On Mon, 12 Jul 2004, Enda wrote:
> Not sure 5 years is long enough for software patents. Take 9/11 for
> example.... its resulting in biometric passports, which will in
> reality get fully introduced no sooner than 2007, 6 years after the
> terror event that could inspire a software inovation in that field.
What patented technology do biometric passports use? When were these
patents applied for?
Also, if some event /later/ inspires "innovation", why must the
patents be issued as of the date of the event rather than the date
the patent is filed on? That doesnt make sense. ;)
Anyway, the patent system is there to give "innovators" a reasonable
time to develop and profit from their "innovation". If you dont do
anything with your patent and waste it, that is not the patent
system's problem (for once).
5 years for software was btw an example. I'd have thought my use of
"e.g." at the beginning of that sentence and "or whatever [period of
time]" at the end of it would have made that obvious. I'm not an
economist or an MBA with extensive knowledge of the software
business, so I dont know what period of time would be suitable. I'm
just pretty sure that the current period of time, which is even
_longer_ today than it was back in the early 1800s (25 today versus,
i think, 17 years back then), when international travel took weeks,
overnight courier had a range of no more than a few hundred miles and
there was no such thing as standardised time, simply does not serve
the spirit of the social compromise which patents are when in this
day communication is instant, you can work with people on a daily
basis who are on different continents and companies run Just-In-Time
production schedules, juggling arrival of parts from perhaps hundreds
of suppliers from all across the world to be no more than a few days
from when they are needed on the production line.
Though, software is one of those things you _cant_ mass-produce, so
you may be right, but I didnt claim 5 years to be the one true patent
term for software - just a term that would make software patents
slightly less annoying for me. ;)
1. I think the word should be invention, however "innovation" is just
a much cooler word, at least judging by its usage by "innovative"
Paul Jakma paul at clubi.iepaul at jakma.org Key ID: 64A2FF6A
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