Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 17th Jul 2011 20:58 UTC, submitted by fran
Linux It's strange. Microsoft has been patent trolling the heck out of the Linux kernel for a long time now, and is still using these patents against Android today in its protection money scheme. However, as LWN.net illustrates, Microsoft makes quite a few contributions to the Linux kernel. Shouldn't this invalidate their patent claims?
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Logic
by unoengborg on Mon 18th Jul 2011 08:53 UTC
unoengborg
Member since:
2005-07-06

If patent law had anything to do with logic, we would not have software patent in the first place.

- Software is already protected by copyright, patents are not needed.

- Software is algorithms and as such part of mathematics, and mathematics is discovered rather than invented and should thus not be patentable.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Logic
by Almafeta on Mon 18th Jul 2011 10:01 in reply to "Logic"
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

Software is algorithms and as such part of mathematics, and mathematics is discovered rather than invented and should thus not be patentable.


I always wonder who is promoting the idea that mathematics is discovered, not created. I'd love to ask that person to show me these places where abstract equations and functions that just happen to model things we are interested in modeling are lying about in the wild, just waiting on some intrepid mathematician to discover them.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Logic
by siride on Mon 18th Jul 2011 15:50 in reply to "RE: Logic"
siride Member since:
2006-01-02

You make this statement so matter-of-factly, as if it is obviously true that math is invented, when in fact many (perhaps most) think the opposite. It's certainly not easy to argue one case or the other and AFAIK, the problem is unresolved.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Logic
by lemur2 on Tue 19th Jul 2011 02:17 in reply to "RE: Logic"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Software is algorithms and as such part of mathematics, and mathematics is discovered rather than invented and should thus not be patentable.
I always wonder who is promoting the idea that mathematics is discovered, not created. I'd love to ask that person to show me these places where abstract equations and functions that just happen to model things we are interested in modeling are lying about in the wild, just waiting on some intrepid mathematician to discover them. "

They are probably to be found in a similar-in-some-ways place to that place where authors of books and stories discover sentences and paragraphs.

Did you realise that authors of books and stories cannot patent sentences and paragraphs?

Edited 2011-07-19 02:18 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Logic
by MollyC on Mon 18th Jul 2011 19:49 in reply to "Logic"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

Most software is more process than "math". Where'd you get the ideat that "algorithms = math"? I have an algorithm for tying my shoes; that doesn't mean that that algorithm is "math".

As for invented vs discovered, who cares? Hell, I could argue that ALL inventions already exist in the abstract, just waiting to be "discovered", whether those inventions are made out of bits or made out of atoms. Which would mean that no inventions could be patented, period, according to your theory (which you state with mere assertion, with no elaboration or explanation).

You guys are caught up too much in the "bits" thing, where things made of bits must be treated differently than things made of atoms.

-------------------------
P.S.
I maintain that if the universe had no intelligent beings, then math would not exist, for it takes such beings existing for the abstract realm to even exist. Things like Math, Music (not particular songs, but the very concept of Music), etc aren't just sitting out there waiting to be discovered; it takes intelligent beings to ponder on those concepts. I add this as a P.S. because it's not pertinent to my main points, above.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Logic
by vitae on Mon 18th Jul 2011 20:14 in reply to "RE: Logic"
vitae Member since:
2006-02-20

You have an algorithm for tying your shoes?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Logic
by lemur2 on Tue 19th Jul 2011 02:01 in reply to "RE: Logic"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Most software is more process than "math". Where'd you get the ideat that "algorithms = math"? I have an algorithm for tying my shoes; that doesn't mean that that algorithm is "math". As for invented vs discovered, who cares? Hell, I could argue that ALL inventions already exist in the abstract, just waiting to be "discovered", whether those inventions are made out of bits or made out of atoms. Which would mean that no inventions could be patented, period, according to your theory (which you state with mere assertion, with no elaboration or explanation). You guys are caught up too much in the "bits" thing, where things made of bits must be treated differently than things made of atoms. ------------------------- P.S. I maintain that if the universe had no intelligent beings, then math would not exist, for it takes such beings existing for the abstract realm to even exist. Things like Math, Music (not particular songs, but the very concept of Music), etc aren't just sitting out there waiting to be discovered; it takes intelligent beings to ponder on those concepts. I add this as a P.S. because it's not pertinent to my main points, above.


The fact that software is math is actually a whole topic of study, called computational theory.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_computation

There is even a corresponding (and far less well-founded) theory that a mind is actually a computer:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computational_theory_of_mind

Anyway, it is an ovious truism that computers manipualte bits of information stored in their memory and/or digitised measurements of real-world signals (aka input/output). It is also true to say that these bits are only numerals (aka digits ... which is the very root of the word digital). It is also true that the central component of any computer is the CPU, and the functional core of a CPU is its APU (aka Arithmetic Processing Unit). Arithmetic is the manipulation of numerals.

Therefore, the way that a digital computer is built means that all it can do is transform real-world signals into numbers (made up of binary digits) and them manipulate them using ... math. The results of these math calculations are then often turned back into real-world signals.

Ergo, all that a computer can do is math.

Ergo, software is math.

PS: It does take an intelligent mind to write mathematics processes to follow, just as it does take an intelligent mind to write a book to tell a story. Authors should enjoy the fruits of their creations, no argument. The most suitable form of IP protection for both of these types of original works of authorship is copyright.

Edited 2011-07-19 02:04 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3