22 July 2009

No Patents for Circuits? Since You Insist...

I love this argument:

Arguments against software patents have a fundamental flaw. As any electrical engineer knows, solutions to problems implemented in software can also be realized in hardware, i.e., electronic circuits. The main reason for choosing a software solution is the ease in implementing changes, the main reason for choosing a hardware solution is speed of processing. Therefore, a time critical solution is more likely to be implemented in hardware. While a solution that requires the ability to add features easily will be implemented in software. As a result, to be intellectually consistent those people against software patents also have to be against patents for electronic circuits.

People seem to think that this is an invincible argument *for* software patents; what the poor darlings fail to notice is that it's actually an invincible argument *against* patents for circuits.

Since software is just algorithms, which is just maths, which cannot be patented, and this clever chap points out that circuits are just software made out of hardware, it follows that we shouldn't allow patents for circuits (but they can still be protected by copyright, just as software can.)

So, thanks for the help in rolling back what is patentable...

2 comments:

phayes said...

Hehe... Mr. Halling again. *sigh* I've just come from 'reviewing' another one of his crackpot articles over at Brian Prentice's Gartner.com blog.

I have to say I think your demolition neatly demonstrates that there's really no need to go sacrificing yourself at the opposite tail, Glyn. ;-)

glyn moody said...

too kind: it's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it...