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===Arguments specific to software patents===
 
===Arguments specific to software patents===
* Patents are incompatible with software, and with file formats in particular, because it's too hard to change a file format after initial release.
 
* It's hard to know when a technology is patent free (e.g. MP3, MPEG-1) - but this is an argument for changing the way patents work, not an argument for abolition.
 
 
* Writing any software that solves any problem IS an invention.  Any time any software programmer types up functional code he or she has invented something that is patentable.  The U.S. patent system relies on the fact that only a small percentage of these software "inventors" take action to patent their invention.  If every programmer attempted to patent the software that they had written it would create a backlog that the patent office would not be able to clear and would gridlock the software industry by ensuring that anything that could be done with a device that contains RAM and a CPU to fall under one or more patents.  Any system of laws that continues to function only because the majority of citizens do NOT exercise their rights under those laws is a broken system.  
 
* Writing any software that solves any problem IS an invention.  Any time any software programmer types up functional code he or she has invented something that is patentable.  The U.S. patent system relies on the fact that only a small percentage of these software "inventors" take action to patent their invention.  If every programmer attempted to patent the software that they had written it would create a backlog that the patent office would not be able to clear and would gridlock the software industry by ensuring that anything that could be done with a device that contains RAM and a CPU to fall under one or more patents.  Any system of laws that continues to function only because the majority of citizens do NOT exercise their rights under those laws is a broken system.  
 
* 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.]

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