Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 17th Oct 2010 21:30 UTC
Legal And we have another interesting development in the ongoing and ever-expanding idiocy that is the War of the High-Fiving Lawyers Mobile Patent World War. Motorola, now a central player in this worldwide conflict that is hurting consumers' wallets and clogging legal systems all over the world, has come to HTC's rescue by seeking to invalidate the patents Apple sued HTC with earlier this year.
Thread beginning with comment 445398
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Motorola...
by mrhasbean on Sun 17th Oct 2010 22:49 UTC
mrhasbean
Member since:
2006-04-03

...now a central player in this worldwide conflict


...and not much else, which is why they're doing it. Watch now for a rash of similar suits against all of the players, including Motorola, seeking to invalidate patents on similar grounds. This could backfire on Motorola quite badly.

Getting rid of patents isn't the answer though - companies aren't going to spend millions on R&D unless they have some sort of protection. Give them a much smaller timeframe of exclusivity / licensing rights - five or ten years - after which it reverts to some form of open license where the originator has to be credited. If they can't or haven't done anything with the technology in that time bad luck. If it's a milestone development they'd have more than ample opportunity to achieve a return on their investment. It would also mean the death of the patent trolls and those companies who continue to exist purely on their inventory of patents.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Motorola...
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 17th Oct 2010 22:54 in reply to "Motorola..."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The Motorola Droid phones are doing quite well. Remember that Apple started the patent war against Android because they are afraid of it.

Posted with my [jailbroken] iPhone. Heh.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Motorola...
by mrhasbean on Sun 17th Oct 2010 23:26 in reply to "RE: Motorola..."
mrhasbean Member since:
2006-04-03

And here's where we have a fundamental difference of opinion. You on one hand don't think companies should be able to benefit from software or UI developments, while I believe they are just as important and significant in the usefulness of a device as the hardware that powers it.

I don't believe Apple are afraid of them at all, and I don't believe they (Droid devices) will or are in any way affecting Apple's plans for their iOS devices. The fact is that Apple popularised smart phones because they created an interface that made them easy to use and non-threatening. Others have since followed suit, and therefore profited from the developments Apple bought to that industry. And it's not just smart phones that are employing these interface developments, many devices both in and apart from the communications industry are using UI components and techniques that were introduced on iPods and iPhone. Again, companies profiting from Apple's developments.

This is no different to companies profiting from hardware developments that power some of these devices. You are I can sit and look at UI components and say "well that was just obvious though", but the point is that until it was done it WASN'T obvious because nobody had done it. In the same way I can look at the first Motorola flip phone and say it was obvious because Gene Roddenberry did it in Star Trek, and the functionality of many of the hardware components that make up these modern devices are also "obvious" because they had to be created to achieve the overall goal of the device.

Motorola are no longer anywhere near as significant a player in the global mobile industry as they once were, and many of their other exploits have also dwindled over the past few years. They and many of the other once big players have taken a beating from Apple and are like the kids who didn't like losing the football match on the weekend so ganged up and beat up the star player from the other team.

My point though was that if the whole patent system was significantly cut back to provide a small window of protection for the developer of both hardware and software components we could get rid of this shit altogether and force the hand of these companies to be continually innovating. Don't you think that would be a good thing?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Motorola...
by MadRat on Sun 17th Oct 2010 23:59 in reply to "Motorola..."
MadRat Member since:
2006-02-17

mrhasbean-

Your logic is entirely ridiculous. Quite the contrary, companies will spend more to stay on par with the competition. If we didn't have this tyrannical patent system society would be far better off.

Edited 2010-10-18 00:00 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 9

RE[2]: Motorola...
by tomcat on Mon 18th Oct 2010 19:05 in reply to "RE: Motorola..."
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

mrhasbean- Your logic is entirely ridiculous. Quite the contrary, companies will spend more to stay on par with the competition. If we didn't have this tyrannical patent system society would be far better off.


LOL. Right, and if we had flying cars, there would be no ground traffic. Ergo, it would create a whole new set of problems. It's just common sense. If you make it easier for people to copy your inventions, you will have a society that basically sits around waiting for somebody to innovate, and then steals those ideas without investing a dime. Who would want to invest significant dollars and effort in any enterprise, knowing that their competitors will just rip-off whatever they produce? I would argue that this just slows down the pace of innovation. It doesn't increase it.

Please understand. What you're complaining about isn't lack of innovation. It's that each innovation is owned by someone in the industry who has his hand out, expecting to be paid. But since those costs are borne by the industry as a whole, it's a fairer system for everyone concerned, at the risk of pricing the little guy out of the market. But that's not to say that the little guy can't produce his own inventions and demand payment.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Motorola...
by Gone fishing on Mon 18th Oct 2010 05:25 in reply to "Motorola..."
Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

Getting rid of patents isn't the answer though - companies aren't going to spend millions on R&D unless they have some sort of protection. Give them a much smaller timeframe of exclusivity / licensing rights - five or ten years - after which it reverts to some form of open license where the originator has to be credited


Not sure much of this is right, R & D they probably will spend as they have no choice you innovate or die, they would still be protected by copyright, i.e their competitors would have to work out how to implement the innovation.

5 - 10 years 10 years is far too long 2 - 4 might be reasonable (and for real innovations not just an idea I had whilst in the bath). In the tech industries if you can't make your innovation work in that time scale you can't make it work.

Why credit an idea? (your car doesn't have a list of credits to say who invented the camshaft etc) if you use others work, then again your covered by copyright and should be credited.

The patent system is broken and doesn't do as it was intended promote innovation. The reason it hasn't been fixed is that large corporations and possibly more importantly powerful states see that see IP as something that distinguishes them from the emerging companies and economies and they do not want to give up this edge.

This will fail unless it is reasonable, India, China etc will not indefinitely pay an IP tax to the US etc. They will not submit to rules that indefinitely prevent their companies from developing and innovating.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Motorola...
by zimbatm on Mon 18th Oct 2010 08:08 in reply to "Motorola..."
zimbatm Member since:
2005-08-22

Getting rid of patents isn't the answer though - companies aren't going to spend millions on R&D unless they have some sort of protection.


Why not ? It's just the price to pay to be first on the market. Did the patent system prevent the iPhone clones ? No, but Apple was first and could milk the cow in the meantime. Removing the patent system would just prevent that ridiculous thing what is happening now.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Motorola...
by Soulbender on Mon 18th Oct 2010 16:25 in reply to "Motorola..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

companies aren't going to spend millions on R&D unless they have some sort of protection.


Funny how this is not what patents are supposed to protect against...

Reply Parent Score: 2