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I originally posted this under another article regarding patents...
I'm not against patents because honestly if I invent something other than software I want to be able to patent it or some large company would just swoop in and steal my product and I would never be able to compete against that.. and why should my idea make an already rich company even richer without me licensing or selling the technology to them.
But to go further.
Ask a developer.. do you WRITE code or do you INVENT code? You write it of course!
In fact you can write code in many different ways and it can have the same results. However when a developer writes code he writes it for a specific OS designed to run on a specific type of computer and he then expects his patent to protect hm from all the others doing the same thing even if they are not writing in the same computer language or OS. This is why I object to software and process patents.. They pervert the patent process. Patents aren't the problem. The problem is they should never have been using patents for software in the first place! And don't even get me started on patents to protect a process!!!
Take the toaster
Patent 1 - simply because I typed this example 1st
A electrical powered device that uses heated coils and pops up when a selected electrical resistance is reached then I have a modern home toaster
A steel bar with a wooden handle on one end and a thin steel cage on the other, I have made a toaster that would work excellent over a camp fire.
The two devices are equally valid and do the same function, just in different ways And they are actually mutually exclusive since one requires the use of fire as a heating source and the other requires the use of electricity. However if this was a software or a process patent the person who made patent 1 could sue the owner of patent 2 for infringing on his invention.
They are both valid devices doing the same thing but in different ways.
Now if the patent office were to create a patent just for software and they made the rules that allowed the patent very specific then maybe I will agree to using patent protection for software..
But I would insist on the following:
What is the specific OS this software designed to run on including version number of the OS.
Since code written under MacOS and Windows or Linux would probably be different don't expect a patent you created to work under Windows to also protect you under a different OS if you didn't code for it.
Is the application web based or what, is the code portable, in which specific way?
What was the software coded in, (an application compiled in C cannot be protected if someone else can have the same desired effect if they built their's in Java or visual basic or assembly or whatever. They may be doing the same thing but they are doing it in a different way and their code is different from yours.
A copy of the code MUST be attached - Yeah I know software companies would hate this but the Patent Office could hold this back from the public to protect the person or company who created the code - this way the patent office could reject copied code. All comments would need to be removed from the submitted code and the patent office could just do a code comparison.
The software must work as described and not be something oblivious that people would do naturally without the patent in the first place (I'm thinking the Amazon OneClick patent here which really isn't a software patent but a process patent but I think you get what I mean)
I could go on, but the point I'm getting to is this is a fail on the Patent Office in the first place who without thought or consideration just made it easier on the lawyers and patent trolls to get rich and kill innovation.