TheMadScientist - 6:06 pm on Mar 3, 2010 (gmt 0)
The problem here is that software patents are more and more covering ideas, not processes.
I don't know, personally, the one I've looked at WRT this thread, referenced above, is much like Harry stated and does not cover everything, and also has some very specific items and behaviors of a process outlined, IMO.
Maybe you think it's more general and I'm thinking it's more specific even though it has a general name, but Harry has a good point when he says it seems the Press and people here think it's more extensive than it is. (I'm really not trying to state your point or position, so don't 'read-between-the-lines' because I'm not sure if you're even referring to the patent I am or if you're referring to the process overall.)
I used the example of covered bridges in another thread. There were at least 10 patents issued for truss designs in covered bridges - many relatively minor variations on prior designs. There was never to my knowledge a patent issued for, "A method to span chasms with a structure of wood beams and a roof..."
I agree with you here, but like I said previously, IMO the patents I've looked at recently are much more specific than they have been made to sound by some of the coverage.
Likewise, the idea of, "How do I make a screen respond to touch so I can eliminate the keyboard?" is hardly worthy of protection.
Yeah, that would be absolutely silly IMO, but in looking at the patent for a while last night it looked like there were some very specific behaviors associated with the 'touch screen' patent Apple holds and it's not nearly as general as the headlines make it sound.
The multi-touch tech does not cover every possible uses of the multi-touch interface used in iPhones.
I agree, so IMO, it does not hamper or hinder development in any way. It simply keeps people from doing it the same way Apple (or whomever received the original patent) did it first.