Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 25th Mar 2012 19:44 UTC
Legal "Last week a large, profitable company sued a small start-up business for patent infringement. As a non-legal person, I can only guess that this sort of thing must happen fairly often. I would also guess that the large companies, which have the means to hire crackerjack legal teams and drag cases out, must often win. And while I guess I feel bad for the small businesses, I've never really cared before now. Because this time, the stakes are high. This time, it's my daughter's voice on the line. Literally." Infuriating. Maybe these are the kinds of stories we need to get normal people to care enough to force lawmakers to change. Sadly, the big bags of money from Apple, Microsoft, and Oracle are probably far more important to them than this sad story.
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Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Sun 25th Mar 2012 20:12 UTC
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

Those who are software patent aggressors don't care about people. They usually don't care about anything except their purse to be precise. So this isn't surprising. Same story with drug patents. Those who abuse them care not about sick and those who could benefit from cheaper drugs.

Edited 2012-03-25 20:12 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by shmerl
by kragil on Sun 25th Mar 2012 20:52 UTC in reply to "Comment by shmerl"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

Exactly, so the only thing one can realistcally do is to not buy their shit(politics can be bought and therefor don't work). Everybody who complains about software patents and then goes out and buys Iphones, Ipads, Oracle, Windows, Xbox or Office is a hypocrite PERIOD

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Sun 25th Mar 2012 22:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by shmerl"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Agreed, vote with your wallet.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by shmerl
by Gullible Jones on Sun 25th Mar 2012 23:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by shmerl"
Gullible Jones Member since:
2006-05-23

Some people depend on drugs that happen to be patented. And like it or not, there are cases where the only drugs that work... are patented.

What do you expect people to do when they're tied into the system like that?

(And if you're just talking software, surely you realize that certain irreplaceable special-purpose software is covered by patents, right? Some people's jobs and/or educations depend on using this "shit.")

There is plenty of room for hypocrisy; but please recognize that being able to "put your money where your mouth is" is, simply put, a privilege of those who have money. (Or good health, or certain job-related skills, etc.)

Reply Score: 8

RE[3]: Comment by shmerl
by bhtooefr on Mon 26th Mar 2012 01:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by shmerl"
bhtooefr Member since:
2009-02-19

Well, there's always blatantly violating the patent, by either following its directions to make whatever it is yourself, or buying from a Chinese company that doesn't care about the patent.

(But, then, you get lead or antifreeze in your knockoff patented medicine...)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by shmerl
by kragil on Mon 26th Mar 2012 07:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by shmerl"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

BS. I was talking about software and the number of people who really need their Xbox or Iphone or whatever to survive or make a living is a lot lot smaller than you make it seem. Nearly all people can live without products from patent aggressors MS, Apple or Oracle. The few people in IT that really need them now could switch to alternative in most cases. Those are the facts. Deal with it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by shmerl
by Laurence on Mon 26th Mar 2012 12:31 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by shmerl"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

BS. I was talking about software and the number of people who really need their Xbox or Iphone or whatever to survive or make a living is a lot lot smaller than you make it seem. Nearly all people can live without products from patent aggressors MS, Apple or Oracle. The few people in IT that really need them now could switch to alternative in most cases. Those are the facts. Deal with it.

There was no need for such an aggressive tone. Particularly when you're both right - albeit arguing from different via points.

While you are right that many patent encumbered luxuries can easily be lived without, Gullible Jones is also correct in stating that it's pretty hard to extend those principles to all patented goods.

Where do you draw the line? Would you refuse cancer treatment because the drugs are patented? Would you sell your car because many of the gadgets are patented? What about cleaning your house? My vacuum cleaner has patented components yet I'm not ready to sell that and resort to a broom.

I appreciate your main scoop was software/ computing patents, and I could list of plenty of examples in IT of where using patented technology is unavoidable (GSM on cell phones, various different display technologies, etc). Yet you've clearly not shunned computers entirely as you're here chatting on one.

So Gullible Jones' point was that principles are a great character trait, but sticking to them isn't always practical in a modern day world. It's just where you two disagree on in at which point the line in the sand is drawn - but that's entirely down to the individual anyway so there is no right or wrong answer to that.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Comment by shmerl
by kragil on Mon 26th Mar 2012 14:29 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by shmerl"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

Sorry, but I hate it when people tell me that doing a few good things is not worth it because you can't do good things all the time. That is just utterly stupid.
Why does it always have to be black and white?
As I said nearly all consumers can live very happy lifes without products from patent agressors like Apple, MS or Oracle. You can still buy plenty of hardware from other companies. The only thing I say is that you shouldn't support companies that use patents on math (software patents), biology or ideas agressively.

Same thing with eating, driving etc. Just because you don't want to give up on eating meat, eating less is still a good thing (for your health and the environment)

And I am not against all patents. It is just that general or trivial patents on basic sciences are really bad and patents should be granted for much shorter time spans. Under current laws defensive patents are totally OK IMO. Laws need to be changed though.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Comment by shmerl
by Tuishimi on Mon 26th Mar 2012 17:10 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by shmerl"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

It is just that general or trivial patents on basic sciences are really bad and patents should be granted for much shorter time spans. Under current laws defensive patents are totally OK IMO. Laws need to be changed though.


This makes sense. You should have just said this the first time around, but [apparently] your tone and wording suggested otherwise. I guess that is passion at work. But passion doesn't often translate well over forum media.

[edit]

Typos... man, my typing seems to get worse every day.

Edited 2012-03-26 17:11 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by shmerl
by Gullible Jones on Mon 26th Mar 2012 17:44 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by shmerl"
Gullible Jones Member since:
2006-05-23

I'm not telling you it's not worth it, I'm telling you it's a social privilege. Don't put words in my mouth.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by shmerl
by Gullible Jones on Mon 26th Mar 2012 12:36 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by shmerl"
Gullible Jones Member since:
2006-05-23

While I agree with not giving money to such companies if you don't have to, I think you seriously underestimate the number of people who have to for job or educational reasons. e.g. try using something other than Excel in a corporate environment. Microsoft and other large companies have tied themselves in really deep with corporate and university culture.

(Also there's the small problem that special-purpose FOSS software is usually not as good. Say what you will, there is no way the GIMP can compete with Photoshop.)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by shmerl
by Wafflez on Mon 26th Mar 2012 15:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by shmerl"
Wafflez Member since:
2011-06-26

Agree. Got an xBox, three Windows PCs, Windows Phone and I don't give a f--k about software patents. I care only about my comfort while dealing with technology. ^^

All others that are on the same boat and complain - YOU HYPOCRITES!!

Edited 2012-03-26 15:23 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by shmerl
by danger_nakamura on Tue 27th Mar 2012 17:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by shmerl"
danger_nakamura Member since:
2011-06-21

Exactly, so the only thing one can realistcally do is to not buy their shit(politics can be bought and therefor don't work). Everybody who complains about software patents and then goes out and buys Iphones, Ipads, Oracle, Windows, Xbox or Office is a hypocrite PERIOD


I agree that this is the honorable thing to do, and that it may have some impact in some cases.

I disagree that it is the ONLY thing to do. Some people say that talk is cheap, but I don't agree. Talk helps to keep issues visible.

Having once observed first hand (on a small scale) a phenomenon play out in real life, I will tell you what can happen if people keep talking about an issue. Maybe someone that would otherwise remain ignorant becomes educated and convinced. And maybe this someone is the nephew of someone important in the industry. And maybe this someone has to hear from his nephew over Thanksgiving dinner that he is being a DICKHEAD and is wrong. And then maybe something will change.

I'll concede that this is a dramatic example, although I did watch it happen in the relatively smaller fishbowl of local politics. The larger point is that dialog is important. It is not merely complaining - even though some people clearly are just complainers. Keeping an issue at the forefront has value, and if its all that someone feels able to do than I say at least they are doing that.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by shmerl
by marcus0263 on Sun 25th Mar 2012 21:09 UTC in reply to "Comment by shmerl"
marcus0263 Member since:
2007-06-02

Those who are software patent aggressors don't care about people. They usually don't care about anything except their purse to be precise. So this isn't surprising. Same story with drug patents. Those who abuse them care not about sick and those who could benefit from cheaper drugs.


Problem is the obscene amount of money it takes to bring a drug to market. There are also a large amount of drugs that do "not" get FDA approval and literally millions of $$$$ go down the tube. Once a drug company does get approval they have only something like 7 or 10 years to recoup the investment then the Generic's then start puking them out. I take issue with the company's who have invested nothing in the drug and are only in it for profit.

For the record I do "not" work for any Pharm or Medical but where I work there is a small drug company. Which BTW have invested millions in a drug over the last 8 years or so and are trying to bring it to market. It opened my eyes .........

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by shmerl
by cyrilleberger on Mon 26th Mar 2012 06:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by shmerl"
cyrilleberger Member since:
2006-02-01

Problem is the obscene amount of money it takes to bring a drug to market. There are also a large amount of drugs that do "not" get FDA approval and literally millions of $$$$ go down the tube. Once a drug company does get approval they have only something like 7 or 10 years to recoup the investment then the Generic's then start puking them out.


Yes but that is the problem with the way drugs are being researched and developed. There are two side effects to that, drugs companies pushes new medicine even if they don't have better effects, just because they get higher profit from their patented drugs, second side effect, dugs companies mostly invest in medicine in area with high profit (such as anti-depressor, weight losing...), for problems affecting wealthy people who can make afford to pay a lot of money on drugs, meaning western countries.

Research on new drugs should be public, paid by a tax on drugs sell, and companies should compete on their ability to lower the production cost.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Comment by shmerl
by ilovebeer on Mon 26th Mar 2012 06:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by shmerl"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

There are two side effects to that, drugs companies pushes new medicine even if they don't have better effects, just because they get higher profit from their patented drugs, second side effect, dugs companies mostly invest in medicine in area with high profit (such as anti-depressor, weight losing...), for problems affecting wealthy people who can make afford to pay a lot of money on drugs, meaning western countries.


First, only 3 of the top 10 richest countries in the world are western. Additionally, in most cases getting drugs approved here by the FDA is far harder than the EMA in Europe. What does that mean? It means the European market is very lucrative for drug companies.

Research & development of new drugs is astronomically expensive. While drug companies certainly may _potentially_ make enormous profits, they operate in a very high risk field in terms of investment. Naturally they have to focus on drugs with higher chances of payoff. This is not just for profit, it's also for survival for many drug companies.

Research on new drugs should be public, paid by a tax on drugs sell, and companies should compete on their ability to lower the production cost.

While that sounds good on paper, like many other ideas, it doesn't translate well in the real world. By reducing drug companies to mere manufacturing operations, you will essentially kill the same R&D competitiveness that has created many of the great drugs we have today. Remember, that insanely expensive R&D is paid for by those high prices. You take that away and you've cut off the very means by which new drugs are created.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by shmerl
by danger_nakamura on Tue 27th Mar 2012 17:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by shmerl"
danger_nakamura Member since:
2011-06-21

Problem is the obscene amount of money it takes to bring a drug to market. There are also a large amount of drugs that do "not" get FDA approval and literally millions of $$$$ go down the tube. Once a drug company does get approval they have only something like 7 or 10 years to recoup the investment then the Generic's then start puking them out.


Judging by the obscene profits that the pharmaceutical giants report year after year, I have to guess that the R&D sob story given by apologists for the industry is -ahem- overstated to an extent.

Pfizer 2011 earnings: 17.19 billion USD. Profits: 3.74 billion USD.

2008 salary of CEO of PhRMA, lobby for the industry: 4.48 million USD.

Somehow I don't think that food-on-the-table or recouping investments is a problem for people in this industry. In fact, I can't find (in an admittedly brief search) a single unprofitable year for any of the major innovators in the field. Could it be that they are overstating the problem a bit?

To me, it is the same old story:

PATENT DEFENDER: We just want to put food on our tables and recoup our investment.

ROUGH TRANSLATION: We want you to respect our right to make obscene amounts of money at the expense of society. "An honest living" isn't enough. We're superstars - where would you be without us. We want ALL of the money.

Is it any wonder that some of the people living in the larger society take offense to this position? Especially when we are all hit in the pocket to sustain this multi-billion dollar profit?

Reply Score: 1

sick patent system
by fran on Sun 25th Mar 2012 21:10 UTC
fran
Member since:
2010-08-06

Doing what these companies are doing is akin to taking someones wheelchair or spectacles away.
I hope the expiry date on those patents are not to far off.

Edited 2012-03-25 21:11 UTC

Reply Score: 3

A 'normal person' speaks up
by WorknMan on Sun 25th Mar 2012 22:40 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

Infuriating. Maybe these are the kinds of stories we need to get normal people to care enough to force lawmakers to change. Sadly, the big bags of money from Apple, Microsoft, and Oracle are probably far more important to them than this sad story.


Well, as a normal person who doesn't give two shits about patents, let me chime in here. This story is definitely a step in the right direction, as opposed to feeling the need to post about every finger gesture patent lawsuit that comes down the wire. The reason why this story works is because this is a small developer getting sued rather than a giant corporation. I am probably never going to care if one large company sues another over some abstract patent; as far as I'm concerned, those bastards can sue each other until they run out of money. There is one exception, however ...

The mistake you made with posting this story is that you blew your load too early. You need to wait until one of the lawsuits reaches a conclusion, and some product or service gets shut down. Then you can say, 'Hey, this thing that you might have been interested in was killed because of a patent dispute'. That kind of thing will get people's attention. Because, for better or worse, people don't tend to give a damn about things unless it affects them personally. And THAT is how you get peoples' attention. If you just keep posting these same f**king rants every time Apple sues an Android vendor over a 'swipe to unlock' patent, normal people are never going to care about that, and will not pay you any attention when you REALLY need to reach them.

As for the guy who wrote this story, somebody needs to show him how to jailbreak his ipad; will take about 5 minutes, then he can permanently back up the app, and he has it forever. Granted, this is not a solution to the overall problem, but it will make sure that his daughter doesn't lose access to the app.

Reply Score: 3

RE: A 'normal person' speaks up
by DanaN on Sun 25th Mar 2012 23:36 UTC in reply to "A 'normal person' speaks up"
DanaN Member since:
2012-03-25

"The guy who wrote this story" is actually a girl. Me.

I don't know how to jailbreak anything, and I don't know about patents, and I don't know about much of the tech world, but I'm willing to learn.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: A 'normal person' speaks up
by Alfman on Mon 26th Mar 2012 01:39 UTC in reply to "RE: A 'normal person' speaks up"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

DanaN,

"I don't know how to jailbreak anything, and I don't know about patents, and I don't know about much of the tech world, but I'm willing to learn."

I am a little surprised that a non-technical audience would find their way here. Anyways, most software developers despise software patents. They're especially troubling for us because, unlike copyright infringement, we routinely violate patents in the course of doing our jobs. Patent laws are used to deprive us of the right to use our own implementations even when they were independently developed without knowledge of or benefit from the patent holder, which is usually the case. In other words, we are impeded from using our own intellectual abilities in solving problems.

At an abstract level, solving computing problems isn't much different from a driver finding an optimal route from point A to point B on a map. There may be a handful of logical routes, but you quickly reach a plateau where additional unique routes become terribly inefficient and even impossible. Luckily drivers are free to choose the most logical routes for them regardless of what other drivers choose, but software developers are artificially constrained by patent monopolies that act as virtual road blocks and toll booths.

For us, we were fine before software patents, and we'd just as quickly refuse them again, but the lawyers won't leave us alone until they've sucked the life out of us.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: A 'normal person' speaks up
by kristoph on Mon 26th Mar 2012 03:12 UTC in reply to "RE: A 'normal person' speaks up"
kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

You don't need to Jailbreak anything. Since you purchased the app you will be able to continue to use the app and install it on new devices even if the developers is forced to stop selling it.

See my comment here ...
http://www.osnews.com/thread?511872

The issue you face is that if the developer looses the lawsuit or withdraws the app voluntarily you won't be able to get future versions of the app (bug fixes or enhancements).

If this does happen my suggestion to you would be to ask the developer to open source this app so that the community can continue to update and support it. I would certainly be more than happy to help as well as to supply you with a build for your specific device.

Reply Score: 2

wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

"The guy who wrote this story" is actually a girl. Me.

I don't know how to jailbreak anything, and I don't know about patents, and I don't know about much of the tech world, but I'm willing to learn.


Sorry to hear about your story. I can think of a couple of places you can contact (I guess someone told you about them already):

http://www.groklaw.net/

https://www.eff.org/

This is a well-known anti-IP IP attorney:

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

Oh, if you need money to raise money for a specific cause, you could try this place:

http://www.thepoint.com/

Have you tried complaining directly to the patent holders? Maybe they don't want the bad publicity.

I would also contact Apple (but watch out, they love patents).

That said, in my humble opinion the patent system is working exactly as intended, a winner-takes-all game. Of course there are many possible reforms which would make it less harmful, but only insofar as they make it less effective and closer to patent abolition (we can dream!).

Good luck.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Mon 26th Mar 2012 00:06 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

First of all, patents are not evil. In many cases they serve a good purpose. Our patent system has it's flaws but you better think twice about the real world impact it would have were it to be eliminated. Also, before you run your mouth badmouthing all these "big companies" for using patents to protect their interests, you should dig in and really do your homework. A lot of those big companies have contributed a great deal to society & lifestyle in a multitude of ways. The question becomes as much as some of you piss & moan about these companies, life would be much different and not in a good way, without them.

The sane people would agree taking an extreme position on way or the other when it comes to patents is a bad way to view it.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by chripun on Mon 26th Mar 2012 10:27 UTC in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
chripun Member since:
2008-08-25

First of all, patents are not evil. In many cases they serve a good purpose. Our patent system has it's flaws but you better think twice about the real world impact it would have were it to be eliminated. Also, before you run your mouth badmouthing all these "big companies" for using patents to protect their interests, you should dig in and really do your homework. A lot of those big companies have contributed a great deal to society & lifestyle in a multitude of ways. The question becomes as much as some of you piss & moan about these companies, life would be much different and not in a good way, without them.

The sane people would agree taking an extreme position on way or the other when it comes to patents is a bad way to view it.


Patents are just a means to an end. Their sole purpose is to promote innovation. Software patents do the opposite.
those companies that support software patents are therefore trying to suppress innovation and are in fact evil.

Sane people should realize that the system must benefit society - if it doesn't work anymore it should be adapted and not worshiped as if it were the true words of God.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by danger_nakamura on Tue 27th Mar 2012 17:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
danger_nakamura Member since:
2011-06-21

Patents are just a means to an end. Their sole purpose is to promote innovation.


To develop this further - these question should never be "Is the patent system working?"

The relevant question is:

"Do the bargains with private entities that are in place continue to serve the stated goal of developing and advancing culture, technology and the well-being of the larger society at a cost that is equitable and bearable?"

In evaluating this question, the "cost" to society includes the chilling effect of the protection in place - does protecting one innovator to advance society 5 clicks prevent 50 other innovators from advancing society 500 clicks? If so, the bargain is a bad one and the system is out of balance.

It is amazing how difficult it is for some people to wrap their heads around the idea that the various IP protections codified in law were not conceived of for the benefit of private interests and their quest for bling. The sole basis of society "agreeing" to protect these private interests was the benefit gleaned by the larger society.

Reply Score: 1

What about Koko?
by ericxjo on Mon 26th Mar 2012 01:09 UTC
ericxjo
Member since:
2012-02-10

What exactly is being patented here? The basic premise, of a screen full of icons which you can touch to say a word in order to help, in this case a gorilla, that is unable to voice words physically for herself has been around far longer than any patent could protect it. From the FAQ of "Koko the Gorilla" who used one of these tools to communicate:

http://www.koko.org/faqsite/

"While at Stanford in the late 1970's, Koko had a computer that would voice a word when she pressed letters on the keyboard, In the 1980's, Apple developed a 70 icon touch screen computer that voiced a word associated with the icon, when Koko pressed the icon."

Nothing patented in the 80's is current now.

Reply Score: 2

the app won't go away
by kristoph on Mon 26th Mar 2012 03:02 UTC
kristoph
Member since:
2006-01-01

"It’s a very logical assumption (confirmed by the AAC professionals that I’ve spoken with) that if SCS/PRC win this lawsuit, they will eliminate Speak for Yourself, the app that my 3 year old is working her damnedest to learn. "

The app you purchased on the App Store is yours forever. Even if SCS/PRC win the case and the app is removed from the App Store it will not be removed from the list of your purchased apps. You will be able to install it on current and future iPad's and anything else that supports this app today.

( I appreciate the typical OSNews audience may jump in here and mention that the app won't be updated and eventually won't be supported on new devices and that it's all a fault of the patent system. They are correct. But in the medium term - certainly for the next several years - there is nothing to worry about. )

Reply Score: 3

RE: the app won't go away
by Alfman on Mon 26th Mar 2012 04:19 UTC in reply to "the app won't go away"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

kristoph,

"The app you purchased on the App Store is yours forever. Even if SCS/PRC win the case and the app is removed from the App Store it will not be removed from the list of your purchased apps. You will be able to install it on current and future iPad's and anything else that supports this app today."

I wouldn't be so sure. I recall apple having used a kill switch in the news. The following link is something other than what I remembered, but never the less is indicative of their remote termination capability.


http://www.cio.com/article/558363/Was_Apple_s_Bikini_Ban_Too_Reacti...

Here's another link showing how to disable apple's kill switch on jailbroken phones. I have no idea if it works, I'm merely including it as supporting evidence.

http://www.techcular.com/disable-apple-iphone-app-kill-switch/


I don't think apple give a damn one way or another about whether end users keep the speech assistance app on their phone, but it is perfectly conceivable that apple would be compelled by the courts to have "Speak for Yourself" forcefully removed from end user devices at the request of SCS/PRC.

Ordinarily, I would say Speak for Yourself should move itself to another country where they aren't crippled by patent laws and the USPTO is irrelevant. However in this case, it would still be subject to apple's walled garden, and by extension the US courts. It simply wouldn't be sustainable to depend on consumers being able to jailbreak their devices and sideload apps.

But I'm getting beside the point, which is that sadly, even existing users of Speak for Yourself are potentially at risk.

Reply Score: 3

RE: the app won't go away
by darknexus on Mon 26th Mar 2012 05:30 UTC in reply to "the app won't go away"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

The app you purchased on the App Store is yours forever. Even if SCS/PRC win the case and the app is removed from the App Store it will not be removed from the list of your purchased apps. You will be able to install it on current and future iPad's and anything else that supports this app today.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but I remember seeing that Apple doesn't keep apps once they're pulled. They don't take them off your device, but as I understand it you cannot re-download a pulled app. You can keep the ipa file and re-sync the app, however.

Reply Score: 2

What is a Patent
by Lorin on Mon 26th Mar 2012 03:34 UTC
Lorin
Member since:
2010-04-06

If you define a patent by what it meant when the Constitution was written then it has to be a physical invention as that was all that existed 200 years ago, now unless the Constitution has been changed to further define what is patentable, the original intent still stands and cannot by any means other than the amendment process, be changed.

Any lawyer could defeat these patents on that argument but they never will as that would kill the cash cow.

Reply Score: 1

RE: What is a Patent
by cyrilleberger on Mon 26th Mar 2012 06:56 UTC in reply to "What is a Patent"
cyrilleberger Member since:
2006-02-01

If you define a patent by what it meant when the Constitution was written then it has to be a physical invention as that was all that existed 200 years ago.


Yes, and that the thing people who defend software patent seems to not understand. The cost of reverse engineering hardware is way lower than the cost of the R&D effort that was put into developing the device (especially 200 years ago, nowadays, hardware artefacts are very complex, but still it is easier to reverse engineer than to design from scratch).

While in the software world, the development cost is the same for the original and for the clone. You may argue that there is also a design cost that is not spent when writing a clone, but that is untrue, it is not because you can see how any application behave that you can reproduce it right away, you still need UI designers for your clone, access to research on algorithms, etc... At the end, the clone and the original product would have a similar development cost, meaning it would not be possible for the clone to compete on price. Meaning it would not be possible for the clone to compete at all, since the original would be on the market before, there is limited incentive to buy the clone. The only way to compete is by providing innovations.

Reply Score: 3

This isn't a patent problem
by FunkyELF on Mon 26th Mar 2012 15:26 UTC
FunkyELF
Member since:
2006-07-26

This is a bunch of problems all in one. Nothing to do with patents really.

Depending on cloud applications.
The fact that an application can just disappear is a problem with cloud applications in general. The cloud application here being Apple's App Store.

Depending on closed source software.
This is for sure a niche application and maybe open alternatives don't exist yet, but still... don't depend on closed source software. The price could double every year and nothing you can do about it once your daughter learns and likes the program. It doesn't even have to disappear for it to be a problem, they could just stop supporting it, stop adding new words, bug fixes, updating for newer versions of hardware, etc.

Depending on a single vendor.
What happens when your iPad breaks 2 years down the road and the newest models have increased in price and the economy is in the crapper?


Poor decisions all around.

Reply Score: 3

Pffh.
by WereCatf on Mon 26th Mar 2012 18:42 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

I have trouble feeling sorry for people who do not care about the world around them unless something bad happens to them themselves. Not knowing about something is one thing, but knowing about it and just ignoring it is an altogether different thing.

Reply Score: 2