That anti-patent pamphlet I mentioned

Simo Sorce simo.sorce at
Mon Dec 16 23:01:26 UTC 2002

On Mon, 2002-12-16 at 19:03, Arnoud Galactus Engelfriet wrote:
> Hi,
> 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?

what's wrong in re-implementation? patents borned to stop copying to let
you invest into making things, not to stop progress, re-implementation
is progress ... we costantly re-implement inventions to make things
easier, better, faster, nicer, ecc...

> 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.

seem you are not thinking that most problems have just one solution.
if you patent the solution you patent the problem, if you patent the
problem you stop innovation and progress because nobody except the
patent holder is entitle to research in that problem field (and the
patent holder is not pushed by competition either).

4 + 4 = 8
there are no different solution that math if you make it be 4 + 4 = 5
you simply get it wrong.

> 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.

Sorry but patenting general concept is just plain crazy, see previous

> In my opinion, it should not matter *how* you imitate someone's
> patented invention. If it is covered by the claims, you
> infringe and you need a license. If you have a different solution,
> great, you're in the clear. 

If you copy it, not if you get to the same solution through different
methods, imitating is the essence of invention, it is trough imitating
and composing previous ideas in a different shape ... if you block the
idea you block innovation.

> To name an example, let's take MPEG again. When you make a
> video compression technique, you can build it in hardware or
> in software that runs on a general-purpose processor. The
> patent should cover both, or none. Not just the hardware variant.

That's nonsense, you are patenting an algorithm this way, you are
patenting pure logic; pure logic cannot be patentable it's crazy
to let people patent concepts!

> I personally believe the patent should cover both. Others here
> believe the patent should cover neither. That's fine, but I
> do not think it is logical that you can cover one but not the
> other if it's essentially doing the same thing.

That's the wrong way to put it, you cannot say that something is not
software just because you hardwired it into hardware!


Simo Sorce - simo.sorce at
Xsec s.r.l.
via Durando 10 Ed. G - 20158 - Milano
tel. +39 02 2399 7130 - fax: +39 02 700 442 399
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: signature.asc
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 232 bytes
Desc: This is a digitally signed message part
URL: <>

More information about the Discussion mailing list