Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 1st Sep 2010 14:26 UTC, submitted by poundsmack
Legal Well, this is kind of funny. Steve Wozniak, still an Apple employee, has defended Paul Allen and patent trolls in general. "I'm not at all against the idea of patent trolls cause I've had friends who just got forced into bankruptcy by bigger people who had more money and could have a lawsuit against them, forced them to be their own lawyers, and in the end, sometimes they're victorious. But it's a real hard way to do it. So if you're going to have a patent and say 'It's worth some money, I'll sell it', well, even if Paul Allen makes a fortune off of it, I think he had the insights to recognize which patents were valuable." Apple is one of the companies Allen is suing.
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Comment by bouhko
by bouhko on Wed 1st Sep 2010 15:52 UTC
bouhko
Member since:
2010-06-24

I've had friends who just got forced into bankruptcy by bigger people who had more money and could have a lawsuit against them, forced them to be their own lawyers, and in the end, sometimes they're victorious. But it's a real hard way to do it.
This is funny. that's the usual argument used to argue against patents. Even if you have one patent and you want to sue Microsoft, they'll probably answer with a 100 patents lawsuit.

So what should the individual inventor do ? Sell his patent to Allen and then Allen gets the money just because he had the insights to recognize which patents were valuable.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by bouhko
by vivainio on Wed 1st Sep 2010 16:48 UTC in reply to "Comment by bouhko"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26


This is funny. that's the usual argument used to argue against patents. Even if you have one patent and you want to sue Microsoft, they'll probably answer with a 100 patents lawsuit.


If you are a proper patent troll, you are not doing anything you could be sued for - so you are basically invulnerable to patent lawsuits.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Comment by bouhko
by ichi on Wed 1st Sep 2010 20:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by bouhko"
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

If you are a proper patent troll, you are not doing anything you could be sued for - so you are basically invulnerable to patent lawsuits.


So was Halliburton's patent application for patent trolling rejected then?
Despite all the prior art that's one patent I'd love to see being granted.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Kasi
by Kasi on Wed 1st Sep 2010 16:37 UTC
Kasi
Member since:
2008-07-12

The issue here is the timing.

Its not like these UI elements they have patents for a new just invented idea. They've been out there and have been used by large companies with widely avaliable products for quite some time.

I think if a patent is to be enforced it should properly be enforced when violations are noted, not once the violators have lot of money and are vested in using the patented method. It is not possible that paul allen has never witnessed any of these google, apple, yahoo, etc products prior to now? So why the long wait between patent and enforcement?

Maybe this is a legal and intended practice for patents - for patent holders to watch people use your patent until you can find a well funded violator to sue for money - but it seems socially trashy.

Reply Score: 2

KJR - I patented it!
by fretinator on Wed 1st Sep 2010 16:46 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

"Striking the patellar tendon with a tendon hammer just below the patella stretches the quadriceps muscles in the thigh. This stimulates stretch sensory receptors (most importantly, muscle spindles) that trigger an afferent impulse in a sensory nerve fiber of the femoral nerve leading to the lumbar region (L4) of the spinal cord. There, the sensory neuron synapses directly with a motor neuron that conducts an efferent impulse to the quadriceps femoris muscle, triggering contraction. This contraction, coordinated with the relaxation of the antagonistic flexor hamstring muscle causes the leg to kick. This reflex helps maintain posture and balance, allowing one to walk without consciously thinking about each step." -- Wikipedia

Of course, some just call it the "Knee-Jerk Reflex".

Reply Score: 2

Come on Woz!
by jrash on Wed 1st Sep 2010 18:21 UTC
jrash
Member since:
2008-10-28

What if 1976 Apple was hit with software patent lawsuits?

For example:

* Method for storing compiled machine code on cassette tape.

* Real-time computer control through an interactive command prompt.

* Method for interpreting computer language statements on low memory computer systems.

* Integer based mathematical calculations for interpreted languages.

* Software control of floppy disks without hardware disk controller.


How dare 1976 Apple violate the patents of these poor trolls! Maybe they should have spent more time researching patents and less time writing illegal software!

Reply Score: 5

RE: Come on Woz!
by l3v1 on Thu 2nd Sep 2010 19:36 UTC in reply to "Come on Woz!"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

I would've modded you up, but:

less time writing illegal software
has the implicit meaning of you being on software patents' side. So I didn't. Unless you really mean illegal by saying illegal, but then the whole thing is meaningless (and that couldn't be modded up either).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Come on Woz!
by jrash on Thu 2nd Sep 2010 19:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Come on Woz!"
jrash Member since:
2008-10-28

I would've modded you up, but: "less time writing illegal software
has the implicit meaning of you being on software patents' side. So I didn't. Unless you really mean illegal by saying illegal, but then the whole thing is meaningless (and that couldn't be modded up either). "

I was being sarcastic.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Come on Woz!
by Zifre on Thu 2nd Sep 2010 21:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Come on Woz!"
Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

has the implicit meaning of you being on software patents' side. So I didn't. Unless you really mean illegal by saying illegal, but then the whole thing is meaningless (and that couldn't be modded up either).

I think it's quite obvious that the whole post was anti-patent sarcasm/humor. And if it were true, it would be illegal. You have the right to not like facts, but you can't dispute them.

I think someone should e-mail that post to Woz. He probably would never see it, and it would make no difference, but it might make someone at Apple feel bad about patents.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Lazarus
by Lazarus on Wed 1st Sep 2010 23:02 UTC
Lazarus
Member since:
2005-08-10

It seems that Steve Wozniak may have lost his mind. I really can't think of anything else to say about this. It is just so very off...

Reply Score: 2

The term "patent troll" is meaningless...
by tomcat on Thu 2nd Sep 2010 01:47 UTC
tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

Whether or not you like patents is irrelevant. That's the system here in the U.S., it was created via our Constitution, and Congress has the power to regulate the USPTO as it sees fit. Want to change it? Great! Get started. Collect a huge chunk of money from your geek friends, and lobby Congress. Because complaining about patents is useless, unless you're willing to do something about it...

{Oh, and by the way, I'm skeptical that lobbying Congress will get you anywhere. There are very entrenched interests with extremely deep pockets who like patents a LOT.}

Reply Score: 2

alexandru_lz Member since:
2007-02-11

Democracy fail :-).

Reply Score: 2

igf1 Member since:
2008-11-17

Patents will see an abrupt turnaround in the near future. People are starting to catch on to the reality of what the insane nature of the system is doing to the economy... Truth be told, patents are nearly useless to the startup/inventor. They only serve trolls, deep pockets and IP Lawyers. The point you make of the Constitution, is an argumentative slight of hand (and a weak one at that), in an attempt to make the modern form of patent insanity seem, somehow, patriotic. The two sentences you, and your ilk keep referring to, could also be subject to the interpretation as Congress MAY allow it, IF it's limited and regulated. It;s not a right BTW, it's not an amendment, it's a little blurb... just as slavery was... just as the 5/8 of a human being was etc..


(Oh BTW If you're one of those

Reply Score: 4

alexandru_lz Member since:
2007-02-11

I find it unlikely that the current patent system in the US is going to change. There's big money to be made there and the people who can afford to do lobbying are not going to pass such a great opportunity.

It's not in the best interest of consumers, technology and development, but the kind of people who decide on this things do not care about consumers, technology or development -- their idea of "long term" spans only as far as "retirement",

Edited 2010-09-02 05:50 UTC

Reply Score: 1

tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

I find it unlikely that the current patent system in the US is going to change. There's big money to be made there and the people who can afford to do lobbying are not going to pass such a great opportunity. It's not in the best interest of consumers, technology and development, but the kind of people who decide on this things do not care about consumers, technology or development -- their idea of "long term" spans only as far as "retirement",


Totally agree. The only way to combat this issue is to bring more money to the table. Like bringing a bazooka to a gunfight.

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Totally agree. The only way to combat this issue is to bring more money to the table. Like bringing a bazooka to a gunfight.

I think the bazooka analogy does better reflect the patent apocalypse scenario, where big patents holders go in a gigantic patent war and end up destroying themselves. Would be a good way to show the absurdity of the current patent system, should it happen...

Reply Score: 2

tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Patents will see an abrupt turnaround in the near future. People are starting to catch on to the reality of what the insane nature of the system is doing to the economy...


I think you're kidding yourself. There are LOTS of inefficiencies in our economy -- inflated union wages, bogus laws and restraints on trade, taxes, affirmative action requirements for govt projects, etc -- and the problem is almost too incomprehensibly big and futile for people to even get a handle on. People don't have any idea how patents are connected to inefficiencies. They tend to be product-focused, and don't care about the details. So, I completely disagree with your assertion.

Truth be told, patents are nearly useless to the startup/inventor. They only serve trolls, deep pockets and IP Lawyers.


Again, disagree. Tell that to Eolas or Stac or any number of smaller plaintiffs who have prevailed over industry Goliaths.

The point you make of the Constitution, is an argumentative slight of hand (and a weak one at that), in an attempt to make the modern form of patent insanity seem, somehow, patriotic.


Thanks for putting words in my mouth. I never suggested it was "patriotic" to support patent law. Just that it's futile to bitch about a system without somehow WORKING WITHIN THAT SYSTEM TO BRING ABOUT CHANGE. You seriously think that the supposed "superiority" of your argument is going to, in itself, bring about change? That's the disconnect I'm talking about.

The two sentences you, and your ilk keep referring to, could also be subject to the interpretation as Congress MAY allow it, IF it's limited and regulated. It;s not a right BTW, it's not an amendment, it's a little blurb... just as slavery was... just as the 5/8 of a human being was etc..


I'm not sure why you're trying to conflate my argument. Let me break it down again: First, Congress has the power under the Constitution to regulate inventions/patents. Period. You can't argue with that statement. Second, Congress exercised that power and created the USPTO. Third, and as I said in my original post, Congress has the power to UNDO anything that it's already done. All that it's going to take is for geeks such as yourself to band together, raise enough lobbying capital to push through change, and then celebrate.

I'm not debating the "patriotism" or "usefulness" of patents. As I've noted, smaller plaintffs have benefitted from patent protections (not just trolls), there is a system in place which would need to be changed via LEGISLATION, and if enough people care about the issue, they can bring about change. But I wouldn't bet on it.

Which means that bitching, while satisfying on an emotional level, doesn't amount to squat, if that's all you have.

Reply Score: 2

It's rising the charts as we speak
by fretinator on Thu 2nd Sep 2010 17:43 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

Winter, spring, summer or fall
Give your idea to Paul
And he'll be right there, oh yeah
'Cause you got IP

You just call out his name
And you know, he has no shame
And he'll be right there, oh yeah
'Cause you got IP

Reply Score: 2

Patens are for IBM...
by lordepox on Thu 2nd Sep 2010 20:04 UTC
lordepox
Member since:
2010-04-14

I agree with the statement that patents are NOT for small time individuals and companies. Over the years as a student I have invented a few gadgets and software, but when looking into a patent for such things I just gave up. A patent "application" costs over a thousand dollars, and a patent search can cost tens of thousands. This is how MIT, Stanford, and big companies get their patents, enslaved interns and doctoral students. I might be able to revolutionize the world in 2 lines of code, but I'm eating ramen definitely don't have the money for a patent lawyer!

The patent system needs to change. It's lost the vision of why it was started. All it does is protect big companies with deep pockets n

Reply Score: 2

Eddyspeeder
Member since:
2006-05-10

I think the video subtitle "Steve Wozniak weighs in" says it all.

Reply Score: 1

Strange but....
by siraf72 on Sun 5th Sep 2010 10:19 UTC
siraf72
Member since:
2006-02-22

lets not forget that the Woz is an inventor. He probably sees allot more value in patents than people on this site?

Reply Score: 1