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287 people want software patents abolished.

In the software world, patents are stifling innovation instead of encouraging it!

Companies are patenting small, simple ideas that then get used unknowingly in other software and then suing them for using those obvious ideas. (Lodsys, who is suing any phone app developer who uses in-app transactions, is the latest example of this.)

The traditional argument for patents is that they encourage innovation by granting inventors a twenty-year monopoly on their inventions. First of all, twenty years in the software world is WAY too long. Even the best ideas don't deserve to be locked up that long.

But more importantly, software patents are unnecessary. Innovation in software is rewarding enough without the added benefit of a patent monopoly.
Askers (287)

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Keywords: patent, patents, software
Categories: Inventions, Technology, Internet & Websites
Started: 01 Jun 2011  
Discussion (28)
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Casey, 15-Aug-12
I agree. And for patenting other things. The whole system seems to be only there for larger corporations to suppress start ups from coming up with ideas. The bottom line is who can afford the patent and legal fees, and can afford to document everything.

It seems like patenting is a waste of time, because if you patent something, someone else can modify it, then make an improvement patent, which you are forced to allow in order to improve your idea. So it seems like you should be able to make anything as long as it's not an exact replica (copyright) of something else.
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McKane, 21-Oct-11
Talking about how software patent trolls may ruin silicon valley.
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McKane, 04-Oct-11
A great article about the absurdity of software patents and the history of how we got where we are now... http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_... Definately worth a read.
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Matthew, 18-Jun-11
This all started with Amazon's One Click patent, which makes it nearly impossible for any other company (besides those it licenses such as Apple Store) to enable site visitors to purchase with a single click of the mouse. I just can't see how reacting to behavior of customers can be interpreted as a patentable action.
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Amin, 02-Jun-11
You can't put a patent on mathematical expressions. It's nonsense.
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Guillermo, 01-Jun-11
yay we less than 200 people agree on it, i'm almost sure its going to be done with this kind of support
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Duane, 01-Jun-11
Also relevant (and mentioned in the comments of "Enough is Enough"):
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Angel, 01-Jun-11
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Daniel, 01-Jun-11
As I've argued on my blog (
) the whole patent system is a bit of a mess - and that's even without throwing in the utter disaster of software patents.

We're lucky not to have software patents in the UK. It really sucks that the US, which otherwise leads the world in entrepreneurship and tech startups, has software patents.
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Mark, 01-Jun-11
Dino, yes there are many software patents that need to be protected, but then there are reaaaally obvious patents that need to be abolished. I believe most of the obvious ones include internet technology patents as well as mobile technology patents.
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Dino, 01-Jun-11
This is ridiculous. All software patents are not obvious. There are some remarkably meritorious software patents in crystalography and genetics. This is a terribly misinformed movement that uses a broad brush mob mentality. And askforit is stupid for making me ask for it before commenting. I leaves no room for dissent.
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McKane, 01-Jun-11
As someone who has dealt with these in my occupation, I agree with this strongly. The poster child for this is the Amazon 1-click checkout, but there are lots of other examples.
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