[Ilugc] Summary of the Workshop at UoM on TRIPS Treaty and Computer
ramanraj.k at gmail.com
Sun Apr 10 22:06:48 IST 2005
Brief highlights of the Workshop on "TRIPS Treaty and Computer Programs
at the Dept. of Legal Studies, UoM on 8th April 2005:
The presentation slides are available at:
Sivasankar started the discussion with the difficulties involved in
testing "program equivalence", giving two short programs, based on the
Goldbach conjecture, calling one as the goldbach (about 7 lines) and the
other the ghost_of_goldbach (about 3 lines that always returns true).
Testing program equivalence is at the heart of any "software patent"
infringement suit, and Shiv proved that it is well impossible to
scientifically research and conclude that two given programs are
equivalent. There are not even any standard rules for scientifically
testing and concluding "program equivalence".
Sivasankar holds a B.Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology,
Madras, and has done M.E. in Computer Science, at IISc., Bangalore. He
has worked for IBM, USA., and has presented several papers on computer
science, and software development. Well, he is a typical expert who may
be called to testify in a "software patent" infringement suit, to
"prove" that a given computer program infringes upon a given "software
patent". From what I understood, no expert can assert on oath that two
programs are "equivalent" or that one is a copy of the other, except
when the two are exact copies.
Murali discussed the various business models used by software entities
to do business.
I basically summarised the recent events touching upon patentability of
software patents under TRIPS that has mostly been discussed to death in
our various mailing lists; and to enliven the proceedings; took the
audience through the recent decision pronounced in Eolas v. Microsoft,
to explain how the system works in the US, and that we should explore
and research the steps that could be taken against the illegitimate
practice of "software patents" which are a barrier against free trade.
I would like to thank Raman who gave a demo, and all the participants
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