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Submission + - Knuth Requests Math & Algorithms Not Be Patent (

eldavojohn writes: Donald Knuth is reaching out to the EU Patent Office in an effort to avoid making algorithms patentable--he feels this has been a mistake in America. He recently sent the EU Patent Office Commissioner a 1994 letter he had originally sent to the United States Patent Office about patenting software. His argument is simple: (1) math cannot be patented (2) all algorithms are math (3) all software is one or more algorithms and so follows that software cannot be patentable. The USPTO replied by defining non-mathematical software to be patentable while purely mathematical software is not. Knuth sums himself up nicely: 'Basically I remain convinced that the patent policy most fair and most suitable for the world will regard mathematical ideas (such as algorithms) to be not subject to proprietary patent rights. For example, it would be terrible if somebody were to have a patent on an integer, like say 1009, so that nobody would be able to use that number "with further technical effect" without paying for a license. Although many software patents have unfortunately already been granted in the past, I hope that this practice will not continue in future. If Europe leads the way in this, I expect many Americans would want to emigrate so that they could continue to innovate in peace.' Will the EPO listen? Personally I'm more concerned about someone starting to patent software patterns like model-view-controller--boy that would make my job difficult!

Comment My way of tackling the problem... (Score 1) 266

would be to first encrypt each document word-by-word (this can lead to really big documents because of paddings), then the client would transmit the document together with the encrypted words as plain text. In this way, the search engine indexes meaningless words which points to the encrypted documents (you can use two different algorithms and/or keys for word-by-word encryption and for documents). For searching your client encrypts the keywords (asking for the encryption key) and once you have a link you have to decrypt the document.

There should be some weak link in this chain, but I don't find any: be the first to claim my two cents.

The Courts

SCO Owes Novell $2.5 Million 174

CrkHead writes "Groklaw has posted Judge Kimball's ruling on SCO v Novell. For those that have been following this saga, we finally get to watch the house of cards start to fall. For those new to this story, it started with SCO suing Novell and having all its motions decided in summary judgement and went to trial only on Novell's counter claims. Cheers to PJ for keeping us informed!"

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