Companies and Patents

Xavi Drudis Ferran xdrudis at
Sun May 12 20:16:01 UTC 2002

El Sun, May 12, 2002 at 07:16:40PM +0100, John Tapsell deia:
> What are people's general thoughts on hardware/research/etc patents?
I think patents are bad for software. For other fields, where expensive 
experimentation and laboratories are need to discover need ways to harness
forces of nature in useful ways, patents may work. But I won't say one 
way or the other for those fields, since I do not work on them, and I think
people who work there should decide. In any field, the EPO is badly 
broken, the difference is that in software it cannot be fixed because 
patents on software are harmful, and in some other fields maybe it could be 
made to work for the good of society. 

On hardware, it depends. The criteria is if the invention uncovers new insight
on nature, physical forces, properties of matter... then it may be ok. 
If it is just a circuit composed by known devices interacting in known 
ways, then it is just logics (solid state software) and it should not be 
patented. SO maybe you should be able to patent a new transistor, but not 
a HDL design.

> Correct me If I'm wrong, but it seems a lot of people feel they are good in 
> general, but they last too long.
I don't know. In software, any positive number is too long, in other 
fields, other people should tell.

Xavi Drudis Ferran
xdrudis at

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