Speaking of Mouse Trap Economics, What About that Yarn that Patents Stimulate Invention
Aug 24, 2010, 13:05 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Les Earnest)
Re-Imagining Linux Platforms to Meet the Needs of Cloud Service Providers
"Based on my 40 years of experience in the computer system
development, much of it before software patents were introduced, I
believe that the alleged connection between such patents and the
stimulation of innovation is tenuous at best and probably negative.
Let me confess that even though I oppose the continuation of
software patents, as a defensive measure I've applied for some that
have been granted.
"When I entered the field as a programmer in 1954 there were
only about a hundred of us in the whole world, and each of us was
turning out thousands of inventions each year, or maybe it was
hundreds depending on your standards, but a lot. Software was given
the same kinds of protection as other documentation, namely
copyright and trade secret.
"It was certainly a good thing that there were no software
patents because my colleagues and I could have papered over the
field and retired for 17 years or so to collect royalties. Since
patents didn't exist, we kept working and had quite a good time
doing it, sharing ideas and standing on each other's shoulders to
see how high we could reach."
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