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Tord Jansson: Why software shouldn't be covered by patents

Jun 25, 2000, 13:03 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tord Jansson)

"The main reason why we shouldn't accept patents on software is because software and the process of development and innovation in the software industry is very different from that of the rest of the industry."

"In any normal industry where you deal with physical objects like the car industry or electronics industry you only have a handful of inventors. Even the big car developers only have a few hundred scientists working on improving the technology and inventing new solutions. Worldwide we probably only have a few thousand scientists working on improving things like the car engines, suspension etc. Most of the people in the industry works with producing and assembling parts and although they do an important job, they are no source of innovation."

"In the software industry, every programmer is a potential inventor. Nearly every professional programmer faces new challenges daily where they need to be innovative and find new solutions. The essence of programming IS to develop new products and innovate new solutions where the old techniques doesn't fit in. Just counting the professional programmers we have millions of inventors in this industry and if we add to that all the college students, researchers and people programming in their spare time (which also can be highly innovative) we have tens of millions of potential innovators."

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