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There is no reason to believe that one unique software patenting regime
can be designed, assuming that one exists at all. Thus many different regimes
should be investigated. For each regime a set of questions has to be settled: what
constitutes prior art, what is an infringement, how to define the particular
'patent speak' and its semantics, definition of the appropriate life cycles,
and so on.
An important step might be to develop a collection op hypothetical software
patents, i.e., rewrites and perhaps simplifications of the software
development history in which known developments are ordered in such a way that
some steps can convincingly be patented. The historical development of
computer software might even be simulated in a game-like fashion in order to
study the impact that some patents (had they existed) might have had.