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Software patents � a protection racket?

Oct 02, 2011, 17:03 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Richard Hillesley)

[ Thanks to Linux User & Developer magazine for this link. ]

"In theory, patents are granted only after strenuous tests of originality and appropriateness have been met, and should only be conferred on inventions that are entirely original, are not obvious, and have the potential to radically transform the way things are done. In practice, the bar has been lowered to allow a proliferation of trivial and contestable patents, especially, but not only, in the area of software and business method patents.

"Patents, copyrights, and trademarks are lumped together under the misleading term 'Intellectual Property' which, in the words of Richard Stallman, 'is at best a catch-all to lump together disparate laws' under the umbrella of an 'analogy with property rights for physical objects", which is 'at odds with the legal philosophies of copyright law, of patent law, and of trademark law... These laws are in fact not much like physical property law, but use of this term leads legislators to change them to be more so.'"

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