Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 4th Aug 2011 21:38 UTC
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y The Google-Microsoft patent war of words is continuing. Yesterday, Google (rightfully so, in my book) accused Apple, Microsoft, and Oracle partaking in an organised patent attack against Android, instead of competing on merit, claiming that they bought up Novell's and Nortel's patents solely to attack Android and its device makers. Microsoft struck back, claiming Google was offered to join in on the bids for the Novell patents, but rejected the offer. Google has now responded to this accusation - and to make matters even more confusing, Microsoft responded back. A public shouting match between two powerful parties? Count me in!
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Cheering for Google feels like...
by mrstep on Thu 4th Aug 2011 21:56 UTC
mrstep
Member since:
2009-07-18

.. cheering for Stalin over Hitler - neither option is very appealing.

Microsoft / Apple / et. al are using the (broken) patent system to their advantage and presumably avoiding supporting any changes that would take patent power away from big companies.

On the other hand, Google is 'anti-patent' mostly because they want to feel free to copy whatever they feel like and use it to create a larger ad channel for their real profit engine - so copying something and then giving it out for free is much more appealing than if they have to license parts of it. And to help that engine along, they collect all data possible about those users while pushing a never-ending supply of ads. Oh yea! Go Google! (???)

Patents are supposed to protect innovation and give a window where competitors either can't use a new idea or have to license it, so there's certainly validity to Apple going after Google given that they've been granted patents on various touch / portable device technologies. On the other hand, allowing 17-20 year patents on what are often trivial inventions as part of a extremely expensive and litigious system isn't a good thing at all.

Reply Score: 3

bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

Considering these are just software and procedure patents I might actually challenge your assertion that google is *just stealing*. There are copyright laws to protect art assets if that is what you are talking about.

Edited 2011-08-04 22:15 UTC

Reply Score: 6

deppbv78 Member since:
2008-06-29

Aim of my post is to gain more understanding into patents & copyright....

Isn't a patent provided to cover the idea, process of execution & its applicability? As I understand, copyright can protect my code but not the idea & its implementation process.

So, without a patent somebody can take my idea & execution procedure (unique in combination) but use their own logic (code) to the achieve the same. How will a copyright protect my idea & execution procedure?

I'm OK if somebody takes my idea but uses a different execution approach to solve the problem. But, I don't want somebody copying my idea & execution procedure without me getting any benefit out of it. This is specifically true for cases where a company invests millions of $$ in R&D, just to find that somebody copied their idea & execution approach into their product to get the feature for free.

In any case, patents should have a stringent expiry clauses (not exceeding 5yrs) without possible extensions. Modification of original patent by adding a new approach must not be considered as a new patent. I personally feel 5yrs is more than enough for companies to benefit from their patent. Further, government must stop trading of patents between companies as assets. Ideally, a company's patents must be released to public domain if the company is taken over by another.

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Aim of my post is to gain more understanding into patents & copyright.... Isn't a patent provided to cover the idea, process of execution & its applicability? As I understand, copyright can protect my code but not the idea & its implementation process. So, without a patent somebody can take my idea & execution procedure (unique in combination) but use their own logic (code) to the achieve the same. How will a copyright protect my idea & execution procedure? I'm OK if somebody takes my idea but uses a different execution approach to solve the problem. But, I don't want somebody copying my idea & execution procedure without me getting any benefit out of it. This is specifically true for cases where a company invests millions of $$ in R&D, just to find that somebody copied their idea & execution approach into their product to get the feature for free. In any case, patents should have a stringent expiry clauses (not exceeding 5yrs) without possible extensions. Modification of original patent by adding a new approach must not be considered as a new patent. I personally feel 5yrs is more than enough for companies to benefit from their patent. Further, government must stop trading of patents between companies as assets. Ideally, a company's patents must be released to public domain if the company is taken over by another.


As far as I know, patents do not protect ideas, they protect implementations of ideas, aka "inventions".

I liken this to a simple concept that people can picture easily:

- A person can invent a new type of water pump, and perhaps get a patent on it, but they cannot get a patent on the idea of pumping water. Another person later on can invent yet another new type of water pump, and they too can perhaps get a patent for it.

- Both inventors have invented water pumps, the two pumps in question just work differently. Neither inventor has a patent on the idea itself of pumping water.

AFAIK, this is how patents work.

Examples with pictures ... there are a number of different steam engines on this page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_engine#Motor_units

Double acting stationary steam engine, double piston stroke, oscillating cylinder, triple expansion, uniflow and turbine are shown. AFAIK there are still other types, pistonless rotary engine, Wankel engine, Rankine cycle and Schoelle cycle?

All of these confrom to the idea of a steam engine, but they are all different "inventions", they are all different implementations of that idea of a steam engine.

Edited 2011-08-05 07:13 UTC

Reply Score: 3

deppbv78 Member since:
2008-06-29

Exactly my point... Patent covers idea & a specific execution approach not just an idea.

Then, what is exactly wrong with software patents? Why shouldn't execution approach for implementing an idea be protected?

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Then, what is exactly wrong with software patents? Why shouldn't execution approach for implementing an idea be protected?


Because code is protected by copyright. Software patents would be akin to plot patents - patents on the detective novel, the romance novel, the scifi novel, etc.

Reply Score: 1

deppbv78 Member since:
2008-06-29

Code in itself is not the implementation approach. I can write the code for an algorithm (approach) in such a way that my code is different from the original source. I'm not improving the approach in anyways whatsoever. In such cases, I'll not be in violation of copyright. But, shouldn't I be in violation of the approach (even if it is not patented)?


Can you please explain how copyright protection works when I use a different programming language?
For Ex: Say a developer at X wrote a program for a unique feature for their phone. The code is copyrighted but the feature is not protected. The code for the same is available for others. I'm from company Y, I take this source code and then rewrite the same in a different programming language.

Is company Y in violation of copyright from a legal standpoint? Y does not care for technical or moral or ethical standpoint.

As an additional example, I want to use the case of Android notification system which Apple blatantly copied in iOS. In such a case, how will you prove the copyright violation? OTOH, had Google patented its notification system, Apple would be liable for infringement.

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

As an additional example, I want to use the case of Android notification system which Apple blatantly copied in iOS. In such a case, how will you prove the copyright violation?


You can't, and you shouldn't be able to. That's the whole point.

OTOH, had Google patented its notification system, Apple would be liable for infringement


Which would be idiotic. I'm happy Apple copied Android's notifications, because it is a good design. It makes iOS a better operating system, and thus, benefits consumers the world over. That's the point!

Reply Score: 3

przemo_li Member since:
2010-06-01

If you can prove that this new code (in different language) is "just" copy of your code, than you won it in court. Its similar to copyright protecting your work even if someone will translate it to different language!


On the other hand, I do not understand, your "execution" portion.
There is idea, there is code. No "execution procedure".

Reply Score: 1

molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

Code in itself is not the implementation approach. I can write the code for an algorithm (approach) in such a way that my code is different from the original source. I'm not improving the approach in anyways whatsoever. In such cases, I'll not be in violation of copyright. But, shouldn't I be in violation of the approach (even if it is not patented)?


My general approach to people who are ignorant to the vast literature about why ideas/software patents are a bad idea is to inform them. The specific "code" are the numerous comments I have posted on OsNews and elsewhere. So here's an idea - why don't I patent my "approach" to how to deal with ignorant people. Why shouldn't my "approach" be protected by law? Why won't the government grant monopolies over my ideas?

Almost forgot - here's one of the most recent, and perhaps the best article that would answer almost all your questions? Are you going to read it?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/04/patent-reform-congress_n_9...

Reply Score: 1

_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17


So, without a patent somebody can take my idea & execution procedure (unique in combination) but use their own logic (code) to the achieve the same. How will a copyright protect my idea & execution procedure?


Specially in the field of software, I would think it rare that anybody didn't think of the same execution at the same time. Part of the problem is that good execution is good execution and you're far from the only person to think of the same idea at the same time (only in very,very rare instances will the execution be truly novel).

It is highly also highly unlikely that your execution is all that original. It will build on previous art. What many are doing is looking at previous art and adding a widget which then makes the patent acceptable but not novel (anybody can go for previous art and add widgetX). Unless widgetX is truly innovative, that is BS patent (if widgetX were innovative why not patent that instead?)

Reply Score: 4

kivan Member since:
2011-08-05

Aim of my post is to gain more understanding into patents & copyright....

Isn't a patent provided to cover the idea, process of execution & its applicability? As I understand, copyright can protect my code but not the idea & its implementation process.


With patents, the invention itself can be just a method (meaning that you could get a patent on a process for building a brick if that process was new and non-obvious, even if the brick itself isn't). With bricks, it is safe to assume that all kinds of process having to do with them have been around for a long time, hence is practically impossible to come up with a new one.

The trick with software patents (which are just method patents) is that the field of technology is relatively recent, so that there is not enough prior art to invalidate new patents. Thus, it is much easier to come up with a broad claim.

In any case, patents should have a stringent expiry clauses (not exceeding 5yrs) without possible extensions.


And this is the other problem. Patents have been designed for other fields of technology, where the rate of innovation was much slower. For hydraulic valves, a patent term of 20 years is reasonable. For software, it isn't.

Reply Score: 2

andydread Member since:
2009-02-02

.. cheering for Stalin over Hitler - neither option is very appealing.

Microsoft / Apple / et. al are using the (broken) patent system to their advantage and presumably avoiding supporting any changes that would take patent power away from big companies.

On the other hand, Google is 'anti-patent' mostly because they want to feel free to copy whatever they feel like and use it to create a larger ad channel for their real profit engine - so copying something and then giving it out for free is much more appealing than if they have to license parts of it. And to help that engine along, they collect all data possible about those users while pushing a never-ending supply of ads. Oh yea! Go Google! (???)

Patents are supposed to protect innovation and give a window where competitors either can't use a new idea or have to license it, so there's certainly validity to Apple going after Google given that they've been granted patents on various touch / portable device technologies. On the other hand, allowing 17-20 year patents on what are often trivial inventions as part of a extremely expensive and litigious system isn't a good thing at all.


The problem is software patents. Not patents in general. Patenting commodity software such as operating systems is a folly and must stop. Microsoft and Apple are pushing for a day when no one can write open source software without treading on their trivial software patents which are not novel or non-obvious. Your attempt to astroturf for Apple by shifting the conversation has failed. Its about software patents.

BTW a court has found that Apple has copied Nokia's technology. The ITC has found that Apple has copied technology that now belongs to HTC. FYI

Reply Score: 7

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Finally somebody who is willing to call a spade a spade.

The only way this patent bullshit is going to end is if/when these big companies get tired of being sued by each other. Of course, I'm sure that won't stop people like Thom from incessantly whining about it on tech blogs ;)

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Eh, that would be the desired outcome.

Reply Score: 1

kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

The desired outcome is for the government to step in and rationalize the patent system (and I don't just mean business process or software patents, but all patents including hardware, bio, etc.).

That's not going to happen anytime soon though.

Reply Score: 3

Sauron Member since:
2005-08-02

And to help that engine along, they collect all data possible about those users while pushing a never-ending supply of ads. Oh yea! Go Google! (???)

Where is all these ads from Google these folk keep going on about?
I never see any and never have. Or am I just an exception and missing out on summat? ;)

Reply Score: 2

Shkaba Member since:
2006-06-22

...
Patents are supposed to protect innovation and give a window where competitors either can't use a new idea or have to license it...


Am I the only one who thinks this is a very poorly written sentence?! Patent an idea?? C'mon if that is allowed Star track should be in position to license everything from mobile phones to CT Scans etc. Come to think of it... I have an idea give me few minutes to patent it and then I'll tell you all about it...

Reply Score: 2

mrstep is quite right
by bloodline on Thu 4th Aug 2011 22:11 UTC
bloodline
Member since:
2008-07-28

Google and apple/Microsoft are trying to screw someone over... Except Apple/Microsoft are using the broken software patent system and google are just tryin to outright steal... Neither is right, they are just big business doing what big business does best...

In all honestly it doesn't really matter to the consumer... Juat buy the Apple/Microsoft/Android device of your choice and let your wallet decide.

I've made my choice, I'm happy... I'm pretty sure others are happy with their choice too ;)

Edited 2011-08-04 22:14 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE: mrstep is quite right
by przemo_li on Fri 5th Aug 2011 04:50 UTC in reply to "mrstep is quite right"
przemo_li Member since:
2010-06-01

Unless, Apple/MS decide it is time to charge more for Android device than they have from their own devices or banning them from selling is even better.

Than you as customer have no choice.

Reply Score: 1

OIN? Are you serious?
by kristoph on Thu 4th Aug 2011 22:21 UTC
kristoph
Member since:
2006-01-01

$4.5 BILLION is at stake. If you think that's going to be forsaken in the name of patent egalitarianism you've been spending way too much time with the unicorns.

In the absolute best case scenario the DOJ will force the licensees to agree to some type of 'fair' patent licensing policy (which Microsoft and Apple will still be happy with because it will raise the 'price' of Android).

]{

Reply Score: 4

RE: OIN? Are you serious?
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 4th Aug 2011 22:36 UTC in reply to "OIN? Are you serious?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

$4.5 BILLION is at stake. If you think that's going to be forsaken in the name of patent egalitarianism you've been spending way too much time with the unicorns.

In the absolute best case scenario the DOJ will force the licensees to agree to some type of 'fair' patent licensing policy (which Microsoft and Apple will still be happy with because it will raise the 'price' of Android).

]{


Why don't you just read the link? They did it for the Novel patents - why wouldn't they do it for the Nortel patents?

"In order to address competition concerns of the department, CPTN and its owners have revised their agreements to provide that:

[...]

All of the Novell patents will be acquired subject to the GNU General Public License, Version 2, a widely adopted open-source license, and the Open Invention Network (OIN) License, a significant license for the Linux System;

[...]"


Edited 2011-08-04 22:36 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: OIN? Are you serious?
by kristoph on Fri 5th Aug 2011 00:23 UTC in reply to "RE: OIN? Are you serious?"
kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

Well, oh so many reasons, here is a few ...

1) Microsoft was at the the time and is at the moment the dominant OS platform so it's ability to assert patents over Linux was a big deal because it would improve Microsoft's already dominant position.

Google is currently the largest player in search and Android is now the most popular operating system in mobile (it's bigger then Microsoft + Apple combined) so it's not like anyones dominant position will be improved.

You might argue that Apple's dominant position as a smartphone vendor would be improved but it's slice of the pie is still pretty small compared to what Microsoft had (and has) on the desktop.

2) Most of the Novell patents were for software that was implicitly or explicitly related to the DOJ / Microsoft anti-trust case while these patents are mostly for hardware unrelated to any pending actions by the DOJ.

Obviously, OIN would not play a role since there is little if any impact on Linux.

3) The Novell deal was pocket change for most of the companies involved (including Novell) so when the DOJ wanted changes everyone smiled and moved on. This deal is $4.5 BILLION that will make a huge number of bondholders (in an otherwise bankrupt company) whole. If the deal was watered down those patents would not be worth the same amount making a large number of people deeply unhappy which means the bar for government action is much higher.

Possibly, Google could come to the table at this point so everyone had a license to the patents at the same market value but, really, all that would mean is that RockStar could not use them offensively which would make it as unattractive to Google as a Microsoft-Google deal for the Novell patents (because they could also not be used counter offensively).

This is just generally a crappy position for Google. Patent reform is not coming soon so the best they can hope for is to reduce the damage these patents will do to Android vendors (ultimately there is no doubt that every Android device sold will fill the coffers of multiple companies; the key for Google is making sure the fee is small enough to keep Android attractive).

]{

Reply Score: 4

v Google is lying...
by tomcat on Thu 4th Aug 2011 23:30 UTC
RE: Google is lying...
by JAlexoid on Fri 5th Aug 2011 01:00 UTC in reply to "Google is lying..."
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

They were half right in the original post - they were offered a place in the Novell deal, but were not offered a spot in the Nortel deal.
US DoJ already said that Novell deal was detrimental to innovations in the FOSS world. It's yet to be seen what happens with the Nortel deal.

It's a full out PR war by now, so get used to it. In addition, whiners get a lot what they whine about. So it might not be a good PR stunt to whine, but it gets things done...

What the media outlets are liking, is that they get all of this activity... Whatever riles up the troops.

Oh, and BTW, Google is getting a profit boost from all of this... Since they control most of the ads on the net.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Google is lying...
by tomcat on Fri 5th Aug 2011 02:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Google is lying..."
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

It's a full out PR war by now, so get used to it. In addition, whiners get a lot what they whine about. So it might not be a good PR stunt to whine, but it gets things done...


It's not going to amount to squat in the court room, where it matters.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Google is lying...
by przemo_li on Fri 5th Aug 2011 04:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Google is lying..."
przemo_li Member since:
2010-06-01

Yeap. You can lawfully assert cash from patents thats are about anything (including 3 000y old round shape of wheel), just because there are no cheap lawfull ways to defend from troll. All lawful (in USA at least).

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Google is lying...
by Soulbender on Fri 5th Aug 2011 15:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Google is lying..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

True, but Google's got money and that's what matters in U.S courts.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Google is lying...
by tomcat on Fri 5th Aug 2011 17:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Google is lying..."
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

True, but Google's got money and that's what matters in U.S courts.


So what. Its competitors have a huge pile of cash, too, and they're obviously not afraid to spend it. Google is going to come out on the losing end of this. They simply have to understand that they need to license the patents and get it over with. The problem, though, for Android is that its entire value proposition is based on being "free" compared to its competitors. Take that away by forcing Google to pay patent royalties, and you have a very level playing field. Of course, Google could just absorb the cost of the patent royalties and keep Android free, but we're talking about billions of dollars here. I doubt that Google would do that because it would hurt its bottom line, and it would be ongoing...

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Google is lying...
by JAlexoid on Mon 8th Aug 2011 02:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Google is lying..."
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

This bickering is not about the courtroom, it's about the laws. The lawsuits are just examples to be exaggerated.
Don't forget that laws are mostly created by a small number of people. Even the US constitution was created by a few activists...

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Google is lying...
by tomcat on Mon 8th Aug 2011 23:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Google is lying..."
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

This bickering is not about the courtroom, it's about the laws. The lawsuits are just examples to be exaggerated.
Don't forget that laws are mostly created by a small number of people. Even the US constitution was created by a few activists...


Not sure what point you're trying to make. The laws guide the courtroom. Nobody is going to change the laws. Ergo, it's an argument signifying nothing.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Google is lying...
by JAlexoid on Mon 8th Aug 2011 23:41 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Google is lying..."
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

It's probably not obvious to you, but Google is on the verge of giving up. This is their switch of tactics - to start forcing legal reform. If you whine loud enough and long enough, the laws will be passed.

Edited 2011-08-08 23:44 UTC

Reply Score: 2

v Google & software patents
by ourcomputerbloke on Thu 4th Aug 2011 23:54 UTC
RE: Google & software patents
by BallmerKnowsBest on Fri 5th Aug 2011 00:46 UTC in reply to "Google & software patents"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

The proliferation of Android phones has been driven purely by the carriers and marketing. The same thing happened when the carriers pushed Blackberry. iPhone came along, they pushed that, it became successful because it was simple yet powerful and feature rich compared to other offerings. But geeks wanted more and Apple wouldn't give it to them, so they stayed away in droves and lapped up Android when it came along. Many of those geeks work at phone retailers, and they sell Android phones on the back of their enthusiasm for it's power user features - things that the majority of the population would never use, and on Android couldn't work out how to use even if they wanted to. Just walk into a phone retailer and listen to them prattling on about multitasking this, tethering that, setting up a hotspot and customising your home screen, but ask them how to set up the device for visually impaired users or sync'ing it with your current iPod based music collection and they have a meltdown.


You know, MrHasBean, you already provided a ready-made rebuttal to that claim... earlier in the same comment, no less.

"So the dissertation(sic) here is that the people who purchase Android devices only do so because they're brainwashed by geeks at mobile carriers?

No possibility at all that there might actually be people who have very good reasons for either disliking Apple, their 'gated community' approach to the iOS ecosystem, and their very obvious - to some - attempts to erect barriers to competition in the handheld OS market?"

P.S.
Are you ever going to admit that you're MrHasBean posting under a sock account?

Reply Score: 4

RE: Google & software patents
by JAlexoid on Fri 5th Aug 2011 01:14 UTC in reply to "Google & software patents"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Many people have bought Android phones on the recommendations of one or more of those tech connoisseurs, and from personal experience I know many that will never buy another, simply finding Android too confusing / complicated / inconsistent / unstable. Despite the rhetoric bandied around here, my personal approach is to tell people to go try out both, without the assistance of any salesperson, talk to non-techy people that they know who own one or the other, and make up their own mind. By a large margin those people have gone the iOS path.

And many more people don't have the techy friends. Or actually went into the store and decided that they were missing something in iOS. I have as much anecdotal evidence as you, yet it's very much irrelevant.

The only problem, is that you give non-techie people too little credit. A lot of them can easily select the right phone they need and evaluate all the upsides and downsides, especially women.

The proliferation of Android phones has been driven purely by the carriers and marketing.

And others got where they are due to magic dust?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Google & software patents
by TechGeek on Fri 5th Aug 2011 03:54 UTC in reply to "Google & software patents"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

Many people have bought Android phones on the recommendations of one or more of those tech connoisseurs, and from personal experience I know many that will never buy another, simply finding Android too confusing / complicated / inconsistent / unstable. Despite the rhetoric bandied around here, my personal approach is to tell people to go try out both, without the assistance of any salesperson, talk to non-techy people that they know who own one or the other, and make up their own mind. By a large margin those people have gone the iOS path.

The proliferation of Android phones has been driven purely by the carriers and marketing. The same thing happened when the carriers pushed Blackberry. iPhone came along, they pushed that, it became successful because it was simple yet powerful and feature rich compared to other offerings. But geeks wanted more and Apple wouldn't give it to them, so they stayed away in droves and lapped up Android when it came along. Many of those geeks work at phone retailers, and they sell Android phones on the back of their enthusiasm for it's power user features - things that the majority of the population would never use, and on Android couldn't work out how to use even if they wanted to. Just walk into a phone retailer and listen to them prattling on about multitasking this, tethering that, setting up a hotspot and customising your home screen, but ask them how to set up the device for visually impaired users or sync'ing it with your current iPod based music collection and they have a meltdown.

And the real giveaway is the tablet market. No carriers pushing it, after all there's bugger all dollars in it for them, and iOS is smashing Android despite there being about 10:1 advertising in the other direction. So again I ask, what has Apple got to be scared of? Anyone looking at this logically just sees a company doing what all companies who actually create anything do to protect their investment. If Google was in the business of creating, or should I say making money from their creations and not just from selling advertising, they'd be doing exactly the same thing.


Either you are wrong or Apple has no case. The way you describe Android, there is NO WAY anyone who isn't retarded would ever confuse Android and iOS. Android is just so bad that its not even comparable. So why is it that Apple is suing anyone for copying iOS. If its a copy, then that's saying its the same. So which is it? Are Android and iOS the same proving that there was copying? Or is Android such a pale comparison as to be an original creation?

To be honest, I think they are the same and that both Apple and Google copied from the people that came before them. That is why the two are so similar. But I don't expect Apple to ever admit that. Nokia had touch screen internet tablets long before iOS came out. Running a form of gnome or kde I can't remember atm.

Edited 2011-08-05 03:55 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Google & software patents
by przemo_li on Fri 5th Aug 2011 05:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Google & software patents"
przemo_li Member since:
2010-06-01

Apple is not suing anyone for coping iOS!

Google did not infringed copyright hold by Apple!

Apple sue Google for infringing ideas, Apple have patents for.



Problem with patents for software is that every piece of code is ONLY idea. So you can patent anything, anytime. Also giving monopole is very bad idea in software! You then get companies not carring to innovate more (just because they can stop others).
And also because copyright is there in place to stop outright copping source code (and thats case Google vs Oracle). Software is unique field "protected" by copyright and patents. Oh and 20y protection is just crazy. After 5-10y you just get things as granted and build on them new innovation. If patents last so long, you just cant do (cause you can not make innovation without crossing tooo many of them).

Reply Score: 1

deppbv78 Member since:
2008-06-29

But, patent documents not just detail an idea.. it also details a particular execution approach as an implementation of the idea. I'm not sure of somebody will get sued if they have a different approach to achieve the same idea.

Simple case we can consider is of pinch-to-zoom. Apple did not get patent for pinch-to-zoom or multitouch. They have a patent for a specific implementation involved two fingers on a viewport to zoom in a specific content displayed in the viewport. How is that not specific? If somebody wants to implement multitouch to zoom, then they should come up with their own idea not just copy what Apple innovated. BTW, I'm not arguing that Apple invented multitouch or pinch-to-zoom. Its just that they patented a specific procedure.

Reply Score: 1

przemo_li Member since:
2010-06-01

Why not? There is no legal barrier for that, and court is expensive. So why somebody want start company (legal), buy some patents (legal), go to X different companies and signal that they should pay licenses (legal), or will go to court with them (legal).

If company make license costs below legal costs, than some companies will go for it! Just to save time and money.

All legal, even though patent was rubbish.

Reply Score: 1

dragos.pop Member since:
2010-01-08


Simple case we can consider is of pinch-to-zoom. Apple did not get patent for pinch-to-zoom or multitouch. They have a patent for a specific implementation involved two fingers on a viewport to zoom in a specific content displayed in the viewport. How is that not specific? If somebody wants to implement multitouch to zoom, then they should come up with their own idea not just copy what Apple innovated. BTW, I'm not arguing that Apple invented multitouch or pinch-to-zoom. Its just that they patented a specific procedure.


Think again:
pinch-to-zoom - it is the most natural move a person could make with 2 fingers (or more) to zoom on a small screen. If you invented multitouch and you wanted to show how to zoom, you would do the same. Because it is what you do in reality when you want to make something bigger.
Of course, if Apple had a patent on how to recognize this gesture, than we are talking...
So I could argue that apple patented a very natural gesture (I might loose this argument since it's hard to prove, but than again, with an easy experiment I could win).

Reply Score: 0

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

If you actually look at the patents Apple is asserting against HTC, you'll see that a lot of them are ridiculously broad. Though Apple's patents seem to be the most specific ones of all that are in this patent sh***storm.

A patent should be a document that is a guide to implementing. None. I really mean, none of the patents(in these cases) could be read as a guide for implementation after it expires. There is just not enough info in them to use it like a schematic, like most hardware patents have. Their last one that I read, was Apple's document scrolling patent. And I would have to spend as much time in understanding and implementing it as I would have done it without reading the patent - it's lacks detail that much.

I don't believe that pinch-to-zoom is patented, though.

Reply Score: 2

TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

Apple is not suing anyone for coping iOS!

Google did not infringed copyright hold by Apple!

Apple sue Google for infringing ideas, Apple have patents for.


Actually Apple is suing Samsung over the "look and feel" of the Galaxy Tab. This I *believe* falls under copyright, not patents. Lets face it, Apple is suing the world just about.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Nokia's Maemo Linux is GTK based. I'm not sure if it's a modified Gnome or just a GTK DE similar to Gnome.

QT comes to Maemo later. Keepass is QT based and works on maemo but is clearly not using the native GUI widget set.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Google & software patents
by Neolander on Fri 5th Aug 2011 08:31 UTC in reply to "Google & software patents"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Don't reply to mrhasbean, don't reply to mrhasbean... Ah, man, I can't, this one is just too big.

And the real giveaway is the tablet market. No carriers pushing it, after all there's bugger all dollars in it for them, and iOS is smashing Android despite there being about 10:1 advertising in the other direction.

[citation needed]. Here, iPad ads are *extremely* commonplace, while I've yet to see an ad for an Android tablet outside of techie websites.

(On a related note, I've recently sent a mail to Gruber about a flaw which I was seeing in one of his articles. The mail was detailed and polite, explaining clearly where I thought the issue was and heavily giving him the benefit of doubt. He didn't reply. I should really stop believing that trolls can be saved.)

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

(On a related note, I've recently sent a mail to Gruber about a flaw which I was seeing in one of his articles. The mail was detailed and polite, explaining clearly where I thought the issue was and heavily giving him the benefit of doubt. He didn't reply. I should really stop believing that trolls can be saved.)


Pointless. Why do you think he has no comments on his site?

Reply Score: 1

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I've seen some other blogging systems that don't support comments around the web (and always find them just as annoying), so I was giving him the benefit of doubt on this one : he could prefer a comment-free CMS because he finds it awesome for some unrelated reason (pleasing typography nazis, reducing server load, less cluttered admin interface...).

He regularly mentions the e-mails he receives, e.g. on the update of this article : http://daringfireball.net/2011/06/n9_and_meego . Therefore, I concluded that this is the main contact medium. While still suspecting that he only picks e-mails that prove his points -- hey, this is Daring Fireball we're talking about after all. Now, I'm pretty much convinced ;)

Edited 2011-08-05 08:50 UTC

Reply Score: 1

BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

I've seen some other blogging systems that don't support comments around the web (and always find them just as annoying), so I was giving him the benefit of doubt on this one : he could prefer a comment-free CMS because he finds it awesome for some unrelated reason (pleasing typography nazis, reducing server load, less cluttered admin interface...).


Someone should create a site where Gruber's posts are aggregated (easy enough to do using the RSS feed) & commenting is allowed... then see how long it takes for him to throw a hissy-fit over it.

On a completely unrelated topic, I see that "daringfanboy.net" is available.

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

"I've seen some other blogging systems that don't support comments around the web (and always find them just as annoying), so I was giving him the benefit of doubt on this one : he could prefer a comment-free CMS because he finds it awesome for some unrelated reason (pleasing typography nazis, reducing server load, less cluttered admin interface...).


Someone should create a site where Gruber's posts are aggregated (easy enough to do using the RSS feed) & commenting is allowed... then see how long it takes for him to throw a hissy-fit over it.

On a completely unrelated topic, I see that "daringfanboy.net" is available.
"

Already been done. He threw a hissy fit, and had it taken down.

http://www.cultofmac.com/john-gruber-is-surprisingly-cool-with-dari...

Edited 2011-08-05 13:24 UTC

Reply Score: 1

BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

Someone should create a site where Gruber's posts are aggregated (easy enough to do using the RSS feed) & commenting is allowed... then see how long it takes for him to throw a hissy-fit over it.

On a completely unrelated topic, I see that "daringfanboy.net" is available.


Already been done. He threw a hissy fit, and had it taken down.

http://www.cultofmac.com/john-gruber-is-surprisingly-cool-with-dari... [/q]

Ah fanboys, they're nothing if not predictable.

The cultofmac post doesn't give details, but I'd wager Gruber complained that the other site was a copyright infringement since it used his site's design and imagery.

If that weren't the case (and as long as there was no attempt to claim authorship of his posts), then there would't be anything "the Grube" could do about it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Google & software patents
by vitae on Fri 5th Aug 2011 19:28 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Google & software patents"
vitae Member since:
2006-02-20

Question is, what makes somebody this much of a fanatic towards a corporation that only views them a customer, doesn't "love" them, wants their money, and then wants out of their faces until it's time to buy something new? It's one thing to be a gamer and appreciate a company like Bioware or somebody for the games they make, but to be a frothing at the mouth OCPD candidate, kissing their arses every step of the way, and blogging with rabid determination in their favor is quite another. Unless, of course, you're getting paid for it.

Edited 2011-08-05 19:30 UTC

Reply Score: 1

ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

I remember reading, a couple of years ago, that some guy was trying to patent a specific type of story plot.

Unlike copyrights, patents lock out everyone, even in the case of independent innovation. That's why they're so dangerous to apply to something like software where the patent investigators don't understand things well enough to weed out the garbage applications.

Either learn what you're talking about or learn to troll better. Whichever is applicable to your intentions.

Reply Score: 8

rdean400 Member since:
2006-10-18

Independent innovation is exactly why I don't like the patent system.

The patent system is supposed to be designed to promote innovation by giving inventors a monopoly on their inventions in exchange for disclosing them. Patents do not promote innovation when the claimed inventions are easily created in the absence of knowledge of the patent. Too many patents today fall into this category, particularly the ones that take a manual process and automate it, or format-shift an application or UI element to the web or to mobile technology.

Reply Score: 5

flynn Member since:
2009-03-19

Thom has argued that software patents are merely "patenting numbers" and that it is wrong based on this assertion.

I think C. S. Lewis, JRR Tolken, JK Rowling among many others would disagree with that understanding. Thom's philosophy is akin to saying that patenting a book is just patenting letters.

patent != copyright

The works of Lewis, Tolkien and Rowling are protected by copyright, they are not patented.

Patenting a book would in fact involve patenting the process of putting letters on paper and binding the pages together.

Reply Score: 8

przemo_li Member since:
2010-06-01

No.

Patents for software are not about physical quantities or their use. Their are about "pure ideas".

So JRRT could eg. patent parts of story, plot, heroes, world, etc. Even writing tircks and trips.

Also way you write novel could be patented (eg. first you describe your entities, than make plot).

ALL of those things have been patented in software patents!

Reply Score: 2

narcissus Member since:
2005-07-06

Um... The authors of books are protected by copyright, NOT patent.

I think you're a little confused about the two. Thom says software patents which cover the algorithm behind the text, is not patentable.

These are two entirely different things.

Math is not patentable.

Reply Score: 1

przemo_li Member since:
2010-06-01

Math is not patentable but software algorithms are!!!

There are many sorting patents for example!

Reply Score: 1

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Thom's philosophy is akin to saying that patenting a book is just patenting letters


I'm sure someone already said this but, uh, you can't patent books. Does your ignorance know no boundaries?

Reply Score: 3

TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

Thom has argued that software patents are merely "patenting numbers" and that it is wrong based on this assertion.

I think C. S. Lewis, JRR Tolken, JK Rowling among many others would disagree with that understanding. Thom's philosophy is akin to saying that patenting a book is just patenting letters.


If you are going to attack someone at least bother to get the argument right. Thom argued that software is "math" not numbers. Although technically both is actually correct. Software is converted to binary, ones and zeroes. Software works at the core level by your processor doing simple math. If you had EVER programmed in assembly, you would clearly understand how the math works.

Reply Score: 5

_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

I think C. S. Lewis, JRR Tolken, JK Rowling among many others would disagree with that understanding. Thom's philosophy is akin to saying that patenting a book is just patenting letters.


I wish I didn't have to be so hostile but:

You're useless.

After commenting on several articles on patents, you still don't know what they truly entail. You used the worst possible example (I'm sure others have told you that books are protected by copyright).

In that vein it should be pointed out that there are many books that resemble quite closely these books in terms of structure, story and content...and yet these are still the most famous.

Reply Score: 3

Software patents...
by thavith_osn on Fri 5th Aug 2011 00:40 UTC
thavith_osn
Member since:
2005-07-11

...are such a grey area.

I am for them, and against them.

If I come up with a super idea that has never been thought of before, I spend a year or two perfecting it, and then release the software, then surely I should have some protection over someone else looking at all my hard work, copying it, and selling it as their own.

But can/should you patent an idea?

On the other hand, competition is a great ways to help move the industry forward and for the consumer to get products at reasonable prices.

I don't know enough about patent laws (and I'm sure a few other people here don't either), but from what I keep reading, the system is flawed. It appears you can patent to such an extent that it's near impossible to write any software anymore without being liable for something from someone.

I check MacSurfer most days. I notice that Apple gets sued as much as they sue, if not more. I am sure this is the same for most of the bigger companies.

I have no problem with a patent on an implementation of an idea however. But I would like to see a time limit placed on it, maybe 2 - 5 years. That way, the "inventor" can have a head start in building a market around the implementation, but can't hold onto that indefinitely. Maybe this is already the case.

I should read more, but to be honest, I just don't have the time. If someone can point me to a "simple" summary of how software patents work, that would be helpful. Others might find that helpful too. (Yes, I could Google "Summary of Software Patents") ;-)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Software patents...
by sonnyrao on Fri 5th Aug 2011 03:04 UTC in reply to "Software patents..."
sonnyrao Member since:
2011-07-18

...are such a grey area.

I am for them, and against them.

If I come up with a super idea that has never been thought of before, I spend a year or two perfecting it, and then release the software, then surely I should have some protection over someone else looking at all my hard work, copying it, and selling it as their own.

But can/should you patent an idea?

On the other hand, competition is a great ways to help move the industry forward and for the consumer to get products at reasonable prices.

I don't know enough about patent laws (and I'm sure a few other people here don't either), but from what I keep reading, the system is flawed. It appears you can patent to such an extent that it's near impossible to write any software anymore without being liable for something from someone.

I check MacSurfer most days. I notice that Apple gets sued as much as they sue, if not more. I am sure this is the same for most of the bigger companies.

I have no problem with a patent on an implementation of an idea however. But I would like to see a time limit placed on it, maybe 2 - 5 years. That way, the "inventor" can have a head start in building a market around the implementation, but can't hold onto that indefinitely. Maybe this is already the case.

I should read more, but to be honest, I just don't have the time. If someone can point me to a "simple" summary of how software patents work, that would be helpful. Others might find that helpful too. (Yes, I could Google "Summary of Software Patents") ;-)


Yeah software patents are really a grey area, I think mostly they point out several problems with the patent system (at least in the US):

1) The fixed length of time granted per patent -- the rapid pace of innovation in the field makes this very questionable
2) The quality of the patents aren't really evaluated or judged when they're filed. This is pretty difficult to do actually, so that one is somewhat understandable.
3) The ability to sell patents to companies which don't produce any actual products (in the relevant field)-- should be abolished

I think there probably are cases where people are innovating and could deserve some protection long enough to get a product out -- which would benefit society. Those who invent something but don't actually produce anything (because they cannot enter a certain field) should be able to sell their idea to a company which would then produce something based on it.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Software patents...
by przemo_li on Fri 5th Aug 2011 05:14 UTC in reply to "Software patents..."
przemo_li Member since:
2010-06-01

You have copyright that prevents others from "COPYING" your source code!

You do not need patent. And them if someone without looking at your code copied "behavior" of your code, can you really call him "coping your work"? Or is it just idea thats easy to come up with, when faced with exact problem.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Software patents...
by reduz on Fri 5th Aug 2011 17:17 UTC in reply to "Software patents..."
reduz Member since:
2006-02-25

What is a super idea? do you see super ideas often? Pretty much all "innovation" in software is mostly combining existing implementations or ideas into something else, or in a certain way.
Please point me to a "super idea" you have seen recently..

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Software patents...
by elsewhere on Sat 6th Aug 2011 00:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Software patents..."
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Pretty much all "innovation" in software is mostly combining existing implementations or ideas into something else, or in a certain way.


This.

If software patents existed at the time the first "Hello, world" app was written, that person could have effectively blocked any advancements in application development for the next 20 some odd years.

Software development, much as with any creative work, does not occur in a vacuum. It is influenced by ideas and works that occurred before it, and often builds or improves upon those ideas further. Steve Jobs himself has admitted in the past that stealing great ideas is a smart thing to do.

Talk to any successful author, musician, screenwriter whatever, and they can all cite other creators that inspire and influence their work.

If a software developer tried that, they'd be hauled into court on some patent violation or another.

Reply Score: 2

Tangent: Consumers are in Control
by seanpk on Fri 5th Aug 2011 00:41 UTC
seanpk
Member since:
2009-11-17

Good article Tom, as usual.

Though tangential to the main point, I do think you are mistaken here:
"As a consumer, you should always distrust companies because their interests are diametrically opposed to yours."

While this may indeed be true of companies that rely on Patent, Trademark, Copyright, and other government regulations, to prop up their business instead of competing on merit, this isn't the general rule.
(Actually, even in these cases, no one is forcing you to spend your money with a particular company.)

Take a visit to a local restaurant, dry-cleaners, hardware store, ... and you can experience the power that only the buyer has.
(If you live in a culture where bartering is common, or if you can go somewhere -say flea or farmer's market- where it is, the experience is even more amazing!)

I find best companies, even those who use government to restrict competition (again, through IP laws and regulations), to be those who are most responsive to their customers ... the ones who are most successful in aligning their interests with those of their customers.

OK, that could be the beginning of a long conversation ... lets just leave it as something to think about.

Reply Score: 2

Rahrrr...
by fretinator on Fri 5th Aug 2011 00:50 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

C++t fight!

Reply Score: 3

What about Apple stealing
by TechGeek on Fri 5th Aug 2011 03:43 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

I keep seeing many people regarding Google as thieves. So is anyone going to acknowledge that Apple has done the exact same thing? Either they are both guilty of "stealing" or they are both not. They have both taken ideas from others in the market and its really not fair to single out Google for the behavior and not Apple.

Reply Score: 4

RE: What about Apple stealing
by przemo_li on Fri 5th Aug 2011 05:18 UTC in reply to "What about Apple stealing"
przemo_li Member since:
2010-06-01

Well, they want.
It so handy to call some one stealer after all.

Also there is no point in arguing that it is not stealing. Both Google, Apple need to pot their resources even when they copy feature that already exist.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by kovacm
by kovacm on Fri 5th Aug 2011 04:33 UTC
kovacm
Member since:
2010-12-16

My cheering for Google is based on the company's dislike for software patents

A rather weak response, since if history is anything to go by, the safe assumption is that Google is not going to use any patents aggressively.

...because they do not have ammunition ;)

as far I am concern - end of story! good luck Google ;)

Reply Score: 0

RE: Comment by kovacm
by MOS6510 on Fri 5th Aug 2011 07:44 UTC in reply to "Comment by kovacm"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

They need "defensive" patents, because they know they are (willingly) infringing a number.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by kovacm
by ichi on Fri 5th Aug 2011 08:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kovacm"
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

They need "defensive" patents, because they know they are (willingly) infringing a number.


You say that as if it was an evil thing, when reality is you just can't write any piece of software without stepping on someone else's toes. Everything that can be patented has quite likely been patented (and then some just in case), there's a whole business based on trading in patents parasitizing software development.

If you are a small developer you can try flying under the radar of most patent owners, but big companies need the patents to get better deals through cross licensing (ie. deals that don't kill their own products) or just give a "if you mess with me I'll ass-rape you with my patent portfolio" stance.

It's the exact same reason why you'd want a nuclear arsenal.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Comment by kovacm
by MOS6510 on Fri 5th Aug 2011 10:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kovacm"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I didn't mean to make it sound evil.

While I agree this software patent system is way out of control, I think we should also accept that it's the current set of rules which Google is breaking.

Google has made a habit of moving fast and deal with the consequences later.

Reply Score: 0

Icaria
Member since:
2010-06-19

but I'm rather enjoying OSNews coverage of this issue. It's unusually refrained, while a lot of the other sites/shows are being unusually presumptuous, or are just failing to report on anything past the initial volleys.

Reply Score: 2

wait...wait...
by martini on Fri 5th Aug 2011 13:19 UTC
martini
Member since:
2006-01-23

..this goes against Microsoft Sun Tzu art of war strategy..

<a HREF="http://techrights.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/comes-3096.pdf"&g...
(pdf page 35 and 37)

Reply Score: 1

the origins of patents
by unclefester on Fri 5th Aug 2011 13:21 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

Patent law originally developed to protect physical inventions which typically sold in very small numbers and were very expensive to develop.

It took John Harrison more than 20 years and around a million dollars in today's currency to develop his H5 marine chronometer in the 18th century. [Luckily the British government funded his work through bounties.]
A few were sold each year at a price equivalent to about $100,000.

Now a programmer can develop some code in a relatively short time and sell a 100 million copies in a year.

Why should the programmer get the same period of patent protection for trivial idea as someone who spends a decade or and millions of dollars?

Software patents are acceptable if non-trivial and granted for a very short period eg 2-3 years to recover costs.

Reply Score: 3

RE: the origins of patents
by Joy_Division_Lives! on Fri 5th Aug 2011 16:46 UTC in reply to "the origins of patents"
Joy_Division_Lives! Member since:
2011-07-29

Patent law originally developed to protect physical inventions which typically sold in very small numbers and were very expensive to develop.

It took John Harrison more than 20 years and around a million dollars in today's currency to develop his H5 marine chronometer in the 18th century. [Luckily the British government funded his work through bounties.]
A few were sold each year at a price equivalent to about $100,000.

Now a programmer can develop some code in a relatively short time and sell a 100 million copies in a year.

Why should the programmer get the same period of patent protection for trivial idea as someone who spends a decade or and millions of dollars?

Software patents are acceptable if non-trivial and granted for a very short period eg 2-3 years to recover costs.


Dare I say...this actually sounds reasonable. Now, would you tie the length of the patent to R&D costs of the inventor for any submission, or just a special class of submissions? Do you think it should also be based on whether a working product can be developed during that time period?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: the origins of patents
by unclefester on Fri 5th Aug 2011 23:27 UTC in reply to "RE: the origins of patents"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

I would assign patent life purely on the basis of the effort and cost of creation and the time needed to recover costs.

I would also allow inventors to register "open patents" with an online database at no cost to encourage innovation. The inventor would get personal credit but no royalties. The primary goal would simply be to prevent anyone else from patenting the idea.

In the past I've anticipated several relatively simple applied chemistry/biochemistry processes that have subsequently been patented by others. I never bothered because the cost of further developing the ideas and patenting was totally prohibitive.

Reply Score: 2

Joy_Division_Lives! Member since:
2011-07-29

I would assign patent life purely on the basis of the effort and cost of creation and the time needed to recover costs.

I would also allow inventors to register "open patents" with an online database at no cost to encourage innovation. The inventor would get personal credit but no royalties. The primary goal would simply be to prevent anyone else from patenting the idea.

In the past I've anticipated several relatively simple applied chemistry/biochemistry processes that have subsequently been patented by others. I never bothered because the cost of further developing the ideas and patenting was totally prohibitive.


Most of the time, I'm fairly contrarian and like to argue. However, your idea seems very solid and workable.

Reply Score: 1

RE: the origins of patents
by Bounty on Fri 5th Aug 2011 17:58 UTC in reply to "the origins of patents"
Bounty Member since:
2006-09-18

Patent law originally developed to protect physical inventions which typically sold in very small numbers and were very expensive to develop.

It took John Harrison more than 20 years and around a million dollars in today's currency to develop his H5 marine chronometer in the 18th century. [Luckily the British government funded his work through bounties.]
A few were sold each year at a price equivalent to about $100,000.

Now a programmer can develop some code in a relatively short time and sell a 100 million copies in a year.

Why should the programmer get the same period of patent protection for trivial idea as someone who spends a decade or and millions of dollars?

Software patents are acceptable if non-trivial and granted for a very short period eg 2-3 years to recover costs.


I'd say 5 years, but otherwise yes. Also, I think the patent office should limit the number of patents a coorporation can submit in a year, while also being much more pessimistic when evaluating patents. For example notifications on computers are not new, and certainly obvious.

Reply Score: 2

Fix the USPTO first
by elsewhere on Sat 6th Aug 2011 01:14 UTC
elsewhere
Member since:
2005-07-13

Setting aside the fact that software patents are abused, the real issue is with the USPTO.

They are self-funded based upon patent application and renewal fees, and the examiners are compensated based on the volume of patents they push through from the extensive backlog. There are no consequences for incorrectly issued or invalidated patents, other than the prospect of additional fees as the patent owners refile with adjusted claims.

Worse still, the government takes whatever they generate as general revenue, limiting the ability of the USPTO to at least re-invest surplus revenue for additional resources etc.

In other words, there is no incentive for quality control, only volume.

And yet the courts defer to the authority of the patent office and make defendants jump through hoops to try to invalidate the claims of a patent.

Quite frankly, Congress could ban software patents and the USPTO would probably still issue them in one form or another as patent holders learned to become savvier with wording the claims.

If the USPTO could be reformed one way or another so that they had the resources and incentive to properly vet and audit the claims of software/process patents, and could streamline the process of challenging or invalidating patents outside of a court, it could go a long way to fixing the current level of abuse. Without requiring legislative overhauls or legal precedents that are not likely to occur anytime in the short term.

Crowdsourcing could also be useful as part of the patent validation or invalidation process, if managed correctly.

Anyways, just my 2 pennies.

Reply Score: 2

future
by kovacm on Sat 6th Aug 2011 18:50 UTC
kovacm
Member since:
2010-12-16

in 2005. Apple bought Fingerworks, not Google.

Apple had vision. Google did not.

(otherwise Google would buy Fingerworks first)

I remember moment when I first time saw: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89sz8ExZndc

I was absolutely stunned !!! it was so obviously that this was future of human-computer interaction!
Bill Gates realized same thing just 2 years latter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PimbkQNKzb4 ;)


anyway, somebody spread word, all over internet, that demonstration of multitouch monitor (1st YT link) was from Apple - in reality it was done by Jefferson Han.

but anyway, Apple did buy, one year before J. Han presentation on TED, Fingerworks and start work on multitouch device that come to market as iPhone ;)

Reply Score: 2

kovacm
Member since:
2010-12-16

ell, when Sun was still on its own, its CEO, Jonathan Schwarz, publicly and explicitly endorsed Android's use of Java in a blog post - a post that has since been removed by Oracle. But, as we all know, the internet never forgets.


and than we have:

http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2348832&cid=36882124

---


Relevant dates and links:

November 5, 2007 - Google announces Android [blogspot.com], doesn't mention Java
November 5, 2007 - Later that day, Schwartz posts blog praising Android as "Java/Linux platform"
November 12, 2007 - First release of Android source, Dalvik revealed. This blog [http://www.betaversion.org/~stefano/linotype/news/110/], written that day, has a pretty good explanation of the fast one Google pulled on Sun. "How did Google manage to get Sun to license off a platform that could very well kill their own? Turns out, they didn’t: their move was even smarter than Sun’s."

Edited 2011-08-07 08:35 UTC

Reply Score: 1

From Jobs' mouth
by Neolander on Mon 8th Aug 2011 19:43 UTC
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW0DUg63lqU&feature=player_embedded

Some people just age THAT badly (or are that hypocritical)

Reply Score: 1