of IP such as writing a book or composing a song (one cannot patent a book or a song). This is further vindicated by the observation that software was being written quite happily for decades before the first software patent was ever awarded.

Copyright protection for software is fine: people should write their own works, and not just copy and paste the works of others. No-one condones plagiarism.

Trade secret protection for software is fine: you should not have to reveal your software designs to anyone if you choose not to.

Trademark protection for software is fine: if I write a new wordprocessor application (even one that can read and write .doc files), I should not be able to call it "Word".

Patent protection for software: Not required. No way. Counterproductive, and restricts innovation. Holds progress back, for no good reason. Only lawyers benefit, no real value comes from it.

Edited 2010-04-07 07:18 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

mikeinohio Member since:
2010-02-21

Patents provide an incentive for innovation. People aren't going to spend years working on an invention if some large corp can just take it without compensation. The problem with software patents is that they're given out too easily.


The problem with software patents is that they are given out at all. Patent law was meant to cover physical devices, such as a semi conductor. Software code is like writing and as such should be covered by copyright law.

In the real world, the large corps you are talking about are using software patents to maintain their entrenched monopoly status.

I really don't expect this situation to improve any time soon. The lawmakers in the United States really don't understand the fundamental differences between hardware and software. They just go along with whatever their lobbyist tell them.

Reply Parent Score: 2

twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11

Patents provide an incentive for innovation. People aren't going to spend years working on an invention if some large corp can just take it without compensation. The problem with software patents is that they're given out too easily.


And you basically say that all R&D will stop if patents will no more enforced by law? Like humankind have newer made any improvements or discoveries and research until the appearance of patents?

R&D will continue. If not sponsored by large corporations , sponsored by large universities, governments or just sponsored by passion and aspiration for knowledge.

Word used to live and progress and can live and progress further without software patents and without large corporations.

Reply Parent Score: 3