04 August, 2005

Time To Abolish Patents For Software -Sadagopan:
Microsoft has filed very high number of patent applications in the US, which are under review currently - the pace of filing: 60 fresh, non obvious patentable ideas every week. Reason for sudden increase in applications - Microsoft says it finds that others file about two patents for every $1 million spent on research and development. If Microsoft was spending $6 billion to $7.5 billion annually on its R&D, it would need to file at least 3,000 applications.

Abolishing software patents would be a very good thing, as increasingly the current system actually impedes the advance of software technology, at the same time that it works quite nicely to enrich patent holders.A patent goes well beyond copyright and trademarks - It protects even the underlying concepts from being used by others - for 20 years. The article highlights that had Dan Bricklin, the creator of VisiCalc, the spreadsheet that gave people a reason to buy a personal computer, obtained a patent covering the program in 1979, Microsoft would not have been able to bring out Excel until 1999.

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