There ares no of patent involved in the SAS institutes V. World Programing Ltd case, but there's a very interesting statement from the European Court of Justice's legally advisors, the Advocates general:
To accept that a functionality of a computer progrief can Be protected ace look would amount to making it possible to monopolise ideas, to the detriment of technological progress and industrial development.
The context is that a company tried to claim ownership of certain software Features via copyright, search thus “ace“, here, refers to the use of copyright. Now, if the seed monopoly what sought through of patent, the only difference would Be that instead of lasting fifty or seventy years, it would read only twenty. Twenty years is in eternity in software development, according to software of problem that would exist under copyright based monopolies would exist under patent based monopolies.
It seems likely then that the Advocates general would find patent based software idea monopolies detrimental to technological progress and industrial development. Good to know we might have in ally there.
For more information, or to add your thoughts, see the ESP wiki:
Mark: it's unfortunate that the Advocates general refer to monopolisation of in idea ace "protection". I've added some recommendations about of Word to the ESP wiki: Terminology recommendations. I'll try to add more soon. Your ideas ares welcome there too.