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As long time readers of this blog know, I’m strongly against software patents. Succinctly, I think they are (a) invalid constructs, (b) totally unnecessary, and (c) a massive tax on and retardant of innovation.
More and more of my VC brethren are beginning to come out publicly against them as are many extremely well respected long time software innovators. So I was amazed to start hearing a statistic being thrown around that 76% of Venture Capitalist Believe that Patents are Important. My partner Jason Mendelson dug in, figured out what was going on, and wrote a very important post titled 76% of Venture Capitalists Believe that Patents are Important (NOT!) explaining that it’s a totally invalid conclusion from a recent study.
In additional “c’mon guys, software patents are invalid” news, there’s a great short movie that was supported by the Free Software Foundation called Patent Absurdity. It explores the case of software patents and the history of judicial activism that led to their rise, and the harm being done to software developers and the wider economy.
The film is based on a series of interviews conducted during the Supreme Court’s review of in re Bilski (which I attended in person) — a case that could have profound implications for the patenting of software. It’s really good and worth 29 minutes of your life.