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[3]: Still fsckd up
by Alfman on Mon 16th May 2011 21:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Still fsckd up"
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"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?

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