Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 27th Aug 2010 22:11 UTC, submitted by lfeagan
Legal Most of us here are not particularly big fans of the concept of patents. Most of us are aware of the significance of patents, we just believe the system has gone out of control and needs a serious kick in the butt. Well, it turns out not even the richest people on this earth are immune to the call of the patent troll. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has filed a massive patent lawsuit, using broad and vague patents to sue just about any big name in the business - from Apple to Google.
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RE: Awesome quote!
by r_a_trip on Sat 28th Aug 2010 12:49 UTC in reply to "Awesome quote!"
r_a_trip
Member since:
2005-07-06

The only problem I see with this is that the general populace will foot the bill. Less R&D, less progress, more expenditure on lawsuits and slower progression of the state of the art.

All in all, the patent wars will be very costly, for everybody.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Awesome quote!
by monodeldiablo on Sun 29th Aug 2010 01:40 in reply to "RE: Awesome quote!"
monodeldiablo Member since:
2005-07-06

Two words: open source.

Patent torpedos only work with the following prerequisites:

a) a single entity to sue
b) a legal framework in which to bring a suit

Because of this, there's nothing keeping a collaborative, distributed, international project from implementing whatever they feel like, completely immune from the threat of lawsuit and dissolution.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Awesome quote!
by vivainio on Sun 29th Aug 2010 16:05 in reply to "RE[2]: Awesome quote!"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

Two words: open source.

Patent torpedos only work with the following prerequisites:

a) a single entity to sue
b) a legal framework in which to bring a suit

Because of this, there's nothing keeping a collaborative, distributed, international project from implementing whatever they feel like, completely immune from the threat of lawsuit and dissolution.


This is true in the same sense as the following statements:

- copyright laws can't kill piracy
- drug laws can't kill international drug trafficking.

Open source is not meant to be some seedy operation on the fringe of legal establishment, done by "rebels" in their mothers basements. It's a honorable activity, often funded by companies paying real money for development, and should be recognized by legal system as such.

If I was an IT manager that had to choose between an open source project with unclear legal status and a proprietary project with an (apparently) clear one, I'd choose the proprietary one.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Awesome quote!
by chrish on Mon 30th Aug 2010 13:34 in reply to "RE: Awesome quote!"
chrish Member since:
2005-07-14

Actually, all of the innovation will just move out of the US and into countries that aren't crippled by the software patent system.

You're already starting to see this sort of problem due to outsourcing software development, and the same thing happened with manufacturing in the 70s and 80s.

I keep hoping that this stupidity will torpedo software patents, but companies keep paying up or cross-licensing. And you can't cross-license with a patent troll because they don't actually make anything or do anything useful.

Reply Parent Score: 2