Patents with source code
Posted Aug 25, 2012 16:59 UTC (Sat) by giraffedata
In reply to: Looking for prior art
Parent article: Mobile patent wars: Google goes on the attack
An invention does not have to actually work in order to be patentable.
You're just talking about issuance of the patent, though, not validity, right?
If John invents something and starts practicing it, and then Mary produces a patent for the same invention and demands that John stop, but John proves that Mary only dreamed it up and never actually proved it would work, I believe that means Mary didn't invent the thing, so her patent is invalid and John doesn't have to stop.
Concerning patent applications hypothetically having to contain source code, I think there are two cases to consider: 1) the source code is the claim. In this case, I don't think it would cover the same method in a different language, and the patent seems highly redundant with copyright. 2) source code is in supporting material, offered just to prove it works, i.e. the invention is complete. In that case, the patent is still quite different from a copyright.
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