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Re: Software Patents


From: Lee Hollaar
Subject: Re: Software Patents
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2007 12:29:53 -0600 (MDT)

In article <address@hidden> rjack <address@hidden> writes:
>Let's refer back to the Supreme Court in Parker v. Flook at the 
>beginning of this thread:
>
>"Difficult questions of policy concerning the kinds of programs that may 
>be appropriate for patent protection and the form and duration of such 
>protection can be answered by Congress on the basis of current empirical 
>data not equally available to this tribunal.”; PARKER v. FLOOK, 437 U.S. 
>584 (1978).

And, by not enacting special legislation regarding patents for software,
Congress has said that it should be treated the same as anything else
that can receive a utility patent -- same form, same duration.  And
therefore special legislation is not necessary.

But, as I said, it's not that Congress has done nothing.  (Ignoring you
is not the same as doing nothing.)  It enacted a special prior user
right for business method patents.  And a couple of years after Parker
v. Flook, it amended 17 U.S.C. 117 to address computer programs, and
in 1998 admended it again to reverse a court decision that it didn't
agree with.


>See the "[C]an be answered by Congress. . ."? The Supreme Court is 
>*obviously* declining to *LEGISLATE* for the Congress -- could it be any 
>clearer?. That was twenty-nine years ago. That's over a fucking 
>*generation* ago!!!!!!!! Still no answer from Congress -- twenty years 
>into the Age of the Internet.
>
>Just because the Congress is as happy as a pig in shit to sit and 
>endlessly quibble doesn't nullify the principle that they are elected to 
>*LEGISLATE* -- that's their defined job.

You seem to ignore the facts, perhaps because they don't fit with your
rant.  And you seem to assume that we have a continual need for new
laws, even if Congress feels that the old ones are working reasonably
well.

But you are certainly free to suggest to your senators or representative
or whoever might listen to you legislation that addresses the problems
that you perceive.  Just as you are free to suggest possible legal
theories to the courts, in the form of amicus briefs.  Whether anybody
listens to you is another matter.


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