Subject: Re: A different patent covenant...
From: <stephen@xemacs.org>
Date: Sat, 30 Sep 2006 17:02:44 +0900

Brian Behlendorf writes:

 > Clearly, there has been no lack of innovation from Open Source despite the 
 > lack of patents to protect those innovations.  There are a myriad of 
 > reasons one might innovate; a patent is just one possibility.

That is true.  But what you are not saying, and may not even
recognize, is that some of those reasons apply to some fields of
innovation sufficiently to generate innovation, and not to others.
It's quite possible that vast swaths of "innovatables" are out there
that fall into that incentive void.  (It's also possible that it's an
incentive crack and we don't care.)

If it is in fact a large incentive void, then patents are a useful
policy tool.