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- Software is both human-readable and computer executable and this makes
it unique among patentable artefacts. The requirement that a patentable
invention should make ``a technical contribution'' leads to unnatural
descriptions of software inventions and to inadequate claims.
- There is a need for a patent life cycle that can be used to better
understand the patenting process; in this paper we propose
such a life cycle. Since software developers work worldwide, the patent life
cycle should abstract from specific patenting regimes (EU, US, Japan).
- We propose software life cycles that are patent-aware (defensive),
patent-based (offensive), and IPR-based (includes copyright, patents and
secrecy). They are needed to reconcile software engineering practices with
the patenting system.
- Adopting any patent-related software life cycle increases the costs of
- The fact that patenting of certain computer implemented inventions might be
reasonable should be considered independently from the implications of pure
software patents. New forms for the protection of software inventions should