Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 4th Aug 2011 21:38 UTC
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y The Google-Microsoft patent war of words is continuing. Yesterday, Google (rightfully so, in my book) accused Apple, Microsoft, and Oracle partaking in an organised patent attack against Android, instead of competing on merit, claiming that they bought up Novell's and Nortel's patents solely to attack Android and its device makers. Microsoft struck back, claiming Google was offered to join in on the bids for the Novell patents, but rejected the offer. Google has now responded to this accusation - and to make matters even more confusing, Microsoft responded back. A public shouting match between two powerful parties? Count me in!
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Jennimc
Member since:
2011-06-22

Thom has argued that software patents are merely "patenting numbers" and that it is wrong based on this assertion.

I think C. S. Lewis, JRR Tolken, JK Rowling among many others would disagree with that understanding. Thom's philosophy is akin to saying that patenting a book is just patenting letters.

Reply Score: -2

ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

I remember reading, a couple of years ago, that some guy was trying to patent a specific type of story plot.

Unlike copyrights, patents lock out everyone, even in the case of independent innovation. That's why they're so dangerous to apply to something like software where the patent investigators don't understand things well enough to weed out the garbage applications.

Either learn what you're talking about or learn to troll better. Whichever is applicable to your intentions.

Reply Parent Score: 8

rdean400 Member since:
2006-10-18

Independent innovation is exactly why I don't like the patent system.

The patent system is supposed to be designed to promote innovation by giving inventors a monopoly on their inventions in exchange for disclosing them. Patents do not promote innovation when the claimed inventions are easily created in the absence of knowledge of the patent. Too many patents today fall into this category, particularly the ones that take a manual process and automate it, or format-shift an application or UI element to the web or to mobile technology.

Reply Parent Score: 5

flynn Member since:
2009-03-19

Thom has argued that software patents are merely "patenting numbers" and that it is wrong based on this assertion.

I think C. S. Lewis, JRR Tolken, JK Rowling among many others would disagree with that understanding. Thom's philosophy is akin to saying that patenting a book is just patenting letters.

patent != copyright

The works of Lewis, Tolkien and Rowling are protected by copyright, they are not patented.

Patenting a book would in fact involve patenting the process of putting letters on paper and binding the pages together.

Reply Parent Score: 8

przemo_li Member since:
2010-06-01

No.

Patents for software are not about physical quantities or their use. Their are about "pure ideas".

So JRRT could eg. patent parts of story, plot, heroes, world, etc. Even writing tircks and trips.

Also way you write novel could be patented (eg. first you describe your entities, than make plot).

ALL of those things have been patented in software patents!

Reply Parent Score: 2

narcissus Member since:
2005-07-06

Um... The authors of books are protected by copyright, NOT patent.

I think you're a little confused about the two. Thom says software patents which cover the algorithm behind the text, is not patentable.

These are two entirely different things.

Math is not patentable.

Reply Parent Score: 1

przemo_li Member since:
2010-06-01

Math is not patentable but software algorithms are!!!

There are many sorting patents for example!

Reply Parent Score: 1

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Thom's philosophy is akin to saying that patenting a book is just patenting letters


I'm sure someone already said this but, uh, you can't patent books. Does your ignorance know no boundaries?

Reply Parent Score: 3

TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

Thom has argued that software patents are merely "patenting numbers" and that it is wrong based on this assertion.

I think C. S. Lewis, JRR Tolken, JK Rowling among many others would disagree with that understanding. Thom's philosophy is akin to saying that patenting a book is just patenting letters.


If you are going to attack someone at least bother to get the argument right. Thom argued that software is "math" not numbers. Although technically both is actually correct. Software is converted to binary, ones and zeroes. Software works at the core level by your processor doing simple math. If you had EVER programmed in assembly, you would clearly understand how the math works.

Reply Parent Score: 5

_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

I think C. S. Lewis, JRR Tolken, JK Rowling among many others would disagree with that understanding. Thom's philosophy is akin to saying that patenting a book is just patenting letters.


I wish I didn't have to be so hostile but:

You're useless.

After commenting on several articles on patents, you still don't know what they truly entail. You used the worst possible example (I'm sure others have told you that books are protected by copyright).

In that vein it should be pointed out that there are many books that resemble quite closely these books in terms of structure, story and content...and yet these are still the most famous.

Reply Parent Score: 3