Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 16th May 2011 16:15 UTC, submitted by john
Legal This is certainly worth a meagre +1 in my book: patent troll Lodsys has actually taken the time to answer some of the concerns on the web regarding its legal threats to several small-time iOS developers. There's some interesting stuff in there.
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RE[2]: Still fsckd up
by Alfman on Mon 16th May 2011 18:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Still fsckd up"
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

pantheraleo,

"You do realize, there is a lot of technology behind that button right? ... Obviously, someone had to create the technology that allows the upgrading to happen. And that's what the patent is about... They did not patent an upgrade button."

The steps required to upgrade a piece of software are much more trivial than you make them out to be.

Launch upgrade process.
Download newest version.
Verify integrity.
Uninstall old version.
Copy/extract new binaries.
Register/configure new settings.
Viola, done.

Sure, individual apps have differing installation steps, but it's ludicrous to claim that developers could not figure out the steps to upgrading their own software without the help of Lodsys patents - even back in 1999.

Their contribution is 100% useless. As with all patent trolls, their goal is to tax software developers, not protect their own products.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Still fsckd up
by pantheraleo on Mon 16th May 2011 19:16 in reply to "RE[2]: Still fsckd up"
pantheraleo Member since:
2007-03-07

The steps required to upgrade a piece of software are much more trivial than you make them out to be.


You are assuming a very primitive upgrade process that simply replaces the entire application with a new version. That of course, requires downloading the entire application again even for minor bug fixes. What if the application is large? What if there are custom modules installed? Your primitive upgrade process would blow away all of the custom modules. What if compatibility with existing modules needs to be determined? Your process ignores that as well, and might leave the application broken after the upgrade because some existing modules are not compatible. I'm assuming an upgrade process that is modular, that needs to determine what parts of the application need to be upgraded, can resolve any compatibility issues, and can download only the updates needed rather than replacing the entire application.

I'm not saying I agree with the patent. I don't. But the steps you describe are a very primitive upgrade process that amounts to nothing more than deleting the old version and installing the new version type operation. That's now how most software is updated these days.

Edited 2011-05-16 19:24 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Still fsckd up
by snorkel2 on Mon 16th May 2011 19:32 in reply to "RE[3]: Still fsckd up"
snorkel2 Member since:
2007-03-06

It depends on the application, I know for a fact a lot of desktop type applications that have a single exe are upgraded by simply downloading a new exe. If you develop in a language that creates single no dependency exes and does not use DLLs, it's very easy to upgrade that way. You can also update a app like this by using a difference engine and only download the difference and then patch the exe or other files that way.

It's not rocket science by any means.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Still fsckd up
by Alfman on Mon 16th May 2011 19:59 in reply to "RE[3]: Still fsckd up"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

pantheraleo,

"You are assuming a very primitive upgrade process..."

Of course different apps have different needs, some much more complex than others. But the point is the developer already knows how their application needs to be installed.

The world's upgrade processes worked fine before Lodsys patents ever came into the spotlight.

As with many software patents, the contribution made by Lodsys to their software is nil. Lodsys are just trying to abuse the patent system to collect royalties on the work of others. Given the screwed up state of the USPTO, they just might win.

Edited 2011-05-16 20:04 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Still fsckd up
by BluenoseJake on Mon 16th May 2011 20:39 in reply to "RE[2]: Still fsckd up"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

You really call all those steps trivial? A 7 step process? Really?

I don't agree with this patent at all, but at the same time, it is not a trivial process, that process would be hundreds, if not thousands of lines of code, just the first one "Launch upgrade process" could entail almost anything.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Still fsckd up
by WereCatf on Mon 16th May 2011 21:26 in reply to "RE[3]: Still fsckd up"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

You really call all those steps trivial? A 7 step process? Really?

I don't agree with this patent at all, but at the same time, it is not a trivial process, that process would be hundreds, if not thousands of lines of code, just the first one "Launch upgrade process" could entail almost anything.


I don't quite understand how it could be that difficult. Usually it's just a simple boolean toggle in application code that gets toggled, and requires literally 3 lines of code.

The other two methods commonly in use are: download the full package, initiate OS-specific installer for the package in a separate process, and exit the trial/lite version, and just download/install the full-version files over the trial/lite ones, add any missing files and have the application go into full-version mode if the correct files are present. None of which methods actually require much code, even the last-mentioned method requires only a few hundred lines, there isn't any complex logic or such in use.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Still fsckd up
by JLF65 on Mon 16th May 2011 21:32 in reply to "RE[3]: Still fsckd up"
JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

You really call all those steps trivial? A 7 step process? Really?


Yes, really. It's trivial... to programmers. It's not exactly "Hello World" trivial, but it's certainly trivial compared to tasks like object physics and collision detection, or enemy AI path selection.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Still fsckd up
by daedalus on Tue 17th May 2011 08:11 in reply to "RE[3]: Still fsckd up"
daedalus Member since:
2011-01-14

Yeah, it could include thousands of lines of code, but from the sounds of it, that's irrelevant. It's the process that's patented, not the code. And a simple app, having only a few dozen lines of code to download a replacement exe, could still be seen to infringe on such a patent... It's crazy! And it's code that any decent programmer could come up with independently in an afternoon's work.

Reply Parent Score: 1