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Answering Gene Quinn, Patent Attorney - Updated

Nov 17, 2008, 18:21 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Pamela Jones)

"From a conceptual standpoint why not allow for software to be patented. What is the harm? I know many of you reading this have now gone into an apoplectic rage, but conceptually why should software be treated any differently? Isn’t the problem that patent offices, particularly the United States Patent Office, are increasingly doing a poor job of finding relevant prior art and weeding out what is new and non-obvious from what is old and obvious? If prosecution were more meaningful, what is the harm in granting software patents? I see none because there is none....

"Software is not a mathematical equation, nor is it a mathematical language. How anyone who writes software or professes to understand software could argue to the contrary is beyond me. Do people who write software actually think they are sitting down and writing mathematical equations and stringing them together? It is absurd to have such a narrow view of software. When you write software you are trying to enable a device, such as a computer, to provide certain functionality given a certain stimulus. So you are writing instructions for a computer or other device and explaining how the computer or device needs to process information. You do not explain how to process information with mathematical equations."

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