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SubjectRe: Article: IBM wants to "clean up the license" of Linux
On Sun, Dec 20, 1998 at 08:13:54PM +0100, Daniel Engstrom wrote:

> On 20 Dec, Bob McElrath wrote:
> > You guys forget that one of the main reasons for inventing patents in the
> > first place is to protect someone who dumps a lot of money into developing
> > something. If the "something" they sell based on that is easily reverse
> > engineered and copied, then the reverse engineers have the upper hand, and
> > always will.
>
> Yeah, but most of the patents that are issued does not cover ideas that
> need this kind of protection. I think that maybe 10-100 patents/year
> world wide is a figure that is more reasonable. There should IMHO be an
> invention whose development cost is in excess of several 100 million USD
> to warrant this kind of protection.

That will make it impossible for any small or medium company to claim a
patent. At least in Germany the medium sized companies account for the
most of innovation.

One of the core problem with patents for the computer business is that their
time of validity is way too long compared to the timespan during which a
typical innovation gets exploited; patent law should account for that. Then
there are of course the issues of abusing patent against the it's spirit.
These obviously are very serious as well.

Ralf

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