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## #26 - Global Reference, Must Be True, Subject Perspective

• PowerScore Staff
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• Joined: Feb 02, 2011
#91391
Complete Question Explanation

The correct answer choice is (D).

This explanation is still in progress. Please post any questions below!
Fightforthat170
• Posts: 16
• Joined: Oct 22, 2021
#91786
Hi yall,

I was struggling between A and D, and eventually went with A. I thought they could both be true.

I eventually went with A because I thought the distinction made in D "algorithms and the specific way in which a software expresses them" is never made by "the proponents of the software patents" but only by the author. However, maybe I mis-interpreted something or misread some parts of the passage.

I actually have the same doubt for A. I don't think the patent proponents ever compared which part of the algorithms is more "inventive," however if we were to eliminate A on this premise, shouldn't we also eliminate D as well?

atierney
• PowerScore Staff
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#91814
Hello,

Keep fighting man. We, at PowerScore, are definitely here for you! I agree you that A's comparison of the inventiveness between the computer code v. underlying algorithm not only is not supported in the passage, but also kind of runs counter to what one would to be the programmer's argument. Shouldn't the design of the process of the code itself, that is the underlying algorithm, be the more inventive aspect, since this would give it the stronger case for patent protection? It seems like A is somewhat of an opposite answer, and at the very lest, a Shell Answer.

Now, in terms of D, this would an answer that one might expect without really reading the passage. In other words, if I'm a programmer, I want as much protection as you can give me for my programs! Protect everything! Thus, you would have to have evidence that ran contrary to this somewhat sensible notion explicitly stated in the passage itself, to not select this answer.

And I think on those grounds, it's the easiest to see why D is the clear winner here. Let me know if you have further questions on this.
ashpine17
• Posts: 326
• Joined: Apr 06, 2021
#97904
isn't c iterally stated word for word in the passage though?
Robert Carroll
• PowerScore Staff
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#98276
ashpine17,

Where exactly is that stated word for word? I don't see it myself. Let us know!

Robert Carroll
Obamapapa
• Posts: 3
• Joined: Dec 21, 2023
#106791
atierney wrote:Hello,

Keep fighting man. We, at PowerScore, are definitely here for you! I agree you that A's comparison of the inventiveness between the computer code v. underlying algorithm not only is not supported in the passage, but also kind of runs counter to what one would to be the programmer's argument. Shouldn't the design of the process of the code itself, that is the underlying algorithm, be the more inventive aspect, since this would give it the stronger case for patent protection? It seems like A is somewhat of an opposite answer, and at the very lest, a Shell Answer.

Now, in terms of D, this would an answer that one might expect without really reading the passage. In other words, if I'm a programmer, I want as much protection as you can give me for my programs! Protect everything! Thus, you would have to have evidence that ran contrary to this somewhat sensible notion explicitly stated in the passage itself, to not select this answer.

And I think on those grounds, it's the easiest to see why D is the clear winner here. Let me know if you have further questions on this.
I can't seem to find a line item reference for this. Where would you quote from the passage to justify this answer?
Jeff Wren
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#106830
Hi Obamapapa,

Since this question is asking what can be inferred from the passage, you won't find Answer D stated verbatim in the passage, although there are several places in the passage that provide support for this answer.

First, at the end of the first paragraph, the author states that while most legal commentators agree that copyright law has been effective, "some contend that patent protection is also needed to combat copycatting" (my emphasis). This second group are the proponents of software patents mentioned in the question.

As discussed in the final paragraph of the passage, "copyright protects only the particular way in which the underlying ideas are expressed." In other words, copyright laws already protect the specific way in which software programs express algorithms. Since the proponents of software patents want patent protection in addition to the protection under copyright laws, they want additional protections.

What else do these proponents want the patent laws to protect? The algorithms themselves. This is discussed in the second paragraph. "Proponents of software patents assert that in providing a specific way of achieving a desired result, the encoding of algorithms is analogous to the design of a process." While this sentence can be a bit confusing, what the proponents are arguing is that the algorithms themselves should be covered under patent protection just like process designs are. (Of course, the author disagrees with them.)

Putting all of these clues together, we can infer that the proponents of software patents think that the algorithms and the specific way that the algorithms are expressed in a software program should be protected. In other words, they want all of the legal protections that they can get.
Catallus
• Posts: 17
• Joined: Jun 19, 2024
#108076
I struggled with choosing (D) here—namely, arriving at the conclusion that the proponents want to protect algorithms themselves in addition to the specific "expressions of algorithms in encoded form" (last paragraph). We know, as per the second paragraph, that "[P]roponents . . . assert that . . . the encoding of algorithms is analogous to the design of a process." So, it certainly makes sense to say that the proponents want the specific expressions (i.e., encoded form) of algorithms to be protected!

But I think taking that sentence to mean that proponents want the algorithm themselves—the series of steps, not yet expressed in encoded form—to be protected, too. All we know is that the proponents see the encoding of an algorithm as analogous to the (patentable) design of a process—but process designs, like encoded algorithms, seem to involve two components. The design—e.g., the specific way of inducing the chemical reaction—is patentable, but that doesn't mean that the process itself—the chemical reaction itself—is patentable. So the proponents' analogy to process designs, in my view, only seems to support a belief that specific encoding (analogous to the design) ought to be patentable, not necessarily that the algorithm (analogous to the process) should be, too.

Any thoughts on how I could better understand this answer?
Dana D
• PowerScore Staff
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• Joined: Feb 06, 2024
#108265
Hey Catallus,

This is a tricky one - the support for answer choice (D) is in the fact that there are two contending viewpoints in this passage, which can be difficult to spot. There is the author's, and that of pro-patent people. In paragraph two, as you identified, the passage explicitly says patent proponents care about the application of algorithms. In the third paragraph, however, the author is pushing back against the use of patents and says that protecting the expression of algorithms only is what matters, the algorithms themselves don't need to be protected. The author says "patent protect the underlying design of an invention, even if it is never used, while copyrights..." in this case, the 'underlying design' would be the algorithm themselves, and therefore pro-patent people would want the algorithms themselves to be protected.

Another strategy here is to follow Powerscore's strategy for contender and loser answer choices. If answer (D) doesn't seem 100% right on the first read, compare it to the other contender answer choices. Answer (D) might not seem like a standout option on its own, but compared to the other options here I think it's pretty clear the patent proponents are most likely to agree with.

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