Re: The C++ std and copyright

"osmium" <>
Wed, 11 Jul 2007 13:01:51 -0700
"Erik Wikstr?m" writes:

* Though it's possible (to my understanding) to get a patent for usage of
a specific algorithm/software coupled with hardware, so you could probably
patent a portable MP3 player (had it been a new invention).

I have been issued seven US patents for microcode used in hardware. These
were all assigned to my employer at that time. and I received $1 from my
employer for each of them so I am content with the system. Microcode just
happens to be the only practical way to implement some very complicated
mechanisms that are becoming increasingly common. I searched the Web to see
if they were also issued in some foreign country, and could find no sign of
that happening. But in the process I found a pure hardware patent that I had
totally forgotten about! So it was a worthwhile search.

Note that if the microcode is burned into a ROM it is now hardware - should
patents on such like be banned? I think this is not a simple problem, but
the well has been polluted by some trivial patents that should never have
been granted. For example, I have read newspaper accounts of patent on
something involving "one click shopping" or some such. And because of such
things a huge number of programmers want to ban patents in a somewhat
related area. Patentability should depnd on what kinds of marks I, as an
engineer, make on paper? If I draw AND gates it is patentable and if I draw
1's and 0's it is not? Does that make sense? The *idea* is the important
thing, not the kinds of marks made on paper to represent that idea.

WRT to software patents, I think RSA is certainly worthy of a patent; and
think of what a nightmare it would be to implement that in AND and OR gates
and flip-flops. I don't mean to put myself into that league, it is just
something that occurred to me as I have been following this thread.

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