Prose analogy patents
Posted Dec 4, 2008 18:59 UTC (Thu) by dmarti
In reply to: Kill software patents
Parent article: KSM runs into patent trouble
I haven't seen an argument in favor of software patents that doesn't also apply to prose analogy patents. For example, should Steve Oualline's thorough mailbox analogy to explain pointers in Practical C Programming be patentable? If it helps people get pointers and start programming in C sooner, it has immense value--but another author could reimplement it in different words and using newly-drawn pictures without licensing it from the patent department at O'Reilly and Associates. The lack of a patent here means that Steve lacks an incentive to create more prose analogies of value.
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