EWALD DETJENS

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

EXEMPLAR LOGIC, INCORPORATED

MR. DETJENS:  Thank you.

My name is Ewald Detjens.  I am with Exemplar Logic. Opinions being
expressed are both mine and those of the company.

Thank you very much for holding these meetings in the first place.  It's a
good opportunity to express the views of a large group of people that I
don't think have been really addressed at this point.

I'd like to go through a little bit of the background of myself and the
company, talk a little bit about the history of software and how the patents
have crept into it, then talk about the effect on my industry and talk about
the sort of conflict I see, and finally conclude.

And to not leave you in any suspense, I'll give you the conclusion right up
front, I'd like to make life easier for you, I'd like there to be no
software patents at all, and to back off from the ones that have been
issued.  I think that the copyright/trade secret law as is is totally
effective for my industry and has been working quite well for us.

Exemplar Logic is a startup, it's totally privately_held, self_funded, we've
been boot_strapped up.  We're profitable, it's one of the things you can
still do in software with very minimal money, is to get a software business
going and create a new product in an area that didn't exist before.

We do logic synthesis for field programmable gate arrays, a very dynamic and
emerging segment of semiconductor marketplace right now.  I have been active
in a number of trade organizations, IEEE, ACM, American Association for the
Advancement of Science.  I have written a number op_ed pieces on the area of
software patents, and those have been in electronic magazines like EE Times,
ASIC and EDA. I've gotten a lot of feedback from people in the industry
about this already.

In terms of the history, I think it's pretty clear that the legislative
intent had been to have software be copyrighted and not patented.  And
certainly, the Constitution does not provide any mandate for patents for
software any more than it provides a mandate for patents for literature.

The courts have sort of slowly changed this over the years as the whole
issue of software being integrated into physical machinery created problems
for some people.  I think those problems can be addressed without getting to
the whole general issue of software patents.  I think you can still protect
that machinery with the special_purpose software that's in it without
affecting the rest of the software industry that's been extremely successful
given our current structures.

Now, as I've mentioned, it seems like some of the players here, the
programmers in the world have not been very informed of this process as it's
been happening.  It's been decisions that are out of the realm of your
typical software engineer, and it's been in the realm of the lawyers.  And I
was almost a bit concerned to see the list of people speaking here today
being very dominant on the side of lawyers versus the software people.

I think that certainly the fury you're seeing over the Compton patent is
just the tip of the iceberg, it's a much greater percentage beneath the
surface.  The issues revolving around software patents will be affecting
more and more people as we go on.

In particular, it has some definite effects on my industry.  It's sort of
like changing horses in midstream, so it's very difficult for us to have
things covered both by patent and software, and know exactly what we should
be doing, and to be left with the situation of prior art not in place and
known by the wider public.

I think that if you do have the necessity for doing software patents in the
future, it will certainly slow down the pace of innovation.  It's going to
make programming far harder than it is today.  It's going to drive the cost
of software up. It's going to lock us into old systems for far longer than
we are.  A sort of analogy is, we would be locked into DOS for many years,
into the next century before Windows or something could come out so we could
get rid of some patents so the next generation software could appear.

So some of the people looking at the short term interests in patent __ I
mean certainly, a patent is a good thing because it provides you an unfair
advantage, but you look at the overall industry, I think it's going to
provide very detrimental effects compared to the short term effects some
individuals might see for their company looking in the narrow focus.

Some of this is kind of hard to explain.  I mean, I think there have been
other people that have gotten up in front of you and explained how difficult
software development is, and certainly the state of the art hasn't advanced
a lot in the last few years as far as just pure development is concerned. 
There aren't any magic bullets here going forward.  The systems are getting
more complex and we don't have any tools to deal with the larger complexity
that faces us.  So it's sort of a bleak view for the programmer out there.

COMMISSIONER LEHMAN:  What do you think was the single most important magic
bullet in this industry in the last 20 years?  Was there ever such a thing?
Was there ever an innovation that was just so fundamental that __

MR. DETJENS:  Well, it's kind of hard to say.  There's been a number of
things promoted as being a magic bullet. Certainly, object_oriented
programming, that paradigm has been one recently.  I believe it's a very
effective method of doing programming.  I don't think it's something that
gives you an order of magnitude improvement.  Maybe it makes it twice as
effective or something.  And yet, we're seeing demands on us for providing
systems that are 10 times more complex, detailed than they have been in the
past.

And the average size of a program is going way up in the number of bytes and
the deliverables.  If you look at it, it's incredible.  What used to be
delivered would fit on one little floppy.  And now, for your average word
processor, they include billions of files with it that have all kinds of
added functionality for a huge realm of people.

CD ROMs are sort of an expression of this.  You see many people switching to
CD ROMs.  You can't deliver software effectively on floppies any more,
nobody is going to take 40 floppies and be inserting them just to get going
with their program.

So there doesn't seem to be any magic bullets really on the horizon, and
we're still programming almost as ineffectively as we did in the early '60s
in some sense.

The best thing that has happened has not been a software thing, but it's
been the fundamental hardware has gotten better, and that's helped us out. 
We can do programs, if the hardware speeds up by 10 times, we can deal with
writing a program that's 10 times slower in getting it to market faster.

COMMISSIONER LEHMAN:  Actually, that's what I thought your answer would be
that the hardware, that the magic bullets have tended to be more in
hardware.  And hasn't hardware classically been protected by the patent
system, and most people aren't proposing that that be changed?

MR. DETJENS:  No, no.  I don't think any software engineer would venture
into the realm to say that patents should be backed off for any other type
of thing, certainly not computer hardware at all.

COMMISSIONER LEHMAN:  I didn't want to get you off the track too much.

MR. DETJENS:  No, that's okay.

So one of the interesting things in terms of the op_ed pieces I've been
writing, too, has been the feedback.  And so far it's come down a hundred
percent, a hundred percent.  The people that were pro software patenting
were the programmers out in the profession and the people that were __
excuse me, did I say that correctly?  The people that were against patents
were the software people, and the people that were for patents were the
lawyers.

And this to me is amazing.  I thought it was sort of benign at first, but
the question is who benefits from this?  And the lawyers are driving it
certainly.  You can see that the programmers are getting more and more
annoyed by this kind of thing.

I don't think that Exemplar would really exist the way it does today, if we
didn't __ if we did have software patents in general use, I don't think that
you can boot_strap a company in our industry any more that way.  You would
need far more funding to just prevent against somebody suing you.

Certainly, one of the biggest problems for us is, even if it's an invalid
patent, the onus is on the infringer, which means that somebody has an
invalid patent and they tell me that I can't proceed with my program.  It's
up to me to dig out the prior art, go through a very expensive court
procedure to do something about that.  So that's going to provide just an
incredible negative impact for the sort of garage_shop industry where a lot
of new types of companies have been spawned.

So just in summary, I would like to say that the preference of the majority
of the programmers out there in the world that I have been talking to is
that we should not have software patents.  The copyright/trade secret are
working and are excellent methods for software protection.

Thank you very much.

COMMISSIONER LEHMAN:  Thank you very much.

I would like to next call on Michael B. Lachuck, of Poms, Smith, Lande and
Rose.

COMMISSIONER LEHMAN:  We know when you have four last names you must be a
lawyer.  Michael Lachuck of Poms, Smith, Lande and Rose.


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