Software is The Glass Bead Game
Posted Jan 30, 2012 17:02 UTC (Mon) by giraffedata
In reply to: Software is The Glass Bead Game
Parent article: LCA: Addressing the failure of open source
... a software patent is a patent on some software which is run on a computer.
By that definition, I am not in favor of software patents. Patenting some software is like patenting a sculpture (or a mold for a sculpture). Only inventions should be patentable, and a piece of software is not an invention.
However, I don't think that's what is controversial, because I don't think patents get issued for some software. I'm really not a patent expert, but I don't think patent claims for the patents in question include program listings or even abstract descriptions of program listings. I assume the claims of click-to-unlock (which I assume people include in the "software patent" category) talk about features of an iPhone (a piece of hardware) more than about computation steps. I doubt a code rewrite would avoid infringing it.
I believe the definition people usually use for "software patent" is something more like "a patent on an invention that is typically implemented with software." But much less vague, since there are so many kinds of software and so many ways to implement something using it.
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