Software patents threat or menace?

Summary:The debate over software patents has now been fully joined. Personally I've been against these since I heard of them.

The debate over software patents has now been fully joined.

Personally I've been against these since I heard of them. Software patents, like business method patents, aren't like mousetraps. You can get a new patent for a better mousetrap. Software and business method patents protect all expressions of an idea. To me, this spells copyright. But U.S. courts held differently, and without a debate they are the law.

Now Europe is debating the question, and those who benefit from patents are pushing that it follow the U.S. example.

Bruce Perens has given us all the best arguments. To me the best argument is that such patents favor big companies (with lots of lawyers) and place a nearly-insurmountable barrier to entry before small companies and small developers.

But what do you think? Let us know in TalkBack. But be quick about it. The European approval could come as early as today.

Topics: Patents

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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