Why do we still have software patents? (Have they helped foster invention? No. Then why grant them?)

Just seems insane to me that people can get patents on what are essentially just ideas. It should not be possible to patent "using a computer + network to do x", yet that's what's being done. It should not be possible to patent basic mathematics or algorithms, yet we allow it. And every time we do, we make it harder and harder for "the little guy" to write software, favouring instead the huge companies that have defensive patent portfolios and don't tend to produce new inventions.

We should be passing laws to eliminate software patents.
We should be providing guidance to the patent office to reject obvious mechanisms.

But instead we just keep parcelling out more and more of the commons for exploitation and waste.


  1. james

    james on 11/20/2007 6:30 a.m. #

    I saw your page at http://blog.vrplumber.com/296 and was wondering if you have seen http://www.FreePatentsOnline.com ? This site allows free patent searching, free PDF downloading, free alerts, and other account features such as sharing informaiton between users. I thought the link might be a good resource to add to your site.

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