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 eantoranz on Mon 16th May 2011 20:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Still fsckd up"
eantoranz
Member since:
2005-12-18

That is precisely the problem. You don't have to really "invent" the technology to perform the update. You just have to "think" of it and put it on paper and send it to the USPTO and pray that the person who gets it for revision be a bit clueless on the obviousness of the idea and thinks it's "original", which is quite different. And that's sick... because then the people who don't actually do something productive (like sitting down to actually program how to make the upgrade button work) but sits down to _think of something_ (and just that) will be the ones who will make a profit. See the difference? One person _thinks_ of the idea while the other one _does/makes_ things out of it... and which one gets to collect from the idea? Sick, sick, sick.

Edited 2011-05-16 20:17 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Still fsckd up
by pantheraleo on Mon 16th May 2011 20:21 in reply to "RE[2]: Still fsckd up"
pantheraleo Member since:
2007-03-07

One person _thinks_ of the idea while the other one _does/makes_ things out of it... and which one gets to collect from the idea? Sick, sick, sick.


Isn't that how business works in general though? Some guy has a good idea, but lacks the ability to actually create it. He starts his own company, hires people who do have the ability to create the idea, and he makes most of the money.

It's rarely the people who do most of the work that get most of the money. Unless you happen to be the guy that comes up with the idea, and implements it yourself. And unless you are self-employed, or own your own business, that's usually not happening.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Still fsckd up
by Alfman on Mon 16th May 2011 21:32 in reply to "RE[2]: Still fsckd up"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

eantoranz,

"That is precisely the problem. You don't have to really "invent" the technology to perform the update. You just have to "think" of it and put it on paper"

Yes, although it is only part of the problem with patents.

Sometimes the invention is trivial, but the invention solves a problem which didn't really exist in the past.

To give an illustration (feel free to mock it, but try not to miss the point):

One day flying cars may become common, which introduces a number of new problems, one of which could be that mugs in cup holders will spill all over the place in turbulence or steep angles.

I could get a patent for all cup holder designs which holds mugs inplace and keeps them upright. Any manufacturer wanting cup holders would need to pay royalties on the idea.

Or, perhaps I could invent the idea of more robust door locks while moving and in the air (as an extension of child-locks today) to prevent people from falling out of cars at altitude.

Or, I can invent an under-car camera system for landing. This would likely get very dirty during highway travel, so I'd also invent a wiper for it.

These inventions are not obvious today because no one has needed to solve these problems today. When we hit the point in time when the problems become real, then these solutions will also be dead obvious to everybody with the problem.

Is there benefit in granting patents for obvious solutions to non-obvious problems?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Still fsckd up
by tmrepository on Tue 17th May 2011 05:25 in reply to "RE[2]: Still fsckd up"
tmrepository Member since:
2011-05-17

That's why it's called INTELLECTUAL property! The idea is the most important part of any invention; without it, it's just an old idea with a clock on it.

It's wonderfully shortsighted when people say "I could have thought of that", but the fact is, they didn't.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Still fsckd up
by Alfman on Tue 17th May 2011 06:23 in reply to "RE[3]: Still fsckd up"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

tmrepository,

"The idea is the most important part of any invention; without it, it's just an old idea with a clock on it... It's wonderfully shortsighted when people say 'I could have thought of that', but the fact is, they didn't."

The problem with your view is that you assume that the person did not in fact independently invent it for themselves.

The likelihood of this happening increases significantly as the number of software developers increases. Think of how the emergent statistics for the "birthday attack" plays out for software algorithms as well.

With millions of developers solving similar problems, there are bound to be many duplicate solutions arrived at totally independently (most of these occurrences are completely undocumented). It is shortsighted to adopt a patent system in a field where collisions are so likely and, when enforced, deprives many developers of the right to use their own ideas.

Edited 2011-05-17 06:42 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Still fsckd up
by tmrepository on Tue 17th May 2011 05:28 in reply to "RE[2]: Still fsckd up"
tmrepository Member since:
2011-05-17

There's a reason they call it INTELLECTUAL property. The idea is the most valuable part of an invention. As many have already stated, implementation can be done many ways, but that doesn't change the underlying idea.

Plenty of people say "I could have thought of that", but the truth is, they didn't. Somebody else did.

Reply Parent Score: 1