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Re: Why software patents were a bad idea!!

On Wed, Jun 09, 2004 at 11:35:19AM -0600, Rodolfo J. Paiz wrote:
> Reply-To: For users of Fedora Core releases <fedora-list redhat com>
> At 11:03 6/9/2004, Rui Miguel Seabra wrote:
> >A good place to discuss about software patents is, probably,
> >patents aful org (search for this + subscribe in google and click on I'm
> >feeling lucky).

Consider that the patent process centers around the lack of prior
art.  The open source movement has the potential of squashing this
with it's flood of documented prior art.

So all you artists out there publish and copyright (Both personal and
GPL) your art.  When you code up something new and nifty think about
the possible other uses and make such (valid well thought honest)
claims in your source.

Those with free time might do well to scan new patents and look for
violations of prior art or perhaps code up additional uses for the
patented methods and thus constrain the expanded use of that patent.
While you may not be able to distribute your additional methods.  A
corner case could be blocked.

If done correctly, some collection of open source advocates might
pool their money and potential damages and challenge a selected patent
or pile of patents and litigate for misappropriation of IP etc...

In all fairness a clever idea deserves a patent and the inventor
should have the ability and option of making a buck on it.  I dislike
the tactic of armies of attorneys and the flood of software patents
all intended to act as bargaining chips on a table where cross
licensing and litigation abuse is the norm.

I suspect that active 'developers' should not participate in watchdog activity
but there are many more readers out here than writers.

Once upon a time very clever people used to work in patent offices.
There are not many Alberts out there today.

	T o m  M i t c h e l l 
	/dev/null the ultimate in secure storage.

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