Debunking the Software Patent Myths

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2021-06-09 12:00:14

This article was published in the Communications of the ACM, June, 1992 Introduction An Absurd Patent (This authors patent attacked as absurd) The Informed Opinion (What the patent bar and others say) A Study of Nine Software Patents (Those attacked by the LPF) Analysis Results (The results of analyzing the use of these patents) Recommendations (for improving the patent system) The Software Patent Confrontation (between the pro- and anti- patent forces) Acknowledgements and citations SideBars in the ACM article Quotations on patents Software Patents: IBM's Role in History The Academic Debate: Considered Opinion and Advocacy Document Comparison: (An example of prior art on a patent) Patents & Copyrights How Patents Work Tables of referenced patents When Will People Take Software Patents Seriously? A Brief History of Patents (It started in Italy in the 15th century) Obviousness: Polaroid v. Kodak Trademarks: Apple paid $30 million to use the name "Apple" Big Companies Do Sue Small Ones Introduction Jealousy and Envy deny the merit or the novelty of your invention; but Vanity, when the novelty and merit are established, claims it for its own... One would not therefore, of all faculties, or qualities of the mind, wish for a friend, or a child, that he should have that of invention. For his attempts to benefit mankind in that way, however well imagined, if they do not succeed, expose him, though very unjustly, to general ridicule and contempt; and if they do succeed, to envy, robbery, and abuse. -Ben Franklin, 1755 All Nature is but Art, unknown to thee; All Chance, Direction, which thou canst not see; All Discord, Harmony not understood; All partial Evil, universal Good; And, spite of Pride, in erring Reason's spite, One truth is clear, Whatever is, is Right. -Alexander Pope, Essay on Man

The issue of software patentability is an important topic because it affects the environment in which programmers and designers work, software innovation, the health of the software industry, and U.S. competitiveness. This paper while motivated by "Against Software Patents," by the League for Programming Freedom in Communications (Jan 1992), is an overall defense of software patents. An Absurd Patent

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