Originally Posted by jragosta
That's entirely unrelated to the question I was answering. Someone asked if copyrights provide the same protection as patents and I was pointing out some reasons why they don't. The validity of Apple's patent is irrelevant. Choose a patent that you you think is absolutely valid and the point is the same.
No the issue isn't whether copyright provides the same protection as patents, the issue is does copyright in software provide adequate protection to safeguard innovation. As I've already said I think that in the very specific cases of encryption and compression perhaps it does not, but in the vast majority of the software domain it does - and I've yet to see a convincing counter-argument.
It is easy to determine if someone has infringed a patent. You read the claims and see if the alleged infringer does the same thing. If so, the patent is violated.
Oh come now that's simply not true. First you have the question of validity, which entails considerable questions of non-obviousness as well as a potentially extremely expensive prior art search. In software the prior art search is particularly difficult, especially with patents from the 90s. If the patent is a continuation then there may be other ways in which validity can be attacked, etc.
Even once you have established validity there is claim construction because the exact meaning of the words in the claim invariably requires additional legal discussion before the question of infringement can even be arrived at.
None of these have any analogue in the copyright system.
It is much more difficult to tell if someone has violated a copyright. If you use the narrow definition and require it to be a near-exact copy, then it's easy to tell, but useless. It's far to easy to simply code the same thing in a different language to get around that one. If you use a looser definition of copyright, it's hard to tell when someone infringes.
Except it demonstrably isn't useless, because there are a lot of software firms that protect or used to protect their works solely or mainly with copyright. Both historically and even today.
None of that has anything to do with whether any particular patent is valid or not. It simply points out that BY THEIR VERY NATURE, patents are easier to identify violations.
You can't separate the two issues, because validity is a fundamental part of any infringement suit. There's really no comparable question of copyright validity, because establishing it is so trivially easy by comparison.
BTW, who's playing "Oh, look. There's a badger" now?
It's not a badger it's a zombie and it's on your lawn, ok maybe it's a zombie badger. It's also relevant. The games industry is an entire sub-domain of software where patents are not used, yet there is still innovation in that domain - both in technology and in content.
Nonsense. You can apply for a patent for under a thousand dollars. Even using an attorney do to all the work, we've done it for well under $10 K.
You could produce a 'slide to do something' software control for a lot less than $10k. Also I imagine that this $10k patent is in an area where you've already recently patented something, probably using the same lawyer, so you already have all the relevant patent searches and prior art searches done. Trying to do a patent 'cold' I find it hard to believe that you could do it for 10k on average. If I'm wrong though that's interesting, naturally enough I've never been involved in a patent application because I'm a software developer, and to this day most software isn't patented.