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Software Patents

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By sniped22
Words 1699
Pages 7
Software Patents

Controversy over software patents has been around since the inception of commercial software. The main issue lies in the fact that some software producers want legislation that allows them to be granted exclusive rights to algorithms, data structures or other snippets of code implemented in their commercial productions, while other people argue that software patents stint software production and have many other negative effects. Due to the increasing size of the software industry, and in turn the rising number of software patents being applied for and granted, the number of problems arising from this issue is only getting worse; clearly our patent system is broken. Both advocates and opponents of software patents make convincing arguments, but because of my own personal experiences and opinions, as well as the opinions of other patent objectors, I believe patents like Amazon's US5960411 online ordering system patent should not be granted. People that oppose software patents are at an advantage in that there are many examples that make a compelling argument for them. It is no subtle fact that claims are made that software patents impede research and development of software. These claims can be quantified in studies like those in Adam Jaffe's Innovation and Its Discontents: How Our Broken Patent System Is Endangering Innovation and Progress. In these studies, Jaffe shows that many companies are stopped from working on projects because they find themselves walking a very thin line, a lot of times stepping into the grounds of patent infringement for the use of simple, well known ideas. Now this would not be a terrible thing if the companies were stealing unique concepts that only the company owning these particular patents could have invented. This is not the case, however. Companies that patented certain concepts first, no matter how simple they...

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