Software is The Glass Bead Game
Posted Feb 1, 2012 18:14 UTC (Wed) by giraffedata
In reply to: Software is The Glass Bead Game
Parent article: LCA: Addressing the failure of open source
the claims of [slide-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.
Wrong. They talk about the user doing this to the interface ...
The interface to an iPhone (or anything like one), as opposed to some software.
Ask any user what the touch screen is for communicating with, and he'll say the iPhone. Not iOS. He'll say "I'm going to drive into town to pick up an iPhone today because it has a slide-to-unlock feature." An Apple attorney pulls an Acme Smartphone out of his briefcase and sets it on the bar and says, "this thing practices our slide-to-unlock patent."
That's how one can see the patent claims as related to hardware at least as much as to software.
There is some level in every implementation of anything where you have to say, "variations at this level aren't part of the invention." I'm just saying there is no bright line telling you how high that line can be before the invention is not patent-worthy, so maybe whether or not the thing is implemented with software is below it.
I'm also saying it's a waste of time to try to identify kinds of inventions that are above or below the line when you can just go case-by-case by first principles (e.g. is the invention is obvious?).
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