Thanks for this.
Footnote 169 clarifies the departure from Peirce's
Footnote 171 resolves my confusion as to why a 'referent'
is said to be a physical artifact, while Peirce's 'object' may be both material
Page 1435 discusses the distinction between signs which
are icons and signs which are indexes (indices).
Page 1441 concludes
that the functioning of a computer model as an icon or index is irrelevant to
patent eligibility analysis.
Although the author suggests that patent
eligibility is invariant to whether a computer model functions as an icon (or
index), the author later on suggests that the patentability of iconic computer
models should be treated as suspect at best:
spinner-machine is a model of a real-world system in the exact same way that the
iconic programmed computer that inversely correlates two variables can function
as a model of a real-world system. The two machines are semiotically
indistinguishable. The spinner-machine and the programmed computer (the
sign-vehicles) both stand for the real-world system of chemical concentrations
discovered by the researcher (the
referents) because of the mental concepts in
the minds of the people who use the devices (the interpretants). Viewed as a
question of semiotic logic, there is no good
semiotic reason why one should be a
patentable invention but the other should not. A patent regime in which the
spinner-machine is eligible for patent protection is difficult to imagine,
however, so the routine patentability of iconic computer models should be
treated as suspect at best.
It would seem that the author does
feel that qualifying computer models as iconic may determine patent eligibility.
Unless, we consider all computer models as being iconic.
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