Subject: Re: patent trolls and X-licensors
From: Santiago Gala <sgala@hisitech.com>
Date: Fri, 09 Jun 2006 09:46:29 +0200
Fri, 09 Jun 2006 09:46:29 +0200
El sáb, 03-06-2006 a las 21:22 -0400, simo escribió:

(...)

> > Worse, algorithms used in network protocols were ambiguous, because
> a
> > network has a physical element, and protocol algorithms  do  affect
> > physical things like time delays, bandwidths, power consumption,
> > interference...
> 
> In a very predictable and known way!
> 
What is more, in a way that can be varied almost infinitely without
changing the outcome. Think ethernet, modem, xDSL, token ring, fibers...

The algorithms are the same, the physical effects can vary widely

> > But we found that trying to produce legal language to define those
> > arbitrary lines, resulted in language that was not intuitively
> > understood by anyone, and where the interpretation of whether
> > something was patentable differed hugely between different people.
> We
> > never did succeed in producing legal language that a majority of
> > people were comfortable with.
> 
> Of course, if the lines are arbitrary they are not based on something
> objective and can never be fixed in something that isn't arbitrary, if
> that's what you did (which was not what the FFII activists did for
> example) you just lost a lot of time on a clearly unsolvable problem.
> 
> > But you're not legally allowed to use those mathematical
> abstractions
> > on a real computer, because using them on a real computer involves
> > physical processes...
> 
> Of course, but that's a known process, a running word processor, does
> not teach you anything new about physics, that's why it should not be
> patentable. 


Again, your word processor (say OpenOffice.org 2.0.2) running on your
PentiumIV with MS Windows will produce widely different physical effects
than my OpenOffice.org 2.0.2, same source code except for conditional
compilation, running on my Linux PowerPC, ...

The physical effect is a **side effect** of the computation, much like
heating the system+environment is a side effect of **any** real world
macroscopic process (entropy, Thermodynamics, etc.)



-- 
Santiago Gala <sgala@hisitech.com>
High Sierra Technology, SLU


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