kaled - 12:48 pm on Jul 3, 2010 (gmt 0)
Whilst I support patenting of software, it seems that some patent applications are not really software, rather they are about formats and protocols. Since most file formats and communication protocols include mostly arbitrary decisions (albeit, with a goal in mind) it's hard to see any justification for these. For example...
If I were to reinvent the wheel and come up with a super-wheel, whilst an implementation would include arbitrary choices of materials and dimensions, etc. the patent would not rely upon such details. This being the case, it seems to me that this simple test could determine the patentability of ideas.
Using a familiar example...
The zip file format itself is arbitrary therefore not patentable.
The compression methods used (primarily deflate) are not arbitrary and are therefore patentable, however
The decompression methods available are arbitrary therefore not patentable.
Thus a zip file creator might require a license but a zip file reader would not.
Taking http as an example, since all decisions with respect to this format were taken arbitrarily, this would not be patentable.
Taking image compression, a browser which merely displays images would not require a license but an image editor that creates new images might.
Does this seem sensible to other people?