Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss
My background here is not as a patent attorney or a patent expert of any kind. Does anyone commenting here have those levels of expertise and is holding out on us? Note that I have not offered any opinion with respect to the validity of any given patent because I lack the background or knowledge to make any such judgment. I see that others are not similarly constrained, and further feel that they can out of hand dismiss if not condemn a legal process about which they also have little knowledge or expertise. Perhaps this only troubles me.
There are two different knowledge domains that are relevant here. The first is legal, and relates to whether, as the law currently stands, these patents are valid and Judge Ward's court is fair. I"m agnostic about that - and I don't think it really matters much either way because the problem is much deeper.
Then there is the broader political case of whether software patents should be permitted at all. That doesn't require legal expertise, but instead knowledge of how software development and innovation take place. As a professional developer my opinion is that they are unnecessary and indeed pernicious, in all but a handful of cases. This isn't a minority belief amongst developers, so if the aim of software patents is to enable and reward software innovation - and software creators feel that they instead constrain and threaten innovation- then they are no longer fit for purpose.