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EFF Proposes a Working Code Requirement For Software Patents 130

Posted by Soulskill
from the system-and-method-for-manipulating-0s-and-1s dept.
Juha Saarinen sends news that the Electronic Frontier Foundation has proposed a fix for software patents in general and patent trolls in particular: requiring applicants to provide specifics about their solution. They say the applications should include working code, or at least "detailed, line-by-line notations explaining how their code works." "And if they do get a patent, they should be limited to the invention they claimed. We think software patents are bad news, and incredibly harmful to our society and economy. We wish we didn’t have to deal with them at all. But by fixing the functional claiming problem, and limiting patentees to a narrow invention that they actually came up with, we would also limit the amount of harm those patents could cause. The Patent Office does not (yet) have the power to get rid of software patents entirely, but it can fix the functional claiming problem."
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EFF Proposes a Working Code Requirement For Software Patents

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  • Interface patents (Score:4, Interesting)

    by concealment (2447304) on Friday February 15, 2013 @12:12PM (#42912027) Homepage Journal

    It seems to me like a lot of these patents are about interfaces, not algorithms or code. If you're patenting rounding buttons or that the software allows you to purchase with one click, the code is probably trivial. It's either a visual or interface idea.

  • by RobertLTux (260313) <robert@lauren c e m a rtin.org> on Friday February 15, 2013 @12:20PM (#42912125)

    separate the patent fees into a Prelim and a Filing fee. Then if you want to file a prelim patent (to get cover while you do the code) you then pay the Filing Fee to upgrade it to a Full Patent ap. If it gets rejected you can refile but you have to pay the Filing Fee each time (so try 12 times you pay the prelim fee and 12 filing fees).

    This will also cut down on the "shotgun" approach to patents.

    Oh and a Big Reform would be to autodrop patents in the form of X on %new platform% or X And Y Together (unless you bind them in a novel manner)

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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