Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 12th Jul 2011 20:47 UTC
Legal Tell 'm like it is, HTC. "HTC is disappointed at Apple's constant attempts at litigations instead of competing fairly in the market," said HTC general counsel Grace Lei in a statement, "HTC strongly denies all infringement claims raised by Apple in the past and present and reiterates our determination and commitment to protect our intellectual property rights."
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"Here's the problem. Most 'geeks' don't know anything about the patent system. Many "geeks" (including Thom) who claim to be against patents say that software patents are bad but hardware patents are ok because one is math and the other is a thing. The 'geeks' who makes claims like that simply prove that they know nothing about software or hardware."

I don't think that's the case at all.

Software patents are right in our backyard, obviously patents in other domains are beyond most of our expertise, but so what? It doesn't mean we loose the right to criticize software patents specifically.

I wasn't talking about criticizing software patents in particular, I was talking about those "who claim to be against patents [and] say that software patents are bad but hardware patents are ok."

We are (at least I am) a computer scientist with plenty of experience writing original code. My problem with software patents is that my original code (with regards to copyright) will inadvertently infringe software patents because some of the problems I'm solving overlap with those other programmers are solving. When a company comes around and claims to have a patent monopoly, it dismisses all of my hard work.

Do you think the same doesn't happen in every other industry? And if you do, why do you think the software industry is special and should work differently? I'm really not trying to be a troll with those questions, they are really important to think about if you want to have a consistent view of patents that could ever result in reforms.

"The fact is, there has never been a point in time where software or hardware was designed without patents in place so there is no way to provide evidence that software or hardware would have been made without it."

Plenty of companies don't bother with patents and it's a good thing since patents are fundamentally unscalable.

Which is completely tangential to what I was saying. I was replying to an idealistic view that at some point there were no software patents. But that time never existed (well it did, but that was the time before software existed).

A strongly enforced patent system means that on top of getting stuff to work, developers have a new responsibility of avoiding existing patents or shelling out more money to license code which we've already written ourselves.

If all developers had to check each procedure written against a patent database, we'd have to waste nearly all our time querying a database to find out if our code infringes someone else's patent.

In such a state of affairs, companies who otherwise don't give a rats ass about software patents would become desperate to apply for them in order to buy them leverage against other patents.

The net effect is more patents, and less innovation.

Again, do you think it's different in other industries? Do you think that electrical, mechanical and civil engineers just get to design whatever they want without any thoughts towards intellectual property issues? And, again, why should software be different?

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