People often start from the mistaken notion that patents are a right, or that they are part of our constitutional foundation.

Both these notions run counter to the fundamental idea that laws exist for the betterment of society as a whole, not to make individuals rich. Even the original phrasing of our Constitution clearly states that the ability for Congress to grant exclusive rights to “inventors” is expressly for the purpose of advancing the arts and sciences. It says nothing about any other purpose.

I believe the original wording, and I think it should be taken quite literally. In a world where people needed no economic incentives to come up with ideas, allowing all ideas to be used freely is always equal to or better than applying restrictions  —  hopefully that is self evident. So the question of whether or not to extend patent protection to a field should be exclusively concerned with whether or not it increases the number of and application of good ideas.

Why Software Patents are Bad, Period.
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