Patenting numbers to become possible in US

Ciaran O'Riordan ciaran at
Tue Nov 25 00:13:46 UTC 2003

(I replied to this mail already but accidentally sent it to fsfe-ie
instead of discussion, apologies to anyone getting this twice)

Beno?t Sibaud <benoit.sibaud at> writes:
> "Niall Douglas" <s_fsfeurope2 at> wrote:
> >
> >
> > Is this for real?

I think it's a joke.  It's sad that one can't be sure, but a web
search for "Dall Swanhuffer" turned up nothing, so I'd guess he's
fictional.  The claim to patent integers but not floating point numbers,
and the "Federation Against Number Theft" also seem too dodgy even for
the US.

> I don't know, but at the digital era, every content IS a number (eg a
> CD is just a number with 650 millions of binary digits). That leads to
> many roads...

yes, but a patent covers an idea, not an implementation.  The content of
a CD is the work of an author.  A CD format could be patented in the US,
as could a CD reading or writing technique, but not the content.

Ciaran O'Riordan -

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