Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 5th Jul 2011 22:12 UTC
Microsoft "One of Microsoft's hottest new profit centers is a smartphone platform you've definitely heard of: Android. Google's Linux-based mobile operating system is a favorite target for Microsoft's patent attorneys, who are suing numerous Android vendors and just today announced that another manufacturer has agreed to write checks to Microsoft every time it ships an Android device. Microsoft's latest target is Wistron Corp., which has signed a patent agreement 'that provides broad coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio for Wistron's tablets, mobile phones, e-readers and other consumer devices running the Android or Chrome platform', Microsoft announced." That's the reality we live in, folks. This is at least as criminal - if not more so - than Microsoft's monopoly abuse late last century. After the Nortel crap, it's completely left the black helicopter camp for me: Microsoft, Apple, and several others are working together to fight Android the only way they know how: with underhand mafia tactics. Absolutely sickening. Hey Anonymous, are you listening? YES I WENT THERE.
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RE[2]: Patents are patents
by MollyC on Wed 6th Jul 2011 04:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Patents are patents"
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I happen to be against software patents. They are pure evil. Software is properly protected by copyright. Patenting math is criminal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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