Today's Gamasutra feature article, spurred by the controversial article regarding software patents
by Ross Dannenburg and Steve Chang that we published last week, presents the answers to the latest Question Of The Week: "Do you agree with the concept of patenting specific video game concepts, either game design ideas or technical innovations?"
Responses ranged from the more seldom positive:
"I see no problem patenting technical innovations to the extent they are novel and unique and advance the state of the art. Obtaining a patent is a long, tedious, and expensive process, that it can be challenged by the examiners and later by others in court. It exposes your idea to the public as the applications and any supporting documents become public documents. Others can use the concepts along with other new ideas to create a new invention that goes significantly beyond your original idea. You can also end up spending endless hours and expense defending your patent once you learn of infringement. Alexander Graham Bell spent the next ten years of his life defending his patent of the telephone."
-Ed Magnin, Magnin & Associates
...to a larger consensus on the negative:
"Software patents slow down innovation and increase the barriers to entry for startup developers. They are overly protective of rich established businesses due to the cost of patent defense. Patents reduce customer choice and bias the market in favor of the richest corporations. Patents don't encourage invention - they stifle it."
-Martin Linklater, Curly Monsters
You can now read the full Gamasutra feature
on the subject (no registration required, please feel free to link to the article from external websites).