Mar 22, 2012

Summing up my position on Software Patents to Brazilian Authorities

They [software patents] undermine innovation and thus slows/reverts the improvement of the living conditions of the majority

My email to SAESP regarding the Consultation on Brazilian Guidelines for Patenting Software:

Premise: As the Brazilian government is established as a democracy and therefore is 'for the people', favoring elites, domestic or foreign, is simply a very serious crime that should not be perpetrated.


The mathematical background of software development and its cumulative nature even more than in most other applied sciences, makes the patenting of any algorithm, or grouping of these (and all software can be reduced to groups of algorithms) a major obstacle to the development of thousands of features not imagined by the patent bidder, it already configures an abuse of the monopoly that could be granted.

There is no way to make software patents so specific, in contrast to the widely generic scopes described above to prevent abuse or to assess the real originality of the 'invention', and it just would make the approval process for patents more expensive and lengthier, and the same would happen for the infringement processes, as we see exemplified in the ongoing disputes in the U.S., Europe and Asia, especially in the ​​Mobile arena.

It's a trap, that favors, in the short-term, only a few large corporations, who instead of actually investing in innovation, by collaboratively working on certain fronts to bring down the total cost of invention, spend more on lawyers than engineers to ensure that outdated technologies or marginally better ones stay exclusive for a absurdly long period compared to the pace of innovation needed to meet the needs and desires of the Brazilian society, as well as the global one.

In the medium and long term the very corporations fall on their own trap and now risk losing billions in long processes of dubious legal validity.In conclusion, Brazil has to swim against this suicide tide, unwisely lobbied by transnational corporations, and establish a position against software patents, and adopt measures that effectively can foster increases in the pace and quality of innovation, by the way of information sharing and subsequently ensued collaborative development.

The potential for market differentiation, which is vital to maintain competitiveness, doesn't come from technological innovation per-se but instead from how well finished the final product comes out, especially the expanded products, which aggregate services and easy interoperability as key components.Thanks for listening,Rafael "Monoman" TeixeiraElectronic Engineer (Poli-USP)Systems Developer (for the last 35 years)

* thanks Google Translator for doing the bulk of this translation, fine tuning it afterwards was way easier...
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