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These arguments are all far too complex | 756 comments | Create New Account
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These arguments are all far too complex
Authored by: PolR on Friday, July 20 2012 @ 04:58 AM EDT
A program is a particular configuration of this machine serving a specialized purpose.
From a technology perspective this is not true. A program is not a configuration of the computer. A program is data given as input to an existing algorithm, often but not always the computer native instruction cycle. A wide diversity of techniques could be used for programming a computer depending on which algorithm will receive the program as input. Some programs are constantly modified in the computer memory as they execute. These programs cannot be considered "configuration of the computer" in any meaningful sense of this phrase.

This is why legal arguments assuming programs are configuration of the computer are disconnected from reality.

This article presents the facts of technology. Do not confuse facts with arguments. You can't dismiss facts by calling them complex. If you put a label on facts, they remain facts.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

You can't work by analogy on the whole of a field as diverse as software. - Sure you can - sorta
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 20 2012 @ 01:41 PM EDT

I say "sorta" because a calculator is 100% a computer. A computer is 100% a calculator. So using a calculator is not so much an analogy as it is seriously simplifying the illusion of the complexity of the computer.

A computer is nothing more then a calculator on physical steroids.

And by steroids I mean:

    A: Increase the physical cpu in the calculator by a factor of about 20,000
    B: Increase the physical memory in the calculator by a factor of about 140,000
    C: Increase the physical input component - full keyboard rather then just the basic calculator stuff
    D: Increase the physical display capability by a factor of about 1,000
When it comes to the "software" of a calculator vs a computer - they are identical with the exception of the physical limitations. As a software developer, you are limited to the hardware limitations.

You boost the physical capabilities of your calculator as outlined and you have a current modern-day all-purpose computer.

For example, other then the physical limitations in the memory, there's nothing stopping anyone from creating a program for a calculator to send out some simple morse messages.

The hard part is in trying to help those who view the computer as Rocket Science to understand it is nothing more then a calculator.

What makes that so hard is a field of Laywers who have a professionaly vested interest in making sure to complicate things as much as possible in order to keep the illusion of complexity in place so they continue to:

    Apply for patents - they are paid1 whether the patent is granted or not
    Collect license fees on those patents - they are paid whether someone chooses to license or not
    Enforce those patents in a Court Of Law - this is their Golden Goose, they are paid a fortune no matter what happens to the patent - and each time the patent survives they have another fortune they can collect in the next lawsuit
There is absolutely zero disincentive associated with applying and acquiring patents the Patent Lawyers know should never have been applied for let alone issued.

And there is a very strong financial incentive associated with every part of what's involved with patents.

Of course the Patent Lawyer profession will fight to have everything - not just software, but the Laws of Nature as well - patentable. It's in their financial interest with no apparent drawbacks to continue to do so.

Meanwhile, there's a $2 Million starting cost disincentive - applied not to Lawyers, but businesses/individuals - to defend against a patent no matter how bad a patent it is.

Only ethics or a foresight into the serious negative future consequences would prent a given Patent Lawyer from doing otherwise.

This is - in my humble, non legal opinion - the corner stone to everything wrong with the applied US Patent System. And it appears to be spreading to other Countries as those businesses learn from the US and return the US Business "favors".

Without that changing, the patent system will only become more complex and will continue to stagnate thereby choking the real innovation that is occurring.

1: The exception that would alter the equation of whether or not they get paid is if they are the inventor and/or owner of the business that will own the patent.


[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

These arguments are all far too complex
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, July 21 2012 @ 12:57 PM EDT
I agree the arguments are too complex. Too many of these software patents are
not about the unique and creative way to solve a problem. They are patents on
the problem, and let the owner tax the work of anyone that solves the problem.



[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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