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Another example why software patents don't really work. Because most thing software patents cover are not really inventions but ideas. Also the written code is already protected via copyright. That is the difference to a eg. wind mill, the blue prints are only protected by a patent, not by copyright. And it effects only the implementation.

Blue prints are absolutely covered by copyright.

I think that’s what they meant. See “only.”

I mistyped, I wanted to say, that you can create your own blueprints by studying a machine. But when your invention is patented this implementation is protected. But in software it is not about the implementation (because that's already protected via copyright) it is about the idea behind the implementation. Which even prohibits different implementations.

Do you mean the "only" that's followed by "not by copyright?"

Yes, an almost universal trait of human languages is that they include redundancies for error correction. Reread the post the OP is replying to and then read the OP’s comment.

Thanks, Sheldon.

Seriously, let me know if I can help you understand—I’m not sure why you are getting so upset about this.

I apologize if I’ve somehow got you on a bad day and if this is not your usual self.

Can you explain further, that doesn't make sense.

I think the idea is that the blueprint’s copywrite doesn’t give sufficient protection to keep someone from using the invention (since they can reverse-engineer based on the actual machine). Only a patent can actually protect in this case.

What’s the difference between an invention and an idea?

An invention is the implementation of an idea, it can in theory be made. An idea can't be made.

A faster than light drive is an idea. A detailed description of a working physical device that can propel a vehicle faster than light; with sufficient detail that experts can make the device from the description is a potentially patentable invention.

It can be a kind of gray area.

Leonardo da Vinci had the idea of a human powered flying machine. I pretty sure nobody would say that his sketches are an invention. On a second thought, there are so many people around, probably somebody would claim it.


The South Hampton University eventually made it happen centuries later in 1961.


Did they invent it or "just" built it? Probably they could patent parts of the final airplane. I didn't check if they did.

An invention is an actual thing that implements the idea.

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