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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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

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

rhavyn,

"Do you think the same doesn't happen in every other industry?"

I haven't a clue since I've never worked in other industries.

"And if you do, why do you think the software industry is special and should work differently?"

It seems to surprise you that most people here have a software background. It makes perfect sense for you to get a software bias on these forums since other groups are way under-represented.

"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?"

I have no idea, I can only speak to the effects of patents in those discipline as an ignorant outsider.

Just as much as I would hate having someone with no CS background dictate how patents should apply with software, I would expect elec/mech/civil engineers to feel the same way about my view on patents in their field.

If you feel the need to criticize patents more generally, then go right ahead.


"they are really important to think about if you want to have a consistent view of patents that could ever result in reforms."

You could be right, and in my opinion this is where you should be focusing your argument instead of stereotyping osnews posters and calling us fanboys. Personally, I object to that, and I don't think it helps get your message across.

Reply Parent Score: 3

snowbender Member since:
2006-05-04

Rhavyn,

I think I understand your point. I think a big problem with software patents is that it seems the overwhelming majority of existing software patents are for things that are soooo obvious, or that have been assigned even though there is lots of previous art. On top of that, I do think that since the evolution in the software world happens so fast, that the validity of software patents should be much more limited in time: say 1-2 years.

Maybe not all software patents are bad. I think for example about patents for encryption algorithms, or for audio and video encoding algorithms. This kind of algorithms are not obvious. A patent for a button in an application that allows you to buy the full version of a trial application, *is* something obvious. If you can assure that software patents are not given for "obvious" things, and are only given for a limited time, then the whole situation would be completely different.

One cannot deny that in this very moment, software patents are not used in the way they were meant to be used. At this moment, they are used aggressively to compete with other companies when one cannot compete on the quality of their own product. On the other hand, other companies use software patents defensively to protect themselves when they are attacked with software patents. Sometimes they are used by companies that only buy patents, so that they can 'extort' money from other companies at a time that they know that a lot of companies infringe on those patents.

That is why a lot of people say: get rid of software patents. It just seems impossible to "fix" the system the way it has become what it is now.

Aside from that, I think that patents have always been on the side of big companies. Don't forget that applying for a patent (software or not) also costs a lot of money, that smaller companies may not be willing (or able) to invest. And if you've got bad luck, a bigger company comes along, invents the same thing on its own, and gets a patent for it. For a small company, it would just cost too much to prove in court that you had prior art.

Reply Parent Score: 2