Re: Software patents are inevitable
No, software patents are a dead end!
There are many ways to program an algorithm, there are many places where the algorithm could be used, there is no good way to find which algorithms have been patented already -- hence the complexity of the system is simply too large to allow useful patents. As a result, software patents create much work for related industries, who constantly have to check a quickly growing pool of patents to ensure that none of the vaguely crafted patents conflicts with their latest innovation.
You patent a new drug, then you can specify a clear compound and define a clear purpose when and how this drug will cure an illness. I can look up the compound before I decide to synthesize it in my company. Patents work for the pharmaceutical industry.
You patent an algorithm cum function. How am I supposed to find the patent and to decide whether my application of the algorithm is sufficiently different from yours? There will be an army of lawyers battling it out in court and in the meantime I don't know if I am allowed to click on a hyperlink, scroll a list of phone-contacts, or use some matrix representation of my data. Please explain how this legal uncertainty will help innovation. Please explain why companies would forgo programming for their devices if they cannot patent their software.