Subject: Re: Examples needed against Soft Patents
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <stephen@xemacs.org>
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2004 19:07:45 +0900

>>>>> "Russell" == Russell McOrmond <russell@flora.ca> writes:

    Russell>   All the reasons why we oppose software patents are the
    Russell> same reasons why high patent quality in this subject
    Russell> matter is impossible.

Impossible is a pretty strong word, especially in this field.  High
patent quality is quite possible.  Not only do we have examples of
claims that clearly pass any reasonable bar of novelty and
non-obviousness and thus would make good patents (assuming they
weren't granted in the face of prior art), but we can also sketch out
what it would take to implement such quality systematically with
acceptably high reliability and burdening the industry (taken broadly
to include all software distributors, whether commercial or not) with
inefficiently high transactions costs.

In my opinion, those resources won't be made available under those
restrictions, even if it's the only way to save the (software) patent
system as a whole, and thus I strongly favor abolition of (software)
patents.  But it's far from impossible in theory.

    Russell>   We know the reasons, and we should demand that the
    Russell> debate be changed such that the pro-patent side have to
    Russell> defend their extremism rather than us having to do all
    Russell> the legwork.

*sigh*  The pro-patent side is not "extreme".  It's an incremental
extension of a regulatory practice that has a long history, however
harmful we may deem it.

-- 
Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences     http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp
University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
               Ask not how you can "do" free software business;
              ask what your business can "do for" free software.