Software is The Glass Bead Game
Posted Jan 31, 2012 4:39 UTC (Tue) by giraffedata
In reply to: Software is The Glass Bead Game
Parent article: LCA: Addressing the failure of open source
But what is internal and what is end result is a matter of perspective too. Imagine a patent for mousetraps that is for avoiding slapping your finger when you try to bait it. It claims a switch away from the trap area that locks the trap open, You unlock it from a safe distance after you're done baiting. One could say you patented the end result of a mouse trap that doesn't close while you're baiting it, or one could say you patented the end result of having a mouse trap with a remote switch, covering every possible implementation of that switch.
A slide-to-unlock switch on a pocket touch-screen device is not qualitatively different.
I don't see any point to struggling with the semantics of end result and implementation here, because the real point is the obviousness. Whether you view the obvious thing as an end result or an implementation doesn't matter; the public loses either way if someone gets the exclusive right to it.
Maybe what general purpose computers did was just make it really easy to invent really big things and messed up the balance.
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