Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 17th Oct 2010 21:30 UTC
Legal And we have another interesting development in the ongoing and ever-expanding idiocy that is the War of the High-Fiving Lawyers Mobile Patent World War. Motorola, now a central player in this worldwide conflict that is hurting consumers' wallets and clogging legal systems all over the world, has come to HTC's rescue by seeking to invalidate the patents Apple sued HTC with earlier this year.
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RE: Messy, messy business, this...
by lemur2 on Mon 18th Oct 2010 03:38 UTC in reply to "Messy, messy business, this..."
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... I'm not really sure how it's been "hurting consumer's wallets" though...

Situation: every one of a dozen manufacturers or providers has an armful of patents that apply to a technology area, such as smartphones.

Consequence: every one of a dozen manufacturers or providers has to pay out to eleven other manufacturers in order to make their own smartphone. Coming up with a different way to implement similar features is not enough, because you are going to get sued anyway, even if your implementation doesn't actually infringe any patents.

Result: every smartphone includes eleven armfuls of small costs that it shouldn't need to. No-one is employed to make a new implementation of a given feature, because it costs far less in litigation costs to license it a couple of times from certain of the other players than to design your own new implementation. The paying public just has to pay the extra, for absolutely no benefit to those who are paying.

Smartphones end up costing everyone twice as much as they should. There are no new innovative startup companies entering the market. New features become rarer, because it becomes ever harder and harder to implement something new without becoming a target for dozens of patent trolls. Fewer and fewer people are employed in the area of new engineering design.

The only winners are the lawyers and the top 1% or so of big business executives. The rest of the population just sees ever-increasing costs in order to support the luxury of non-producing lawyers and executives.

Once software is written, it is written. Software should be a reducing cost to society, not an ever-increasing one. Software should drive new innovation and investment, not prevent it.

Edited 2010-10-18 03:45 UTC

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