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Re: A Patent on Continuations?

> It's only madness if it conflicts with your ideology.  I don't see
> how you can argue one way for software patents and another way for
> mechanical patents.

Just a few points:

* Patents are much more restrictive than copyright because they preclude
the use of even *independently* developed technology.

(i.e. you can be prevented from using technology or business methods
that you invested in and developed entirely on your own without having
copied or reverse engineered anything from the patent holder)

* The patent monopoly was only supposed to cover a fraction of the
technology's commercial lifespan.

When the mechanical patent system was put in place, the assumption was
that technology would change very slowly and couldn't be put into use
without exposing its inner workings to a public able to copy it in an
untracable fashion.

Today's technology lifecycles are dramatically shorter throwing off the
underlying logic of the entire system.

* Another principled distinction is that controlled server side
deployment and code obfuscation & anti-tampering techniques can be
employed by a developer to exploit IT without its being subject to the
kind of trivial reverse engineering and outright copying as was the case
with most plow designs and other mechincal devices in the era of the
patent system's founding.

Indeed, it is this logic that leads many IP counsel to recommend Trade
Secret protection over Patents to their clients who can't afford the
expense of the patenting process.

But in any case, I think it is high time to retire this thread and get
back to the technology we all love!

--- Peter