Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 14th Jul 2011 21:16 UTC
Legal I've been sitting on this item all day. Technically, it's about patents and the like, and even I understand I've been beating this dead horse so often it almost looks like it's alive. However, this is an interesting opinion piece by Craig Hockenberry, long-time employee at The Iconfactory, one of my favourite software development houses - these guys breath software and beautiful design, and employ one of my favourite artists, David Lanham. The gist of his story? Software patents are killing the independent developer scene.
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Counterproductive advocacy
by rhavyn on Thu 14th Jul 2011 22:35 UTC
rhavyn
Member since:
2005-07-06

As I've said in previous posts, abuse of the patent system is a problem. However, the kind of advocacy shown by posts like this is completely counter productive. For example:

If things like a grid of icons can be patented [...]


The problem is, this is more or less completely factually incorrect. No one has a patent on a "grid of icons." It's completely counter productive to make emotional, factually incorrect statements and parade around as though thats a reason to change things. Learn to read a patent (yes, it requires being educated to learn exactly what the language used means) and accurately relate the problem with the patent. Otherwise you're just going to get tuned out as a crazy ... seriously, there is a reason why RMS is considered a poor evangelist for free software, OSNews is becoming the RMS of the anti-patent world.

Reply Score: -1

RE: Counterproductive advocacy
by tylerdurden on Thu 14th Jul 2011 23:12 in reply to "Counterproductive advocacy"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Complains about appeal to emotion argument, bases argument around emotion...

Reply Parent Score: 3

rhavyn Member since:
2005-07-06

Complains about appeal to emotion argument, bases argument around emotion...


Come again? I'm pretty sure my comment was based on perception and accuracy (i.e. inaccurate, emotional statements are perceived poorly).

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Counterproductive advocacy
by kpugovkin on Thu 14th Jul 2011 23:55 in reply to "Counterproductive advocacy"
kpugovkin Member since:
2011-07-05

The problem is, this is more or less completely factually incorrect. No one has a patent on a "grid of icons."

You underestimate intelligence of corporate legal staff and stupidity of US patent system. There are many crafty ruses to make a generic claim over a broad idea to look as if it is not and then sue people, who use the idea. And now we all are watching scrambles of such kind in The Big Bay Patent Fighting Arena. Obscure, cryptic Legaleeze is just one of those ruses. As an author of a patent, who worked with a patent attorney, I know what I'm talking about.
The post IS factually correct and a lot of common ideas are now covered by patents in one or another clever way.

Reply Parent Score: 11

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

+1'000'000!

Corporate legal teams that deal with patent applications like at a conveyor can twist words so badly that an inventor can end up not understanding what was patented....

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Counterproductive advocacy
by JAlexoid on Fri 15th Jul 2011 00:56 in reply to "Counterproductive advocacy"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

As I've said in previous posts, abuse of the patent system is a problem. However, the kind of advocacy shown by posts like this is completely counter productive.


Well maybe a system that allows abuse should be changed IMMEDIATELLY?
And please read the damn U.S. Patent No. 7,222,078, it's not as simple as a grid of icons but does fall under such idiocy.

The statement "grid of icons can be patented" is as emotional statement as "without software patents there will be no software R&D". However, I don't see you debunking the second one.

Reply Parent Score: 2

rhavyn Member since:
2005-07-06

"As I've said in previous posts, abuse of the patent system is a problem. However, the kind of advocacy shown by posts like this is completely counter productive.


Well maybe a system that allows abuse should be changed IMMEDIATELLY?
And please read the damn U.S. Patent No. 7,222,078, it's not as simple as a grid of icons but does fall under such idiocy.
"

What system doesn't allow abuse? And how do you propose changing the patent system?

The statement "grid of icons can be patented" is as emotional statement as "without software patents there will be no software R&D". However, I don't see you debunking the second one.


Point me at a website where the predominant opinion is that without patents there would be no software development and I would. I personally don't know of such a website, nor of anyone who is really making that argument.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Counterproductive advocacy
by TechGeek on Fri 15th Jul 2011 02:20 in reply to "Counterproductive advocacy"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

As I've said in previous posts, abuse of the patent system is a problem. However, the kind of advocacy shown by posts like this is completely counter productive. For example:

"If things like a grid of icons can be patented [...]


The problem is, this is more or less completely factually incorrect. No one has a patent on a "grid of icons." It's completely counter productive to make emotional, factually incorrect statements and parade around as though thats a reason to change things. Learn to read a patent (yes, it requires being educated to learn exactly what the language used means) and accurately relate the problem with the patent. Otherwise you're just going to get tuned out as a crazy ... seriously, there is a reason why RMS is considered a poor evangelist for free software, OSNews is becoming the RMS of the anti-patent world.
"

You want an example: Microsoft was granted a patent on sudo. SUDO! How many DECADES has that been in Unix like systems? 3-4? That a company can actually get a patent on that is absurd. Just like the obvious implementation of long file names in FAT. Its just an abbreviation using 2 chars. How does that qualify as innovative? The patent system is broken. Software patents are just the most obvious place it shows.

Reply Parent Score: 9

rhavyn Member since:
2005-07-06

You want an example: Microsoft was granted a patent on sudo. SUDO! How many DECADES has that been in Unix like systems? 3-4? That a company can actually get a patent on that is absurd. Just like the obvious implementation of long file names in FAT. Its just an abbreviation using 2 chars. How does that qualify as innovative? The patent system is broken. Software patents are just the most obvious place it shows.


The patent number is? I'd like to read it.

Edited 2011-07-15 03:08 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2