Patents, Math, Software

Since the most important body of patent law in the world is that of the US, I begin this post by quoting this wikipedia article, where a judicial finding in the US pre-empts the patenting of Mathematics:

'[SCOTUS] ruled that a process claim directed to a numerical algorithm, as such, was not patentable because "the patent would wholly pre-empt the mathematical formula and in practical effect would be a patent on the algorithm itself."'

Here's a follow-on syllogism:
  • No mathematics is patentable
  • All software is mathematics
  • Therefore no software is patentable.
One of my regular addictions is groklaw. Some time ago, someone posted an article there, titled 1 + 1 (pat. pending) — Mathematics, Software and Free Speech. Today the same author posts a follow-up, A Simpler Explanation of Why Software is Mathematics, which I submit for your consideration, admittedly before I've read them all.

Intellectual freedom to the people: shorten copyrights, narrow applicability of patents, enable imagination and innovation without fear of lawyers breathing down your neck.

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