W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-web-plugins@w3.org > March 2005

Re: Appeals court revisits Eolas decision

From: Kade Hansson <kade.hansson@dpiwe.tas.gov.au>
Date: Fri, 04 Mar 2005 11:01:32 +1100
Message-ID: <4227A55C.2040505@dpiwe.tas.gov.au>
To: public-web-plugins@w3.org

Jim wrote:

> [Jim was quoted by Jeff as saying:]
>> Everything that can be imagined today you can bet Gene already
>> demonstrated it to us every week on Star Trek.
> [snip]
> Yeah take it as a slight wink at least..... But remember, a Donald 
> Duck cartoon did indeed invalidate a patent for recovering sunken 
> underwater ships because Donald and the nephews raised a ship by 
> filling it with ping pong balls shoved through a tube hehehehe

It's worth remembering the purpose of patents here, although of course
IANAL. The difference between the Donald Duck thing and the Star Trek
thing is that Donald demonstrated an implementation of "raising a ship,"
wheras Star Trek alone (though some of the technical manuals go further
than) demonstrates/demonstrating only the ideas of "subspace
communication" and "warp drive."

It can be argued that copyrights are sufficent in software for
protecting an implementation, and patents for software currently cover
"implementations" in a way that is far too abstract- indeed it seems
that they protect things bordering on mere ideas. Hence we can
reasonably talk about the fiction of Star Trek in this discussion of the
non-fiction of software patents at all- things have gotten so bad that
people can patent their fictions. Where is Eolas' implementation of a
plug-in capable browser meeting modern requirements? Gene Roddenberry
and Mike Doyle have much more in common than many realise.


Received on Friday, 4 March 2005 00:03:56 UTC

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