That anti-patent pamphlet I mentioned

Rui Miguel Seabra rms at
Mon Dec 16 18:40:05 UTC 2002

On Mon, 2002-12-16 at 18:03, Arnoud Galactus Engelfriet wrote:
> Alex Hudson wrote:
> > I also don't think that re-implementation of something is necessarily
> > something that should be covered by a patent. 
> But surely all imitators are re-implementing an invention?

Are you talking about imitators or copiers?

When you imitating a solution (either aware of it or not) you're having
more or less the same amount of effort the original solver had since
you're probably not even doing it the same way.

When you're copying the solution, you only had the work of copying
(almost zero, normally)... that is, you copied and relaunched as

Why is your effort worth it, and not the others'?
Is there any reason your idea would *only*come*from*you*?

> Well, I also think that if you find a different implementation
> of the same inventive idea in hardware, the patent holder should
> be able to stop you. Just like with software. If it's a new
> solution, you're in the clear. If it's just a different realization,
> you're infringing.

You're the only one selling potatoes.
Someone decides to sell potatoes too. Make some money, maybe even sell
cheaper, etc.. in the end, the consumer benefits.

Why should your business monopoly be protected by law?

> Well, what you're saying is that 'inventions' in software do
> not actually exist until they're built in hardware. The
> comparison with science fiction springs to mind: Star Trek would
> not be prior art against someone building a matter transporter.
> But if Gene ever had explained how you could build one, you
> could no longer patent the general concept of matter transporters.

You could *NEVER* patent "a" matter transporter.
You can only patent *THIS* matter transporter.

That's what you're missing. Software is not matter...

+ No matter how much you do, you never do enough -- unknown
+ Whatever you do will be insignificant,
| but it is very important that you do it -- Gandhi
+ So let's do it...?
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