Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 5th Jul 2011 22:12 UTC
Microsoft "One of Microsoft's hottest new profit centers is a smartphone platform you've definitely heard of: Android. Google's Linux-based mobile operating system is a favorite target for Microsoft's patent attorneys, who are suing numerous Android vendors and just today announced that another manufacturer has agreed to write checks to Microsoft every time it ships an Android device. Microsoft's latest target is Wistron Corp., which has signed a patent agreement 'that provides broad coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio for Wistron's tablets, mobile phones, e-readers and other consumer devices running the Android or Chrome platform', Microsoft announced." That's the reality we live in, folks. This is at least as criminal - if not more so - than Microsoft's monopoly abuse late last century. After the Nortel crap, it's completely left the black helicopter camp for me: Microsoft, Apple, and several others are working together to fight Android the only way they know how: with underhand mafia tactics. Absolutely sickening. Hey Anonymous, are you listening? YES I WENT THERE.
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v Patents are patents
by gedmurphy on Tue 5th Jul 2011 22:33 UTC
RE: Patents are patents
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 5th Jul 2011 22:39 UTC in reply to "Patents are patents"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I happen to be against software patents. They are pure evil. Software is properly protected by copyright. Patenting math is criminal.

Reply Score: 18

RE[2]: Patents are patents
by leos on Tue 5th Jul 2011 22:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Patents are patents"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

I happen to be against software patents. They are pure evil. Software is properly protected by copyright. Patenting math is criminal.


I'm also against it, but I can't fault Microsoft for exercising what they seem to believe are their rights. Not knowing anything about the patents involved I must assume they are valid and thus Microsoft is within their rights to go after people they think are violating them.

Of course it's a scumbag move, but the problem is the patent system, not the people legally using it. Maybe this kind of situation will force patent overhaul sooner rather than later.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Patents are patents
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 5th Jul 2011 22:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Patents are patents"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

They may be within their rights according to the law - but just because something's a law doesn't make it right.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Patents are patents
by BluenoseJake on Tue 5th Jul 2011 23:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Patents are patents"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

They aren't killing Android, they are profiting from it, if it's bringing in millions a year, for absolutely no effort, MS would be stupid to do anything other than rattle a few cages, and make money for nothing, chicks for free. They rattled them for years against Linux, and it came to nothing, it'll come to nothing now.

Let them make their money, Android will survive anyway. Calling for an illegal response to something that is not identifiably illegal, now that's wrong. Wrong or right, MS is operating in the bounds of the legal system, it may be sleazy, but it might just be legal.

Calling on Anonymous isn't going to change the laws, but with MS money hunting the perpetrators, it will get some people arrested.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Patents are patents
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 5th Jul 2011 23:17 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Patents are patents"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You do realise that was tongue-in-cheek right? I thought the 'I went there' made that oretty clear.

Reply Score: 0

RE[6]: Patents are patents
by lucas_maximus on Tue 5th Jul 2011 23:24 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Patents are patents"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

The the problem with the internet Thom, easy to misinterpret, there is no body language.

... "Yes I went there" ... suggests to me ... that you are actually pretty serious ... as in you are preparing to "go to the extreme" ...

Edited 2011-07-05 23:25 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: Patents are patents
by Flatland_Spider on Wed 6th Jul 2011 00:10 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Patents are patents"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

"I went there" means your serious. "I went there" mean you pointed out the elephant in the room that everyone has been avoiding talking about.

An I went there moment would be pointing out MS is working within the legal system, and they are doing what they can to maximize profits for their shareholders, which is the correct thing for them to do.

The joke also failed because some organization like Anonymous maybe the only way to get action on the issue of patent reform. No one is going to do us this favour, so we should probably get out there and do something.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Patents are patents
by senshikaze on Wed 6th Jul 2011 01:30 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Patents are patents"
senshikaze Member since:
2011-03-08


An I went there moment would be pointing out MS is working within the legal system, and they are doing what they can to maximize profits for their shareholders, which is the correct thing for them to do.

profit at the expense of the mobile ecosystem and at the expense of smaller companies that have done nothing illegal is not correct in any sense. If this was a school, it would be called bullying and would be stopped. The same things we tell children to not do we reward in business.
God save America.

Reply Score: 4

RE[7]: Patents are patents
by orestes on Wed 6th Jul 2011 14:02 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Patents are patents"
orestes Member since:
2005-07-06

An "organization" like Anonymous will get action going alright, into more pervasive IP laws to protect corporate interests. I'm very much afraid the only way to "fix" it is to let it deteriorate to the point the suits themselves start begging for reform. That or somehow convince people en masse to stop consuming the crap shoveled at us.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Patents are patents
by flanque on Wed 6th Jul 2011 07:42 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Patents are patents"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

That was your tongue?

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Patents are patents
by BluenoseJake on Wed 6th Jul 2011 09:11 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Patents are patents"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

It doesn't read "tongue-in-cheek" at all, it reads pissed off.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Patents are patents
by lemur2 on Tue 5th Jul 2011 23:39 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Patents are patents"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

They aren't killing Android, they are profiting from it, if it's bringing in millions a year, for absolutely no effort, MS would be stupid to do anything other than rattle a few cages, and make money for nothing, chicks for free. They rattled them for years against Linux, and it came to nothing, it'll come to nothing now. Let them make their money, Android will survive anyway. Calling for an illegal response to something that is not identifiably illegal, now that's wrong. Wrong or right, MS is operating in the bounds of the legal system, it may be sleazy, but it might just be legal. Calling on Anonymous isn't going to change the laws, but with MS money hunting the perpetrators, it will get some people arrested.


Gambling is legal too in many juisdictions, but people still get ripped off.

It is perfectly legitimate for people to complain against gambling, and try to get it banned, because it harms people. One could argue that this is the only humanitarian, moral thing to do.

Just because they system allows big business to rip people off is no reason why people should not complain about it and try to get it (example gambling) made illegal, or at least heavily constrained so that people are not harmed, as it should be.

Quite a good parallel exists with software patents.

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: Patents are patents
by lucas_maximus on Wed 6th Jul 2011 00:15 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Patents are patents"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Gambling is legal too in many juisdictions, but people still get ripped off.


Nobody forced them to gamble ... they didn't get ripped off ... most Casinos even explain the odds of you winning at any particular game ... if they still continue ... knowing that the odds are stacked against you ... that is their fault.

It is perfectly legitimate for people to complain against gambling, and try to get it banned, because it harms people. One could argue that this is the only humanitarian, moral thing to do.


If you are talking about the problems of addiction they are too complex to talk here ... but ...

Many things in life one can get addicted to and it can be harmful ... Food, Alcohol, Sex, Drugs etc etc ... should we ban them all?

Every adult is responsible for theirselves ... Children should be protected from these things ... but adults make their own choices ... and everyone has a choice how much they want to indulge in these things, if at all.

Just because they system allows big business to rip people off is no reason why people should not complain about it and try to get it (example gambling) made illegal, or at least heavily constrained so that people are not harmed, as it should be.


No-one is forcing anyone to go into a casino, bookmakers or sit at a fruitmachine ... much like nobody forces an alcoholic to go to the off-license.

Nobody is ripping anyone off.

Quite a good parallel exists with software patents


No it doesn't.

Edited 2011-07-06 00:23 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Patents are patents
by lemur2 on Wed 6th Jul 2011 00:45 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Patents are patents"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Nobody forced them to gamble ... they didn't get ripped off ... most Casinos even explain the odds of you winning at any particular game ... if they still continue ... knowing that the odds are stacked against you ... that is their fault.


Most people have a regretably limited understanding of mathematics. Even some people who are reasonably good at arithmentic are still susceptible to the illusion that they might win at gambling. I am still amazed that people can walk in to a magnificent, opulent, extravagant casino and be impressed, somehow utterly missing the fact that it is gambler's money that pays for the extravagence. "Voluntary taxation" is how I like to think about it.

But anyway ... people can, and do, complain about gambling, even though as I pointed out, it is legal in many jurisdictions. This is the main point to take away ... one should not moan and complain that some people campaign against legal gambling, because there is good reason for those complaints, and many people are demonstrably harmed from the gambling industry.

The parallels with software patents are pretty clear. There is an alternative software industry called FOSS that pays programmers, produces innovative world-class software and reduces costs for everyone. The potential economic benefit to the entire economony is absolutely enormous. Software patents could kill this golden goose ... yet there are people still who somehow champion software patents. That is rather like barracking for the casino bosses and saying "ha ha" to the gamblers who suicide ...

In order to counter the argument that software patents are an economic burden rather than an economic boon (as some people like to pretend), you must read, understand and make intelligent comment on these topics:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_scarcity
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deadweight_loss

Until you demonstrate a point against these concepts, you have NOT established any case for software patents.

Edited 2011-07-06 00:51 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Patents are patents
by Flatland_Spider on Wed 6th Jul 2011 00:27 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Patents are patents"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

I think the analogy is backwards.

What we're talking about a prohibition on the use of ideas. Once something is prohibited, only the criminals and the corrupt benefited, and that is what we are seeing with software patents. The big businesses form cartels to collect money for the right use ideas, and they use fear and implied litigation to keep competitors off of their turf. All of this is fueled by a prohibition on the use of ideas. Take away the prohibition, and you take away the tools the cartels use to hold on to their market share.

You can't legislate human nature, but you can tax it and make a mint off of that golden goose. Legalizing gambling takes it out of shady backrooms where the proprietors know the law is on their side, and puts it into crappy casios which pay taxes.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Patents are patents
by BluenoseJake on Wed 6th Jul 2011 09:13 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Patents are patents"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Complaining about something, and advocating illegal action against something, are two different things.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Patents are patents
by JAlexoid on Wed 6th Jul 2011 15:48 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Patents are patents"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Civil disobedience has been always identified as illegal. Specially in fictitious democracies, like US.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Patents are patents
by viton on Wed 6th Jul 2011 16:08 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Patents are patents"
viton Member since:
2005-08-09

Android, properly supported by apps will be advantageous to WP7 anyway. MS can continue to use bully practice, but it might turn against them in future.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Patents are patents
by WorknMan on Tue 5th Jul 2011 23:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Patents are patents"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

They may be within their rights according to the law - but just because something's a law doesn't make it right.


If they're operating within their rights according to the law, then they're most definitely not criminal.

Maybe what they're doing is technically 'immoral', and maybe it isn't. But the fact is that these giant corporations have been suing each other on a regular basis for as long as I have been following tech news, and no amount of bitching on blogs like this has changed a goddamn thing.

Therefore, please stop writing about these patent lawsuits. The only thing you're doing by proclaiming from the rooftops that 'software patents are wrong/broken' is preaching to the choir, and I can't imagine that even the choir hasn't gotten sick of this rhetoric.

Not saying I agree, and not saying I disagree either. Point is, I'm not the one getting sued, so I don't give a shit. If company x being sued because of patent y means that I have to pay an additional $2 for product z, I'm not going to lose sleep over it.

Enough is enough already.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Patents are patents
by JAlexoid on Wed 6th Jul 2011 15:54 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Patents are patents"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

You are not familiar with supply chain finances, are you?
That $2 on a product will be inflated to $20 with no problems. A few % here and a few % there...

And no, if you lower your guard you'll end up with the same software patent laws as US. One of my acquaintances an EU "lobbyist" and an IP lawyer said that the big companies that were pushing software patents on EU are just playing the waiting game at the moment. Waiting for exactly the "Enough is enough already."

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Patents are patents
by danger_nakamura on Thu 7th Jul 2011 05:46 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Patents are patents"
danger_nakamura Member since:
2011-06-21

In my experience there is no such thing as "technically" immoral. A thing is either immoral or not.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Patents are patents
by gedmurphy on Tue 5th Jul 2011 22:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Patents are patents"
gedmurphy Member since:
2005-12-23

Yes, this is my point. Microsoft are just doing what any other company would do. Anyone who disagrees would never cut it in business.

It's a little unfair to criminalize MS as Thom's post does. And invoking a criminal organization like anonymous to attack them is rather unfortunate.

Edited 2011-07-05 22:55 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Patents are patents
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 5th Jul 2011 22:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Patents are patents"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

And invoking a criminal organization like anonymous to attack them is rather unfortunate.


Since we're being hung-up on technicalities... Nobodoy of or within Anonymous has been found guilty of anything. So, they are not criminal.

See? This goes both ways ;) .

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: Patents are patents
by gedmurphy on Tue 5th Jul 2011 23:02 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Patents are patents"
gedmurphy Member since:
2005-12-23

Just because no one within an organization has been found guilty, doesn't mean that the organization itself isn't criminal.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Patents are patents
by kpugovkin on Wed 6th Jul 2011 00:20 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Patents are patents"
kpugovkin Member since:
2011-07-05

We all know very well from recent history, that sometimes the whole state and its laws can be declared a criminal and those violating the could become heroes. Also it was clearly stated that obeying evil laws does not free a person from a liability.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Patents are patents
by Not2Sure on Wed 6th Jul 2011 06:30 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Patents are patents"
Not2Sure Member since:
2009-12-07

Don't be a douche.

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: Patents are patents
by bnolsen on Wed 6th Jul 2011 00:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Patents are patents"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

Oh I consider it criminal. To make money off someone else's success with threats. Meet the modern day "mob" where the neighborhood bullies are now the patent holding conglomerations.

Another nail in the coffin of US innovation and economic leadership.

Reply Score: 6

RE[4]: Patents are patents
by Flatland_Spider on Wed 6th Jul 2011 00:31 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Patents are patents"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

Social disobedience is not a crime.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Patents are patents
by JAlexoid on Wed 6th Jul 2011 15:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Patents are patents"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Here's the deal.
Lodsys are using the patent system to the max.
Microsoft is abusing the patent system globally.

If you buy an Android device from HTC(Taiwan registered company, products manufactured in China) in any country that does not have software patents you will still be paying indirectly to Microsoft for the patent license. That would be OK with me if HTC were a US based company or the device was shipped via US, or you made the purchase in US.
But current situation, where I pay for a patent license that is not valid in my country is enforcing US patent laws outside of US borders.

The scumbags at Lodsys are not asking for that. The lower than scumbags at Microsoft are asking for that!!!

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Patents are patents
by Tom9729 on Tue 5th Jul 2011 22:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Patents are patents"
Tom9729 Member since:
2008-12-09

Are you against patents in general? Can't basically any patentable idea be reduced to math? You say that it's illegal to patent math, but what about the patents on RSA (for example)?

I agree with the people saying that it's bogus to take an existing idea with lots of prior art, rephrase it to use computers, and apply for a patent. However I'm not completely convinced that denying someone a chance to recoup their investment in a new technology is a good way to encourage progress in a field.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Patents are patents
by lucas_maximus on Tue 5th Jul 2011 23:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Patents are patents"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

I totally agree ... this is the most sane comment I heard about software patents on this site.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Patents are patents
by gedmurphy on Tue 5th Jul 2011 23:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Patents are patents"
gedmurphy Member since:
2005-12-23

Indeed, I'd mod his post up but the site doesn't let you...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Patents are patents
by bnolsen on Wed 6th Jul 2011 00:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Patents are patents"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

Patents of mathematical algorithms, and I'll add "use cases" are very damaging. A big part of innovation is also bringing something to market, not just *think* of the idea.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Patents are patents
by pantheraleo on Wed 6th Jul 2011 00:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Patents are patents"
pantheraleo Member since:
2007-03-07

A big part of innovation is also bringing something to market, not just *think* of the idea.


Except I'm not going to spend the money to *think* of the idea if I know someone else can just come along and steal it from me. Instead, I'm gonna sit back, let you spend the money to think of the idea, and then steal it from you, copy it, and undercut your prices on a competing product because my costs to develop it were lower since I let you do half the work. Do you think that's fair? Because that is what happens if there is no patent protection.

Edited 2011-07-06 00:32 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Patents are patents
by TechGeek on Wed 6th Jul 2011 00:42 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Patents are patents"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

Funny, that sounds an awful lot like what Microsoft is doing. They didnt have the smarts enough to create a phone environment that anyone wanted. So that go after their competitor using litigation of probably baseless patents to extract income for work someone else created. We're not talking about a company that invented a new type of fusion reactor. We are talking about patents that probably cover ideas with prior art, or are so trivial they won't stand up to scrutiny. Microsoft knows this. Otherwise they would be very vocal about what patents they own that are being infringed. Instead they try to hide behind a vale of NDA's. They are basically threatening to nuke you when all they really have is a lead pipe. If this is all that software patents are good for, that is even more reason for them to be abolished.

Reply Score: 9

RE[5]: Patents are patents
by vivainio on Wed 6th Jul 2011 01:17 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Patents are patents"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

Except I'm not going to spend the money to *think* of the idea if I know someone else can just come along and steal it from me.


Ok, don't. It's your choice how you decide to make money, take risks etc.

Ideas are dime a dozen, implementation is king. If you can't compete with implementation, do something else.

Reply Score: 9

RE[6]: Patents are patents
by pantheraleo on Wed 6th Jul 2011 13:23 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Patents are patents"
pantheraleo Member since:
2007-03-07

Ok, don't. It's your choice how you decide to make money, take risks etc.


I can compete with implementation. And I can do it for cheaper than you can because I didn't have to spend the money on R&D to come up with the idea.

Ideas are dime a dozen, implementation is king. If you can't compete with implementation, do something else.


Actually, I'd disagree with that. Coming up with an innovative idea and figuring out whether it is viable or not is probably the hardest part of software development these days. Most ideas fail. And failed ideas end up costing companies a lot of money. That's why if there are no patents, I wait until another company comes up with a good idea that seems to be getting some traction, and then I pounce on it, copy it, and undercut their prices because my R&D costs were much lower.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Patents are patents
by bnolsen on Wed 6th Jul 2011 14:09 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Patents are patents"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

the reality TODAY is that companies now purely exist to generate patents and sell their patent portfolio to the big guys to enable them to crush those innovative players who want to change the market.

The problem is that it costs lots of money to file, requires a lawyer to draft and file...more than 100k in our experience. Being a small business we can't afford this, and in addition we don't believe what we do should be patentable.

I'm amazed at the stupid stuff I've been seeing patented. The problem is that it costs $$ to defend if someone threatens you and that's a death kiss for a small business who typically does about break even.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Patents are patents
by JAlexoid on Wed 6th Jul 2011 16:29 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Patents are patents"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Real life example - Apple's iOS touch algorithms.
So far nobody has been able to copy them. That is the reason Android has this reaction delay to input.

Apple may not have been granted a patent on it yet, but I couldn't find if they even patented.


You seem to really hate all those mathematicians and physicists that come up and came up with most mathematics and physics behind all the innovation. Why aren't you giving them any credit? Because they spend years and years in research labs, yet their work and their ideas are not patentable.
However a schmuck surfaces that has spent as little as 6 months on selecting the most obvious* mathematical formula, gets a patent on a "new" algorithm and rips the rewards of the years that mathematician spent proving his formula...

* - to a mathematician, not the schmuck


I already said it once and I'll say it again - R&D costs do not reflect the effort required for R&D. Specially in software. R&D costs reflect how much a company poured into the development of the software.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Patents are patents
by JAlexoid on Wed 6th Jul 2011 16:09 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Patents are patents"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Ideas are worthless... Ask any of the startup companies. There are thousands of people coming up with ideas and most of them have very similar ideas. Simply because the constraints and needs are very similar.

We already had this discussion with you.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Patents are patents
by danger_nakamura on Thu 7th Jul 2011 05:08 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Patents are patents"
danger_nakamura Member since:
2011-06-21

Really?!?

You think that NO ONE will come up with ideas if there is no mafiaesque system of protection in place for their ideas? NO ONE will write ANY software? The entire free software movement seems to give the lie to this idea.

There is no "right" to profit from an endeavor. The question of patents (and of copyright for that matter) was predicated on the idea that society would benefit. Software patents don't seem to meet this bargain. It seems that, if anything, software developers are crippled by patents because obvious and enivitable code solutions are artificially blocked by some prick that stood on line at the patent office first.

I will use myself as an example... I have a lot of ideas for software that I would LOVE to bring to market. Software patents and the threat that they represent have prevented me from taking the initiative. I don't want to deal with the hassle. And yes, I am am more than willing to deal with "rip-offs" and free competitors rather than litigious asshats.

So many defenders of patents raise the irrelevent and erroneous point of an innovators "right" to profit. This was not part of the original discussion, and should not be entertained now. It has nothing to do with it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Patents are patents
by danger_nakamura on Thu 7th Jul 2011 05:51 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Patents are patents"
danger_nakamura Member since:
2011-06-21

Except I'm not going to spend the money to *think* of the idea if I know someone else can just come along and steal it from me. Instead, I'm gonna sit back, let you spend the money to think of the idea, and then steal it from you, copy it, and undercut your prices on a competing product because my costs to develop it were lower since I let you do half the work. Do you think that's fair? Because that is what happens if there is no patent protection.


How can this happen if, according to you, there is no incentive for anyone to think up ideas? Who will you steal the ideas from? We'll all be busy picking pansies in a field... that is unless someone patents that idea.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Patents are patents
by Flatland_Spider on Wed 6th Jul 2011 00:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Patents are patents"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

Except firms are forced to innovate when there is an absence of patents, like in the fashion industry. A design cannot be patented, so the fashion industry invests heavily in creativity.

Let's not pretend some company could wave a magic wand and produce something like the iPhone without software patents. My Android phone tries, but it's not on the same level. Software is an art form, and some people will never be masters.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Patents are patents
by pantheraleo on Wed 6th Jul 2011 13:10 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Patents are patents"
pantheraleo Member since:
2007-03-07

Except firms are forced to innovate when there is an absence of patents
,

The exact opposite is true. In the absence of patents, firms won't innovate because they cannot protect their investment in innovation. Instead, they will sit back and wait for someone else to spend the money on innovation and then copy it. Only problem is that you end up with deadlock, because no one wants to spend the money to innovate. They want to take the "wait and see" approach instead, and then copy whatever good ideas come along.

like in the fashion industry. A design cannot be patented


A design cannot be patented? Tell that to Apple, who has successfully won multiple patent lawsuits based on design.

so the fashion industry invests heavily in creativity.


They do? Is that why there are so many cheap knockoffs of expensive fashion designs out there?

Let's not pretend some company could wave a magic wand and produce something like the iPhone without software patents. My Android phone tries, but it's not on the same level.


Android does a pretty good job at being an iPhone knockoff actually. Enough so that Apple is suing some Android phone manufacturers of course. If Apple's track record on suing because of design copying is any indication, Apple will most likely win.

Software is an art form, and some people will never be masters.


So you are implying what? That Google's engineers and designers are not masters?

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Patents are patents
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 6th Jul 2011 14:02 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Patents are patents"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The exact opposite is true. In the absence of patents, firms won't innovate because they cannot protect their investment in innovation.


Bullshit.

Software patents were not granted before 1998. Are you seriously going to argue - with a straight face - that no innovation in softeare took place before 1998? You do realise the bulk of software technologies we use today are far older than 1998, right?

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Patents are patents
by pantheraleo on Wed 6th Jul 2011 14:11 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Patents are patents"
pantheraleo Member since:
2007-03-07

Bullshit.


And your inability to have a conversation without resorting to foul language. You have serious temper problems Thom. Honestly you do. Encouraging illegal activity, foul mouthed, etc.

Software patents were not granted before 1998. Are you seriously going to argue - with a straight face - that no innovation in softeare took place before 1998?


Now it's my turn to call BS Thom. The first known example of a software patent was granted on August 17th, 1966 on a British patent application for "efficient memory management for the simplex algorithm, that could be implemented by purely software means"

The United States has granted software patents since at least 1972.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Patents are patents
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 6th Jul 2011 14:14 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Patents are patents"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Now it's my turn to call BS Thom. The first known example of a software patent was granted on August 17th, 1966 on a British patent application for "efficient memory management for the simplex algorithm, that could be implemented by purely software means"

The United States has granted software patents since at least 1972.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_patents_under_United_States_p...

Have fun reading.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Patents are patents
by JAlexoid on Wed 6th Jul 2011 16:40 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Patents are patents"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

And your inability to have a conversation without resorting to foul language. You have serious temper problems Thom. Honestly you do. Encouraging illegal activity, foul mouthed, etc.


When you sense bullshit, you say bullshit.

FYI: EPC has explicitly excluded software from being patented as of 1973.

EDIT: Something your side is battling to overturn to this very day. How's life on the side of Lodsys these days?

Edited 2011-07-06 16:41 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Patents are patents
by bnolsen on Wed 6th Jul 2011 14:15 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Patents are patents"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

This is an easy argument to kill.

Typically big companies are big companies because they are successful in the current market. It is not in their interest for the market to change because they can continue to make money without investing R&D and marketing.

New ideas threaten the big companies because they change the market dynamic. Big companies have choices. Either try to freeze the market, or themselves innovate to meet the threat. The current US patent system has made it extremely easy to go for option 1 (freeze the market).

I don't know about you, but a lot of very smart people I know hate working for big companies and prefer working for smaller innovative ones. In the case where a large company has decided to freeze the market mostly the employees that could enable the innovation have left for greener pastures. That opens up a pretty huge window where the big freeze company is vulnerable.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Patents are patents
by Flatland_Spider on Wed 6th Jul 2011 19:21 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Patents are patents"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

The exact opposite is true. In the absence of patents, firms won't innovate because they cannot protect their investment in innovation. Instead, they will sit back and wait for someone else to spend the money on innovation and then copy it. Only problem is that you end up with deadlock, because no one wants to spend the money to innovate. They want to take the "wait and see" approach instead, and then copy whatever good ideas come along.


There are always be idealist dreamers, who will try to build a better rocket.

The software industry already does this. MS is notorious for waiting for a market to emerge and jumping in forcing out the originating companies. Apple repackages loads of software and spins it as new.

The companies who spend money on R&D are the ones that survive. What you're forgetting is the expertise gained by R&D puts them miles ahead of the clones. There are nuances to everything that are only gained by disciplined study, and skipping those nuances results in sub-par products. Take Chinese cars for instance. They basically cloned some western cars, and the cars ended up with the safety of an aluminum can. They thought there wasn't much to building a car, but they were wrong.

People will pay for the expertise, especially when there is millions of dollars at stake.

Is that why there are so many cheap knockoffs of expensive fashion designs out there?


There are tons of cheap knock offs because people want to look like they have money, and a design can't be patented.

Once again, the knockoffs miss the nuances. They use cheaper fabric, or they change the cut. For instance, Coach leather is really nice, but knockoff leather is not, if it's leather at all.

The fashion industry releases new designs two or three times a year to keep ahead of the cloners.

Android does a pretty good job at being an iPhone knockoff actually. Enough so that Apple is suing some Android phone manufacturers of course. If Apple's track record on suing because of design copying is any indication, Apple will most likely win.


Android does a good job in a traced, paint-by-numbers way.

I'm talking fit and finish. Basically Google took an iPhone, created a check list, and built Android from that check list. You can tell. The stability isn't there, but the bling is, and there are somethings which don't make sense.

So you are implying what? That Google's engineers and designers are not masters?


I thought it was pretty clear what I was implying. Some people will try to be artists, but they will fail to expand beyond their influences creating anonymous artwork with fills empty space on walls. Some people will copy other artists stroke for stroke, and other people will create velvet Elvises.

Not everyone is a Picasso, Dali, Bosch, or Da Vinci. That doesn't mean they shouldn't try to be; it just means they may not get there.

I don't see anyone at Google building a Fallingwater; I see them out building Quonset huts.

(Fallingwater is a home by Frank Lloyd Wright. http://www.fallingwater.org/)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Patents are patents
by JAlexoid on Wed 6th Jul 2011 16:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Patents are patents"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Software has copyright.
Hardware has patents.

When a hardware patent is applied for a schematic. A very specific schematic is provided. Bonus of that is that it's possible to create another non-infringing product that relies on the same physics principles. With software and business process patents it's basically impossible.

The more a software patent is specific, the more it's obvious that it's plain mathematics. That is why software patents end up incomprehensible broad texts.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Patents are patents
by pantheraleo on Wed 6th Jul 2011 16:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Patents are patents"
pantheraleo Member since:
2007-03-07

When a hardware patent is applied for a schematic. A very specific schematic is provided.


That's not always true. Hardware patents can as big of a hornet's nest as software patents when non-legit patents are granted. See IBM v. Sun Microsystems. IBM nearly put Sun out of business because of a bogus hardware patent on RISC processor technology that was so generic it basically said "If you make it simpler, it will go faster".

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Patents are patents
by JAlexoid on Wed 6th Jul 2011 20:03 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Patents are patents"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

What can I say... Another blow to USPTO and if you read the actual patent you'll understand what kind of lawyers "my company" employs. Literally master wordsmiths....

(Yes, I do work for that company)

Reply Score: 2

v RE[2]: Patents are patents
by ourcomputerbloke on Tue 5th Jul 2011 23:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Patents are patents"
RE[3]: Patents are patents
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 5th Jul 2011 23:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Patents are patents"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

"I happen to be against software patents. They are pure evil. Software is properly protected by copyright. Patenting math is criminal.


Thom can I ask a question? Have you ever written any commercial software? It's just to me it seems you don't quite understand why software requires patent protection even more so than copyright. However, in your defense, it really is a concept that will probably only be understood by someone who's ever coded anything significant.
"

Nice underhanded insult.

Sofware doesn't need patent protection just like the news industry doesn't need it. Can you imagine if The New York times patented a news story, so that others wouldn't be allowed to report on it from their own angles? Because THAT is what the software world currently looks like.

Software is protected by copyright, and that's enough protection. Software patents are harming the industry, and holding back innovation. They are a huge burden on the US justice system, and cost consumers loads ofmp money every year.

Reply Score: 10

v RE[4]: Patents are patents
by pantheraleo on Wed 6th Jul 2011 00:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Patents are patents"
v RE[4]: Patents are patents
by ourcomputerbloke on Wed 6th Jul 2011 00:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Patents are patents"
RE[5]: Patents are patents
by andydread on Wed 6th Jul 2011 01:40 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Patents are patents"
andydread Member since:
2009-02-02

"Nice underhanded insult.


Wow, talk about having a huge chip on your shoulder.

It wasn't intended as an insult but the fact that you took it as one, and still didn't answer the question while obviously voting the comment down, should tell many of the readers here a story.

The reason its not obvious to anyone who hasn't written anything significant is that there are many ways to achieve the same or similar end result in software and hardware for that matter, so it's quite reasonable to expect that someone can copy a concept (patent) without ever infringing on copyright.

News just happens, software doesn't, so your example of news tells me that you have no concept of what is involved in developing then coding a software concept, and therefore the R&D that goes into large projects. Again, not designed as an insult, just the truth, but take it as you will.
"

How about books? Books don't just happen? What about if I wrote a book with the concept of..I don't know.. a love story and patented that concept? What about patent on a book about space wars? No one would be able to write a love story without the threat of facing my lawyers. Likewise a story about wars in space. get it. If I write software that moves .mp3 files from my downloads folder to my music folder I should't be able to patent that and stop others from writing better implementations/methods of that concept. Patent novel inventions not software. Software is already protected by copyright.

Reply Score: 6

RE[5]: Patents are patents
by r_a_trip on Wed 6th Jul 2011 10:53 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Patents are patents"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

so it's quite reasonable to expect that someone can copy a concept (patent) without ever infringing on copyright.

Yes. And that is how it should be. Patents are there in the first place to get the inventor to divulge his secrets to society, so that society as a whole may benefit. It's not that patents are around to give out state granted monopolies with a "right to profit". Yes, society gives you a limited time in which they accept the trade off of not having healthy competition in exchange for something valuable, namely the secrets to your specific implementation of an idea.

Second, patents by definition should be about the specific implementation, not the underlying idea. If all conceivable derivatives/implementations of an idea are blocked for 20 years, this just does immense harm to society, which foots the bill for making another fat cat, who will most of the time sit on his/her hiney printing money with the state granted, overly broad monopoly. This concept of harm to society as a whole has unfortunately been lost in countries with software patents, which are more and more falling (failing?) into the idea patent category. (I'm not against wealth, but Deity Damnit, work hard for it, just like everybody else. No legal shenanigans and gaming of the system to get there.)

While the question wasn't posed to me and some people will not be willing to accept my little, nifty programs for Office automation as something significant, I'll answer it anyways. I don't consider my brainfarts something that needs patent protection. Basically any monkey with half a brain and some logic abilities could do what I do. I also accept that there are a lot of people, equally as bright as me, who can't do what I do. That doesn't make my programs something special. The value of the program isn't in the programming behind it, what counts is the output.

If an idea is SO SIMPLE that anyone with a programming language and a compiler/interpreter can take notice of it and through sheer gruntwork and time can independently crank out a competing implementation, there wasn't much to protect to begin with. Brains are a dime a dozen and ideas are even cheaper. Don't overvalue the product, just because it took a lot of time to put together. With software,once done, the marginal costs sinks to near zero anyways.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Patents are patents
by JAlexoid on Wed 6th Jul 2011 16:55 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Patents are patents"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

+1

A person that knows why patents have been created in the first place. To combat guilds from keeping trade secrets...

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Patents are patents
by Silent_Seer on Thu 7th Jul 2011 12:07 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Patents are patents"
Silent_Seer Member since:
2007-04-06

Just why are patents on math bad? (notice, I said math, not just software) Math can be implemented both in hardware or software. Here's why (I am referring you to an earlier comment I made):

http://www.osnews.com/permalink?413284

Advances will still happen without patents on math just like they happened before. Only difference is that you won't be making them, universities and research institutions, supported by gov funds, will.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Patents are patents
by lemur2 on Thu 7th Jul 2011 23:29 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Patents are patents"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Just why are patents on math bad? (notice, I said math, not just software) Math can be implemented both in hardware or software.


Math is "discovered", not "invented". Patents are awarded for "new methods", not "new discoveries".

Discoveries belong to everyone ... like the oxygen in the atmosphere.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Patents are patents
by kpugovkin on Wed 6th Jul 2011 00:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Patents are patents"
kpugovkin Member since:
2011-07-05

I’ve written a lot of commercial software and still do not understand the idea of software patents. Do I have to search USPTO patent library any time I’m going to implement an algorithm or UI element and then pay for it?
If so, then it’s probably time to quit programming, because we are inventing bicycles every day.

Reply Score: 17

RE[4]: Patents are patents
by ourcomputerbloke on Wed 6th Jul 2011 00:28 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Patents are patents"
ourcomputerbloke Member since:
2011-05-12

I’ve written a lot of commercial software and still do not understand the idea of software patents. Do I have to search USPTO patent library any time I’m going to implement an algorithm or UI element and then pay for it?


If I'm designing a new gadget to do anything specific do I have to search USPTO patent library to make sure I'm not infringing on someone's patent? Of course, so why should it be any different for software?

And by the same token should a company who is buying components from another company who already has a patent license to produce that hardware have to pay another license for the use of that same patent? Why is that not double-dipping?

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Patents are patents
by Flatland_Spider on Wed 6th Jul 2011 00:48 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Patents are patents"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

You should, but then your company would be wilfully infringing on a patent. In this case, ignorance is a valid defense.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Patents are patents
by MollyC on Wed 6th Jul 2011 04:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Patents are patents"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

I happen to be against software patents. They are pure evil. Software is properly protected by copyright. Patenting math is criminal.


I take issue with the notion that software ideas/methods are nothing more than "math". Maybe the precise implementation of an idea/method is "math" (which I also question), in that the implementation is a sequence of 0s and 1s. But, as you said, the precise implementation is a copyright issue, not a patent issue.

As far as inventions of software ideas go, they aren't "math". And if the argument is that any idea or algorithm that can be described (note the word "described" rather than "implemented") as 0's and 1's is "math", then all ideas are math. All ideas can be described with natural language words and diagrams (at least, in order to be patentable at all), and those words and diagrams can be represented as a sequence of 0s and 1s, so all ideas can be represented as "math", whether those ideas describe digital things or tangible things made of atoms.

My stance on software patents (and any other kind of patent, for that matter) has always been that I have no problem with them as long as the patent holder offers licences to others to use the ideas covered by the patent for a reasonable fee. I don't approve of patent holders using their patents to block competing products from the market altogether, and I don't approve of patent holders asking for outrageous fees, and I don't approve of patent holders sitting on their patents and allowing some product that infringes on the patent to become huge in the marketplace and only THEN demanding that the product maker license the patent at extortion prices. Additionally, I'd reform patent law to say that if a patent holder doesn't make a good faith effort to produce and market a product that uses the patented tech in question, then the duration of the patent is cut in half.

Bottom line: if someone spends millions of dollars developing something then someone else simply copies it and sells it at a lower price or gives it away, then the original inventor deserves some compensation.

--------------------
Now to delve more into philosophy or metaphysics:
You assert "patenting math is criminal". As I said, I don't buy the idea that software ideas are "math", but even if I did, patenting such is clearly not "criminal", according to law.

And besides that, you provide nothing to back up or explain your assertion as to why it would be criminal or even wrong.

Let's move away from software ideas and methods, and let's take your assertion literally. Let's say some company did invent a new "math" (like Isaac Newton invented calculus, because the math at the time was insufficient for his purposes in dealing with physics). Let's say it took billions of dollars of research to invent (or even "discover", if that's the word you want to use) this new math, but once it was invented, that new math allowed the company to create breakthroughs in energy, artificial intelligence, medicine, and whatnot, and they created products that took advantage of those advancements and made healthy profits in the process. Is it really wrong to patent the math for a number of years, during which they could license the math to others for a reasonable fee? Or should others that did nothing be allowed to simply copy the new math and create competing products that undercut the company that spent billions of dollars to invent (or "discover") the new math in the first place? I don't see how allowing the inventor to license the math for a fee is wrong in any way.

As I said before, I wouldn't approve of the inventor blocking other company's products by refusing to liecense the patent. And I'd want the patent to expire after a number of years. But as long as the inventor is offering the patent for licensing by others (and doing so in good faith (i.e. not asking an impossible price)), then it's fine with me. More than fine, actually, it's GOOD.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Patents are patents
by lemur2 on Wed 6th Jul 2011 05:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Patents are patents"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I take issue with the notion that software ideas/methods are nothing more than "math".


And if the argument is that any idea or algorithm that can be described (note the word "described" rather than "implemented") as 0's and 1's is "math", then all ideas are math.


You are arguing against the wrong concept.

A CPU (which runs the software) comprises and ALU (arithmetic and logic unit) and control circuits.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arithmetic_logic_unit
"In computing, an arithmetic logic unit (ALU) is a digital circuit that performs arithmetic and logical operations. The ALU is a fundamental building block of the central processing unit (CPU) of a computer"

All an ALU can do is math (since Boolean logic is also math). The ALU, and hence the CPU, can do nothing else. Thats it ... that is all a general purpose computer can do. Math. Therefore, software is math.

There is a branch of computer science (which itself is a sub-branch of mathematics) which is all about this precise matter.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computability

"Computability is the ability to solve a problem in an effective manner. It is a key topic of the field of computability theory within mathematical logic and the theory of computation within computer science. The computability of a problem is closely linked to the existence of an algorithm to solve the problem."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computability_theory
"Computability theory, also called recursion theory, is a branch of mathematical logic that originated in the 1930s with the study of computable functions and Turing degrees. The field has grown to include the study of generalized computability and definability. In these areas, recursion theory overlaps with proof theory and effective descriptive set theory.

The basic questions addressed by recursion theory are "What does it mean for a function from the natural numbers to themselves to be computable?" and "How can noncomputable functions be classified into a hierarchy based on their level of noncomputability?". The answers to these questions have led to a rich theory that is still being actively researched."


Computability theory is the branch of mathematics that works out if a given function/problem/invention can, or cannot, be implemented in software.

Ergo, software is mathematics.

More here:
http://perlstalker.blogspot.com/2011/04/why-software-is-not-patenta...

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20110426051819346
"This article provides a detailed factual explanation of why software is mathematics, complete with the references in mathematical and computer science literature."

It seems the software experts and the mathematicians disagree with you, Molly.

Bottom line: if someone spends millions of dollars developing something then someone else simply copies it and sells it at a lower price or gives it away, then the original inventor deserves some compensation.


Fox spent millions making (developing) the movie "Avatar". If "someone else simply copies it and sells it at a lower price or gives it away" then indeed, Fox do deserve some compensation. Absolutely, no question. This is, however, covered by copyright law, not patent law.

There is no reason why someone else shouldn't make another movie about an uprising of nine-foot blue aliens, however. They are perfectly entitled to do so, as long as they do their own work.

This is the reason why no-one takes any notice of things like this:
http://www.slashfilm.com/is-james-camerons-avatar-actually-an-uncre...
http://thenextweb.com/shareables/2010/01/05/pocahontas-avatar/

There is no doubt that the movie Avatar is an original work, even if parts of the story line are very reminiscent of older works. Copyright does not cover ideas, it covers literal copies.

Edited 2011-07-06 05:45 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Patents are patents
by lemur2 on Wed 6th Jul 2011 06:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Patents are patents"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Let's move away from software ideas and methods, and let's take your assertion literally. Let's say some company did invent a new "math" (like Isaac Newton invented calculus, because the math at the time was insufficient for his purposes in dealing with physics). Let's say it took billions of dollars of research to invent (or even "discover", if that's the word you want to use) this new math, but once it was invented, that new math allowed the company to create breakthroughs in energy, artificial intelligence, medicine, and whatnot, and they created products that took advantage of those advancements and made healthy profits in the process. Is it really wrong to patent the math for a number of years, during which they could license the math to others for a reasonable fee? Or should others that did nothing be allowed to simply copy the new math and create competing products that undercut the company that spent billions of dollars to invent (or "discover") the new math in the first place? I don't see how allowing the inventor to license the math for a fee is wrong in any way.

As I said before, I wouldn't approve of the inventor blocking other company's products by refusing to liecense the patent. And I'd want the patent to expire after a number of years. But as long as the inventor is offering the patent for licensing by others (and doing so in good faith (i.e. not asking an impossible price)), then it's fine with me. More than fine, actually, it's GOOD.


There are essentially two huge problems with this argument.

The first objection is that every other field allows a different implementation of an "invention" that achieves some desired end. Take for example "headache tablets". The fact that one company invents, and then patents, the formula for paracetemol, shouldn't disbar another company from inventing ibuprofen. This is especially the case when you consider that both of these headache tablet formulae were pre-dated by aspirin. New implementations of an idea are NOT prevented by patents, as patents do not cover ideas, they cover "methods". Invetion of a new method is most definitely allowed under patent law, even if it does implement the same desired end function.

The second objection is more simple ... software patents are not being used in the manner you describe. Microsoft did not invent Android, nor did they write any of the code. There is a vast quantity of prior art in mobile phones, smartphones and Java language subsets on mobile phones via which to implement "apps". Where do Microsoft get off claiming that they "invented" any part of Android?

Reply Score: 4

v RE[4]: Patents are patents
by Not2Sure on Wed 6th Jul 2011 07:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Patents are patents"
RE[5]: Patents are patents
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 6th Jul 2011 08:15 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Patents are patents"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Do you have some knowledge the rest of us do not of what it is Microsft is claiming or are you just pulling a Holwerda and alleging some bullshit in order to justify your commentary? Do you have copies of demand letters made by Microsoft on Wistron Corp? Can you give us a link so we can read them and decide for ourselves?


And that's the problem, isn't it? Microsoft is unwilling to divulge which patents Linux is supposedly infringing, or which patents these Android vendors are infringing. This means that nobody can start developing workarounds - which, of course, is exactly what Microsoft wants. The secrecy ensures nobody knows how to avoid these patents, and it means the public at large can't try and help in invalidating these patents.

So, we'd love to have this knowledge you speak of... But Microsoft is too afraid to let the world know which patents it is using in its extortion campaign. If their patent claims really were as strong as some here say they are... Why is Microsoft being so secretive? I mean, they shouldn't have to be afraid of scrutiny, right?

Is it just me or is OSNews quickly sliding into the toilet bowl of tech erudition that is /.


Ah yes, the universal 'zOMG a viewpoint differs from mine site Xyz is going down the drain!1!!".

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Patents are patents
by Not2Sure on Wed 6th Jul 2011 09:02 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Patents are patents"
Not2Sure Member since:
2009-12-07

Again, more smoke and mirrors conspiracy being used to justify what is basically FUD. If it was as clear as you want to pretend it is in your world, then no corporate entity with proper legal advice would be doing business with / seeking indemnfication from Microsoft in this respect because they in turn would be guilty of stealing from shareholders.

So, this is the actual reality we live in. If Microsoft in this day and age were extorting cash payments from small companies, documents would have already leaked demonstrating that fact, no?

And let's check out your viewpoint and the language you chose to utilize to describe this news:

Extortion, target, crap, criminal, underhand(sic)ed mafia tactics, sickening. Oh and a reference to an internet bully as if bullying online is somehow acceptable.

It's adolescent, fanboi language. You can't justify a single thing you wrote. And my criticism absolutely has nothing to do with your "viewpoint" differing from mine because in all honesty you have nothing that anyone would recognize as a rational viewpoint in this matter with which I would care to discuss. It's just gruber-esque drivel.

Everyone in the smartphone industry is suing everyone else because there has been no real innovations in years and there are billions to fight over. Attempting to cast it in terms of heroes and villians is pandering.

Edited 2011-07-06 09:12 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Patents are patents
by pantheraleo on Wed 6th Jul 2011 13:37 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Patents are patents"
pantheraleo Member since:
2007-03-07

And that's the problem, isn't it? Microsoft is unwilling to divulge which patents Linux is supposedly infringing, or which patents these Android vendors are infringing.


It also means that Microsoft can't sue. If they want to sue for patent infringement, obviously they will have to divulge which patents they think are being infringed.

This means that nobody can start developing workarounds - which, of course, is exactly what Microsoft wants.


Well again, if Microsoft refuses to divulge which patents it thinks are being violated, it means they can't take legal action.

The secrecy ensures nobody knows how to avoid these patents, and it means the public at large can't try and help in invalidating these patents.


Does it matter? Again, if Microsoft wants to maintain the secrecy, they can't take legal action. Doing so would require divulging which patents it thinks are being infringed. So as long as Microsoft wants to play the game this way, no action needs to be taken for either avoiding the patents, or trying to invalidate them.

Ah yes, the universal 'zOMG a viewpoint differs from mine site Xyz is going down the drain!1!!".


I think it's more your utterly black and white view on issues Thom. And the fact that you write like a reporter from Fox news. Your articles are heavily biased towards one side. And when someone (like me) submits an article with an alternative view point, you quash it and don't publish it because it doesn't agree with your views.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Patents are patents
by lemur2 on Wed 6th Jul 2011 09:53 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Patents are patents"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"The second objection is more simple ... software patents are not being used in the manner you describe. Microsoft did not invent Android, nor did they write any of the code. There is a vast quantity of prior art in mobile phones, smartphones and Java language subsets on mobile phones via which to implement "apps". Where do Microsoft get off claiming that they "invented" any part of Android?


Do you have some knowledge the rest of us do not of what it is Microsft is claiming or are you just pulling a Holwerda and alleging some bullshit in order to justify your commentary? Do you have copies of demand letters made by Microsoft on Wistron Corp? Can you give us a link so we can read them and decide for ourselves?

Because as far as I can tell, a manufacturer looking at putting a product using software components it did not create into the marketplace using Android saw some legal risk and sought indemnification. NEWSFLASH: Google offers, none, zero, nada, and that should tell you exactly how much Google legal really believes Android is unencumbered.

What a company's evangelists and PR hacks say is alot different than the actions taken by that corporation as a legal entity. If Google really believed as you do that Android sprang from the wells of creativity untapped and unencumbered by any legal entanglement then it would offer indemnification to the manufacturers. The don't and they most likely never will.

Microsoft/Wistron have formed a business arrangement. It is neither extortion nor criminal no matter what kind FUD bullshit the author of thread would like to color it with (his personal adolescent view of US law and the world notwithstanding). It's the same calculus that HTC used and boy, that sure has really screwd up their Android product lines hasn't it? It's really hard to believe how they even sell a single device given that consumers everywhere must cringe knowing they are paying extortion money isn't it?
"

How hard is it to understand that Microsoft did not write even one line of Android software?

There is no Microsoft effort that has gone into the making of Android. None. Nada. Zilch. Zero. Zip. Diddly squat.

No programming effort that Microsoft has paid for has been "stolen" by Android.

Microsoft are claiming, without any proof, ownership rights over some of the mathematics concepts that Android uses. Microsoft is reportedly charging more for this tenuous claim of ownership than the entire cost of WP7 to OEMs. Most jurisdictions of the world (which is the marketplace for Android) hold that mathematical ideas cannot be owned in this way.

Why should companies using Android have to pay Microsoft anything, just because it is too expensive to argue the point in court? It makes no sense economically, and it clearly isn't right.

IMO it is extortion, pure and simple.

Edited 2011-07-06 10:00 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Patents are patents
by Not2Sure on Wed 6th Jul 2011 10:31 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Patents are patents"
Not2Sure Member since:
2009-12-07



Microsoft are claiming, without any proof, ownership rights over some of the mathematics concepts that Android uses. Microsoft is reportedly charging more for this tenuous claim of ownership than the entire cost of WP7 to OEMs. Most jurisdictions of the world (which is the marketplace for Android) hold that mathematical ideas cannot be owned in this way.

IMO it is extortion, pure and simple.


Ok and the the documents where Microsoft make this claim without proof is? Oh, I see it's only in your head so you can't provide a link. Maybe you should patent it.

Also, you cannot patent mathematics in the US either. Pure algorithms are not patentable in the US where the machine-or-transformation test is still the rule.

Finally the cost of wp7 licenses to OEMs far exceeds the indemnification contracts that are rumored to have seen the light of day. Again, I'm sure you're commenting about something you read from someone who knew who someone who heard that....

Some pundits argue that the total revenue to MS from indemnifcation grants to Android manufacturers combined exceeds total revenue from WP7 licensees but that is directly related to the number of units involved. It's usually done so in a smear campaign to paint Microsoft as more interested in litigation than software development for WP7.

IMO is right. Your opinion. And I'm glad it's worth about exactly what someone is willing to pay for it.

Please let me know when one of these threats from Microsoft (which is a fundamental element in any prosecution of extortion in most US states "pure and simple") ever materializes.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Patents are patents
by lemur2 on Wed 6th Jul 2011 11:56 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Patents are patents"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Ok and the the documents where Microsoft make this claim without proof is?


FTA: http://www.networkworld.com/news/2011/070511-microsoft-patent-andro...

"Microsoft patent division taking cash from at least 5 Android vendors"

Microsoft did not create any part of Android. Not one single line of the code.

Microsoft offer no proof whatsoever that they have any claim at all over said Android vendors. All Microsoft offer is threats of lawsuit.

Der.

Edited 2011-07-06 11:59 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Software patents are evil
by frajo on Wed 6th Jul 2011 07:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Patents are patents"
frajo Member since:
2007-06-29

Let's say some company did invent a new "math" (like Isaac Newton invented calculus, because the math at the time was insufficient for his purposes in dealing with physics). Let's say it took billions of dollars of research to invent (or even "discover", if that's the word you want to use) this new math, but once it was invented, that new math allowed the company to create breakthroughs in energy, artificial intelligence, medicine, and whatnot, and they created products that took advantage of those advancements and made healthy profits in the process. Is it really wrong to patent the math for a number of years, during which they could license the math to others for a reasonable fee? Or should others that did nothing be allowed to simply copy the new math and create competing products that undercut the company that spent billions of dollars to invent (or "discover") the new math in the first place?

Unfortunately you forgot to consider history:
These ideas were systematized into a true calculus of infinitesimals by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, who was originally accused of plagiarism by Newton. He is now regarded as an independent inventor of and contributor to calculus.
[ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calculus ]

Should Leibniz have been punished, imprisoned, or executed?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Patents are patents
by andydread on Wed 6th Jul 2011 12:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Patents are patents"
andydread Member since:
2009-02-02

I like your Idea. If I spend Millions of dollars researching a book about wars in space. Lots of dollars researching and talking to experts about space and weapons etc and what is physically posible etc. Then I produce this book which is already protected by copyright I should be able to Patent it also and then charge a reasonable license fee to anyone who writes a book about space wars regardless of the exact content? right? Nice idea. One should be able to file patents on copyrighted material. Maybe the Music people should get into the game too. How about a song about life in the ghetto. Maybe that can be patented so that I can charge anyone that makes a song about life in the ghetto a "reasonable licence fee" to use the idea of a song about life in the ghetto. THis is exactly what is happening with software patents. Stand alone sofware that is not married to a specific device should not be patented. It is already covered by copyright.

After this I won't be recommending Windows Phone to anymore of my customers. We recommended windows phone 7 to a few of our customers (10) of them bought Windows Phone. We won't be doing that anymore. We cannot in good faith support this type of extortion.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Patents are patents
by bassbeast on Wed 6th Jul 2011 13:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Patents are patents"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Well I'n against the drug laws but I can't walk down the street with a fatty hanging out my mouth and not get hauled to jail, can I?

Let us not forget that unlike certain OTHER companies...cough cough Apple cough...MSFT has been pretty good about offering the same RAND license whether you use Windows or some other OS. For example before TomTom gave them the finger MSFT offered them the exact same price they offered the flash OEMs, no discrimination because they weren't using WinCE and TomTom gave them the finger. Did you rail against them then too, even though FAT was written by MSFT?

Like it or not MSFT owns 10s of 1000s of patents covering just about every stage of OS functionality, similar to how you'd be hard pressed to make a codec that doesn't step on the MPEG-LA patents. Now if you want to give your product away that isn't the job of MSFT or any other corp to support your failed business model, which at looking at the roster of failed FOSS companies, Novell, Sun, Mandriva, etc I would argue you'd be hard pressed to not call the free as in beer model and overall failure.

MSFT paid good money, both in purchasing and in R&D in getting the patents they have and they offer RAND licenses no matter if you use their OS or not. But just as I can't advertise my business using Jimi Hendrix songs just because I don't believe in copyright lengths so too can't handset makers just ignore MSFT's copyrights because some think everything should be free as in beer.

The smart ones will accept having to license as a normal part of doing business (after all they ain't making Droid sets out of the goodness of their hearts) and the dumb? Well lets just say I hope they have a nice chunk of their operating capital set back for lawyers fees.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Patents are patents
by rdean400 on Tue 5th Jul 2011 22:49 UTC in reply to "Patents are patents"
rdean400 Member since:
2006-10-18

Software patents act in contravention of their Constitutional purpose: to promote the useful arts. Too many mundane ideas have been patented, because someone virtualized a physical process. Simply tacking "on a mobile" or "on the internet" shouldn't meet anyone's definition of "novel" or "non-obvious".

It's not that all patents are bad. It's that there is an ocean of crap patents and a thimblefull of truly valuable ones.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Patents are patents
by ourcomputerbloke on Wed 6th Jul 2011 00:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Patents are patents"
ourcomputerbloke Member since:
2011-05-12

Software patents act in contravention of their Constitutional purpose: to promote the useful arts. Too many mundane ideas have been patented, because someone virtualized a physical process. Simply tacking "on a mobile" or "on the internet" shouldn't meet anyone's definition of "novel" or "non-obvious".


Which is why there definitely needs to be patent reform, but the idea that software patents are totally invalid, or indeed evil :S, is ill-conceived by those who have clearly never invested significant time or money into the development of software concepts.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Patents are patents
by TechGeek on Wed 6th Jul 2011 00:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Patents are patents"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

Which is why there definitely needs to be patent reform, but the idea that software patents are totally invalid, or indeed evil :S, is ill-conceived by those who have clearly never invested significant time or money into the development of software concepts.


Software concepts? What exactly new and innovated concepts are you talking about? A computer can do nothing that its hardware was not designed to allow. That design is the substance of the hardware patent covering its technology. As such, it exists as prior art for anything you do with the device. The same is pretty much true for coding. Since it all boils down to 1's and 0's which are interrupted by the computer, how can you possibly claim any originality?

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Patents are patents
by BallmerKnowsBest on Wed 6th Jul 2011 15:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Patents are patents"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

Which is why there definitely needs to be patent reform, but the idea that software patents are totally invalid, or indeed evil :S, is ill-conceived by those who have clearly never invested significant time or money into the development of software concepts.


"I'm an expert so I don't have to back up anything I say, you should just take my word for it."

In other words you're using the oldest, most transparent, and laziest debate trick in the book. Yawn, you really need some new material.

Edited 2011-07-06 15:59 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Patents are patents
by westlake on Wed 6th Jul 2011 05:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Patents are patents"
westlake Member since:
2010-01-07

Too many mundane ideas have been patented, because someone virtualized a physical process.


Ideas are a dime a dozen. A successful, marketable, solution is rare.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Patents are patents
by lemur2 on Tue 5th Jul 2011 23:30 UTC in reply to "Patents are patents"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

So you think legally licencing your patents is more criminal that violating patents? Is it ok for Google to violate patents just because they're late in the game or because they feel like it? Does patent violation become more acceptable because Android is open source? Patents are patents and must be adhered to. Whether you like it or not, Microsoft are playing by the rules and using their IP to their advantage. My company own quite a few patents for software we've developed, and you can be sure that we'd go after anyone who violated those patents without paying. I bet you'd do exactly the same.


Android is based on Linux and a managed language called Dalvik which uses Java syntax. Linux in turn is a written-from-scratch re-implementation of POSIX specifications (so it uses no UNIX code).

Microsoft technology is a VMS work-alike. If anything, .NET is a Java rip-off (and not the other way around).

They are chalk and cheese. Microsoft did not invent Android technology, and they did not write any of the code.

The only thing that Microsoft have is a large patent portfolio which they can pretend that Android violates here and there. It is too costly for smaller firms to contest Microsoft claims of infringement when Microsoft comes knocking on their door. It is cheaper to just pay Microsoft off.

This is extortion, pure and simple.

The very best indication of this lies in the fact that Microsoft refuses to name the patents it claims Android infringes.

Edited 2011-07-05 23:32 UTC

Reply Score: 10

RE[2]: Patents are patents
by lucas_maximus on Tue 5th Jul 2011 23:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Patents are patents"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Microsoft technology is a VMS work-alike. If anything, .NET is a Java rip-off (and not the other way around).


Minor Correction ... .NET is an innovation over the JVM.

The originally the JVM interpreted bytecode ... the CLR does JIT compilation on bytecode.

To address these issues the CLR uses an IL compiler. The CLR uses JIT compilers to compile the IL code into native code. In Java the byte code is interpreted by a Virtual Machine (JVM). This interpretation caused Java applications to run extremely slow. The introduction of JIT in JVM improved the execution speed. In the CLR Microsoft has eliminated the virtual machine step.


from here

http://www.codeproject.com/KB/dotnet/clr.aspx#_clr

the article is 2002 ... when the .NET 1.0 runtime was introduced.

JVM != CLR

It seems they copied ideas off of one another. It doesn't appear to be as black and white as you claim.

I find it strange that you are pro GPL aka sharing when it comes to code, but when someone implements the same idea for their own platform and improves it ... it is suddenly a problem when it involves Microsoft.

You almost make it sound like Sun should have patented the JVM ... a software patent with such a comment.

Edited 2011-07-06 00:03 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Patents are patents
by pgeorgi on Wed 6th Jul 2011 05:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Patents are patents"
pgeorgi Member since:
2010-02-18

The originally the JVM interpreted bytecode ... the CLR does JIT compilation on bytecode.


"The CLR uses JIT compilers to compile the IL code into native code. In Java the byte code is interpreted by a Virtual Machine (JVM)...


from here

http://www.codeproject.com/KB/dotnet/clr.aspx#_clr

the article is 2002 ... when the .NET 1.0 runtime was introduced.
"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HotSpot claims that the HotSpot Java VM was released in 1999. It's derived from the StrongTalk language, which Sun released as Open Source in 1997.

In 1997, this VM already supported JIT compilation. This is hardly a innovation by the CLR team.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Patents are patents
by lucas_maximus on Wed 6th Jul 2011 07:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Patents are patents"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

The point was ... it wasn't as black and white as people make out, though there is a good 5 years in that timeline .... so point taken.

The second point if ... if you are complaining about Microsoft Copying a software idea from sun, then maybe they should have had some protections from Microsoft copying their idea ... something like a patent ...

I ain't for or against software patents (I honestly don't know) ... I think it is an interesting point that there are those that are complaining about someone copying other's ideas and then in the same post going on about how software patents are wrong ... just saying ..

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Patents are patents
by pgeorgi on Wed 6th Jul 2011 09:01 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Patents are patents"
pgeorgi Member since:
2010-02-18

if you are complaining about Microsoft Copying a software idea from sun, then maybe they should have had some protections from Microsoft copying their idea ... something like a patent ...

I never complained that Microsoft copied the idea (which is a bunch of copies itself, too).

And Sun didn't complain about it either, but they complained and sued and won about violating contracts based on licensing the Java trademark - a purely defensive mechanism (in this case) to make sure that no-one else (and Microsoft and/or IBM in particular) can dilute Sun's product name.

As for "copied ideas":
- Distributing Bytecode for portability. See P-Code
- Java's (and CLR's) VMs are stack machines. See Forth, see Smalltalk (and lots of things before them)
- Java (and CLR) provide a standard class library. See Smalltalk (it's just smaller, due to its age: it's from 1980)
- Java (and CLR) do Object Orientation of a certain style (see Simula, Smalltalk, Objective-C)
- JIT compilation has roots in Lisp (1960), Unix (regex compiler, 1968), Smalltalk (~1980), Self (by Sun, ~early '90s)

No big idea in Java was new. What should Sun have tried to patent?

Java was big for being a comprehensive package with commercial support, lots of marketing, and a low barrier to entry (cheap SDK, cheap licensing, "similarity" to popular languages)
If anything, they could have applied for a business method patent on that. Unfortunately, that "market" was just about to be opened up (ie. such a patent would have been refused in 1994, but not in 2001).

There were incremential improvements on what kind of optimizations the JIT compiler could do, given the new found CPU power, etc. Obvious stuff.

Unfortunately the patent offices of the world don't seem to read papers of the 1960s and 1970s unless they were patents themselves. Otherwise much of the current software patent junk wouldn't go through.

And that stuff wasn't regularily patented back then because code was considered math. And math was considered off-limits for the patent office.

(sidenote:)
A government entity decided to enlarge its scope (at least twice: on code/math and on business methods). Why are Republicans defending this governmental interference? ;-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Patents are patents
by lucas_maximus on Wed 6th Jul 2011 09:12 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Patents are patents"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

I never complained that Microsoft copied the idea (which is a bunch of copies itself, too).


No you didn't ... but the person I originally quoted did.

Edited 2011-07-06 09:20 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Patents are patents
by jgfenix on Wed 6th Jul 2011 08:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Patents are patents"
jgfenix Member since:
2006-05-25

That is nothing new. That was done by Excelsior Jet before.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Patents are patents
by pantheraleo on Wed 6th Jul 2011 13:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Patents are patents"
pantheraleo Member since:
2007-03-07

Minor Correction ... .NET is an innovation over the JVM.


Uh... No? The JVM had JIT compilation long before .NET implemented it.

The originally the JVM interpreted bytecode ... the CLR does JIT compilation on bytecode.


The original one did, yes. But JIT was implemented in Java before .NET was even released.

You almost make it sound like Sun should have patented the JVM ... a software patent with such a comment.


Sun did patent a lot of things from the JVM. But Sun used their patent portfolio primarily defensively. Sun never liked patents, but they learned a hard lesson after IBM nearly put them out of business by suing them over a generic RISC patent that basically said "If you make it simpler, it will go faster". This RISC patent, btw, is proof that hardware patents can be abused just like software patents. So those who support hardware patents but not software parents are hypocrites.

Oracle, of course, did not share Sun's philosophy of defensive software patents. And once they inherited Sun's patent portfolio, they are started using the patents offensively.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Patents are patents
by westlake on Tue 5th Jul 2011 23:38 UTC in reply to "Patents are patents"
westlake Member since:
2010-01-07

So you think legally licencing your patents is more criminal that violating patents?


General Dynamics is the fifth largest defense contractor in the world.

It builds guns, tanks, nuclear submarines -

and the first NSA certified smartphone, among a great many other things.

But to hear the geek tell the story, it surrendered as meeky as a a lamb to the slaughter when it came to licensing Microsoft's patents.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Patents are patents
by Laurence on Wed 6th Jul 2011 07:40 UTC in reply to "Patents are patents"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

So you think legally licencing your patents is more criminal that violating patents?

Is it ok for Google to violate patents just because they're late in the game or because they feel like it?

Does patent violation become more acceptable because Android is open source?

Patents are patents and must be adhered to. Whether you like it or not, Microsoft are playing by the rules and using their IP to their advantage.

My company own quite a few patents for software we've developed, and you can be sure that we'd go after anyone who violated those patents without paying. I bet you'd do exactly the same.

Your post could be summarised as: "Don't hate the player, hate the game." which, in my opinion, is a terrible attitude!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Patents are patents (patently absurd)
by Lazarus on Wed 6th Jul 2011 07:46 UTC in reply to "Patents are patents"
Lazarus Member since:
2005-08-10

So you think legally licencing your patents is more criminal that violating patents?

Is it ok for Google to violate patents just because they're late in the game or because they feel like it?

Does patent violation become more acceptable because Android is open source?

Patents are patents and must be adhered to. Whether you like it or not, Microsoft are playing by the rules and using their IP to their advantage.

My company own quite a few patents for software we've developed, and you can be sure that we'd go after anyone who violated those patents without paying. I bet you'd do exactly the same.


How heroic of you. Prosecute to the fullest extent of the law? Heavy penalties in some countries for messing up one's game of monopoly. Not always just a wrist slap or a year or so of prison.

Slavery was legal at one time too, and you bet there were those who were "playing by the rules and using their (Human) property to their advantage."

That doesn't make it _right_ or okay.

It may seem extreme at first glance, but I do in fact lump 'Imaginary Property' and its enforcement right along with slavery. They both put significant limits on the people subjected to such institutions, place severe penalties on anyone who gets in the way of the status quo, and like slavery, patents are just plain bad for Humanity.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Patents are patents
by JAlexoid on Wed 6th Jul 2011 15:32 UTC in reply to "Patents are patents"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Ok. Let them adhere to patents. And let Microsoft adhere to borders where those patents are valid. Even Lodsys has a better standing in my opinion than Microsoft, because they ask only licensing in US.

Microsoft is using US market access as a tool to enforce the US patent laws on the rest of the world. And guess what? I'm pretty sure that they do that not only with Android related patents/products...
And I hate that to the bone marrow!

I personally adhere to US patent laws, because they are laws. So my apps on Android Market have a surcharge for US residents of 8%. (Lodsys got to eat, don't they?)

Reply Score: 3

Comment by stabbyjones
by stabbyjones on Tue 5th Jul 2011 22:54 UTC
stabbyjones
Member since:
2008-04-15

I bought a galaxy S2 yesterday instead of the HTC Sensation simply so I didn't send 5 dollars to Microsoft.

How can Google let this happen to their device makers?

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by stabbyjones
by kragil on Tue 5th Jul 2011 23:16 UTC in reply to "Comment by stabbyjones"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

Probably a good move. I also try to make best informed decisions when I buy stuff.

The only thing corporations understand is money. Buying Iphones, Ipads, Macbooks, Xboxen, Windows Phone phones and OS licenses and then whining about how fucked up Apple and Microsoft are and how they get away with their bullshit on the internet isn't going to change anything.

Sure US patent and competion laws need to be changed, but it is not like you are totally helpless.

Reply Score: 3

Always look at the bright side
by protomank on Tue 5th Jul 2011 23:15 UTC
protomank
Member since:
2006-08-03

Whenever Unided States keep using those stupid software patents, the rest of the world, where I gladly belong to, will keep advancing more and more, until US will start to becoming technologicaly (but surely not economicaly) irrelevant. And also, seeing all this lawsuits, most contries are now simply agains software patents - I am very happy to tell you Brazil is one of those.

So thank you american congress and justice! You are doing a BIG favor for the rest of the world! ;)

Reply Score: 5

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Yes because Brazil, or any country without strict IP laws is just making such huge advances in new technology. It takes money to make money. Patents are there in order to help protect the years of R&D it takes to take the human race forward technologically.


One can make more profit in either of two ways: (1) increase sales and/or prices, or (2) reduce costs.

If a consortium of producers whose primary business is NOT writing software get together and collaborate to produce software they can all use, they can significantly reduce costs.

Provision of software is not a profit centre to the vast, vast majority of people and businesses, it is a cost. It is a cost that is a prime candidate for cost reduction.

Software patents potentially stand in the way of achieving this cost reduction. Software patents engender nothing but a significant and totally un-necessary cost burden for the vast, vast majority of people and businesses. They are therefore a huge burden, and an un-necessary impost on society.

You can read about the economics of this topic here if you are interested:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_scarcity
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deadweight_loss

BTW, Brazil is making quite a lot of headway in the area of reducing its economic costs of software through the use of FOSS software.

Edited 2011-07-06 00:01 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Much worse, they hamper innovation. A software patent blocks others from making totally different solutions - codewise - that could be vastly more efficient. These illegal solutions could lead to faster, safer, better, cheaper products.

Reply Score: 5

TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

I dont know about Brazil, but there is a lot of coding done in a lot of the world that doesn't have software patents. Hell, most of the history of computers in this country happened without software patents. The mere fact that we use "languages" when we "write" code should be enough proof for anyone that software belongs under copyright and NOT patents. All software is is a set of mathematical instructions.

Reply Score: 5

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

It's indeed interesting to note that the computer industry flourished before software patents were allowed. Software patents are a relatively new concept.

Edited 2011-07-06 00:12 UTC

Reply Score: 3

danger_nakamura Member since:
2011-06-21

No, Thom. Get it straight. If no patents or copyrights existed everyone would sit in the fields and pick pansies all day. Geez... what's WRONG with you? Why don't you GET it?!!

Reply Score: 2

Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

If no patents or copyrights existed everyone would sit in the fields and pick pansies all day. Geez... what's WRONG with you? Why don't you GET it?!!

Beware that mathematics, physics, etc have been working without patents, without "everyone would sit in the fields and pick pansies all day". Companies, student groups, teacher groups and bright individuals have been developing them, but mainly universities and research institutions, supported by government funds. Without threats of patent trials.

Also, not everyone is lazy. For example, software translators working for helping other people show us that.

Reply Score: 2

protomank Member since:
2006-08-03

Yes, there are a lot of technology advances being made in the country, in several places. We have one of the biggest industries of small planes, the best technology for deep ocean oil extraction, a new centrifugue method for radioactive materials that cost around 30% of the other ones, bio-fuels, animal and plants genetics...
Just because we do not produce anything in microprocessors, semicondutors and software right now, does not mean we do not have IP nor technology, good sir.

Anyway, Brazil have good IP laws, much betters than US, IMHO. It is just that it is made in the same ideas the original copyright and patent were made in US: to protect the persons or industries that created them, not for produce a lot of money to people who do not made any hard work. You must produce something to patent it, basicaly.

On the copyright hand, we do yes have lots of problems and high piracy, but copyright and patents are different things, at least here, under the equator line.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Always look at the bright side
by jaxx on Wed 6th Jul 2011 03:39 UTC in reply to "Always look at the bright side"
jaxx Member since:
2006-10-18

I am very happy to tell you Brazil is one of those


+1 for Brasil... But -1 in the same time: what about the 60% to 100% import taxes... sure, it's another subject, but I can't always support Brasil on a few things. So yeah, being against patents on one hand, good for the health market for instance, but preventing tech products of being abopted by the masses by crazy taxes is just as insane on the long run, it's short-term protectionisme.

Edit: I love Brasil btw, looking for a job in SP :-) But I know it's a tough task as locals are pretty well educated in the IT business, and I barely speak portuguese for now :-)

Edited 2011-07-06 03:44 UTC

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"I am very happy to tell you Brazil is one of those
+1 for Brasil... But -1 in the same time: what about the 60% to 100% import taxes... sure, it's another subject, but I can't always support Brasil on a few things. So yeah, being against patents on one hand, good for the health market for instance, but preventing tech products of being abopted by the masses by crazy taxes is just as insane on the long run, it's short-term protectionisme. Edit: I love Brasil btw, looking for a job in SP :-) But I know it's a tough task as locals are pretty well educated in the IT business, and I barely speak portuguese for now :-) "

Here is the attitude of US companies to US patents held by non-US entities:

http://www.smh.com.au/news/Breaking/CSIRO-hit-with-wifi-patent-suit...

CSIRO hit with wi-fi patent suit

CSIRO were the patent holders!

Here was the outcome:

http://www.geek.com/articles/chips/all-csiro-wi-fi-patent-disputes-...

"the battle between CSIRO and 14 companies including Microsoft, Dell, Fujitsu, Belkin, D-Link, and Toshiba, to name a few, is over. All companies involved have agreed to pay CSIRO a fee. "

It seems the US thinks that there is one rule meant to benefit only US companies and everyone else can go hang.

The world does not owe the US a living.

Edited 2011-07-06 04:29 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Let criminals pay
by kpugovkin on Tue 5th Jul 2011 23:24 UTC
kpugovkin
Member since:
2011-07-05

My lawyer is sure that programming was invented by Microsoft and all computers were originally designed by Apple.
So those who dare to write computer programs without a written permission from Apple-Microsoft consortium should be put into jail for IP infringement and the folly of running or spreading unauthorized software has to be cured by lobotomy.

Reply Score: 4

v Thom needs to get on Ritalin
by pantheraleo on Wed 6th Jul 2011 00:03 UTC
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Your story on the FDA had no links in it.

The story on Google's antitrust problems is in the works. The FDA will likely be integrated into ot.

Reply Score: 1

pantheraleo Member since:
2007-03-07

Your story on the FDA had no links in it.


Ah.. Well, the story I submitted about Apple did have links in it, and you removed them when you posted it... So....

The story on Google's antitrust problems is in the works.


In the works? Why bother anymore? It's 12 day old news.

Reply Score: 1

danger_nakamura Member since:
2011-06-21

Seriously Thom, take some Ritalin... Or some Prozac... Do something... You hope Anonymous hacks Microsoft? I hope they hack OSNews.


I hope they hack Microsoft. But, then, I'm told I'm a bad human being. Must explain it.

Reply Score: 1

non-comment
by UglyKidBill on Wed 6th Jul 2011 00:45 UTC
UglyKidBill
Member since:
2005-07-27

...after reading 41 posts... *apparently* PMS is much more common than what the general population believes...

Reply Score: 1

lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

An alternative to software patent trolls, expensive legal battles which produce nothing, and the economic deadweight loss associated with artifical scarcity (read: proprietary software) is discussed here:

http://beginlinux.com/blog/2011/07/tlwir-7-patent-trolls-superheroe...

"The free software model may soon become the ONLY acceptable model for software from a software security standpoint. Which is smarter: to have a programmer in house who has access to all of your company’s source code and can access and fix any problem instantaneously, or to have to wait for some company like Microsoft or Apple to have to release the security update for you? Better yet, might it not be better to be part of a large community where you all help to protect each other?

Whether businesses like it or not, freedom seems to be the direction in which everything is moving because it is simply a much more efficient way to operate. Having everyone invent their own version of the wheel, and to then have each of those versions of the wheel compete against each other is not only wasteful; it actually stifles innovation. The reason for this is that the time spent by multiple entities building essentially the same thing could have been used in advancing other areas."

Well, to tell the truth, not everything ... rather say "everything except the desktop and (some) mobile platforms" seem to be moving in this direction.

Reply Score: 3

morglum666 Member since:
2005-07-06

This argument shows clearly the delineation between those who DO, and those who talk on the Internet.

""The free software model may soon become the ONLY acceptable model for software from a software security standpoint. Which is smarter: to have a programmer in house who has access to all of your company’s source code and can access and fix any problem instantaneously, or to have to wait for some company like Microsoft or Apple to have to release the security update for you? Better yet, might it not be better to be part of a large community where you all help to protect each other? "

My wife works for a small freight broker. Their business is in the transactions of booking loads on tractor trailors that are currently unloaded to new locations and they take a per cent. What interest would they have in hiring a programmer when they can get their patches automatically from the vendor and keep on working?

The key point here is that business's buy software so they can work. There is nothing wrong with proprietary software.

I'm not even going to mention that the "many eyes make bugs large" argument has been successfully debunked and the reality is that open source has a astronomically higher base of users vs people who review the source code.

Morglum

Reply Score: 4

danger_nakamura Member since:
2011-06-21

What interest would they have in hiring a programmer when they can get their patches automatically from the vendor and keep on working? The key point here is that business's buy software so they can work.


This may seem nitpicky, but this is a false dichotmy. A business does not require a programmer on payroll to use open source software. Vendor support would take the place of "closed code" in a third possibility. The difference under that scenario is that the business, while still paying a vendor, would not be dependent on that vendor. How does the business lose under this scenario?

Reply Score: 2

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

An alternative to software patent trolls, expensive legal battles which produce nothing, and the economic deadweight loss associated with artifical scarcity (read: proprietary software) is discussed here:

http://beginlinux.com/blog/2011/07/tlwir-7-patent-trolls-superheroe...


Why can't you ever use a independant 3rd party instead of a pro linux/FOSS website ... because there are no other that support your beliefs.

"The free software model may soon become the ONLY acceptable model for software from a software security standpoint. Which is smarter: to have a programmer in house who has access to all of your company’s source code and can access and fix any problem instantaneously, or to have to wait for some company like Microsoft or Apple to have to release the security update for you?


Yes because everyone can afford trained specialist programmers for each software application they are using ... oh wait they are fooking expensive.

The whole point of using a large corp to provide support is that you don't have to hire someone in that can potentially be very expensive to hire long term.

Say you used Oracle Enterprise Linux support and was running say a scripting language, web server and a database.

You could either pay oracle $120 a year per CPU ... which is pretty cheap for a server OS support.

Or get a specialist to provide support for all 4 pieces of core software you are using ... which is far more expensive...

The whole point of an external company giving you lower level of support is that it is cheaper ... the expense must be weighed against the business need ... some things not working for say a month might be cheaper than hiring someone in to fix it immediately ... it isn't black and white so please don't make it out to be.

Better yet, might it not be better to be part of a large community where you all help to protect each other?


And what if the community doesn't want to help me, with my problems? I a SOL.

Having everyone invent their own version of the wheel, and to then have each of those versions of the wheel compete against each other is not only wasteful; it actually stifles innovation. The reason for this is that the time spent by multiple entities building essentially the same thing could have been used in advancing other areas."


So why are there countless linux distributions?

Why is there no LibreOffice and OpenOffice?

Why is XMMS, audacity?

Why is there MPlayer, Totem, Kaffeine, Banshee?

Why is there KDE, Gnome, XFCE, LXDE?

Why is there Redhat, Suse, Ubuntu, Madriva commercial distros?

Why is there Alsa, PulseAudio, Jack, OSS?

Why is there MySQL, PostGresSQL, Sqlite?

There are just variations of the same functionality ... Why is the wheel being reinvented so many times by the community itself? Surely by your arguement there should only be one example of each ...

Your arguement is bullshit.

Edited 2011-07-06 18:53 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Software patents: A plague and a pox
by lemur2 on Wed 6th Jul 2011 01:45 UTC
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

Another view here:

http://www.itworld.com/it-managementstrategy/178091/how-america-los...

Or ... "How America is losing its tech mojo (and how it can get it back)"

"Patents are supposed to protect the little people from the big bad megacorps. But this doesn't work for software. Big companies like IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and others routinely file for thousands upon thousands of software patents every year. So technically they are stepping on each other's patents every minute of every day. Nobody wants to start a patent war, so they cross-license with each other and go about their business. The cost of a software patent application can easily hit $20,000, legal advice on how to deal with a patent threat is $40,000 or more, and defending a patent suit can cost at least $2 million. The little people are excluded from this fun game.

What if your own patents are violated by one of the big people? They will pummel you with their patent portfolios and blacken your sky with lawyers until you give up."


"In a nutshell, we have unlimited funds for wars, 'security', criminalizing everyone, and protectionism for companies locked into hawking obsolescence. But no funds for progress."

Oh my.

Edited 2011-07-06 01:52 UTC

Reply Score: 5

Some big companies get it
by lemur2 on Wed 6th Jul 2011 02:08 UTC
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

There are some very large corporations, whose main business is NOT producing software, who apparently get the point that more money can be made by reducing software costs:

http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/toyota-joins-linux-foundati...

"Toyota Joins Linux Foundation

Toyota Looks Towards Open Innovation and Collaboration to Help Transform Auto Industry"

See also:
http://www.linuxplanet.com/linuxplanet/news/7266/1/

"Linux Foundation Brings New Vendors into Linux Fold"

Edited 2011-07-06 02:14 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Found it.
by lemur2 on Wed 6th Jul 2011 03:00 UTC
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

I found the reason for Microsoft's Extortion Campaign Against Android, ChromeOS.

Here it is:

http://thenextweb.com/microsoft/2011/07/05/microsofts-mobile-market...

Microsoft’s mobile market share continues to erode

Reply Score: 5

A lesson from the Wright Brothers
by unclefester on Wed 6th Jul 2011 10:36 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

The US government forced all US aircraft manufacturers to pool all their patents in 1917. They were then charged a small fee per aircraft to access any of these patents.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wright_brothers_patent_war

Reply Score: 3

danger_nakamura
Member since:
2011-06-21

Maybe not the place for it... but I notice a common theme amongst defenders of copyright and patent law as they stand today: Laziness.

I have been lurking on this and other sites for many years. Someone correct me if I'm wrong... it seems to be more than the protection of ideas, whatever that means. Yes, the basis of the claims lies in these "noble" ideas. But deeper into some of the conversations that I have read, the truth seems to come out. There are lazy peole that are seriously incommoded by the idea that they should not have the "right" to become one-hit-wonders and live of of the fat of one good, maybe even great, idea.

So just to be clear - someone has one good idea, writes one good story, composes one good song, and they should no longer have to work ever again? Society owes them BIG?!!

Please - get over yourself. Society will get on without your story, idea etc... Probablity suggests that someone else will come along and supply something identical/similiar/better. Go read all of the stories of ideas being developed simultaneously and independently by different "inventors." Do you REALLY believe that you are that special?

Lazy. One good idea, and the millions are "deserved." A "right." Eliminate fate and chance - we DEMAND protection! Give me break. Selfish and lazy.

Both systems serve a purpose, but that purpose has NOTHING to do with the individual. Society is the benefactor. This has been largely forgotten/ignored. To be viable again, strict guidelines and short time limits need to be put back into place. Sorry guys... you can still profit under this system, but one-hit-wonders may be few and far between. Guess the "genuises" will have to work like the rest of us.

Reply Score: 3

It's not Android...
by PrimalDK on Thu 7th Jul 2011 07:34 UTC
PrimalDK
Member since:
2005-07-12

...it's Linux.

This is the second time Microsoft has successfully pushed companies to pay protection money for distributing Linux.

This tells you that despite Linux being GPL, it can still cost you, and that is as clear a message as you can send to companies investing in it.

I am not surprised, but somewhat disappointed that the American government isn't looking into an effective cartel case. Apple and Microsoft together buy a patent portfolio?! I thought Steve Jobs had nothing but scorn left for Redmond...

Now they are effectively trying to kill the only large volume open source mobile initiative, and doing so not by making a better mousetrap, but by waving their AK-47s.

One would think America had left the mob behind...

Reply Score: 2