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Concerns about software patents

May 04, 2011, 00:01 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by apexwm)

"Recently it was announced that the U.S. Department of Justice is going to end its oversight of Microsoft since 2001, beginning on May 12, 2011. There has been some concern voiced about what will happen after that. I suspect things will carry on like normal at Microsoft, at least for the near future. Why? Because Microsoft is busy leveraging other ways to seek profits and try and undermine competition by using something else: software patents.

"While patents themselves are a good thing, applying them to software can actually have an adverse effect. Patents protect physical devices from being cloned, but when dealing with software that is based on mathematical algorithms, software patents prohibit companies from competing with similar software products. And depending on how broad the patent is, it can affect multiple products that are based on the same mathematical algorithm or user interface. This allows a company to prevent the competition from designing software that can offer the consumer a choice between products. In the end, this gives the consumer only one choice on the market (in most cases), so that they must go to the vendor that holds the software patent."

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