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Re: Software Patents Re: MP3 decoders' non-freeness

Richard Braakman wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 06, 2002 at 08:50:11PM +0200, Arnoud Galactus Engelfriet wrote:
> > You can also reason, if a program can cause a general purpose
> > processor to do the same thing as a dedicated hardware board
> > can do, and that board does something patentable, then the
> > program must also be patentable. Otherwise you're being
> > unfair to the inventor. This is what the Dutch patent office
> > (Octrooiraad) did in the early '90s with a novel telephony 
> > switch. 
> Ugh.  And here I thought the whole point of a patent was to cover
> a novel method of achieving something, not to grant a monopoly on
> the thing to be achieved.

Patents give you a monopoly not only on methods, but also on things.
The requirement is that the invention is novel and inventive. If
you can demonstrate that, you can stop anyone from making, using
or selling things that incorporate the invention.

I'm not sure what you mean with "monopoly on the thing to be
achieved". You can't patent something speculative, you have to
explain how to do it in sufficient detail. But if you do that,
then you can patent a machine that is arranged to do it.


Arnoud Engelfriet, (almost) Dutch patent attorney - Speaking only for myself
Patents, copyright and IPR explained for techies:  http://www.iusmentis.com/

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