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02.01.08

Glyn Moody on Software Patents; EFF Up Against Patent Trolls

Posted in EFF, Patents at 11:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Glyn Moody has found another excellent way to phrase the software patent conundrum (among others):

One of the many arguments against patenting software is that it’s as stupid as copyrighting language: if you did that, nobody could talk without getting sued. Similarly, thanks to the essential nature of software algorithms, nobody can program without infringing on something.

This relates nicely to what was said about software patents the other day when Amazon patented the customised 404 error pages (our own Web site apparently infringes on this patent, by default).

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is meanwhile tackling another ridiculous patent which we mentioned at the beginning of last month. Here is the announcement from the EFF:

Sheldon F. Goldberg was awarded the illegitimate patent for the “method and system of playing games on a network,” and claims to own rights in all online gaming systems that use tournament-style play, advertising, and have real-time updates of ladder-rankings in multi-player games. Goldberg has used this bogus patent to coerce licensing fees from numerous small businesses, demanding payments that are excessive yet less than potential litigation.

This is truly a disgraceful patent which is trivial enough to be an insult to society’s intelligence. In our previous item that complained about vanity and aggression of patent trolls we encouraged that this culture should be fought against. PatentTroll, for example, should have no mercy on Niro, who has resorted to intimidation tactics. He can’t do anything to TrollTracker. The more he tries, the deeper in the mud he sinks. He’ll soon realise this.

These attacks on PatentTroll are proof that he (or she) is on the right topic. That’s what people say anyway. Intimidation is not real risk; just perceived one. It’s about gagging.

GNU and Linux

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