Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 24th Oct 2007 20:14 UTC, submitted by Oliver
Legal In a blog post, Sun's Jonathan Schwartz has announced that Sun will counter-sue Net App, after negotiations proved to be fruitless. "So now it looks like we can't avoid responding to their litigation, as frustrated as I am by that (as I said, we have zero interest in suing them). I wanted to outline our response (even if it tips off the folks at Net App), and for everyone to know where we're headed. First, the basics. Sun indemnifies all its customers against IP claims like this. [...] Second, Sun protects the communities using our technologies under free software licenses. [...] Third, we file patents defensively."
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RE: Software Patents
by melgross on Thu 25th Oct 2007 05:22 UTC in reply to "Software Patents"
melgross
Member since:
2005-08-12

I'm not sure why you consider "independent discovery" to be so important. Technology has always been a race. Everyone can't win.

It also doesn't matter how much, or how little has been spent on the invention, it's the results that matter.

My only real objection to the way software patents are handled is that they are too long. I feel as though they should be for a profitable, but shorter time. How long is something that needs to be decided, but I would think that between 5 and 8 years would be about right.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Software Patents
by Jakado on Thu 25th Oct 2007 05:42 in reply to "RE: Software Patents"
Jakado Member since:
2007-10-25

Yes, technology has indeed always been a race. And whoever discovers it first will always have the lead in getting the finished product out to market, without any IP protection whatsoever, assuming they're remotely competent in the production side of things.

The main issue that I see is why should someone be granted an exclusive right to the technology just because they happened to discover it first? I can see legit arguments as to why others shouldn't be able to copy, but I can't think of one good reason why somebody who discovers it without any reference to (or, indeed, knowledge of in many cases) the first discoverer, should owe the first discoverer a cent. There is no connection between the two discoverers.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Software Patents
by ssa2204 on Thu 25th Oct 2007 06:49 in reply to "RE: Software Patents"
ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

Say Sun develops a method to transmit data over the electrical grid at amazing speeds. They do not patent the technology, then another company steps in, uses this technology and is the first out the door with some new device.

The reality that has existed for so many years is that companies enter into agreements and cross-patent deals. This has been going on since for decades. While many were whining and crying about the Microsoft-Novell deal, my first reaction was...so? In fact many technologies and IT related inventions you use on a daily basis exist from company A, because they licensed it from company B.

I do agree though that it is unique that software is able to have both copyright and patent, but then again software is unique in of itself when compared to books or steel girders. The one aspect that I took from the recent EU vs. Microsoft issue was that governments, societies, business, and the legal system are still working out how to understand and deal with technology.

Put another way, if I develop a new CODEC that allows for HD quality over the internet, not only do I want to copyright the CODEC, but a patent to the technology itself. Otherwise, any other company would simply reverse engineer, alter, and then produce in capabilities I do not have. But, with the code patented, any companies would have to come to an agreement. Yes I understand that maybe they may possibly have come up with something similar, but in the end, as melgross points out, this is how the business world works. Otherwise what is to stop other companies from just sitting around and waiting for me to publish so they can basically take my ideas? So while the company may lose out on being first to the market, they do have the option of always agreeing to terms.

Fact of the matter is, companies today are simply not going to invest the time and money without insuring that their investment is protected. While it is a nice fantasy that we could just do without all patents, copyrights, etc..fact is developers need to get paid, and companies simply do not pay salaries with no return.

Reply Parent Score: 1