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* Not only are most citizens not exercising their rights but are unable to. As stated above, it's very easy to create something that could be patentable. How many ideas could we patent? This system (no automatic recognition and very costly to gain recognition) creates a system of monopoly rights to be bought by the highest bidder. The more money you have, the more of your and of others' ideas you can patent to gain the monopoly/taxing rights over everyone. This system only has a chance of being fair if those affected directly by it can participate on a near equal footing. [Note that some patents involve technology that costs millions or billions of dollars for execution. Few have the resources to invent in this environment so almost no one is held back specifically because of the patent monopolies. Those that can play this game at that level can easily afford those (nonsoftware) patents.]
 
* Not only are most citizens not exercising their rights but are unable to. As stated above, it's very easy to create something that could be patentable. How many ideas could we patent? This system (no automatic recognition and very costly to gain recognition) creates a system of monopoly rights to be bought by the highest bidder. The more money you have, the more of your and of others' ideas you can patent to gain the monopoly/taxing rights over everyone. This system only has a chance of being fair if those affected directly by it can participate on a near equal footing. [Note that some patents involve technology that costs millions or billions of dollars for execution. Few have the resources to invent in this environment so almost no one is held back specifically because of the patent monopolies. Those that can play this game at that level can easily afford those (nonsoftware) patents.]
 
* ([[Software is math]]) Since the logic (idea) of software can be reduced to mathematical formula (idea) with Church-Turing Thesis, and because mathematical formula (idea) is not patentable, software should not be patentable as well. More generally, [[http://www.groklaw.net/articlebasic.php?story=20101007030644178 software is abstract]]. It exists because of digitalization. This is why writing software is frequently like writing fiction; you can create almost anything you can imagine without having to answer to Mother Nature (and deal with related expenses and uncertainties).
 
* ([[Software is math]]) Since the logic (idea) of software can be reduced to mathematical formula (idea) with Church-Turing Thesis, and because mathematical formula (idea) is not patentable, software should not be patentable as well. More generally, [[http://www.groklaw.net/articlebasic.php?story=20101007030644178 software is abstract]]. It exists because of digitalization. This is why writing software is frequently like writing fiction; you can create almost anything you can imagine without having to answer to Mother Nature (and deal with related expenses and uncertainties).
* Since the only requirement to develop software is a commodity computer, which is very cheap, software should not be patentable just as authoring a book that only requires paper and a pen, which are very cheap, is not patentable. Very cheap means (a) the pool of inventors is much higher and (b) the risk to inventing is much lower. This in turn means (a') a monopoly hand-cuffs that many more (a very high liability to progress and cumulatively to individual liberties) while simultaneously (b') the incentive required to stimulate invention goes down similarly, both because of lower capital risks and because of the mentioned greater competition. [FOSS forms evidence that many can and do create original quality software without seeking patents and actually while encouraging no-strings attached collaboration.] Either (a) or (b) should be sufficient reason to abolish or greatly reduce the power, scope, and/or duration of patents. (b) is naturally true and keeps getting lower the more quality FOSS exists. (a) is generally true for an average patent (and is also promoted by an increasing body of quality FOSS) and is true to a large degree for most patents because the bar for accepting patents is so low.
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* Since the only requirement to develop software is a commodity computer, which is very cheap, software should not be patentable just as authoring a book that only requires paper and a pen, which are very cheap, is not patentable. Very cheap means (a) the pool of inventors is much higher and (b) the risk to inventing is much lower. This in turn means (a') a monopoly hand-cuffs that many more (a very high liability to progress and cumulatively to individual liberties) while simultaneously (b') the incentive required to stimulate invention goes down similarly, both because of lower capital risks and because of the mentioned greater competition. [FLOSS forms evidence that many can and do create original quality software without seeking patents and actually while encouraging no-strings attached collaboration.] Either (a) or (b) should be sufficient reason to abolish or greatly reduce the power, scope, and/or duration of patents. (b) is naturally true and keeps getting lower the more quality FOSS exists. (a) is generally true for an average patent (and is also promoted by an increasing body of quality FOSS) and is true to a large degree for most patents because the bar for accepting patents is so low.
 
* The inventiveness bar to accepting a patent is so low that it would be laughable were it not so problematic. The USPTO gives a 20 year exclusivity grant for an invention that is non-obvious to a person having ordinary skill in the art. Think about this. If you are among the many million that lie on the upper part of the software "skill-level" bell curve, so that you find this invention "obvious", you can be kept from using the invention (eg, as the need comes up) for 20 long years for each such obvious (to you) invention. Even if you are on the lower part of the bell curve, you might come to the invention after some work and maybe some months or a few years. You too would be infringing. What makes this troubling and not just laughable, is that we aren't talking about million dollar inventions that are out of reach of most people, but software, fully within the economic reach of anyone (and with ample study material available for free or for a very modest fee). In fact, the languages usable to express new inventions in software continue to approach English (or other native languages) and other constructs familiar to nearly anyone.
 
* The inventiveness bar to accepting a patent is so low that it would be laughable were it not so problematic. The USPTO gives a 20 year exclusivity grant for an invention that is non-obvious to a person having ordinary skill in the art. Think about this. If you are among the many million that lie on the upper part of the software "skill-level" bell curve, so that you find this invention "obvious", you can be kept from using the invention (eg, as the need comes up) for 20 long years for each such obvious (to you) invention. Even if you are on the lower part of the bell curve, you might come to the invention after some work and maybe some months or a few years. You too would be infringing. What makes this troubling and not just laughable, is that we aren't talking about million dollar inventions that are out of reach of most people, but software, fully within the economic reach of anyone (and with ample study material available for free or for a very modest fee). In fact, the languages usable to express new inventions in software continue to approach English (or other native languages) and other constructs familiar to nearly anyone.
 
* Software Development unlike other forms of mechanical invention is already afforded protection within existing copyright laws. First, this means that traditional and much more focused and balanced protections do already exist for publishing software details (and many companies have also shown tremendous skill at leveraging the complexity of software binaries using trade secret protections to thwart competitors). Second, because going from source code to running binary is effectively a trivial step, applying patents to the running machine wholly pre-empts all the more balanced protections and safeties from copyright law. The broader patent would always trump copyright in effect and control (note also that patent law has no "fair use" nor recognizes independent invention). Copyright law was designed to cope with many simultaneous equal individual creators in mind, but patent law was designed to stop or throttle competition that mostly included few well-capitalized entities. With respect to balancing copyright against First Amendment rights, the US Supreme Court highlighted Section 102b (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/102.html#b ) in the ruling for Harper & Row, the "idea/expression dichotomy strike[s] a definitional balance  between the First Amendment and the Copyright Act by permitting free communication of facts while still protecting an author's expression." Software patents most definitely are not limited in scope to a definite expression but necessarily cover broad concepts and the like. [Specifically on free expression considerations, it should be clear that high capitalization inventions means almost no one is able to express themselves of their own volition that way to any significant extent but certainly can for any kind of software that can be cloned innumerable times and installed on, eg, any consumer device.] [Update, the Phil Salin 1991 essay linked from the [[Freedom of expression|Freedom of expression page]] covers a lot of this ground. The Talk page there suggests it be given more prominence and perhaps enhanced (or augmented) to cover up to the present time period.]
 
* Software Development unlike other forms of mechanical invention is already afforded protection within existing copyright laws. First, this means that traditional and much more focused and balanced protections do already exist for publishing software details (and many companies have also shown tremendous skill at leveraging the complexity of software binaries using trade secret protections to thwart competitors). Second, because going from source code to running binary is effectively a trivial step, applying patents to the running machine wholly pre-empts all the more balanced protections and safeties from copyright law. The broader patent would always trump copyright in effect and control (note also that patent law has no "fair use" nor recognizes independent invention). Copyright law was designed to cope with many simultaneous equal individual creators in mind, but patent law was designed to stop or throttle competition that mostly included few well-capitalized entities. With respect to balancing copyright against First Amendment rights, the US Supreme Court highlighted Section 102b (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/102.html#b ) in the ruling for Harper & Row, the "idea/expression dichotomy strike[s] a definitional balance  between the First Amendment and the Copyright Act by permitting free communication of facts while still protecting an author's expression." Software patents most definitely are not limited in scope to a definite expression but necessarily cover broad concepts and the like. [Specifically on free expression considerations, it should be clear that high capitalization inventions means almost no one is able to express themselves of their own volition that way to any significant extent but certainly can for any kind of software that can be cloned innumerable times and installed on, eg, any consumer device.] [Update, the Phil Salin 1991 essay linked from the [[Freedom of expression|Freedom of expression page]] covers a lot of this ground. The Talk page there suggests it be given more prominence and perhaps enhanced (or augmented) to cover up to the present time period.]

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