2008-09-29

High demand for patents on software

These are the usual arguments for software patents.
For more patent inflation lobbying, read the latest brochure from the European patent office...

We should reward innovative software with patents because:
  • Solutions for things like media detection, compression and encryption are very hard to come up with.
  • Software solutions are easy to imitate and not well protected under copyright.
  • There is no real surge in litigation and the demand is still growing.
  • More and more stuff is controlled by software - and those things have always been protected by patents.


What are the best arguments against? My Pick:
  • Patenting data processing, how to work with information, is too abstract and just the same as patenting business methods and office work.
  • The effort in software development is foremost getting the code to work well in a complex environment, and this work is mostly covered under copyright.
  • Insurances against software patent infringement got too expensive, litigation is too expensive and kills smaller players
  • Software should be irrelevant to patents on any computer controlled process that is patented.
    It's quite easy to understand if you think about what the invention might be in a computer controlled Anti-lock Breaking System.
Then I need to make it shorter...

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