With all the discussion on the igda site regarding patents (…) I (…) would therefore not want to say that creative software patents are wrong, and then on the other nand turn around and apply for a patent.[/quote:3c4217f4a6]
To begin with, a fair proportion of the discussions on the IGDA site are very misinformed, or rather ‘mis-focused’, where patents are concerned: the opinions are laudable in an artistic (even philantropist) sense (which mirrors your stance on ‘principles’), but seriously lack any business acumen. In other words: they see patents in the librarian/litteral sense of the legal concept, e.g. “I own patent, I can do/ you can’t unless you take a license”.
That’s so far from the real world as to be laughable, but not so easily conveyed to people not versed into including legal tools (including, but not only, patents) in their business model and either sold to the OSS propaganda and/or blinkered by the illusion that principles of fairness will apply in a capitalistic economic model where anything (legal) goes to obtain & sustain the competitive advantage.
For instance, a lot of IGDA discussions’ contributors have previously pushed for the IGDA to take a stance on software patents, namely they’re bad and the IGDA should push to revoke each and every one as they surface, or at the very least centralize prior art made available to developers for invalidating those as & when needed. None of this is going to happen, because the IGDA Powers That Be have enough acumen to know that and (i) the case for or against software patents has never been and never will be open-&-shut, since a business situation warranting a patent portfolio for one developer/member may run totally contraflow to the business situation of another developer/member (and potentially impact same in one way or another) and (ii) some of their more influential corporate members (and generous sponsors) are very active in the field of software patents.
There is no such thing in law (or business) as a ‘creative software patent’. There’s a software patent, or no patent (to be construed as an abandoned application for a patent, or OSS) – period.
While we are using some techniques that haven’t really been done before successfully, I don’t really think it is unique enough to patent.[/quote:3c4217f4a6]
No further comment about the patentability (or otherwise) of whatever your tech is. As I have (obliquely) stated, it’s nice to have a real invention to patent, but that’s irrelevant if there’s no opportunity (the ‘business case’ if you want) to go the patent route. Assessing this opportunity is a whole different ball game, and *generally* amounts to determining (i) why you want a patent and (ii) is the expense worth the end game.
Also, proving that prior art doesn’t exist can be very difficult. [/quote:3c4217f4a6]
And proving that prior art does exist can be just as difficult and expensive, if not more – depends who puts the onus on whom to do which searching and when. You can quote me on that :wink:
Note that my comments have been expressed in the context of the business case for software software patents, which applies irrespectively of the field of software development. That’s another issue to consider, and hinted at before when I made a distinction between middleware developers (who sell ‘tech’) and ‘pure’ game developers (who don’t sell ‘tech’, but ‘art’/’media’/…well…’games’) :)