CCL: software patents in chemistry?

 Sent to CCL by: Michel Petitjean []
 To: chemistry^
 Subject: CCL: Re: software patents in chemistry?
 Sent to CCL by: Dave Young [dave.young.^]
 > ...
 >1) You can't patent a law of nature, so you can't patent the exact solution
 to the Schrodinger equation, but you can patent a useful approximation method.
 > ...
 I disagree.
 You cannot patent the calculus of pi via some original serie,
 so you cannot patent any approximate calculation of some unknown
 value, set of values, function, etc..
 So, you cannot patent any useful approximation method.
 Moreover, it could be much more difficult to prove that some original
 serie converges to pi rather than to do a minor change in an
 existing algorithm or method solving the Schrodinger equation for
 some system.
 As long as we deal with mathematics (numerical analysis, algorithmic,
 operation research, etc..), nothing should be patented, even if
 there are difficulties to award the discoverer, and discarding
 the difficulties to progress on the mathematical problem.
 If you would like to patent something,
 please do it for some physical device.
 You can copyright or sell a programme calculating pi,
 but please do not restrict the right to use algoritms and methods.
 Michel Petitjean,                     Email: petitjean^
 ITODYS (CNRS, UMR 7086)                      ptitjean^
 1 rue Guy de la Brosse                Phone: +33 (0)1 44 27 48 57
 75005 Paris, France.                  FAX  : +33 (0)1 44 27 68 14