On Thu, 13 May 2004, Colm MacCarthaigh wrote:
> People talk about the general and obvious nature typical of some
> software patents, and that too is a bad thing, but you won't win the
> argument on legal grounds. People have patented general and obvious
> things, fundamental to entire industries, and it's been just fine.
I think it's important to draw the distinction between something that's
obviuos in hindsight and something that's obviuos if you were to create it
yourself. For example the paperclip was patented when it was invented. It
solves a problem: How to hold paper together. When you see the solution to
the problem (ie the paperclip) you can see that it's an obviuos solution
to the problem, but if you never saw a paperclip you might not be able to
come up with such a solution.
However there are many obviuos software patents that if you were
given a laptop in a cave you could come up with them.
The 'laptop-in-a-cave obvious' ideas should not be patentable.
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