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Creative Process and Intellectual Property Protection in Quantum Software Development

QuantumPath® is the first platform to apply and propose to its users, for more than three years, the best practices of Quantum Software Engineering through its qIDE (Quantum Integrated Development Environment):

·       software lifecycle management (ALM)

·       100% vendor quantum technology agnostic

·       support for multiple technology approaches

·       graphical tools for the development of quantum algorithms for different technology approaches

·       architecture and tools for hybridization of classical IT with quantum IT

·      

As we are pioneers in the application of Quantum Software Engineering to the development of industry-ready professional software, we do not usually have practical references, which has conditioned that, for example, the QuantumPath® architecture is unique [1] and, therefore, most of the technological pieces and technical solutions that make it possible for developers to easily use it are original. Everything, absolutely everything we mention and describe in our books, articles, posts, conferences, etc., is about ready-to-use software for professional quantum software development, about software that exists.

That is why we do not usually talk about the future elements contained in our technology roadmap for the next five years, because at that point, except in our planning and vision for the development of our quantum software solutions and services, they simply do not exist, and our users and readers deserve all the respect and rigor about what we really offer to the market at any given time.

In our case, creation usually starts from ideas and visions based on accumulated knowledge and, to a considerable extent, on the experience accumulated over decades of providing professional software services to organizations, from hours of discussions duly enriched with a huge dose of tenacity dedicated to the pursuit of results. Even with all this, in a field as disruptive as quantum software, it is not always possible to create something really useful for the development of quantum software systems. The creative process in the field of quantum software is so high that when we announce new tools and/or functionalities of our platform for quantum software development we are forced to define new concepts or ways of referring to them, always instantiated to the quantum and/or hybrid field (e.g. qIDE, qALM, QAgnostics, QHybrid, qSOA, …), some so indisputably original that they have even become trademarks, but always based on a deep knowledge and, above all, on our own more than demonstrable results.

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As creators of original technologies, products, methods, tools, and services for the development of industry-ready quantum/classical software systems, we know the enormous difficulties involved in the creative process, how elusive and even frustrating it can be not to achieve the desired result and, for all that, the incalculable satisfaction and intellectual value of the creations for their authors. Hence, the least we as authors expect and demand for all that effort is respect for the originality and intellectual property of our creations.

That is why we are proud and grateful that some colleagues take our work as a reference and quote us (which is not uncommon), and often that our definitions and expressions are very quickly used by third parties as valid to describe certain processes and services in their publications. But we are also annoyed that some systematically copy what we do without any modesty. And, above all, that they do so without complementing it with the actual content that gives rise to our announcements, terms, brands and expressions: the existing technologies and tools for quantum software development.

However, much euphoria or pressure some feel to showcase advances in quantum software development, not everything goes for the sake of appearing to be creative and at the forefront of quantum software development. Not having the capacity to create, or if the one you have is not very relevant, in no case justifies launching marketing campaigns however well-orchestrated they may be, based on the unilateral appropriation of what others create. To act in this way, moreover, is to deceive.

We consider it very important to respect colleagues and their intellectual property, as well as to be meticulous in what we say to users in order to avoid false expectations. Being patient and cautious in what we say and how we say it should also be values of the nascent quantum industry, especially when we lack truly novel ideas and new contributions. Let us not let good intentions prevent us from seeing the forest in its full extent and, therefore, speaking of forests, let us not accept that some pretend to put into practice the discourse of democratisation of access to quantum computing by acting, in their sole interest, like an outdated version of the classic Robin Hood.

In quantum computing, knowledge and the titanic effort to materialise the results are essential to the success of its most rapid adoption. That is why we are of the opinion that we can never thank and acknowledge enough the pioneers of the industry (in particular IBM in gate-based computing, and D-Wave in annealing) for their consistent commitment to quantum computing since decades before it became, largely thanks to their work, very attractive, unleashed the individual “quantum ego” (as a good friend defines this well) and gave rise to the unstoppable and constant “stream” of events on quantum computing to go and show off. This event thing is very curious, given that the speed of creation in quantum computing (which in our opinion is very good), does not even remotely justify the quantity, massiveness, and cadence of this type of activity, which is increasingly leading to the repetition of the content of many presentations and the high risk of generating boredom among the attendees due to the lack of real novelties.

As in any area of life, in quantum computing, sharing knowledge is not necessarily giving it away. To use what is generously shared with us, properly referenced, is to acknowledge the efforts of others and to respect intellectual property rules. It is therefore worth pointing out, for those who are inappropriately “applying” the principles of superposition and entanglement to the business of quantum computing, that copying in this industry without referencing is also ethically and morally deplorable and could even constitute a crime if proven to be so.

We therefore say no to any form of plagiarism and unauthorised and unethical use of knowledge and intellectual property in quantum computing. Yes, to recognition in all its forms, to support and respect for all those who devote their time to research, create and deliver results that facilitate and accelerate the useful practical application of quantum computing.

[1]  QuantumPath® is designed and developed by QST, who holds all rights reserved under Patent Pending. https://www.quantumpath.es/about/