[Fsfe-ie] New terms for software patents debate?

David O'Callaghan david.ocallaghan at cs.tcd.ie
Tue Jul 1 10:30:45 CEST 2008


Ar 01.07.08 02:13, Scríobh Ciaran O'Riordan:
> ...but it doesn't have to be this way.  Terms could be avoided altogether by
> just mentioning "problematic patents in the software field" and then giving
> a one-sentence explanation like "such as patents on how to display, store,
> or communicate data".
> So what I'd like to ask is, do people think this would help, and can anyone
> suggest better wordings?  Does that one-sentence explanation pretty much
> cover what we care about (without covering something we don't have a
> position on)?

I think there's a danger that this explanation could be twisted to claim 
that we're trying to block patents on display, storage and communication 
devices, which will almost certainly have a software or firmware element 
-- imagine a wireless digital photo frame with some novel aspects ( now 
patent it! ;). In such a case the software shouldn't be patentable but 
the device may be. If the device is patented as a whole the software 
elements shouldn't be enforceable.

The explanation should also cover "manipulation" or "processing" of data 
in general: we still care about algorithms.

How about "such as patents on software to display, process, store or 
communicate data"?

Hope this helps,


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