No, invalidating specific software patents doesn't solve the problem
Posted Mar 12, 2009 14:28 UTC (Thu) by dwheeler
In reply to: Interview: Ciaran O'Riordan of End Software Patents
Parent article: Interview: Ciaran O'Riordan of End Software Patents
No, invalidating specific software patents doesn't solve the real problem. Patents have been invalidated in areas where there is little controversy that patents apply, and the patent system continues to exist. Indeed, the patent system presumes occasional invalidation; there's even a process for it.
Invalidating specific software patents is a good thing to do, and in some cases is absolutely necessary, until software patents are finally expunged.
Such a case could be used to open the wider debate. The one used to do so should be so egregious that even non-technical judges can understand the problem, though; if there are too many technical details, the details could be easily used by a pro-patent lawyer to hide the real issues. For software patents to be eliminated, the judges will have to clearly understand the issues.
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