Software patents



  • Apparently there's not much we can do as programmers that someone can't potentially charge a license fee for...



    making guides using markup



    middleware, basically



    Aspect Oriented Programming (Granted to Xerox, who released AspectJ under Common Public License, which retains some patent rights)



    determining local variable type when using subroutines (feature used by pretty much any debugger)



    remote call basically involving two DLLs



    checking dependencies among oo classes



    "task-oriented" apps



    Caveat: I only read through the AOP patent, so some of these may be more worthwhile then I make them out to be. Then again, I found these after some quick browsing on a patent site, so I'm sure there there are worse "catchall" software patents out there.



  •  It sounds like you're judging what the patents cover based on the abstracts rather than the claims. The abstact only provides a general description of the invention and for most inventions will wind up describing the device that would use the invention and not the invention itself. If you invented a hammer with a triangular head to get into corners, your abstract would be all about what a hammer is and what it does. The fastest way to tell what a patent is about is read each independent claim (claimsthat don't reference other claims).



  • "The idea that I can be presented with a problem, set out to logically
    solve it with the tools at hand, and wind up with a program that could
    not be legally used because someone else followed the same logical
    steps some years ago and filed for a patent on it is horrifying." - John Carmak



  • @Huf Lungdung said:

    "The idea that I can be presented with a problem, set out to logically
    solve it with the tools at hand, and wind up with a program that could
    not be legally used because someone else followed the same logical
    steps some years ago and filed for a patent on it is horrifying." - John Carmak

    That quote is so fucking stupid.  That's true of any patent.  He may be a hell of a programmer, but he doesn't know the first thing about property law.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Huf Lungdung said:

    "The idea that I can be presented with a problem, set out to logically
    solve it with the tools at hand, and wind up with a program that could
    not be legally used because someone else followed the same logical
    steps some years ago and filed for a patent on it is horrifying." - John Carmak

    That quote is so fucking stupid.  That's true of any patent.  He may be a hell of a programmer, but he doesn't know the first thing about property law.

     

    If one 'skilled in the art' - and presumably Mr. Carmack qualifies - can logically solve a problem by using the tools at hand, then that solution is not patentable. Whether the patent office allows such patents is another issue entirely...



  • @PeriSoft said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @Huf Lungdung said:

    "The idea that I can be presented with a problem, set out to logically
    solve it with the tools at hand, and wind up with a program that could
    not be legally used because someone else followed the same logical
    steps some years ago and filed for a patent on it is horrifying." - John Carmak

    That quote is so fucking stupid.  That's true of any patent.  He may be a hell of a programmer, but he doesn't know the first thing about property law.

     

    If one 'skilled in the art' - and presumably Mr. Carmack qualifies - can logically solve a problem by using the tools at hand, then that solution is not patentable. Whether the patent office allows such patents is another issue entirely...

    How does that not apply to almost every patent?  Presumably, most advances are made by one skilled in the art using logic.  And is something only patentable if it was created without the tools at hand?  That's such an overly-broad statement as to be meaningless.  I'm not saying there aren't a lot of frivilous patents out there, but this notion that software patents are all horrible is bullshit, Slashdot groupthink.



  • @PeriSoft said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @Huf Lungdung said:

    "The idea that I can be presented with a problem, set out to logically
    solve it with the tools at hand, and wind up with a program that could
    not be legally used because someone else followed the same logical
    steps some years ago and filed for a patent on it is horrifying." - John Carmak

    That quote is so fucking stupid.  That's true of any patent.  He may be a hell of a programmer, but he doesn't know the first thing about property law.

     

    If one 'skilled in the art' - and presumably Mr. Carmack qualifies - can logically solve a problem by using the tools at hand, then that solution is not patentable. Whether the patent office allows such patents is another issue entirely...

     

    Then the world government will disconnect you from the internet because you violated the patent of someone else's code. If only you would have kept that comment ( //I wish Reagan were here ) out of your source.



  • @cmccormick said:

    Apparently there's not much we can do as programmers that someone can't potentially charge a license fee for...
     

     

    You're forgetting Microsoft's sudo for dummies patent...  yes they didnt patent sudo itself but the various distros have had a gui implementation since well before Vista.



  • I wont mention the whole i4i patent (which i've read over a few times)... Which basically says that if you have content (see: data, files, anything) that you control the structure of differently than the content of, it falls under i4i's patent. See: the Sony's SFO format: A table (of pointers) a table (of types, lengths and pointers) and a table (of data)... Hmmm seems like the structure is pretty damn well defined, but the controlling of that content is pretty much up to whoever wants to use that. I've written a DB engine in C# that uses SFO files for tables :V



  • @Indrora said:

    I wont mention the whole i4i patent
     

    I think you're lying.



  • My general stance on patents and things similar:  real scarcity is bad enough, so why make things worse by creating artificial scarcity?

    I also happen to believe that cooperation is more productive than competition, but sometimes I am a naive idealist.



  • @too_many_usernames said:

    I also happen to believe that cooperation is more productive than competition, but sometimes I am a naive idealist.

     

     Yeah you are. If you're working together, you have no incentive to crush your competition with your sheer awesomeness, since your competition is actually working with you and holding you back.



  • @too_many_usernames said:

    My general stance on patents and things similar:  real scarcity is bad enough, so why make things worse by creating artificial scarcity?

    It is the basis of all property law.  "Real" scarcity can be defeated by ingenuity and hard work.  Protecting the intellectual property (or tangible property) of individuals allows them to reap the benefits of their ingenuity and hard work, guaranteeing more productivity in the long run.  Now, you're not a retarded child (I think) so you've probably heard this before, which means you're feigning ignorance as a means of advancing arguments that are so simple-minded you know they will be ripped to shreds the second they appear.  You just hoped nobody would call you on it.

     

    @too_many_usernames said:

    I also happen to believe that cooperation is more productive than competition, but sometimes I am a naive idealist.

    Once again, what a sad display of your ignorance or deceptiveness.  You are creating a false dichotomy; cooperation and competition are not mutually exclusive, and I suspect you know this.  Each can be beneficial under the right circumstances.  You are using this straw-man to attack Capitalism and property law, and yet neither force people to cooperate or compete.  What property law does is to allow every individual in a market the ability to choose whether they want to cooperate or compete based on whether it is beneficial to them and it gives them the leverage to do so.  Your statement relies on this well-trod fallacy to make the case for "cooperation"; although you are well-aware that cooperation and competition exist in large amounts in free societies, you hope to convince people that mandatory cooperation is a better alternative than freely-chosen cooperation or competition.  You are shamelessly spreading a lie that you know is responsible for the deaths of 150 million and the suffering and poverty of billions.

     

    Or else you really are a retarded child.



  • or it could be that the USPTO only employs Structural, chemical and civil engineers (they've turned down Systems Engineers before because "we already have engineers").

    That, and the USPTO is just a bunch of id10ts.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @too_many_usernames said:

    My general stance on patents and things similar:  real scarcity is bad enough, so why make things worse by creating artificial scarcity?

    It is the basis of all property law.  "Real" scarcity can be defeated by ingenuity and hard work.  Protecting the intellectual property (or tangible property) of individuals allows them to reap the benefits of their ingenuity and hard work, guaranteeing more productivity in the long run.  Now, you're not a retarded child (I think) so you've probably heard this before, which means you're feigning ignorance as a means of advancing arguments that are so simple-minded you know they will be ripped to shreds the second they appear.  You just hoped nobody would call you on it.


    I would agree that real property law is there to address the issue with the scarcity of real property.  I disagree that "intellectual property" law has the same basis as real property law, because real property is scarce independent of the law whereas "intellectual property" is scarce only because the law declares it
    to be so. I also don't think observation supports the assertion that IP protection actually guarantees more productivity over time than there would be without such protections.

    @morbiuswilters said:


    @too_many_usernames said:

    I also happen to believe that cooperation is more productive than competition, but sometimes I am a naive idealist.

    Once again, what a sad display of your ignorance or deceptiveness.  You are creating a false dichotomy; cooperation and competition are not mutually exclusive, and I suspect you know this.  Each can be beneficial under the right circumstances.  You are using this straw-man to attack Capitalism and property law, and yet neither force people to cooperate or compete.  What property law does is to allow every individual in a market the ability to choose whether they want to cooperate or compete based on whether it is beneficial to them and it gives them the leverage to do so.  Your statement relies on this well-trod fallacy to make the case for "cooperation"; although you are well-aware that cooperation and competition exist in large amounts in free societies, you hope to convince people that mandatory cooperation is a better alternative than freely-chosen cooperation or competition.  You are shamelessly spreading a lie that you know is responsible for the deaths of 150 million and the suffering and poverty of billions.

    That's a lot of extrapolation based on my admittedly easily misinterpreted statement. Basically my argument is that if two competing groups pooled their resources toward solving a problem rather than developing independent solutions to the problem, you might have better results. Of course I realize that competition often forces people to search for and/or develop solutions that would not be found without competition.  A simpler observation might be "all competition is not equally beneficial."  (I really don't follow how you thought I was proposing cooperation should be mandatory though; I actually find the idea of making anything mandatory quite abhorrent.)

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Or else you really are a retarded child.

     

    Only when I apply brakes.  (Yes, I know that's terrible.)



  • @Indrora said:

    or it could be that the USPTO only employs Structural, chemical and civil engineers (they've turned down Systems Engineers before because "we already have engineers").

    That, and the USPTO is just a bunch of id10ts.

    Which doesn't have a fucking thing to do with what I said.  I never claimed the USPTO is infallible or that it doesn't have a history of granting absurd patents.  Neither of those are arguments against patents in general or software patents in particular.  Nor does it invalidate anything I said about the role of property law in promoting productive markets and ordered civil liberty.



  • @too_many_usernames said:

    I would agree that real property law is there to address the issue with the scarcity of real property.  I disagree that "intellectual property" law has the same basis as real property law, because real property is scarce independent of the law whereas "intellectual property" is scarce only because the law declares it
    to be so. I also don't think observation supports the assertion that IP protection actually guarantees more productivity over time than there would be without such protections.

    Which is wrong, wrong, wrong and stupid.  Property law exists to aid the most efficient allocation of scarce resources and to encourage the development of more resources.  Intellectual property law exists for the same reason.  Tangible property is no more scare than intellectual property, in fact it is probably less so.  Tangible property frequently requires development to guarantee efficient exploitation; why invest the time in developing a resource if the fruits of that labor are not secured to you?  Intellectual property always requires development; it simply does not exist with human effort.  You are simply ignoring thousands of years of history and being a total dipshit in the process.

     

    @too_many_usernames said:

    That's a lot of extrapolation based on my admittedly easily misinterpreted statement. Basically my argument is that if two competing groups pooled their resources toward solving a problem rather than developing independent solutions to the problem, you might have better results. Of course I realize that competition often forces people to search for and/or develop solutions that would not be found without competition.  A simpler observation might be "all competition is not equally beneficial."  (I really don't follow how you thought I was proposing cooperation should be mandatory though; I actually find the idea of making anything mandatory quite abhorrent.)

    Sure, competition isn't always equally beneficial.  Why don't you also tell us that the sun rises every day?  You create a false dichotomy when you make a statement like "durrr... cooperation is more productive than competition".  Either you are an ignorant fool or you are being intentionally deceptive.  Either way, it is inexcusable for an adult to suffer such deficiencies in intellect or morality and I'm going to call you out on it.



  • Morbius, now you're just trolling for the purpose of trolling.  You know very well that IP protection leads to NIH, in addition to a lot of the WTF's that this site is dedicated to pointing out.

     

    The primary point here is that Intellectual Property protection cannot be built in the same way as Tangible Property protection.  To do so would ignore the fact that Tangible Property requires resources to reproduce, even after it's out of development, whereas Intellectual Property requires neglible resources to reproduce once out of development.



  • @Shishire said:

    You know very well that IP protection leads to NIH, in addition to a lot of the WTF's that this site is dedicated to pointing out.

    Sorry, I'm not acquainted enough with the inside of your ass to know the "facts" you pull out of it.  I could ask the male whores you frequent if they've come across this "fact" during one of the times they were fisting you.

     

    @Shishire said:

    The primary point here is that Intellectual Property protection cannot be built in the same way as Tangible Property protection.

    Nobody said they are exactly the same.  They are similar.

     

    @Shishire said:

    To do so would ignore the fact that Tangible Property requires resources to reproduce, even after it's out of development, whereas Intellectual Property requires neglible resources to reproduce once out of development.

    How do you even formulate something this stupid?  Both tangible and intellectual property require resources to produce initially.  If the law does not protect somebody from using my tangible property without my approval, then I will lose any and all incentive to produce and maintain that property in the first place.  The identical situation applies to intellectual property.  It is not "free" just because it's easy to copy; the initial production requires the bulk of investment, hence the need for property protection.

     

    The thing is, you already know this.  This is a simple argument that a worthless dipshit like yourself could understand.  You are feigning ignorance in an attempt to pass off an flawed argument.  This makes you an asshole.

     

    Or else you really are a retarded child.



  • I just realized the best way to continue this "conversation" is to say:

    Pierre didn't care, so he got eaten by a lion.



  • @too_many_usernames said:

    I just realized the best way to continue this "conversation" is to say:

    Pierre didn't care, so he got eaten by a lion.

    In the meantime I'm going to go teach my dog to play the guitar?



  • @PeriSoft said:

    If one a 'person having ordinary skill skilled in the art' - and presumably Mr. Carmack qualifies - can logically solve a problem by using the tools at hand, then that solution is not patentable. Whether the patent office allows such patents is another issue entirely...

    FTFY.  Of course, Mr. Carmack probably does *not* qualify, as it's unlikely any court would find his skill in the art to be less than extraordinary.  It doesn't really matter about the quality of his code - what matters is that he managed to stay on the bleeding edge of game software development for years.  It doesn't matter that he wasn't always on the very brink - what matters is that he was on the brink often enough that it was clearly not a fluke.

    For reference.

    For what it's worth, it appears to me the real problem with software patents are fourfold:

    • The patent office has traditionally had no interest in having persons of ordinary skill in the art of software to judge whether a software patent is obvious.  Therefore, you get the office granting IS NOT patents in this decade.
    • The term of a software patent is at least four times too long, considering the turnover rate of ideas in software.
    • The courts do not admit evidence of most forms of software discourse in patent hearings.  A technology which was considered too obvious to bother mentioning in trade journals could therefore be patented.  (For example, IS NOT.)
    • At least in the US, the constitutional support for patents is "to promote the Progress of Science and the useful Arts."  Software development has demonstrated that it needs no such promotion.


  • @tgape said:

    • At least in the US, the constitutional support for patents is "to promote the Progress of Science and the useful Arts."  Software development has demonstrated that it needs no such promotion.
    Really?  I can think of many fields of computer science where companies need patents to protect them.  Foremost is user interface design.  User interface design (unlike things like database research) is boring and expensive.  Left to their own devices, freetards would still be stuck in vi (maybe emacs if they are lucky).  If takes money, usability testing, designers, statistical analysis, and creativity to produce new effective UI designs like the Ribbon in Office 2007 and pinch/spread gestures on the iPhone. 


  • @tster said:

    @tgape said:

    • At least in the US, the constitutional support for patents is "to promote the Progress of Science and the useful Arts."  Software development has demonstrated that it needs no such promotion.
    Really?  I can think of many fields of computer science where companies need patents to protect them.  Foremost is user interface design.  User interface design (unlike things like database research) is boring and expensive.  Left to their own devices, freetards would still be stuck in vi (maybe emacs if they are lucky).  If takes money, usability testing, designers, statistical analysis, and creativity to produce new effective UI designs like the Ribbon in Office 2007 and pinch/spread gestures on the iPhone. 
     This is the first time I've seen someone make an argument for software patents that makes some sense to me. I still do agree with some of the points the other poster makes. For example I think that software patents should have a short duration, given the speed at which the field develops.

     I'm not against (software) patents per sé, but I think that the big corporations have too much control over the system today. I've worked in one which just had an R&D division not to engineer new products, but to be a patent factory to have a war chest against other big patent bullies. The R&D division alone employed over 5000 for just this purpose.

     The whole thing is even worse when it comes to software.

    I do think some things in software are worth pattenting, but so much that gets granted one is not, that until some sense is brought into the system we're better off without. I've even made this the deciding factor in my last vote for the European Parlaiment, as it's one of the few issues I care about when it comes to the decissions made in Brussels.



  • What do software patents protect better than copyright laws?



  • @Kiss me I'm Polish said:

    What do software patents protect better than copyright laws?

    Patents protect against independent discovery, copyright doesn't.



  • @RogerWilco said:

    This is the first time I've seen someone make an argument for software patents that makes some sense to me. I still do agree with some of the points the other poster makes. For example I think that software patents should have a short duration, given the speed at which the field develops.

     

    I believe the same thing has to apply to music copyright. That way we wouldn't have the mess that is DRM, people would be free to share music from 50 years ago, and there wouldn't be any problems with the RIAA suing little kids for filesharing. I don't think it's necessary for the labels to still hold rights to the Beatles.

     

    @RogerWilco said:

    I do think some things in software are worth pattenting, but so much
    that gets granted one is not, that until some sense is brought into the
    system we're better off without. I've even made this the deciding
    factor in my last vote for the European Parlaiment, as it's one of the
    few issues I care about when it comes to the decissions made in
    Brussels.

    You're witnessing the first steps toward world government first-hand and patens is the only thing you care about? I guess some people like being slaves to the nanny state.



  • @Kiss me I'm Polish said:

    What do software patents protect better than copyright laws?
     

    Copyright is not the same as a patent.

    patent = I created this idea for a complex and unique thing through intelligence and effort. If you wish to implement this idea, you must pay me money to compensate for my sweat.

    copyright = I have created something nice, and you may not reproduce or distribute this work [for monetary compensation] unless I say it's okay.



  • @bob171123 said:

    @RogerWilco said:
    I do think some things in software are worth pattenting, but so much that gets granted one is not, that until some sense is brought into the system we're better off without. I've even made this the deciding factor in my last vote for the European Parlaiment, as it's one of the few issues I care about when it comes to the decissions made in Brussels.

    You're witnessing the first steps toward world government first-hand and patens is the only thing you care about? I guess some people like being slaves to the nanny state.
    Europe is not really the prime example of the nanny state. Labor laws in Belgium and France and far worse. Or "Health and Safety" in the UK.



  • @dhromed said:

    patent = I created this idea for a complex and unique thing through intelligence and effort. If you wish to implement this idea, you must pay me money to compensate for my sweat.
    Also... for your convenience I have deposited this idea at a central organisation so that it is publicly known. You are free to consult my idea there and implement it yourself once the patent has expired. Just add a noodle and jam it

     Patents == Knowledge sharing == SSDS



  • @dhromed said:

    copyright = I have created something nice, and you may not reproduce or distribute this work [for monetary compensation] unless I say it's okay.
    Maybe this isn't the case in your socialist utopia, but in the US, whether or not you received monetary compensation has no bearing on infringement.  It may affect the damages awarded, but most infringements are ruled as willful anyway.



  • @bjolling said:

    @bob171123 said:

    @RogerWilco said:
    I do think some things in software are worth pattenting, but so much that gets granted one is not, that until some sense is brought into the system we're better off without. I've even made this the deciding factor in my last vote for the European Parlaiment, as it's one of the few issues I care about when it comes to the decissions made in Brussels.

    You're witnessing the first steps toward world government first-hand and patens is the only thing you care about? I guess some people like being slaves to the nanny state.
    Europe is not really the prime example of the nanny state. Labor laws in Belgium and France and far worse. Or "Health and Safety" in the UK.

     

    You can bet these ideas will spread to the rest of the member countries since soon EU law will supercede laws of the individual nations., and since these ideas are so loved by the power-hungry politicians, err I mean the poor old people who can't afford to take care of themselves.



  • @dhromed said:

    patent = I created this idea for a complex and unique thing through intelligence and effort. If you wish to implement this idea, you must pay me money to compensate for my sweat.

     

    And this is the problem with patents. Patents are supposed to be "I created a unique device/method to perform some task. To build or use the device or use the method, you must obtain my permission." Note the subtle difference there - patents are not supposed to be about the task, but about the device or method to perform the task.

    A major problem with software and method patents (mostly because software patents are really a form of method patents) is that they often too closely tie the method with the performed task.  That is, the task itself is claimed to be part of the method, resulting in overly-broad patents. That separation is what needs to be reestablished, not the total abolishing of patents. 

    A good example might be this: a task might be "showing information about stored files on the computer."  A slight variant might be "showing information about stored files on the computer using images." Some would argue that "using images" is a patentable method of solving the task "showing information" where others would argue that it is not (because images are an "obvious" way to obtain information). These are the types of issues that plague software and method patents, and it's an unenvious task to try and wade through trying to sort out what is the task and what is the method.

    This is markedly different than "mechanical" patents where you can easily patent, say, a cotton gin as a method of separating cotton from its offal, but you would never get the patent "using a machine to separate cotton from its offal" because that is the task, not the method.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @PeriSoft said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @Huf Lungdung said:

    "The idea that I can be presented with a problem, set out to logically
    solve it with the tools at hand, and wind up with a program that could
    not be legally used because someone else followed the same logical
    steps some years ago and filed for a patent on it is horrifying." - John Carmak

    That quote is so fucking stupid.  That's true of any patent.  He may be a hell of a programmer, but he doesn't know the first thing about property law.

     

    If one 'skilled in the art' - and presumably Mr. Carmack qualifies - can logically solve a problem by using the tools at hand, then that solution is not patentable. Whether the patent office allows such patents is another issue entirely...

    How does that not apply to almost every patent?  Presumably, most advances are made by one skilled in the art using logic.  And is something only patentable if it was created without the tools at hand?  That's such an overly-broad statement as to be meaningless.  I'm not saying there aren't a lot of frivilous patents out there, but this notion that software patents are all horrible is bullshit, Slashdot groupthink.

    If you do not recognise the phrase "Not obvious to one skilled in the art", or are not aware of its significance in relation to patent law, you are not well-informed enough to have a meaningful opinion on the subject.  You are of course still entitled to have an uninformed opinion on the subject, but this is really basic Patent Law 101 stuff, perhaps you should go read up on it.  You certainly shouldn't go around calling other people "retarded" when you don't even have clue one about the topic you're pontificating on.



  • @DaveK said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    @PeriSoft said:

    If one 'skilled in the art' - and presumably Mr. Carmack qualifies - can logically solve a problem by using the tools at hand, then that solution is not patentable. Whether the patent office allows such patents is another issue entirely...

    How does that not apply to almost every patent?

    If you do not recognise the phrase "Not obvious to one skilled in the art", or are not aware of its significance in relation to patent law, you are not well-informed enough to have a meaningful opinion on the subject.  You are of course still entitled to have an uninformed opinion on the subject, but this is really basic Patent Law 101 stuff, perhaps you should go read up on it.  You certainly shouldn't go around calling other people "retarded" when you don't even have clue one about the topic you're pontificating on.

    While I agree that the phrase should be recognized by everyone talking about patents, and anyone who doesn't recognize it should read up on at least some basic patent law before uttering or typing another word on the subject, PeriSoft butchered it badly enough that I can't fault Morb for responding in the moment, as it were.

    They both should, of course, know better.



  • @tgape said:

    @DaveK said:
    @morbiuswilters said:
    @PeriSoft said:

    If one 'skilled in the art' - and presumably Mr. Carmack qualifies - can logically solve a problem by using the tools at hand, then that solution is not patentable. Whether the patent office allows such patents is another issue entirely...

    How does that not apply to almost every patent?

    If you do not recognise the phrase "Not obvious to one skilled in the art", or are not aware of its significance in relation to patent law, you are not well-informed enough to have a meaningful opinion on the subject.  You are of course still entitled to have an uninformed opinion on the subject, but this is really basic Patent Law 101 stuff, perhaps you should go read up on it.  You certainly shouldn't go around calling other people "retarded" when you don't even have clue one about the topic you're pontificating on.

    While I agree that the phrase should be recognized by everyone talking about patents, and anyone who doesn't recognize it should read up on at least some basic patent law before uttering or typing another word on the subject, PeriSoft butchered it badly enough that I can't fault Morb for responding in the moment, as it were.

    They both should, of course, know better.

      I rather seem to have done the same thing myself.  I looked at some of the datestamps on the posts and saw "saturday" and "early hours of the morning", but forgot to check the actual date.  Wouldn't have bothered to post to a thread that was basically all over if I had paid more attention.  Doh.

     



  • @DaveK said:

    If you do not recognise the phrase "Not obvious to one skilled in the art", or are not aware of its significance in relation to patent law, you are not well-informed enough to have a meaningful opinion on the subject.  You are of course still entitled to have an uninformed opinion on the subject, but this is really basic Patent Law 101 stuff, perhaps you should go read up on it.  You certainly shouldn't go around calling other people "retarded" when you don't even have clue one about the topic you're pontificating on.

    I recognize the phrase.  Carmack made no mention of obviousness.  His argument is broad enough to apply to virtually any patent.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @DaveK said:

    If you do not recognise the phrase "Not obvious to one skilled in the art", or are not aware of its significance in relation to patent law, you are not well-informed enough to have a meaningful opinion on the subject.  You are of course still entitled to have an uninformed opinion on the subject, but this is really basic Patent Law 101 stuff, perhaps you should go read up on it.  You certainly shouldn't go around calling other people "retarded" when you don't even have clue one about the topic you're pontificating on.

    I recognize the phrase.  Carmack made no mention of obviousness. 

    Looks like you need some context then.  I found a copy of the original interview during which he said that quote.  Wanna guess how the very next sentence goes?

    [quote user="John Carmack"] 


    To laymen, all of programming is alchemy, and trying to convince them that any
    given software patent is "obvious" or "clearly follows from the problem" is
    really tough.

    [/quote]Me and everyone else inferred from the wording

    set out logically to solve it with the tools at hand
    that he was referring to simple and obvious constructions rather than radically new and innovative ones.  I think we inferred right.


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