First Internet message

Fred Cisin cisin at
Thu Jan 2 21:38:27 CST 2020

Another only partially related issue was copyright moving from the code 
itself to the "look and feel" of the finished product.

Am I correct that it used to be possible to write a Puck-boy game that was 
hard to tell from it, IF the code was original.  Hence lots of 
"clean-room/double-blind reverse engineering", to produce identically 
functioning products without using, or even seeing, the source code.

I doubt that it was the ONLY case, but that was the issue for Adam 
Osborne's Paperback Software, which made a Lotus clone.

Since then, it has to look different also.
Lotus did not like that the menu choices in Paperback's products were the 
same ones.

Grumpy Ol' Fred     		cisin at

On Thu, 2 Jan 2020, Eric Smith via cctalk wrote:

> On Mon, Dec 30, 2019 at 4:44 AM W2HX via cctalk <cctalk at>
> wrote:
>> software is currently non-patentable. Not sure the order of when it
>> was/wasnt but currently is not.
> I don't know anything about patents in other countries, but in the USA,
> software is _definitely_ patentable, and has been since the 1970s. It was
> ruled in 1853 that an abstract idea apart from its implementation is not
> patentable (O'Reilly v. Morse). However, it has later been considered that
> software is (or at least can be) more than just an abstract idea (Diamond
> v. Diehr 1981).
> What changed recently is that SCOTUS ruled in Alice Corp. V. CLS Bank
> International, 573 U.S. 208 (2014) that taking some existing process or
> business practice and doing exactly the same thing with a computer or
> software involved is NOT a new patentable invention.

More information about the cctalk mailing list