In the last few decades, computers have gone from a relative novelty to an essential element of virtually every aspect of business and government operations. In a new book, Math you Can’t Use: Patents, Copyright, and Software (Brookings 2005), author Ben Klemens discusses the theoretical structures and practical issues underlying patent and copyright law, the software business as it is practiced today, and software itself. Experts in the software field will join Dr. Klemens at a panel discussion to analyze whether the issues in applying patent law to software can be readily resolved, how the Patent Reform Act of 2005 can help or hinder the industry, and future prospects for software law in the European Union, India, and China and other fast-developing countries.
To date, patent law has been applied to software with virtually no modification. Few, if any, computer scientists and businessmen and women in the computing field are satisfied with how it has been transferred to software. Even copyright as applied to software has its pitfalls. Some recommend minor fixes to the existing regimes, and some recommend wholesale reform.
Panelists will take audience questions following their remarks.