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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RE[5]: Logic
by saynte on Tue 19th Jul 2011 05:29 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Logic"
saynte
Member since:
2007-12-10

What you say holds for anything that is constructed out smaller parts. I can construct a new car engine out of parts, but the difference is that it actually does something. A new engine would also be patentable. Computer programs "do" things, a story doesn't "do" anything.

In terms of the machine or transformation test, software transforms input into output.

Being a software engineer, I think most software patents are bad because they are obvious, trivially extending on prior work. However, I could be persuaded of their utility if I saw one that represented significant ingenuity on the author's part.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[6]: Logic
by lemur2 on Tue 19th Jul 2011 06:02 in reply to "RE[5]: Logic"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

What you say holds for anything that is constructed out smaller parts. I can construct a new car engine out of parts, but the difference is that it actually does something. A new engine would also be patentable. Computer programs "do" things, a story doesn't "do" anything. In terms of the machine or transformation test, software transforms input into output. Being a software engineer, I think most software patents are bad because they are obvious, trivially extending on prior work. However, I could be persuaded of their utility if I saw one that represented significant ingenuity on the author's part.


A new engine isn't patentable unless it is innovative, and uses entirely new methods.

A new model of a gasoline-burning internal combustion engine isn't patentable. Because it uses entirely different principles, a fundamentally new engine design like this might, however, be patentable:

http://www.cyclonepower.com/
http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1023924_cyclone-waste-heat-engin...
http://www.cyclonepower.com/comparison.html

"Cyclone engines do not require a transmission, starter motor, catalytic converter, muffler, radiator or oil pump."

Fundamentally different. Innovative. Arguably, a new invention (even though it is essentially a steam engine!).

Android is a touchscreen-based mobile phone OS, as is Android. Palm OS beat them both to it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treo_650

Neither Android nor iOS are fundamentally new designs. Hence Microsoft should be free to write WP7 if they want to.

Virtually ALL software written today is just "new models" ... a re-telling of a old story using different words, a new arrangement of an old song, a re-make of an old movie.

There is no real innovation here, there are no new inventions, just new bells and whistles. Software should NOT be patentable.

Copyrights ... OK, no problem, people should do their own work. Software patents? no way. Just say no.

Edited 2011-07-19 06:20 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[7]: Logic
by saynte on Tue 19th Jul 2011 06:13 in reply to "RE[6]: Logic"
saynte Member since:
2007-12-10

I agree that most software written isn't new content, just small extensions. However, I wouldn't let that stand in the way of a patent being filed for a real innovation in software.

Reply Parent Score: 1