I had a debate with Prof Martin J. Adelman last night. He is the Theodore and James Pedas Family Professor of Intellectual Property and Technology; Co-Director of the Intellectual Property Law Program; and Co-Director of the Dean Dinwoodey Center for Intellectual Property Studies at George Washington University Law School.It was organised by a Scottish software industry trade group called ScotlandIS. He was advocating software patents (apparently, and by his own admission, he is one of the rare academics who think software patents are a good thing), I was opposed. Also present were some business people (who I assume were representative of ScotlandIS’s membership), at least one other lawyer (who was actually rather supportive of most of what I said based on his first-hand experience), the organisers, and I think at least one journalist.The two Edinburgh-based CEOs were also present in the round-table discussion, neither of whom had given much consideration to the software patent debate in the past. By the end of the debate both agreed with my position (they said so :).As a result I am hopeful that the ScotlandIS trade group will adopt a policy against the introduction of software patents, that certainly seemed to be the way they were leaning, even before the debate.I also drank so much coffee that my heart is still beating about 50% faster than it normally does almost 20 hours later.