That anti-patent pamphlet I mentioned

Arnoud Galactus Engelfriet galactus at
Tue Dec 17 07:08:25 UTC 2002

Rui Miguel Seabra wrote:
> 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.

OK. But in my terminology, you're not imitating, you're looking
for an alternative since the solution is not essentially the same.

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

OK. And what if you make small modifications, for example making
it out of plastic instead of metal?

> Why is your effort worth it, and not the others'?

Basically, because I'm the first and I told the world how
to avoid having to imitate the solution.

> Is there any reason your idea would *only*come*from*you*?

Probably not. But without the incentive offered by the patent,
is there any reason anyone would reveal the details of the idea?

> > 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?

Selling potatoes isn't novel. If I tell the world something
technically novel and practically useful, it helps the progress
of science, and I should be rewarded. I like the idea of
rewarding people with a monopoly.

> > 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...

If I'm the first to invent a particular matter transporter,
then I'm also the first to invent _the_ matter transporter.
It wasn't there before. I made it, and so I should have the
patent to it. Just like Edison patented the lightbulb.

If one particular matter transporter already exists, I can no
longer patent _the_ matter transporter, just particular

Kind regards,

Arnoud Engelfriet

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

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