Patents != innovation
Posted Oct 16, 2007 0:34 UTC (Tue) by bojan
In reply to: Patents != innovation
Parent article: A visit from the trolls
> I'm reasonably sure that the people who applied for this particular patent were, in fact, doing work that was actual innovation and that they were doing it because the company they worked for (Xerox) was willing to invest a lot in bringing smart people together to generate new ideas.
I think you're making it sound a bit too much like "poor old inventors needed protection badly". This "invention" could have been protected by copyright (if they actually bothered to implement it, which would keep them in the job for a lot longer), which in case of software also gives holders a unique ability to ship binary only to the outside world (therefore further delaying what imitators can do). They could have also used contracts to ensure trade secrecy with the licensees.
So, these poor defenseless folks actually had two powerful mechanism to protect their work, none of which are available to say an inventor of a new auto part. Given that and given that software innovation doesn't require huge investment before beginning (a PC?) and also given that the field's landscape changes on a monthly basis, I think affording these people yet another 20 year monopoly (and on something that requires least effort when it comes to software development) is completely counter productive.
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