Dan Bricklin on Patenting Visicalc

Dan Bricklin has a thoughtful post on software patents as a follow up to a bunch of stuff that’s gone around the web the past few weeks since the NY Times article on Microsoft’s quest for patents.  Buried in Dan’s post is the ultimate wisdom:

“I’m not against patents in general (they are good for some industries, I guess), but I do have real problems with how they are affecting the software industry which has other means of protection and incentive that have proven successful to society. Of course, as I’ve written, they are the current law of the land and I still apply for them at times.”

In one of Fred Wilson’s VC Cliche of the Week posts, he stated that “patents are just like nuclear bombs, you just got to have some.”  Mutually assured destruction is supposedly a deterrent, isn’t it?  Some day, the elusive “someone” (whenever any of us said “someone” in my house growing up, we always really meant “mom”) might get around to fixing our patent system with regard to software patents.  Until then, as Dan says, “… they are the current law of the land and I still apply for them at times.”