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Week 6 – Weekly Reflection

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By Leah Korganowski in the group COMP 607: Fall 2015 cohort November 4, 2015 - 10:09pm

Patent laws are so interesting! This week we learnt about Software Patents, which is an ever present issue in software developers lives as well it is an area of complexity as it involves patent laws and technical understanding. 

Our main exercise was to contribute to a Wiki on a case. I decided to start looking for large patent infringements that were technology related. I came across a really interesting case between Akamai and Limelight. The interesting part about this case is that while Limelight only infringed partly on Akamai’s web service technology, the determining factor was that its service allowed users to tag content, which fell under the rest of the infringement of Akamai’s patent. 

This week raised a main question in my mind, of whether software copyrights actually inhibit the ability for technology to grow. Think of it, secluding a set technology to a group to develop on it means that information and idea sharing is limited. It’s been demonstrated through open sourced software, such as Linux, that opening software to the public can have huge benefits such as updates and community building. My main question raised then, should there be a limit to what in software can be patented? Such as down to every last piece of code or should it be the software function in general? I think just the function in general can be patented, but to patent down to every piece of code can limit future developments if people want to use and improve upon the software.


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