Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 28th Mar 2013 23:16 UTC
Google This. This is what we need. These are the kind of steps from which we all benefit. Google has just announced the Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge: the company promises not to sue any users, distributors, or developers of open source products based on the patents it owns (unless first attacked).
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RE[2]: Hyperbole
by Tony Swash on Fri 29th Mar 2013 12:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Hyperbole"
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

I am yet to see anyone actually point at some area of tech that has been stalled or even significantly slowed down by patent problems. When I look across the tech industries what I see is rapid innovation everywhere and when a major new approach or idea emerges it seems to spread rapidly across the industry.

I am sure that individual IP legal actions have affected individual firms adversely but I was responding to the proposition that patent litigation was 'tearing the very fabric of this industry apart'. That's an absurd hyperbolic statement and I cannot see how anybody can believe such a silly thing.

Just because something is irritating, or unjust or sometimes quite bad does not make it armageddon or catastrophic. It's just a bit bad, but mostly the tech industry is in pretty good shape. IP litigation is just a negative but trivial aspect of the industry. It's not even unusual. All industrial sectors when going through paradigm shifting technical change throw up IP related legal activity, it's perfectly normal and utterly transient. And not that important in the big scheme of things.

As for the notion that

Open web standards have been rife with patent problems and has stalled development immensely, giving rise to the proprietary flash plugin's dominance.


I don't know where to begin. What specific web developments were stalled immensely by IP related issues? Web development was slowed for a while by one company who was not interested in the development of the web semi controlling the browser market but that had nothing to do with IP law and was anyway swept away by the open source webkit. The rise and fall of Flash had nothing to do with IP law. I cannot think of any major area where innovation on the web is being held back by IP law.

It's the breathless hysteria that' so hard to stomach. Some things may be bad, some things may be irritating but it's not the end of the world.

As for Google's empty gesture, it's just a PR stunt by a company engaged in widespread but mostly ineffectual legal action based on the misuse of standards based FRAND patents.

Back when PCs and desktop OS environment was the centre of the industry and of innovation it too was the arena for a raft of IP legal actions. What were the long term consequences of those actions. Nothing. Where was PC or PC OS tech significantly held back or slowed by those actions. Nowhere. It's the same with mobile tech, IP legal actions will have almost no impact on the roll out of mobile devices or technologies. People need to calm down and learn how to discuss interesting but not very important issues in a rational way without endless and tedious exaggeration.

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