[clug] Re: [Linux-aus] FOSS patent infringements

Andrew Pam xanni at glasswings.com.au
Wed May 16 01:09:44 GMT 2007

Janet Hawtin wrote:
> It does beggar belief that patent proponents do still promote the
> system as a means to promote innovation and still deny that it is a
> means to quash others in your market space.
> In an a-backwards kind of way Ballmer's MS is highlighting just how
> foobared the whole box and dice is. Interesting times.

I note that patent law specifically provides that patents are intended 
to "teach" the method(s) in the patent.  However there is little 
evidence that programmers *ever* look at patents, in fact these days 
they are encouraged *not* to look at them to reduce the danger of triple 
damages for wilful infringement.  Therefore it appears that the public 
benefit claimed as a justification for the establishment of patents is 
almost completely absent in the case of software patents - they 
definitely impede innovation, and rarely or never encourage it.


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