Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 28th Oct 2010 18:02 UTC, submitted by viator
Legal If you can't compete, litigate. This train of thought has been quite prevalent among major technology companies as of late, most notably by Apple and Microsoft, who both cannot compete with Android on merit, so they have to resort to patent lawsuits and FUD. Both Asustek and Acer have revealed that Microsoft plans to impose royalty fees upon the two Taiwanese hardware makers to prevent them from shipping Android and/or Chrome OS devices.
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RE[4]: Comment by rubberneck
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 28th Oct 2010 21:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by rubberneck"
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

I suggest you read your own constitution. You don't want to pull an O'Donnell in public.

Reply Parent Score: 3

v RE[5]: Comment by rubberneck
by tomcat on Thu 28th Oct 2010 21:31 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by rubberneck"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Bite you tongue, son.

You might want to read up on the history of software patents in the US, and how the US Supreme Court was decidedly against them for much of the latter half of the 20th century. It wasn't until the '90s that patents on software became accepted, mostly due to a string of three rulings: the decisions In re Alappat in 1994 and In re Lowry in 1994 (which basically said that a new algorithm combined with a trivial hardware device was patentable), culminating in State Street Bank v. Signature Financial Group in 1998, which stated that a calculation which produced a "useful, concrete and tangible result" was patentable - hardware or no.

The final deathknell came from none other than Bill Clinton himself, who made the brilliant*cough* move of appointing a lobbyist from the software industry, Bruce Lehman, as commissioner of the USPTO in 1994. Before that, the USPTO refused to grant patents on software. After that - well, the guy was a lobbyist from the software industry. Do the math.

Please, don't act all arrogant because I'm not an American. I'm pretty well-versed in these matters, and me not being an American does not mean I don't understand how this stuff works.

Edited 2010-10-28 21:50 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 16

imthefrizzlefry Member since:
2010-10-28

I think the problem is that these patents don't seem to promote the progress of the sciences or the useful arts. All they seem to do is make the market less competitive by forcing companies to pay large sums of "protection" money, or go out of business trying to fight it in civil court.

After making a claim, Microsoft will require a court order for every line of code that needs to be questioned, meaning that both parties need to pay large court fees. In the end, who ever has the biggest budget will win.

Reply Parent Score: 5