Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 4th Jun 2013 12:45 UTC
Legal Ah, patents - the never-ending scourge of the technology industry. Whether wielded by companies who don't actually make any products, or large corporations who abuse them because they can't compete in the market place or because they're simply jerks, they do the industry a huge disservice and are simply plain dangerous. According to The Wall Street Journal (circumvention link), president Obama is about to take several executive actions to address patent trolls - which may seem like a good idea, but I am very worried that all this will do is strengthen the positions of notorious patent system abusers such as Apple and Microsoft.
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RE[4]: Wait, what???
by Nelson on Tue 4th Jun 2013 18:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wait, what???"
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29


What does the "spirit of the law" have to say about somebody independently coming up with an invention?


Independently of the original inventor? I guess it would give them a pat on the back and wish them good luck in negotiating a license.


Or using an existing "invention" for compatibility's sake?


You can drop the quotations around invention. There are legitimate patent holders who have invested billions of dollars in research and development and deserve compensation for it. Others should not be able to free load off of the work of others for the sake of compatibility.

Compatibility is a nice end to strive for, but it is secondary to intellectual property rights.

If an IP holder is inclined to provide his IP for the sake of compatibility, then he is within his rights to do so. I am not in favor of compelling IP holders to relinquish their rights for the sake of compatibility. That's not the right trade off to me.

In fact, if you truly care about this, you should have deep concern for Google's actions which negatively impacts the previously amicable situation around FRAND. They've done an incredible amount of damage by going after injunctions on the basis of essential IP included in a widely implemented standard.

This is the single most deliberate attack of compatibility and interoperability in recent memory. Small executive orders against shell companies are not going to change this.


Or patent holders who deliberately patent every possible permutation of an idea in order to exclude others from the market?


Judges have shown to be pretty good about tossing out the more absurd patents. I smile every time I see a patent troll getting taken to task by a Judge.


I'd hope for us to aim for higher standards than what we've got today.


I guess my point is that all laws suffer from this same issue. If you apply a set of regulations based on a classification, you rightly stated that they can and will wiggle out of it. This is why it is important to let a Judge decide what the intent of the law is, and apply his own discretion when deciding who to punish.

Judges exist for this very purpose. I also don't think the current system is terribly bad, and a lot of hyperbole gets understandably thrown around during discussions like this.

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