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static analysis to find software patents

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  • User profile image
    JoshRoss

    Here is an interesting idea that I had. Create a static analyzer to find software patents in the programs that you have written. Anything that isn't patented, you could have the software put together a little summary of your little hack and file a patent for you.

    Thoughts?

  • User profile image
    Bass

    Sounds like something worth patenting.

    It doesn't have to actually work (it would be rather hard to make work, considering software patents are written in legalize and rarely contain any actual code). But no matter, it's only the thought that matters.

    Once some actual software engineer somehow does the work you can sue them for eleventy billion dollars.

  • User profile image
    Bass

    It's worth noting that if you did magically get it to work, you'd be putting yourself in increased liability for it.

    Actually, you shouldn't read patents. That's dangerous. Because if you read a patent and then implemented what it said some time later, you just committed willful infringement. That's a much bigger offense.

    And since there are millions of software patents with very broad coverage, you probably violated many of them in any given software project. It's better to remain willfully ignorant and hope you are obscure enough that the patent trolls don't notice.

  • User profile image
    Proton2

    Read patents that have expired, then your in the clear.

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    , Bass wrote

    It's worth noting that if you did magically get it to work, you'd be putting yourself in increased liability for it.

    Actually, you shouldn't read patents. That's dangerous. Because if you read a patent and then implemented what it said some time later, you just committed willful infringement. That's a much bigger offense.

    And since there are millions of software patents with very broad coverage, you probably violated many of them in any given software project. It's better to remain willfully ignorant and hope you are obscure enough that the patent trolls don't notice.

    That's easy to solve. Simply cut down the feature, only shows what you can patent and what expired patents are in your favor, but, it doesn't show what patents are violated. And the extra patents violation feature will cost extra for big enterprise companies, they are going to get sued either way anyway, so, being ignorant doesn't help.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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  • User profile image
    ManipUni

    @JoshRoss: If you knowingly infringe patents then the damages are significantly higher than doing so unknowingly. So effectively you would be producing software that companies would buy in order to increase their potential liabilities if they ever got sued. Or put another way horrible idea. 

  • User profile image
    Minh

    How do you look for such a innovative operator such as IsNot?

    Patent said:

    Abstract

    A system, method and computer-readable medium support the use of a single operator that allows a comparison of two variables to determine if the two variables point to the same location in memory.

  • User profile image
    davewill

    @Minh: OMG!  Wait.  Maybe I need to do a patent search for putting 3 letters together to make sure I didn't just violate INSANITY!

     

    EDIT: spelling correction

  • User profile image
    Minh

    @davewill:Come to think of it... isn't this prior art?

    void *a, *b;

    ...

    if (a != b) ...

    Although, it did take 3 "inventors" (Paul A. Vick JR., Costica Corneliu Barsan, Amanda Silver) to come up with this "invention", so what do I know?

  • User profile image
    JoshRoss

    , Bass wrote

    It's worth noting that if you did magically get it to work, you'd be putting yourself in increased liability for it.

    Actually, you shouldn't read patents. That's dangerous. Because if you read a patent and then implemented what it said some time later, you just committed willful infringement. That's a much bigger offense.

    And since there are millions of software patents with very broad coverage, you probably violated many of them in any given software project. It's better to remain willfully ignorant and hope you are obscure enough that the patent trolls don't notice.

    If my little program didn't tell you which patents you violated, then you wouldn't have to worry about committing willful infringement.

    But, I would be worried if there wasn't a single patent-able expression in your application.

    -Josh

  • User profile image
    fanbaby

    @Minh: Good find! I believe many Microsoft patents are of equal quality. For example: loading a background image in the, well, background. With this patent Microsoft can sue any browser vendor.

    Who has the money to render these patents trivial (and risk the chance that the courts might think it not trivial.)

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