Friday, October 28, 2005

FRIDAY FUNNY: It started off as something of an inside joke among colleagues, but now it has come to this. Enjoy.

Bud Light Presents: Real Men of Genius

[Real men of genius]

Today we salute you, Mr. Anti-Software Patent Guy.

[Mr. Anti-Software Patent Guy!]

Some people only complain about patent quality, but you know enough to step it up to the next level: advocating the total abolition of all software patents. Patents? You don't need no stinkin' patents.

[Copyright is all you need!]

There's a specification - maybe even some drawings - and a bunch of claims somewhere in the back, but only you know that the only way to determine the scope of a patent is by reading the title.

[They're trying to patent the Internet!]

It could be Microsoft. Or Google. Or Or some holding company you've never heard of. But whoever it is, their patents cover algorithms you thought of 10 years ago. And besides, the ideas are pretty stupid anyways.

[Don't forget the one-click-patent!]

While others rest, you can't . . . because somewhere a patent is being filed on code you are writing this very moment - and that patent's going to make someone a lot of money.

[It's all a scam anyways!]

So crack open an ice-cold Bud Light, Mr. Anti-Software Patent Guy, because if you filed a patent application for being smarter than the rest of us, you'd get a first-action allowance.

[Mr. Anti-Software Paaaaatent Guy!]

UPDATE: After receiving an e-mail from one of the foreign associates our firm works with, it dawned on me that some of our overseas friends may not be entirely familiar with the commercial the post spoofs. For a quick run-down of "Real Men of Genius," click here

11 Comentários:

Anonymous said...


Should be cross-posted to Slashdot.

Anonymous said...

>Should be cross-posted to Slashdot

I tried to explain couple times on
Slashdot why it is impossible to
clearly separate software patents
from computer hardware patents,
but just wasted my time and
became pretty upset myself with
responses I got.

Slashdot is a place for some
special people...

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this - uninformed and screaming is no way to life Mr. Anti-Software Patent Guy.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this - uninformed and screaming is no way to go through life Mr. Anti-Software Patent Guy.

Maurice McCarthy said...

As I see it software sits astride the division between knowledge and technology. This makes its patentability an extremely moot point, one which has crept up on us. No court in any land has been able to make a meaningful distinction between software and hardware with respect to patentability.

For me Michel Rocard nailed it down. The position of political power is to defend the culture of a people from the ingress of the economic forces. The law is therefore an emotive judgment of human rights. What is right depends upon the people feel about the current state of the society. As an independent body the European Patent Office cannot respond to the wishes of the people but the Europarl must.

Anonymous said...

At the end of the day this is all VERY simple.

Software is a TECHNIQUE and not an area of TECHNOLOGY. Look it up in your dictionary. A technique is "a series of descriptions or a systematic method for solving a problem or achieving a desired outcome" - a perfect description of software.

Now, since patents are designed to protect technology and NOT techniques.... I think you get the idea.

As for the old chestnut of a "computer implemented invention" it is very simple. You patent the hardware and the software is protected by copyright.

There - so easy. So simple. And completely useless for patent attorneys whose goal in life seems to be complexity, obfuscation and the raking in of as many fees as possible.

Anonymous said...

Friday funny? Oh yeah - it's humorous alright! Not!

It reminds me of the joke "What do attorneys use for birth control?"

Their personalities.

Keep it up guys, and be careful you don't get a hernia from all the rip-roaring laughter.



Anonymous said...

I guess than when software patent proponents can't outsmart software patent opponents with arguments, they have to try humour !

However you are much more funny when your trying to be serious and argue that software patents promote innovation , competition (!), the little guy vs big corporations (!!)

Maurice McCarthy said...

> Software is a TECHNIQUE and not an area of TECHNOLOGY.

That's a nice wrinkle and I've been turning it over in my mind. Unfortunately, it does not meet the reality of the social situation in which the patentability of software is being debated. Thus, however correct it may be, it is not wholly true.

Socially software is an objective 'entity' and not a technique. It includes processes which are part of mankind's relation to the natural world. These necessarily belong to the economic sphere. This becomes political when it infringes human rights. In a democracy should not the function of economy to be to work for the good of the people? Or do we live in a government for the economy - an 'econocracy'?

"Since ancient times knowledge has been social property by right. The granting [of] patents ‘in flames cupidity’, excites fraud, stimulates men to run after schemes that may enable them to levy a tax on the public, begets disputes and quarrels betwixt inventors, provokes endless lawsuits. ... The principle of the law from which such consequences flow cannot be just." The Economist 1851 (See the recent survey of the patent system by the Economist. The PDF is well worth buying at $4.95 - As an anti-patenteer this gave me greatest pause to reconsider how things are changing from the other sides' point of view. It is more complicated than I realised though my socially interpreted view predates this document by many years.) To return to my theme ...

Knowledge has for millenia be considered to be for the good of each and every individual, freely distributed and received with welcome. If the 'knowledge economy' is that which witholds knowledge from people am I justified in calling it evil? At present I think so.

Written and published software is knowledge. As the solution to a problem it may technique (a human skill) or innovation. Innovations become techniques in time. I'm not too happy about software being 'technology' but even board members of FFII call it that.

For all the quote at the beginning is neat the real conception of human society is one of the most complex ideas that there is, a constellation of interlocking processes, a living thing which the movement of culture, politics and economy all inter-affect each other. The difficulty is to hold them apart enough that each has sufficient independence to work in a healthy fashion.

In the longer strategic term look at how the economy will cripple itself if it does not allow free access to knowledge. According to the Economist surve above around 75% of the value of US publically traded companies is intangible assets. Most of these depend upon innovation. Where do ideas as ideas manifest? Only on the platform of human consciousness. Withhold knowledge and you deprive the culture. Do that and creativity must suffer. Less creativity = less innovation. (All Science, Art, Religion, Education etc = culture, i.e. those things which are for the sake of themselves and are produced through individual human beings.)


Maurice McCarthy said...

There is an error in my last post. The sentence:

Since ancient times knowledge has been social property by right.

does not belong to the quote from the Economist which only begins at "The granting [of] patents ... etc. "

Anonymous said...

I'm a software developer and patent lawyers are increasingly making me sick. How come they think they are the only ones who can possibly know what's a good environment for developing software?
The day I meet a patent lawyer who knows just a little bit about what software is and how it's developed, then maybe I'll be able to see what it is they think is the joke here.

I wonder if they'll will use the same arguments againts litterature authors when they find out how big the patent lawyer income potential is for litterature patents.

Meanwhile I just how to be able to make a living based on my education... If the pro-swpat lawyers win, I'll probably have to start over and become a lawyer instead of producing real products.


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