Software Patents must go!

The EFF is going to fight to have what they think are 10 most egregious internet patents thrown out. Software patents should be banned completely. As a software developer, I should be an advocate of software patents but the fact is that they do not achieve the goal of patents, namely to advance technology. Patenting a software algorithm is tantamount to patenting the steps to wash your car. Forcing people to pay you to wash their car using your instructions does not help anyone but the patent-holder. And that is not what patents were designed for. There are only a handful of ways to wash your car and if patents are granted to each one, nobody will be washing their car. Software patents do the same thing — they prevent new software from being developed. That leads to stagnation of software. Software patents have the exact opposite effect they intend.

There’s also an unnamed competitor of ours that has begun to file patents on their features on their web site, probably an attempt to increase the value of their company so they can sell it. I can’t wait til they contact us and accuse of violating their patent because they have filed for a patent this year for a feature we had on our site in 2000. When we demonstrate our prior art, they will have to go through a patent review process and may lose their patent and the money they wasted on the effort.

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