Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 31st May 2011 22:20 UTC, submitted by john
Legal Well, I have to say this: Lodsys got some balls. After Apple threatening them with legal action, Lodsys has gone on the offensive, and has proceeded to sue third party iOS application developers. While Lodsys had first given developers 21 days to negotiate an agreement, due to Apple's legal threats, the company has now moved its litigation timing to an earlier date.
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RE[5]: For or against
by n0b0dy on Wed 1st Jun 2011 06:51 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: For or against"
Member since:


Let's say you've spend countless days and hours to develop something, just so a few days before being ready to file for patent, you discover someone with more money got there first and has a patent for a similar (patent wise, basically the same) thing?
Do you still like software patents now?
Do you like seeing all your original work being thrown away into the trash bin just like that?

Consider this: You make a strawberry pie, I make a banana pie. I half-bake mine and rush to the patent office, beating you to it by 10 minutes. When you get there, you claim it's a STRAWBERRY pie and I claim a PIE is a pie. I get a patent for my lousy half baked pie and yours doesn't even get tasted, or I'll sue you and anyone eating your pie for patent infrigment.

Edited 2011-06-01 06:53 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[6]: For or against
by Valhalla on Wed 1st Jun 2011 11:42 in reply to "RE[5]: For or against"
Valhalla Member since:

Agreed, also very much in line with what John Carmack wrote on software patents years ago:

The idea that I can be presented with a problem, set out to logically solve it with the tools at hand, and wind up with a program that could not be legally used because someone else followed the same logical steps some years ago and filed for a patent on it is horrifying.

He also discusses the 'lone inventor' defence:

Patents are usually discussed in the context of someone "stealing" an idea from the long suffering lone inventor that devoted his life to creating this one brilliant idea, blah blah blah.

But in the majority of cases in software, patents effect independent invention. Get a dozen sharp programmers together, give them all a hard problem to work on, and a bunch of them will come up with solutions that would probably be patentable, and be similar enough that the first programmer to file the patent could sue the others for patent infringement.

Why should society reward that? What benefit does it bring? It doesn't help bring more, better, or cheaper products to market. Those all come from competition, not arbitrary monopolies. The programmer that filed the patent didn't work any harder because a patent might be available, solving the problem was his job and he had to do it anyway. Getting a patent is uncorrelated to any positive attributes, and just serves to allow either money or wasted effort to be extorted from generally unsuspecting and innocent people or companies.

Yes, it is a legal tool that may help you against your competitors, but I'll have no part of it. Its basically mugging someone.

It's a good thing for pc gaming that he hates software patents, because if he had patented all the stuff he did back when he pretty much revolutionized pc graphics techniques then we would have the exact same patent problem in the video game sector which plagues the rest of the computing world.

Reply Parent Score: 4