if software patents have to be, ...

A thread at groklaw where I posted, talking to what software patents should look like if they absolutely must be allowed.

The post I answered to, on needing clear algorithms in the patent.

My response on why a clear algorithm is not sufficient.

The patent office's discussion of how much detail a patent requires (or should, although they seemed to have dropped the ball a lot in the last decade).

A little post about how the patent office has dropped the ball.

I'm equivocating about software patents. (See here and here.)  It would be easiest to just do away with them, but I have a nephew who would then have to work hard to re-invent his job.

Not that I want to protect my nephew's job. But there is some problem here going unanswered, and, while I'm sure the GPL is the closest we can get to a perfect solution to software as intellectual capital, I know that it would take a lot of mini-revolutions to make that happen as a matter of law.

Having an office in the PTO and/or library of Congress specifically for registering GPL-ed software would be an interesting innovation. (Last I remember, Creative Commons does not provide a registry, and the commercial repositories like sourceforge and github are not exactly all-encompassing.)

So. ideally, yeah, get rid of software patents.

Practically, we need to at least raise the bar on software patents to the level that hardware is supposed to require. (I say "supposed to require" because there've been a lot of bad patents recently in pretty much every field.)

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