What's wrong with software patents?

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I know that many people come to the FFII—as I did—because they feel a deep sense of injustice at how the smaller players in IT are consistently squashed by special interests and monopolists. But I’m going to look at our core concern—software patents—from a different angle, one based more on economics and less on emotions.

The simple question “what’s wrong with software patents?” stirs up controversy and divides the IT industry into two camps like no other. Every group has their own ideology about software patents. Those who don’t like them claim that they are anti-competitive, that they are tools used by industry giants to crush free and open software, that they are bad for innovation, that they are monopolies, etc. Those who like them claim that they are simply units of intellectual property, to be traded like any other commodity.

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