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Software is Abstract


A wake-up call to the Supreme Court of the United States and the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Software is an idea, expressed in a human-created mathematical language. If I wrote a compiler for the english language, it would be no different, only harder. Could I then patent this paragraph, assuming it instructed a computer to do something useful?
It is possible to show that software is abstract with references to the underlying mathematical aspects. This is not, however, the topic for this article. The argument is presented without any assumption as to whether or not software is mathematics. I work from the observation that a mathematical calculation solving a mathematical problem is abstract. Then I look at what makes it abstract. Then I observe that the exact same logic is applicable to all software whether or not the law sees it as an algorithm as defined by Benson. This is not surprising. Software is mathematics and this makes it abstract, but I don't use or rely on this fact in making the arguments in this article.
 read more | mail this link | score:4359 | -Ray, October 11, 2010
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