Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment 100 million+ lines of source code (Score 1) 109

Ask a patent examiner next time you think you've spotted one online (beware, they are usually friendly and considerate) how many of the hundreds of public open source lines of code they have carefully reviewed as part of their preparation to judging novelty and obviousness in the patents they go through daily.

Do not be shocked if the person replies 0.

Do not be shocked if the next "software patent" they pass overlaps with the state of the art.

However, should they get lucky, do not be upset at them if the next patent they grant is merely "non-obvious" to a person having "ordinary" skill in the art. The law requires them to grant that patent, even if it was TOTALLY OBVIOUS to hundreds of thousands of software developers who are ABOVE ORDINARY in their skill in the art (35 USC 103).

The US's pathetically low inventiveness bar goes without much thought when only a tiny fraction of the population is inventing and trying to raise hundreds of millions of dollars to take these inventions to market. But it comes with huge opportunity costs when you have when you have millions of software developers impacted. A software development, manufacturing, and distribution network is but a mouse click away for each development iteration.

Many think the entire patent system (which, btw, does NOT recognize independent invention, something that appears to be unconstitutional whenever speech like software is involved) should be scrapped. At least for process patents (like software and business methods utilizing no more than widely accessible materials), there should be near universal agreement they aught to go.

Comment Re:Fixing the symptom (Score 1) 109

>> There are not "HUGE numbers of totally silly, obvious, or clearly invalid patents granted."

Before I consider how much lol to exert, I will need more information.

I am one who thinks that the inventiveness bar for being granted a US patent (35 USC 103),


[kinda like that homework assignment in that tough class your taking this semester: it's really "non-obvious"]

to a person having ..


[you know, like "average" and "unspectacular"]

skill in the art,


a) ever so slightly
b) somewhat
c) almost a foot
d) a foot and 8 inches
e) a meter
f) 2.84 meters
g) > 5 meters

higher than ankle height.

Slashdot Top Deals

God made machine language; all the rest is the work of man.