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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RE: Ummm ...
by TechGeek on Fri 15th Jul 2011 02:33 UTC in reply to "Ummm ..."
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Ummm, isn't this a case of a lawsuit going from a patent troll to a smaller company? Iconfactory is currently getting its ass handed to it by a patent troll, and this guy is blaming the larger companies who are trying to make it harder for patent trolls to abuse the system. So, what am I missing here?

What are you missing? Well for one its the larger companies who pleaded (probably greased with campaign money) to get software patents allowed. Microsoft makes a good show of standing up for patent reform when its in their favor. Notice how they argued that these patents are being used to hold their company hostage by the likes of i4i to the US Supreme Court. Yet at the EXACT same time, Microsoft lawyers were filing a law suit against Barnes and Noble over the use of Android in the Nook. Android, which Microsoft claims violates their oh-so-innovative software patents, is being raped by its main competitor.

Microsoft isn't interested in changing the system. They just want to control it so it only hurts their rivals.

Edited 2011-07-15 02:36 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Ummm ...
by MacTO on Fri 15th Jul 2011 02:53 in reply to "RE: Ummm ..."
MacTO Member since:

I don't know if Microsoft is in favor of a patent system that they control. But let's assume that they weren't for a moment. I know, that's a big assumption.

Microsoft knows as well as anyone else that the nice guy just doesn't win in business. They know that because they were the bully and they were the winner. Now that they are being threatened with patents, do you really expect them to lay down on the ground and wait the be run down on a matter of principle? Hell no. They know the bully makes the rules (after all, they were the bully) and if you want to get anywhere you have to play their game. And if that means patent protection rackets then that means patent protection rackets.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Ummm ...
by TechGeek on Fri 15th Jul 2011 03:07 in reply to "RE[2]: Ummm ..."
TechGeek Member since:

See, I don't ever buy that argument. That's just an excuse for bad behavior. I don't see companies like Red Hat and others playing the patent protection racket game. Microsoft will do anything to succeed. Everyone knows that. Everyone also know Microsoft would stab them in the back for a penny.

I may be naive in thinking that businesses should be ethical. But there must be a lot of people like me as Ohio (who enacted ethical business laws) is seeing a large rise in incorporations within its state. Those companies will have the legal option of doing what is best for the community or its employees instead of strictly what makes the bottom line rise.

Reply Parent Score: 3