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11.10.12

Software Patents Harm Society

Posted in America, Patents at 9:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

City at night

Summary: New examples from the news of software patents on malicious ideas

The USPTO has been granting too many patents after it lowered many bars. As of late, Techrights was relatively hostile towards the USPTO because the USPTO had become hostile to people and friendly to large corporations and to patent lawyers/trolls. There is no way indie developers can keep track of patents that are granted on software, for example. Engineers at Apple and Microsoft also confess that they don’t keep track of patents. So who is this system really for anyway? Is it just part of a pyramid scheme or cartel?

Now, watch how far software patents go:

Two rival financial software firms – both based in Richmond – are no longer battling in court.

Downtown-based Wealthcare Capital Management said Thursday that it had settled its lawsuit with Powhatan competitor PIEtech and banking giant UBS Financial in a patent infringement case that questioned the definition of the act of financial planning.

It is bad enough that algorithms game the stock markets; now the organised looting industry gets monopolies on those tricks too (a subject like this is beyond the scope of this Web site).

The boosters of software patents, including an account in Twitter called “swpats”, are usually not scientists at all. They also have no evidence to back their claims with. And watch how surveillance too becomes patent monopoly:

Microsoft Patents TV That Watches Back, Counts Heads, Charges Admission

Here’s a scenario for you: at some point in the the near future, you sit down in front of your Xbox 720/960/1080 and queue up a little video-on-demand from the Live Arcade selection of movies. You select a film from the menu and, before you can press the “Play” button, you are greeted with another menu giving you several price points, depending on how many people will be watching.

And some tell us that patents improve society…

Some scholars suggest going as far as nullifying all patents.

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A Single Comment

  1. mcinsand said,

    November 12, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Gravatar

    >>There is no way indie developers can keep track of patents that are
    >>granted on software, for example.

    I don’t think that there is any way any corporation can keep track of software patents and patentability. Even if we were to conceptually allow math and/or language patents, enforcement is impossible. Patenting a given function or algorithm would be like patenting a story having to do with a boy wizard, pair of star-crossed lovers, or whatever plot you would like. The number of coded programs increases exponentially as a function of time, and keeping track of all of the publicly-disclosed utilities, widgets, and bits of code is impossible.

    A system that allows software patents will become the broken system that we have now. No-developer, large or small, can actually search the publicly-disclosed body of software (prior art) to know whether an idea is actually even remotely novel. The USPTO does not and cannot have the resources to make a reasonable assessment. Thus, the granted software patents are useful only in the way that Apple, MS, and Oracle have used them: as terrorist weapons against newcomers into the market. This is merely a game where the deepest pockets win and, until MS and Apple implode a bit more, we will still have turmoil.

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