Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Let's get rid of software patents 

This is becoming one of those self-evident truths that underpin our society.

Patents are supposed to protect the inventor, promote innovation and
thereby advance society and life in general.

Software patents do none of the above. They penalize those seeking to
implement broadly useful solutions that advance society; they allow
big companies to inhibit the work of small innovators; and small
innovators find that even with patents they are powerless to
enforce or pursue them.

This article in eWeek agrees:-

And added to this we see big companies trying to poison innovation
in the open source community by crippling the OASIS specification
process by tainting it with IPR mechanisms:

The future of software is open collaborative communities - that
has become the nature of information technology in the 21st
Century. We need to recognize that and remove this chronic
and potentially dehabilitating disease from the equation.

I hold two US patents filed ten years ago now, and I have
long since given up on the USPTO once I realized what
a pathetic and embarassing process it has turned into.

The notion of software invention has become a shallow
concept defined by patent lawyers and not software
engineers. But software has reached the point where
any future developments, by the very nature of
software process are connected to components that
someone else has developed, and thus for someone
to claim a true software invention is now


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