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That's the "old Europe" view, if I may steal a phrase. Apparently there's a new EU law on patents that's ... I don't know a lot about it, but according to rumour it will make a lot of frivolous patents enforceable.

The issue isn't about frivolous patents being enforceable, but about whether an invention in the software field should be protectable in the same traditional way as inventions in the hardware world are.

The intellectual argument seems to be about whether we should place a patentability dividing line between an invention that can be created and demonstrated purely by a mental reasoning process and an invention that requires mastery of some material behaviour of 'things'.

The utility argument is concerned about the lack of good references to what has been done before ('prior art' in the jargon) to strike down frivolous (that is, not really inventive) software patents; and as far as US patents are concerned, the deference by US courts to grant decisions of the US Patent Office.
European law broadly makes no such presumption of a granted patent's validity.
The quoted site is itself frivolous in that it grossly misrepresents what its authors don't like.

Paul
In bocca al Lupo!
The utility argument is concerned about the lack of good references to what has been done before ('prior art' in ... as far as US patents are concerned, the deference by US courts to grant decisions of the US Patent Office.

"Frivolous" seems to be the wrong word to use here or, rather, it's only a proper subset of non-inventive patents that can be called "frivolous". You'd have to knowingly file something that is anticipated or obvious in view of the prior art for it to be frivolous, I think (and such a thing would fall afoul of US rules).
I think what's really going on with a lot of software-related patents is that the people drafting the patents don't know much from the prior art, and the patent examiners know even less, if that's possible, which results in the granting of a lot of overbroad patents.
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I think what's really going on with a lot of software-related patents is that the people drafting the patents don't ... the patent examiners know even less, if that's possible, which results in the granting of a lot of overbroad patents.

The draftsmen claim as much as they can on the basis that they will be letting their clients down if they neglect to get as wide a patent for the presumed invention as they could.

Paul
In bocca al Lupo!
I think what's really going on with a lot of ... results in the granting of a lot of overbroad patents.

The draftsmen claim as much as they can on the basis that they will be letting their clients down if they neglect to get as wide a patent for the presumed invention as they could.

English Usage Point: Patents are characterized as "broad", not "wide".

Mike Nitabach
The draftsmen claim as much as they can on the ... wide a patent for the presumed invention as they could.

English Usage Point: Patents are characterized as "broad", not "wide".

They are variously characterised as broad, wide, narrow, tightly-drawn, slipshod, covetous, laughable, creative, and watertight. But these descriptions are opinions, unless they are decisions or judgements, in which case they may be reversed on appeal.

Paul
In bocca al Lupo!
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English Usage Point: Patents are characterized as "broad", not "wide".

They are variously characterised as broad, wide, narrow, tightly-drawn, slipshod, covetous, laughable, creative, and watertight. But these descriptions are opinions, unless they are decisions or judgements, in which case they may be reversed on appeal.

I have never heard a patent referred to as "wide" or "covetous" in the United States. Could you give some examples of these uses?

Mike Nitabach
I have never heard a patent referred to as "wide" or "covetous" in the United States. Could you give some examples of these uses?

If the patent application is too wide, covetous, or laughable, and the patent is rejected, then you wouldn't hear about it. No?
If the patent application is too wide, covetous, or laughable, and the patent is rejected, then you wouldn't hear about it. No?

Perhaps not, but it might also be issued and later judged by a court to be invalid.
But use of "wide" in connection with patents seems unidiomatic for AmE.

Steny '08!
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If the patent application is too wide, covetous, or laughable, and the patent is rejected, then you wouldn't hear about it. No?

Perhaps not, but it might also be issued and later judged by a court to be invalid. But use of "wide" in connection with patents seems unidiomatic for AmE.

That's what I'm sayin'. Covetous, too.

Mike Nitabach
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