That anti-patent pamphlet I mentioned

Arnoud Galactus Engelfriet galactus at
Sun Dec 15 14:40:30 UTC 2002

Alex Hudson wrote:
> [This is beside all the other arguments: I believe the economic one to
> be particularly strong - software patents should not be given simply
> because they are not needed.]

Let me just say that you make an interesting point, and I agree
with you that this makes it very difficult to defend 'software
patents'. However, are you sure you're making an economic argument?

For me, the economic argument is simply "software can be used
to imitate hardware, so if software is unpatentable I can get
around patents by simply using software instead". This is
unfair to patent holders and hence software that imitates
hardware should be protected by the patent.

This does not mean *all* software is patentable. Just the software
that is used to imitate the behavior of a specific hardware design.
And I guess that's what I'm trying to say with the technical
effect argument: if the software achieves the same effect as the
hardware would, it should be just as patentable.


Arnoud Engelfriet, Dutch patent attorney - Speaking only for myself
Patents, copyright and IPR explained for techies:

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