Thanks, John Dvorak. I hadn’t thought of this.
The venerable an oh-so-cranky columnist for PC Magazine has called, as I have for quite a long time, for the abolition of software patents. Welcome aboard my train, John.
But Dvorak has added something: maybe Mr. Allen doesn’t actually want to win this lawsuit at all. Maybe Paul Allen’s only real goal in filing a lawsuit against almost everybody was to show that software patents are a bad idea.
Even before I used Facebook Patent 7,669,123 on the News Feed to simultaneously show the power of Search Engine Optimization and get up on my software patent soapbox, software patents bothered me. They just don’t make sense; up until the moment that there’s something totally unique and is so described, patents aren’t supposed to be granted. Software rarely gets developed to that point.
I don’t actually believe that Paul Allen is trying to devalue his vast software patent portfolio for the benefit of society, but it’s an intriguing idea. Meantime, I look to Google and the issues they have getting their search engine optimization issues in line. Abuse of search engine optimization is also a software issue, and one that Google is working on in their own way, all the while being criticized for letting bad news count the same as good in their search engine optimization algorithm.
Somehow, I trust Google more than I do the US Office of Patents and Trademarks. As for Paul Allen . . . the jury is (literally) still out.