In software, especially cutting-edge software like Firefox, every developer is an inventor; coming up with new ways of doing things is not exceptional, it’s what our developers do every single day. Invention created at such a rate does not deserve or benefit from years of monopoly protection. Indeed, it will be crippled if we are forced to play the patent system “to the hilt”, to acquire vast numbers of our own software patents and to navigate the minefield of other people’s patents.
This echoes my instinctual feelings about software patents – where do you even start? So much innovation happens so constantly in software development (ok, and so much reinvention of various wheels not invented here, but that’s another story…) that the patent system as is just doesn’t make sense.