Subject: Re: New angle on the patent problem
From: Assaf Arkin <>
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 1999 14:30:25 -0700

I have to say I am biased.

Most of the software patents I have seen are bogus, obvious or damn
not-innovative. I can't say if it's 95% or 99%, or any given figure.

Yes, there are some patents of merit out there, and it's not impossible
to think it can be done. But the system has been constantly abused, and
by the large seems to be broken.

And yes, I believe that patent law should not cover software, algorithms
or business practices.


Brian Bartholomew wrote:
> > But in truth, there are some valid (though not many) software
> > patents out there that have come to life through a lot of creative
> > effort. We, society, would deem them "patents with merit" as opposed
> > to "bogus patents".
> Can you list meritorious patents?  How many of them actually are
> there?  Bogus patents are often way overbroad.  I feel that because of
> the overbroadness, the damage from one bogus patent is often much
> greater than the good from one meritorious patent.  Because of this
> difference in effect, to make the software patent system balance out
> as socially neutral the ratio of meritorious patents might have to be
> 20:1 over bogus patents.  I don't think anybody is claiming that 95%
> of software patents are meritorious.  Are you?
> A member of the League for Programming Freedom (LPF)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Brian Bartholomew - - - Working Version, Cambridge, MA

Assaf Arkin                     
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