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Great entry, thanks for bringing up the subject of software patents. I've known some great developers who wouldn't give a second thought to patenting their stuff and others who attempt to patent every stray thought that enters their head, and often succeed.What do you think about big companies that can afford to pay for a lot of patents and then who use them as negotiating chips? So much stuff has gotten patented that as you note many times developers are violating patents and don't even realize it, especially some of the flakier business patents. Where does this leave the smaller companies or individuals who don't have any patents? Many times these are the people who are the source of software innovation.

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