Subject: Re: US Software Patents Hit Record High (fwd)
From: simo <s@ssimo.org>
Date: Sat, 23 Sep 2006 12:32:39 -0400

On Wed, 2006-09-20 at 21:16 -0700, Brian Behlendorf wrote:
> This is insane - who can keep up with all those awards to know whether one 
> of them might apply to their project?

Welcome to the wonderful world of software patents :-)
When you can start patenting ideas instead of physical process', there
are no limits to what you can do expects the limits of your fantasy (the
real limit is the amount of money and time you have to actually write
the patent submission in a way that is acceptable to the patent office).

> And the $64,000 question: if software could not be patented, how much of 
> the work done that resulted in the patents would not have been done?  My 
> guess: it would have made no difference.

In most of the companies you first write the software you need then go
and try to find out if there is any patent you can get on it.
This means that said software is not created because you filed a patent,
but instead patents are filed because you have made some software, and
said software is commercialized even if you can't get a patent on it as
it is protected by copyright anyway.

And not only that, but have you ever tried to actually read a patent
and:
a) understand what it means
b) get out of it any useful teaching that is not yet widely available or
trivial to come with up given the problem space

Simo.