First, it is emphatically stated that all of the software arguments on patents are invalid.
Software is a Copyright issue.
I know that the gang of lawyers at the Patent Office think otherwise, but that is only because they want to justify the one-sided job they do at the Patent Office.
While there is no justifiable reason for a different price structure between the Patent Office and the Copyright Office, long ago big corporations and companies hijacked the Patent Office for the protection of their monopolies.
Bell, Edison, Marconi, were only a few.
You see, by making the price of applying for a Patent thousands of dollars, it is put out of the range of the average person and therefore hijacked by business lawyers. The Patent Office itself is infested with them.
Why is Copyright Registration only $30.00 while Patents have costs in the thousands?
The only answer is to discourage the individual from getting a patent, and that violates the U.S. Constitution Article I Section 8 Clause 8, which was intended solely for individual Authors and Inventors.
The first one to abuse these rights was Morse, followed quickly by Bell, Edison, and Marconi. In fact, these people were the reason the Sherman Anti-Trust Act was written. Marconi got broken up because he was a foreignor; a strange way to kick only the Italian guy out.
Morse was tied into two heavy industrials, telegraphy and the railroads. Which brought in Carnegie, Mellon, and Rockefeller. All notorius monopolists.
Their patents are questionable too. Alexander Graham Bell's girlfriend, who later became his wife, gave the secrets of the telephone that her daddy had invented to her boyfriend, Bell. The day before daddy was going to file the patent, Bell rushed down to the Patent Office and beat daddy to the punch.
Does that sound like an inventor or a thief?
And the Patent Office, to this day, ignores the Constitution.
The .gif debacle was one involving Compuserve and Burroughs [now Unisys]. Burroughs was founded by the oldest computer guys, J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchley who invented the computer at the University of Pennsylvania in 1946. They were my teachers.
Burroughs personnel held lots of patents, like the patent on the original shift register, something no computer can work without. Burroughs just never glamourized all of its patents and in the process Compuserve caught itself infringing patents.
And this, more than anything, is what will happen to those thinking they have patents on Linux code in the corporate community.
Linux and Unix were developed at the same time. I know, I was there.
Unix was a program to connect the big five computer company computers at the time. Burroughs, IBM, Sperry, NEC, and Univac so that universities and government could get their various computers to form the newer version of an Internet.
It was commissioned by the U.S. government, and a prerequisite was that it remain in the public domain, as is the prerequisite for all software commissioned by the taxpayers in the United States.
Linus Torvaalds wrote a separate Linux like Unix, but not copying from it.
Pascal was a copy of Algol and Espol, the original Burroughs Operating Systems.
IBM hired Grace Hopper by stealing her from Burroughs under Eckert & Mauchley and she copied Algol and Espol calling it Cobol for IBM.
These programs had long ago infringed copyrights, and there were no patents.
Microsoft bought one person's DOS and thereafter stole Geos from Xerox which had stolen it from the various BBS pioneers who wrote the first GUI programs, i.e., Windows.
It seems that thieves are rewarded at the Patent Office while Authors are only protected at the Copyright Office.
Patent lawyers are a crock.
Software Patents are invalid on the face of them.
Software is Copyright Protected, not Patent Protected.