Software is The Glass Bead Game
Posted Jan 23, 2012 16:23 UTC (Mon) by giraffedata
In reply to: Software is The Glass Bead Game
Parent article: LCA: Addressing the failure of open source
I am addressing you as a general proponent of sw patents. Am I wrong?
I am not a general proponent of software patents. In fact, I don't even think the term has a clear meaning, so it would be hard to advocate for them. I'm not against them either, though. I'm saying whether an invention involves software or not should not be a factor in patent worthiness.
Thanks for the slide-to-unlock patent example; I think it's a much cleaner one.
This is an idiotic patent. It's idiotic because the public gets no benefit from it, which is because
- Apple would have invented it even without the promise of patent protection, just to use it in its own products.
- Using it in its products, Apple couldn't keep it secret.
- Even if Apple didn't find using it in its products sufficient incentive to invent, anyone else who could benefit from it could easily invent it independently.
These factors would apply even if slide-to-unlock were implemented in logic gates, analog electronics, or clockwork, which I believe it would not be called a "software" patent.
(Incidentally, when I say idiotic, I mean from a public policy perspective. I'm not saying it is idiotic for Apple to apply for the patent, the patent office to grant it, or a court to enforce it. The law is what it is).
to post comments)