Friends, inventors, countrymen, lend me your ears

I come to bury software patents, not to praise them. The evil that invalid patents do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.

So let it be with software patents. The noble reformers have told you software patents were ambiguous: If it were so, it was a grievous fault, and grievously have software patents answer'd it. Here, under leave of the reformers and the rest — for the reformers are honorable people; so are they all, all honorable people — come I to speak at software patents' funeral.

Software patents were our friends, the engine of innovation and progress. But the reformers say software patents were ambiguous; and the reformers are honorable people. Software patents have brought much value to our tech sector, whose ransoms did the general coffers fill: Did this in software patents seem ambiguous? When that the startups have cried, software patents have wept: ambiguity should be made of sterner stuff: Yet the reformers say software patents were ambiguous; and the reformers are honorable people.

You all did see that at the Patent Office software patents were thrice approved, which the reformers did thrice put by: was this ambiguity? Yet the reformers say software patents were ambiguous; and, sure, they are honorable people. I speak not to disprove what the reformers spoke, but here I am to speak what I do know.

You all did love software patents once, not without cause: what cause withholds you then, to mourn for them? O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts, and engineers have lost their reason. Bear with me; my heart is in the coffin there with software patents, and I must pause till it come back to me.

But yesterday the claims of software patents might have stood against the world; now lie they there, and none so poor to do them reverence. O engineers! if I were disposed to stir your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage, I should do the reformers wrong, and the lawmakers wrong, who, you all know, are honorable people: I will not do them wrong; I rather choose to wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you, than I will wrong such honorable people.

Let but the commons hear this testament — which, pardon me, I do not mean to read — and they would go and kiss dead software patents' wounds and dip their napkins in their sacred blood, yea, beg a hair of them for memory, and, dying, mention it within their bankruptcy pleadings, bequeathing it as a rich legacy unto their creditors.

Have patience, gentle friends, I must not read it; it is not meet you know how dearly software patents loved you. You are not wood, you are not stones, but engineers; and, being engineers, bearing the will of software patents, it will inflame you, it will make you mad: 'Tis good you know not that you are their heirs; for, if you should, O, what would come of it!

But here's a parchment with the seal of the United States Patent & Trademark Office; Let but the public eye this testament, and it shall appear how dearly software patents loved them. The reformers say software patents were ambiguous, and the reformers are honorable people.

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