That anti-patent pamphlet I mentioned

Simo Sorce simo.sorce at
Tue Dec 17 09:24:01 UTC 2002

On Tue, 2002-12-17 at 08:11, Arnoud Galactus Engelfriet wrote:
> Simo Sorce wrote:
> > On Mon, 2002-12-16 at 19:03, 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?
> > 
> > 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...
> Nothing wrong with re-implementation. It just is difficult to
> imagine how a patent can be worth anything if any re-implementation
> of the same thing is not covered.

Do you think any method to build a thing have the same cost?
If your is more cost effective, people will still use yours, of course
you will need to keep royalties to a resonable price, but it is good if
there is some sort of balance.

> If it's an improvement, I believe you should be legally required
> to get a license from the original patent holder.

Who will ever research in a field if he knows there is a patent here?
You just said in previous mail, that if you cannot profit for it your
are not going to research either! So I bet the conclusion is: nobody!
You are effectively prohibiting research.

Facts are that many scientist are dropping research in some field
because their patent attorney said them there are patents and the thing
will not be profitable cause of royalties.
Research are getting dropped: today! It's not a fantasy, go ask around,
and if you let patent ideas or general problems research will simply

> > > 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.
> No technical problem has just one solution.

That's not true, however you said you want to cover all possible
solutions, so in your patent system it does not make any difference.

> > 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).
> That's not true, everyone can do research and development.
> You just can't make and sell products based on the research
> if the products infringe a patent.

I repeat: who will ever research in a field if he knows there's yet a
patent that covers the problem? (Yes covering all possible solutions
mean effectively covering the problem)

> > 4 + 4 = 8
> > there are no different solution that math if you make it be 4 + 4 = 5
> > you simply get it wrong.
> That's not a technical invention.

Of course it's not, let's try to figure out what examples stand for
please :-)

> > 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'm patenting a device that implements the logic. Feel free to
> research and use the logic. Just don't sell devices implementing
> the logic.

Do you realize you are effectively patenting the logic this way?
I may (not sure) agree if you say:
- the patent cover *this* way to implement the logic.
That's fine.
But if you say:
- the patent cover any device the implement the logic, you are
effectively patenting the logic!
That's not fine at all, patenting logic is absurd.


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
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