[PeerToPatent Australia] Invitation

Richard B. Kreckel kreckel at ginac.de
Mon Jan 4 00:44:06 CET 2010


Pedro Gimeno wrote:
> I've taken a look at the patent; it's already filed in the U.S. with 
> number 7,523,150.

So I've taken a little bit of time to read that patent.

Gosh, almost exactly ten years ago I had working C++ code that *exactly* 
implemented this patent and the ring operations on numbers stored 
thusly! I've not followed this further because I became convinced that 
striving for an internal representation of numbers that closely 
resembles decimal representation is not at all worth it: conversion is 
best done during I/O and it's only O(M(N)*log(N)) anyways, so what the heck.

Really, this is nothing more than a brain fart. There may be reasons to 
use decimal numbers in accounting. But for science and engineering it's 
pointless. Also, in April 2007, we've discussed the pros and cons of 
decimal internal representation on this mailing list and dismissed it. 
(If you read closely, you'll also find the idea of the patent sketched 
in that thread!)

The only sad thing is that, apparently, brain farts have become 
patentable. And this really sucks: The authors of the patent even 
cheekily mention the Chen-Ho and densely packed decimal (of IEEE 
754-2008 fame) encodings and the stupid examiner at the patent office 
apparently failed to realize that their "invention" is nothing more than 
a straightforward generalization from 10 binary digits to 8, 16, 32, 64, 
or whatever the machine's word size, wrapped into overblown "patentese" 
that makes even simple maths sound complex. (I wonder if the examiner 
ever read the references.)

IMHO, the lesson of all this is a confirmation of what's been said 
before: Fighting individual patents is a complete waste of time. Waiting 
for patent examiners to become enough "skilled in the art" to penetrate 
the smug babble of patent trolls is futile, too. It is the patent 
system, that has to be changed!

And now I feel silly for having wasted my valueable time reading this, 
erhem, embarrasing piece of trash written by a "beginner in the art".

Good night, folks!
Richard B. Kreckel

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