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.
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RE[4]: How can this be fixed?
by cranfordio on Tue 19th Jul 2011 21:53 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: How can this be fixed?"
cranfordio
Member since:
2005-11-10

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.


Sorry, I wasn't trying to dismiss the view point, just trying to get more information than just the blanket "No More Software Patents."

I am not saying that no more software patents isn't the best solution, I was just looking for more of an answer and reasons why this may be the best answer. Your response has actually given me a different perspective, and thank you for that.

I guess my biggest issue is that I would feel that if there was nothing to protect my efforts from being stolen and/or copied, than I would be afraid of investing the time and money into those efforts. So my question for you is how does one truly protect their investment, and in the end protect their well being if there is no protections in place? I guess copyright is a protection, but to me it doesn't seem like very good protection.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: How can this be fixed?
by Alfman on Tue 19th Jul 2011 23:46 in reply to "RE[4]: How can this be fixed?"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

cranfordio,

"So my question for you is how does one truly protect their investment, and in the end protect their well being if there is no protections in place?"

Of course this depends on the business model.

Most service oriented IT companies will work under contract with various clients. Various business arrangements are possible (yearly support contracts, turnkey solutions, one off projects, etc). But in any case the IT company's job is to obtain a scope of work, propose solutions to the client, estimate/agree upon a budget and time frame, and then begin development. Usually by this point we know what the client needs, and the platform, but technical details (algorithms etc) are totally open ended, it's the developer's job to come up with an implementation which addresses the client's needs. The parameters specified by the client usually dictate the overall implementation choices available to the developer.

Whether or not the implementation is novel or not is rather irrelevant to this sort of developer, who has a source of revenue regardless (include web developers in this model).

Another somewhat less common business model in my opinion is selling off the shelf software to the masses (lets say AV software). These devs are probably more concerned about their inventions being copied, so in theory a strong patent system could benefit them. The problem is that there are only a finite number of logical/secure/efficient ways to attach AV scanners to the OS. If we allow the first developers to acquire software patents on those mechanisms, it becomes a land grab. Future newcomers may be blocked from entering the AV market, or they may be forced to develop inferior products, or maybe they'll owe $15 per copy to a competitor who happened to be there first. The newcomer not only has to fund his own R&D costs, he has to subsidize the patent holder's profits.

Lets suppose, the newcomer is able to get additional patents of his own. Generally the competitor's pre-existing software cannot infringe (otherwise it'd be considered prior art), so there's still no leverage, the newcomer is still paying $15/copy. He'll have to try and use his patent to sue new players in the market after him.

Some people still view software patents as necessary, but I would rather reward merit than simply who was there first, which is what patents do. Even as a developer, I would rather be rewarded on merit.


"I guess copyright is a protection, but to me it doesn't seem like very good protection."

What's the reason it's not good protection?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: How can this be fixed?
by Gunderwo on Wed 20th Jul 2011 18:57 in reply to "RE[4]: How can this be fixed?"
Gunderwo Member since:
2006-01-03

At this point in the conversation now several people with varying degrees of tact have addressed all of your questions of how copyright gives ample protection and how software patents stifle innovation. Yet you, a non developer keep on trying to point out that there may well be someone somewhere who needs further protection of software patents. When you are asked to give an example you are unable to do so.

One would think that if patent protection was necessary it should be easy to point out several examples of where software patents helped. But we got none, not even one. We do however see several stories a week where patents are being abused to stifle innovation and create artificial monopolies, raising the barrier to entry into many markets.

What we see is a system with immense overhead that is not benefiting society in any way.

Until you have actually done something in the field or even done enough research to understand the issue you should stop asking the same stupid question over and over. It's been answered in several direct posts to you from informed developers, not too mention the literally thousands of other posts that address the same thing.

Reply Parent Score: 4