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Thu Mar 28 10:00:40 UTC 2019

exploitation of the small by the big and while it can still operate 
like that, it's unlikely in the modern age. We must be careful not to 
confuse modern reality with initial intention (eg; copyright today 
vs. the original US constitution).

> I don't understand the sentence
> - what's being patented IS the software, so that argument is pointless
> - it's already written.

Again, it was an email to an acquaintance so I wasn't explaining 
myself in depth. I was referring to the algorithm not equalling the 

> You don't have to program anything to get a software patent. 
> There is no source code, not much implementation detail, just the
> definition of the problem and the most general way to solve it. In
> fact there are litigation companies that never build software, only
> patent it or but patents. 

I know. It's horrendous.

> In fact this is one of the important problems. Software is very
> expensive to produce, and high quality software much more so. But
> patents "protect" the cheapest part, which is the concept. Since
> software is made in a formal computing model, you already know what
> can be done before the start. The realy expensive part is
> implementation, and that is what copyright protects. Patents erode the
> protection offerred by copyright, so they endanger the most expensive
> part and "protect" the cheapest.

Yup agreed there. IP should leave theory completely alone and just 
protect the implementation.

> I can't see how the Copyright directive from 1991 is the reason swpats
> are illegal in Europe. The European Patent Convention is the reason. 

If I'm wrong here then my apologies. I didn't check any of the facts, 
I just took them from my head (as it was an email).

> I also dont understand all this concern about the third world. The
> WIPO is trying to ensure the third world copies our broken patent
> systems and is thus more under control of the triumvirate
> USA-EU-Japan. 

*Precisely*, except for the software world I'd replace the USA-EU-
Japan with just the USA.

If you look at the world post-global software patents, you see almost 
all the money heading towards the US multinationals like IBM 
especially. That means for software at least, the EU is much the same 
as the third world ie; a provider of service programming at the 
lowest cost. Since our cost of living is so much higher than the 
third world, it leaves the EU in the worst possible position - even 
worse than the third world.

The best we'll be able to do is invent something and when the US 
multinational offers to buy us out, we'll have to accept because 
otherwise they'll sue us for infringing their patents. Bye bye EU 
software industry.

> > Hmm. I think patents are totally artificial anyway as is most of
> > copyright and indeed IP. They should only exist or apply if it's
> > more beneficial to the industry and society if they do. That would
> > be my sole criteria.
> This is a principle, not a criteria. You must give precise guidelines
> to the civil servants to tell them what patents to grant and what not.
> Otherwise (if you just legislate patents will only be available when
> it's more beneficial to the industry and society) you surrender
> economic policy to civil servants instead of elected politicians.

What civil servants are /supposed/ to do is draft the detail from 
guiding principles. We then look over it and make comments. We 
ourselves are not supposed to do their job and indeed if we tried, 
there'd be a strike.

> Surely putting the decision to the courts is silly. But just spending
> a lot in hiring the best experts to fiscalize what the expoerts in the
> business do, instead of just using top experts to create is not very
> productive either. EPO quality is a problem, but the biggest problem
> is subject matter. The brightest examiner will have to grant silly
> patents if the guidelines says anything is patentable. Otherwise the
> applicants attorney will appeal and win. You can't leave it to
> arbitrariety (= examiners talent).

Yeah agreed. The best judge in the world is still bound by the law. 
If it says mandatory whatever, they must carry it out.

> > I'm not good with acceptable alternatives - I tend to think in
> > radical "replace the entire system" modes :(
> Replace the entire system is an alternative. The problem is not 
> that is radical, the problem is that any alternative needs a good
> definition and a good justification.  Anyway, if you are not good at
> alternatives, just use ours, they aren't patented :)


I think though like others on this list that radical change is 
impossible because too many have invested too much in the status quo. 
I'm not good at tinkering slightly, I tend to want to rip out and 
replace. If you think those 30,000 EPO patents all cost say 5000 euro 
in research and fees, that equals 150m euro just to begin with.

Nevertheless, we can try. You mentioned this all goes down in a few 
weeks. Exactly when?


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