Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 19th Jul 2011 17:09 UTC
Google For the first time, Google has opened its mouth against the patent trolling by Apple (and by proxy, Microsoft) against Android manufacturers. By way of Eric Schmidt, Google's chairman, the company took stand against the legal actions, and stated they aren't too worried. If need be, Google will ensure HTC doesn't lose the patent case against Apple.
Thread beginning with comment 481587
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: How can this be fixed?
by zimbatm on Tue 19th Jul 2011 19:09 UTC in reply to "How can this be fixed?"
zimbatm
Member since:
2005-08-22

Can you cite one software patent that you feel is valid to your eyes ?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: How can this be fixed?
by somebody on Tue 19th Jul 2011 19:36 in reply to "RE: How can this be fixed?"
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

(;sorry, couldn't resist;)

real life trash can? it provides me with space for commercial software after:
1) company goes bankrupt
2) company stops supporting that software
3) i see software works nothing like commercials said

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: How can this be fixed?
by cranfordio on Tue 19th Jul 2011 20:19 in reply to "RE: How can this be fixed?"
cranfordio Member since:
2005-11-10

No, I can't. But this doesn't mean I don't think there are cases where they can be valid and I am not about to look through every software patent out there to find one. I just don't feel that a blanket "No More Software Patents" is the best solution.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: How can this be fixed?
by Alfman on Tue 19th Jul 2011 21:01 in reply to "RE[2]: How can this be fixed?"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

cranfordio,

"No, I can't. But this doesn't mean I don't think there are cases where they can be valid and I am not about to look through every software patent out there to find one."


I don't blame you for not wanting to waste time evaluating patent documents. However this is precisely how more and more developers will need to spend their time as lawsuits from software patent trolls continues to get more insane. Patent trolls deliberately try to patent every little variation of an algorithm to block alternative implementations. The simple task of determining whether our in-house code infringes software patents is a monumental task. Often times this isn't even knowable.

If we do infringe, we have to choose between obfuscating our algorithm to avoid the patent(s), pay license fees for the right to use our own implementation (that's assuming the patentholder is non-discriminatory), or completely ignore the whole damn patent system. By far and large, most IT businesses haven chosen to ignore software patents because they offer no net benefits, and the cost of compliance for a serious patent audit would be prohibitively expensive.


"I just don't feel that a blanket 'No More Software Patents' is the best solution."

That's fine if that's your opinion, but no more software patents is a viable solution to the majority of software developers working today.

As a non-software dev, maybe you don't get how important intellectual freedom is to us, but it is. Please don't dismiss it. Strictly enforcing software patents would be one of the most draconian thing you could do to us. It wouldn't be all that different from prohibiting you from using certain combinations of words from your native language.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[3]: How can this be fixed?
by Delgarde on Wed 20th Jul 2011 00:14 in reply to "RE[2]: How can this be fixed?"
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

No, I can't. But this doesn't mean I don't think there are cases where they can be valid and I am not about to look through every software patent out there to find one. I just don't feel that a blanket "No More Software Patents" is the best solution.


And that's exactly the problem with patent law, as it stands. As a developer, *I* don't want to go looking through every software patent out there, just in case someone else has already had the same idea as me. But the current system forces me to care about that kind of thing.

Thing is, the idea behind the patent system is to reward people who come up with interesting new ideas - allowing them to benefit from a brief monopoly before it becomes a free-for-all. However, this just isn't working out, for several reasons.

* There are just too damn many patents. There are so many of them awarded for the most trivial variations of existing ideas, that it's almost impossible to do anything without unknowingly infringing on one patent or another.

* They last far too long. In an industry where companies put out new products as often as bi-annually, a patent lasting over a decade is practically forever. Seriously, the average technical patent will be obsolete long before it actually expires.

* They mostly benefit the big players, preventing newcomers. Since anything a small company does is almost guaranteed to infringe on a patent held by the incumbents, they can't actually bring their innovation to market without paying money to their competitors. Ultimately, most such companies end up either being bought by one of the bigger players, or simply selling their patent and moving on to something else.

All in all, the system just doesn't work very well.

Reply Parent Score: 4