Reply to post: Genuine Question

Apple: Trust us, we've patented parts of Swift, and thus chunks of other programming languages, for your own good

bazza Silver badge

Genuine Question

Setting aside the (dubious?) rightness of software patents just for a moment, I do have a ponderable.

Suppose a company did have a genuinely software patentable idea, and did want to give it away to all and sundry in a way that definitively did mean "no one can ever get sued ever for using this or derivative / cloned work". Patentable work ought to be patented by such a munificently minded company, if only to prevent some other more malignant organisation saying, "thank you very much, I'll have that" (especially as the whole prior art thing seems pointless these days so far as the granting of patents is concerned), or "I'll copy that, make some incompatible changes that wrest control away from the owners to the detriment of all" (e.g. MS with their "Java" back in the day).

I simply don't know what ways there exist to achieve that aim to the satisfaction of all, without holding a patent, and without having some sort of threat of legal teeth to defend it. I suppose assigning the patent to the Swift organisation would be an improvement. I wonder if that comes with problems so far as bareing-teeth-when-required is concerned? What is a better way?

(I'm not connected with Apple, Swift, Oracle, Google, MS, etc in anyway whatsoever).

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