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20 years is too long

(Redirected from Incompatible timespans)

Patents last for at least 20 years. This term has been set by TRIPS (art 33).

Patents exist to encourage researchers to publish their ideas. The researcher gets a temporary monopoly, and in return, society gets access to the idea when the patent expires.

In software, if you have to avoid using ideas from the past 20 years, your software will be useless. (See: Use software from 20 years ago)

Similarly, it doesn't take 20 years to figure out how a software package works, so the disclosure with a 20 year delay on your freedom to use the idea, is a pointless deal. (See: The disclosure is useless)

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Why abolish software patents
Why abolish software patents Why focus only on software · Why software is different · Software patent quality worse than all other fields · Harm caused by all types of patents
Legal arguments Software is math · Software is too abstract · Software does not make a computer a new machine · Harming freedom of expression · Blocking useful freedoms
High costs Costly legal costs · Cost of the patent system to governments · Cost barrier to market entry · Cost of defending yourself against patent litigation
Impact on society Restricting freedom Harm without litigation or direct threats · Free software projects harmed by software patents · More than patent trolls · More than innovation · Slow process creates uncertainty
Preventing progress Software relies on incremental development · Software progress happens without patents · Reducing innovation and research · Software development is low risk · Reducing job security · Harming education · Harming standards and compatibility
Disrupting the economy Used for sabotage · Controlling entire markets · Breaking common software distribution models · Blocking competing software · Harming smaller businesses · Harming all types of businesses · A bubble waiting to burst
Problems of the legal system Problems in law Clogging up the legal system · Disclosure is useless · Software patents are unreadable · Publishing information is made dangerous · Twenty year protection is too long
Problems in litigation Patent trolls · Patent ambush · Invalid patents remain unchallenged · Infringement is unavoidable · Inequality between small and large patent holders