Knowledge: the key to success

Software patents as a restraining influence on the free flow of knowledge

Without a doubt, there are many arguments both for and against the ie of software patents. While many of these arguments are based on a technical framework, there is a more fundamental basis for the rejection of software patents. In essence, software patents act as a restraining influence on the free flow of knowledge.

We often hear of the "information society" being knowledge-based and knowledge-driven. Computer software epitomizes such a paradigm. The code contained within a program is merely a set of instructions based on what is known or can be learned from the hardware available. It is the mechanisms for information input and output through this hardware which enable users to interact with computers, and which differentiates these types of machines from others.

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