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20 years is too long

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Patents last for at least 20 years. This term has been set by TRIPS (art 33).

Patents exist to encourage researchers to publish their ideas. The researcher gets a temporary monopoly, and in return, society gets access to the idea when the patent expires.

In software, if you have to avoid using ideas from the past 20 years, your software will be useless. (See: Use software from 20 years ago)

Similarly, it doesn't take 20 years to figure out how a software package works, so the disclosure with a 20 year delay on your freedom to use the idea, is a pointless deal. (See: The disclosure is useless)

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