Well, since z is a distance (scale factor) and c is a velocity,
It isn't a distance or a scale factor: z is a pure number ratio of frequencies or wavelengths http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redshift
There is no need to blindly focus on software patents. They aren't special.
Yes they are (see the economic literature e.g. http://researchoninnovation.org/) and what we should not be doing is blindly assuming that patents are beneficial.
If a web developer themself has no clue at all what this patent is talking about, then who is it referring to?
The web developer's patent lawyer(s) of course. Surely every web developer is aware by now that they might very well need to employ a patent lawyer? Exactly the same goes for the electronics manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies, and software development is no different from any other patent eligible field of technology, don't you know?
Counter-intuitively, this actually presents a case for stronger patents.
It portrays - anecdotally, in narrow circumstances, and hypothetically - just one potential (benefit side) effect of such a change, which even if realised still only might lead to an overall improvement in the performance of the patent system - and might just as easily do the opposite.
It would be nice if cases for change could be made so easily in patent system economics, but the system is complex and they can't.
I thought even US law said that purely mathematical algorithms couldn't be patented?
They can't. But what is a "purely mathematical" algorithm? Can you find one which, for some reason, could never have any useful application whatsoever? The RSA algorithm wasn't patented - it's use in encrypting "messages" was.
This is why the typical programmer argument against software patents, "But it's just math!", is futile and justifiably derided by the typical Patent Attorney. The proper (and extremely powerful) argument to use aganst software patents is an economic one.
"I can explain exactly how the claim isn't nearly as broad as the summary."
I really appreciate the work you put into that but I'm afraid I don't think you've succeeded - at least not from the perspective of the ordinary programmer or entrepreneur etc. I don't want to start quibbling about the degree and practical significance of each of the narrowings you identified - although in light of claim 21 at least one of them seems
While you have a point about the general level of comprehension of patents and patent matters on
The standard of non-obviousness has never been particularly high (in all fields, not just software) and, for various reasons (desirability of examination objectivity; demand pressure;
You've correctly identified the fundamental rationale for granting patents in the first place, and seem to have recognised that it is primarily a question of economics, but you've made some assertions / indicated some implicit assumptions which don't really stand up to economic scrutiny. Have you read e.g. Machlup or any of the more recent literature on patent system economics - and the wisdom of allowing software as patent eligible subject matter in particular? It's really not so clear that there is a baby in the bath.
Yeah - they'd already been granting software patents and just wanted to ratify that rather dodgy practise* with the C.I.I. Directive. When confronted by the strong opposition, instead of just making their case in an honest manner, bizarrely they tried to make out that they didn't grant software patents and never had and that the Directive would merely uphold that (fictitious) practise. Some MEPs even fell for it but then SAP lost the plot and came out with a big pro-Directive, pro-software patent advert in a publication widely read by MEPs!
* Dodgy because of the apparent specific exclusion of software from patentable subject matter in the EPC - a statutory exclusion which they'd earlier tried and failed to have deleted.
There are no software patents in Europe
FSVO "no" of around 50,000 and rising?
There are only "no software patents" in Europe in the sense in which a "software patent" is not really a software patent as such* in Europe (it's really a patent for an invention implemented on computers!). This definitional trick, infamously, was the means the EPO, (then) UKPO, and other interested parties used in order to deceive people during the C.I.I. (software patent!) Directive war. I'm disappointed to see people still falling for this absurd and absurdly blatant** lie after all the hard work done by the FFII and others.
** The EPO database is online, its many software patents in plain view; its "Guidelines for Examiners" and various TBoA decisions - all also available online - couldn't be clearer; a great deal has been written about this issue online, in the press, in the economics and patent research literature etc.
DarkKnightRadick is correct: there's nothing "fundamental" that can be "owned" (as in property) in all this. You can't patent abstract concepts. Unless the patent describes a very specific process that is both non-obvious to someone skilled in the art and is not already revealed in other prior art/pre-existing technologies then this is totally bogus.
That's rather a naïve view and not really correct at all - certainly not as far as the real-world patent system is concerned, and likely not even in theory. In practise the non-obviousness requirement is often indistinguishable to POSITAs from the novelty requirement (i.e. in an everyday, non-legal, non-pseudo-objective sense); broad and abstract patents abound (and always have done - they're just more visible and worse in software)*; and non-novel patents - even those which duplicate or overlap other patents - can be and are often granted and can still be effective against anyone unable to afford to fight them in court.
Finally - Software patents are not all bad. If you find a new way to compress/decompress video
I don't think you understand the term "free market" (or was that comment title ironic?), let alone what makes granting monopoly patent rights in some field good or bad. Hint: for one thing, even 'clever' compression methods almost certainly should not be patentable if they're likely to be invented/discovered by multiple independent parties within the period of monopoly.
Wherever you go...There you are. - Buckaroo Banzai