Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 12th Jul 2011 20:47 UTC
Legal Tell 'm like it is, HTC. "HTC is disappointed at Apple's constant attempts at litigations instead of competing fairly in the market," said HTC general counsel Grace Lei in a statement, "HTC strongly denies all infringement claims raised by Apple in the past and present and reiterates our determination and commitment to protect our intellectual property rights."
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rhavyn
Member since:
2005-07-06

Cry me a river. Fact is, most geeks are against software patents, for very good reasons. I don't recall having to debate whether software patents are good or bad for a long time. Then recently, we have all these bunch of people who suddenly start arguing that software patents are OK. Curiously enough, these useless debates almost always happen when Apple is involved. I guess "cultists" is right on target.


Here's the problem. Most "geeks" don't know anything about the patent system. Many "geeks" (including Thom) who claim to be against patents say that software patents are bad but hardware patents are ok because one is math and the other is a thing. The "geeks" who makes claims like that simply prove that they know nothing about software or hardware. Patent trolls exist in every industry, you simply don't hear about it because you aren't reading the trade magazines for those industries. There are bad and over broad patents in every industry. Yet, for the most part the most anti-patent people around are fanboys of various software companies who have never written a program in their lives.

What you seem to have now are some people who simply aren't willing to reflexively say every patent is bad and the entire system needs to go. Those views are more or less immediately modded to oblivion. Your response is to go to the another canard, Apple is bad, and write anyone who disagrees with you off as a cultist. So thank you for proving the point.

There are several cases where group think is ok. Most people agree that hitting your head with a brick is not cool. Would you complain that it's group think? And most of us agree that competition and innovation is good... There isn't a single shred of evidence that software development would not happen without software patents. There is a ton of evidence to the contrary (Linux, the BSDs, basically the entire Internet infrastructure is based on F/LOSS bits and pieces). And now we have evidence how it would actually hinder consumer choice.


I'm pretty sure that invoking violence to claim group think is ok is pretty weak. The rest of your comment is just historical ignorance or simply bad examples. The Internet infrastructure was funded designed and developed by the United States military. There is no evidence that work would have been done in such an open manner without a budget provided by the government. The BSDs are another good example of government funding and most FOSS is reimplementation of commercial software or specifications. The fact is, there has never been a point in time where software or hardware was designed without patents in place so there is no way to provide evidence that software or hardware would have been made without it.

Let's say APPLE/Microsoft wins. Then right there, you won't be able to chose HTC handsets, Samsung handsets, Motorola handsets, Barns & Noble readers, etc. Is that good for the general public? Is that good for the consumers? Because that's what you argue for when defending lawsuits based on software patents. And then you wonder why people mod you -10 stupid and complain about group think.


Unfortunately that is not what it means if Apple or Microsoft wins, it's simply emotional hyperbole designed to inflame people. Guess what, the handsets HTC sells and Samsung sells and Motorola sells are covered by hundreds of patents. Yet, look, you can still buy them. They simply need to pay for the use of those patents, and they do. And they have been since the very first product any of those companies shipped.

But thank you for making it clear that no only is modding down opinions you don't agree with ok, you believe it's a good thing and should keep happening.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

rhavyn,

"Here's the problem. Most 'geeks' don't know anything about the patent system. Many "geeks" (including Thom) who claim to be against patents say that software patents are bad but hardware patents are ok because one is math and the other is a thing. The 'geeks' who makes claims like that simply prove that they know nothing about software or hardware."

I don't think that's the case at all.

Software patents are right in our backyard, obviously patents in other domains are beyond most of our expertise, but so what? It doesn't mean we loose the right to criticize software patents specifically.

We are (at least I am) a computer scientist with plenty of experience writing original code. My problem with software patents is that my original code (with regards to copyright) will inadvertently infringe software patents because some of the problems I'm solving overlap with those other programmers are solving. When a company comes around and claims to have a patent monopoly, it dismisses all of my hard work.


"The fact is, there has never been a point in time where software or hardware was designed without patents in place so there is no way to provide evidence that software or hardware would have been made without it."


Plenty of companies don't bother with patents and it's a good thing since patents are fundamentally unscalable.

A strongly enforced patent system means that on top of getting stuff to work, developers have a new responsibility of avoiding existing patents or shelling out more money to license code which we've already written ourselves.

If all developers had to check each procedure written against a patent database, we'd have to waste nearly all our time querying a database to find out if our code infringes someone else's patent.

In such a state of affairs, companies who otherwise don't give a rats ass about software patents would become desperate to apply for them in order to buy them leverage against other patents.

The net effect is more patents, and less innovation.

Reply Parent Score: 3

rhavyn Member since:
2005-07-06

rhavyn,

"Here's the problem. Most 'geeks' don't know anything about the patent system. Many "geeks" (including Thom) who claim to be against patents say that software patents are bad but hardware patents are ok because one is math and the other is a thing. The 'geeks' who makes claims like that simply prove that they know nothing about software or hardware."

I don't think that's the case at all.

Software patents are right in our backyard, obviously patents in other domains are beyond most of our expertise, but so what? It doesn't mean we loose the right to criticize software patents specifically.


I wasn't talking about criticizing software patents in particular, I was talking about those "who claim to be against patents [and] say that software patents are bad but hardware patents are ok."

We are (at least I am) a computer scientist with plenty of experience writing original code. My problem with software patents is that my original code (with regards to copyright) will inadvertently infringe software patents because some of the problems I'm solving overlap with those other programmers are solving. When a company comes around and claims to have a patent monopoly, it dismisses all of my hard work.


Do you think the same doesn't happen in every other industry? And if you do, why do you think the software industry is special and should work differently? I'm really not trying to be a troll with those questions, they are really important to think about if you want to have a consistent view of patents that could ever result in reforms.

"The fact is, there has never been a point in time where software or hardware was designed without patents in place so there is no way to provide evidence that software or hardware would have been made without it."


Plenty of companies don't bother with patents and it's a good thing since patents are fundamentally unscalable.


Which is completely tangential to what I was saying. I was replying to an idealistic view that at some point there were no software patents. But that time never existed (well it did, but that was the time before software existed).

A strongly enforced patent system means that on top of getting stuff to work, developers have a new responsibility of avoiding existing patents or shelling out more money to license code which we've already written ourselves.

If all developers had to check each procedure written against a patent database, we'd have to waste nearly all our time querying a database to find out if our code infringes someone else's patent.

In such a state of affairs, companies who otherwise don't give a rats ass about software patents would become desperate to apply for them in order to buy them leverage against other patents.

The net effect is more patents, and less innovation.


Again, do you think it's different in other industries? Do you think that electrical, mechanical and civil engineers just get to design whatever they want without any thoughts towards intellectual property issues? And, again, why should software be different?

Reply Parent Score: 2

molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

I personally don't mod down opinions much. Well, you pose as an expert on patents across all industries ;) On the other hand, you also claim that most people against software patents are fanboys who never wrote software in their lives. Well, tell that to Linus. Or KDE developers. Or generally, any free software developer ;)

And yet again, you try to divert the argument by bringing in funding, which was not my point. My point was and still is that almost all key technologies that made the Internet possible are free and open source, and most definitely not burdened by patents. TCP/IP, the DNS system (BIND), Sendmail, etc... those are the ones I'm talking about. So before you pull more nonsense out of your ass, show us some evidence that anyone ever payed any royalties for those "patented" technologies.

Reply Parent Score: 3

rhavyn Member since:
2005-07-06

I personally don't mod down opinions much. Well, you pose as an expert on patents across all industries ;) On the other hand, you also claim that most people against software patents are fanboys who never wrote software in their lives. Well, tell that to Linus. Or KDE developers. Or generally, any free software developer ;)


Where exactly did I claim to be an expert in all industries?

Also listing a small (and dubious, I'm not sure who made you the spokesperson for all KDE developers and all free software developers) does not disprove my statement since I didn't say all developers. There are some very intelligent developers who understand the issues and are still against software patents. Not everyone needs to agree (which, after all, is what I'm saying, not everyone agrees).

And yet again, you try to divert the argument by bringing in funding, which was not my point. My point was and still is that almost all key technologies that made the Internet possible are free and open source, and most definitely not burdened by patents. TCP/IP, the DNS system (BIND), Sendmail, etc... those are the ones I'm talking about. So before you pull more nonsense out of your ass, show us some evidence that anyone ever payed any royalties for those "patented" technologies.


The fact that you ignore funding of development kind of is your problem and it is the point. You are making a pretty big claim: huge companies and universities would have developed the internet with their own money and not attempted to patent any of the resulting technology. Furthermore, they would release the source for all this technology for free. Or, do you think it's more likely that it got done this way because the DoD payed for all the development? Unless you can provide some tiny shred of evidence that any development the scale of the internet got done by private enterprise and it wasn't patented and licensed from top to bottom then you might want to think very hard before you reply again about the relationship between funding research and development and with what restrictions it's brought to market down the road.

Finally you're going to need to use a little more detail or provide a quote since my ass never produced non-sense regarding paying for patents around internet protocols.

Reply Parent Score: 2