by Dennis Crouch
This morning I mentioned one bit of the ongoing software-patent debate to my 9-year-old daughter. I told her that some people argue that the computer is a different machine when it is running Microsoft Word than when it is running her WarriorCat game. As an old Newtonian mechanical engineer, that argument never sits well with me. (I think software is patent-eligible on other grounds). I was surprised that she bought-in to the different-machine argument.
Sure, the box is the same in both situations. But, Microsoft Word obeys me and the the game thwarts my moves. I see them as very different. Its brain changes.
Robin did something here that comes naturally for children — to think about the issue from her perspective as a participant in the activity. The two programs offer very different experiences – and that is what matters to her. It will be interesting to see whether the court’s approach is the same.
In any event, Happy Halloween from my Woodland Elf & Forest Gnome!