NewsForge: How to Fight Software Patents--Singly and Together
Sep 11, 2004, 03:00 (12 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Richard M. Stallman)
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"Software patents are the software project equivalent of land
mines: Each design decision carries a risk of stepping on a patent,
which can destroy your project.
"Developing a large and complex program means combining many
ideas, often hundreds or thousands of them. In a country that
allows software patents, chances are that some substantial fraction
of the ideas in your program will be patented already by various
companies. Perhaps hundreds of patents will cover parts of your
program. A study in 2004 found almost 300 U.S. patents that covered
various parts of a single important program. It is so much work to
do such a study that only one has been done..."