Subject: Re: Novel anti-software-patent article
From: "Jesus M. Gonzalez-Barahona" <>
Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2000 00:50:10 +0100 (CET)

 Fri,  7 Jan 2000 00:50:10 +0100 (CET)

	You can look at it the other way around. If you invent a
spiffy, new, perfect, really useful and unbreakable crypto algorithm,
in a world where you cannot patent its use in a software
product... why will you keep it hidden from the crypto community? Of
course you wonŽt get a lot of money if you cannot patent it, but
probably youŽll come up with some money, and a lot of recognition in
the crypto community. I thought this was the way science
worked... (Just as a case example, do you *really* think that Albert
Einstein just published his thoughts on relativity because he was
expecting to get money from patenting its results?)

	Just my two (euro)cents



Crispin Cowan writes:
 > [...]
 > So, the purpose of patents is to advance the state of the arts for the public
 > good.  Ok, now consider crypto algorithms.  Suppose that software algorithm
 > patents are just abolished.  Further suppose that I invent a spiffy new crypto
 > algorithm (a hypothetical and highly unlikely event :-)  How might I profit from
 > my invention?  The algorithm is so elegant that anyone can produce a compatible
 > implementation if I publish it.  If algorithm patents still worked, then I'd
 > patent it.  But without patents, I'm just sunk.
 > So, *totally* abolishing patents seems to have the effect of turning crypto
 > algorithm research from a business into a hobby.  How does that advance the state
 > of the arts?
 > Caveat:  this is not a rhetorical question.  I'd be very happy to have this
 > argument picked apart, so I can go back to just objecting to software patents.
 > Crispin
 > -----
 > Crispin Cowan, CTO, WireX Communications, Inc.
 > Free Hardened Linux Distribution:       

Jesus M. Gonzalez Barahona             | Universidad Rey Juan Carlos                 | ESCET                       | c/ Tulipan s/n
Grupo de Sistemas y Comunicaciones     | 28933 Mostoles, Spain