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Re: Software Patents


From: rjack
Subject: Re: Software Patents
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2007 07:50:20 -0500
User-agent: Thunderbird 2.0.0.4 (Windows/20070604)

Lee Hollaar wrote:
In article <address@hidden> rjack <address@hidden> writes:
Twenty-nine years later Congress is still sitting on its collective ass while the rest of the World moves on.

Perhaps Congress hasn't acted on software patents because it is not
unhappy with the state of the law.

Perhaps. . .

Article I of the Constitution was drafted to establish the *legislative* powers of the Federal government -- it is directed at Congress and not the Judiciary.

Art I sec. 8 cl. 8:

"Section 8. The Congress shall have power. . .

To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;"

The job of the judiciary is to define the *boundries* of Congress's powers established by the clause -- not to enumerate the *specifics* of implementation. The clause is one of the most specific in Article I
directed at the legislative branch.

Because Congress is *happy* with a vague and inchoate law is no excuse for incompetence. We have thirteen appellate circuits going in different directions concerning the copyright/patent protection provided for software. The Federal Circuit changes its mind every few months. The trial lawyers love this situation, businesses -- especially small businesses -- are intimidated and bled. IBM, Microsoft, and a few well heeled, lawyered-up corporations bully the rest of the business world.

Perhaps you are happy with Congress being happy with the state of the law. I'm not. I still believe the Congress should work for the people and not the other way around.

Intellectual property has a valuable place in a capitalist economy.
The citizens through their representatives should define the specifics of the role IP plays in that economy -- not a handful of lifetime appointed lawyers in black robes.

rjack


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