Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 22nd Oct 2009 15:17 UTC
Legal Remember when Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone, and proclaimed, to much applause, that they patented the hell out of it? Well, apparently Apple likes to boast about its own patents, but when it comes to dealing with other's they're not so willing. That is, if you believe Nokia: the largest phone manufacturer in the world has sued Apple for patent infringement.
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RE[2]: Blah, Patents!
by AndrewDubya on Thu 22nd Oct 2009 17:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Blah, Patents!"
AndrewDubya
Member since:
2006-10-15

Fair enough. I will say this: I would readily vote for no patent system if the other choice were what we have now. I'm not sure where I would fall in between, except that I think patents should be much more difficult to attain.

Another thing: I agree that software patents shouldn't exist, but that contradicts what we've both agreed to: That patents may be a good thing and may actually encourage innovation. Why wouldn't we want software innovation?

Would you vote for the current patent system, no patent system, or do you think it would be possible/worthwhile to come up with something in between?

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Blah, Patents!
by Kalessin on Thu 22nd Oct 2009 18:15 in reply to "RE[2]: Blah, Patents!"
Kalessin Member since:
2007-01-18

1. Software is already protected by copyright, so unlike most other types of patents, it's already protected.

2. We always hear about software patents for stupid stuff. We rarely hear about software patents for stuff that it actually makes any sense to patent.

So, maybe there's some software that it would make sense to patent (like whatever Google's search algorithm is), but most software patents are definitely stupid, obvious, and totally ridiculous. And the few that aren't are already covered by copyright, so can't just copy what they've done anyway.

It seems to me that the two best things that could be done to the patent system are to make it so that stuff has to be really non-obvious and innovative in order to be patented and to make it so that patents last a much shorter period of time. I don't care about what someone patented back in 1995. They've had plenty of time to recoup their costs by now. It's ludicrous for them to sue over it now - especially when it's some stupid, obvious idea that they came up with and didn't even implement.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Blah, Patents!
by JLF65 on Thu 22nd Oct 2009 19:55 in reply to "RE[3]: Blah, Patents!"
JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

It seems to me that the two best things that could be done to the patent system are to make it so that stuff has to be really non-obvious and innovative in order to be patented and to make it so that patents last a much shorter period of time. I don't care about what someone patented back in 1995. They've had plenty of time to recoup their costs by now. It's ludicrous for them to sue over it now - especially when it's some stupid, obvious idea that they came up with and didn't even implement.


Actually, the number one thing to do to improve patents is to make it illegal for a lawyer to be involved in the writing of a patent. Look at what happens right now: an engineer writes up a patent, which is then sent to a team of lawyers who immediately translate it into "legaleze" so that it's nearly impossible to read, and made as vague as possible at the same time. The vast majority of patents today are worthless because they don't contain enough info to reproduce the patented "invention" so as to be vague enough to cover anything appearing in the future. What little info there is also requires a legal dictionary or lawyer to figure out what it's saying.

In other words, lawyers have taken over the patent office to turn it into work for lawyers. It should be a felony on the same order as fraud for lawyers to be involved in anything other than a trial for patent infringement. Do that and I'll that the patent "industry" the way it is.

Reply Parent Score: 4

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I see a few reasons for software.

First, it's easy to create and duplicate. Hardware is going to take much more expense, time and a fabrication setup of some sort. Creating a second chunk of hardware is going to take less research but will still take supplies and that expensive fabrication step.

Second, it's already protected by copyright. The addition of patent law and intentionally confusion of patents and copyright law known as IP seems more detrimental.

Software is also simply a math formula. Math can't be patented why can software?

Software is also business process in an applicable format. Business processes can't be patented yet software can.

Software is also based on the programming language or, if you want to go deep enough, the command set in the processor. Prior art should negate software patents since software is based on the processor command set or programming language layers.

I can understand the value in a patent granted to a hardware process truly innovative and expensive to develop. A patent governing the display of program start commands as "icons".. utter crap only of value to stifle competition.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Blah, Patents!
by marafaka on Fri 23rd Oct 2009 09:24 in reply to "RE[2]: Blah, Patents!"
marafaka Member since:
2006-01-03

I know a fool who lived in a cave for 40 years and invented a fusion engine. I've bought the rights to his invention, pattented it, and for the next X years my family will collect taxes for this pattent from every human being on earth.

What do you think of pattents now, because this is how it really works?

Reply Parent Score: 2