Originally Posted by KDarling
- The US didn't really have software patents until the early to mid 1990s. There was plenty of innovation before then, and plenty since then that has not been patented.
- There are hundreds of thousands of apps available, and I'd bet almost none have patent protection, yet there they are.
- Apple has made incredible piles of money even without getting injunctions.
Trade dress and copyright used to be the only way that software was protected in the US. The good thing about those is that they really are unique manifestations and implementations of ideas, unlike the generalized ideas we see getting patents.
Software patents favor huge corporations who have the time and money to seek such patents, which is why they want them to continue to exist.
There are groups who suggest a middle ground: allow software patents, but limit them to two years.
I agree with your post, by and large. But I don't believe it's true that US software patent history began in the 1990s. What is true, I believe, is that the legality of software patents was established around that time (or perhaps late 80s?).