Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 4th Aug 2011 21:38 UTC
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y The Google-Microsoft patent war of words is continuing. Yesterday, Google (rightfully so, in my book) accused Apple, Microsoft, and Oracle partaking in an organised patent attack against Android, instead of competing on merit, claiming that they bought up Novell's and Nortel's patents solely to attack Android and its device makers. Microsoft struck back, claiming Google was offered to join in on the bids for the Novell patents, but rejected the offer. Google has now responded to this accusation - and to make matters even more confusing, Microsoft responded back. A public shouting match between two powerful parties? Count me in!
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deppbv78
Member since:
2008-06-29

Aim of my post is to gain more understanding into patents & copyright....

Isn't a patent provided to cover the idea, process of execution & its applicability? As I understand, copyright can protect my code but not the idea & its implementation process.

So, without a patent somebody can take my idea & execution procedure (unique in combination) but use their own logic (code) to the achieve the same. How will a copyright protect my idea & execution procedure?

I'm OK if somebody takes my idea but uses a different execution approach to solve the problem. But, I don't want somebody copying my idea & execution procedure without me getting any benefit out of it. This is specifically true for cases where a company invests millions of $$ in R&D, just to find that somebody copied their idea & execution approach into their product to get the feature for free.

In any case, patents should have a stringent expiry clauses (not exceeding 5yrs) without possible extensions. Modification of original patent by adding a new approach must not be considered as a new patent. I personally feel 5yrs is more than enough for companies to benefit from their patent. Further, government must stop trading of patents between companies as assets. Ideally, a company's patents must be released to public domain if the company is taken over by another.

Reply Parent Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Aim of my post is to gain more understanding into patents & copyright.... Isn't a patent provided to cover the idea, process of execution & its applicability? As I understand, copyright can protect my code but not the idea & its implementation process. So, without a patent somebody can take my idea & execution procedure (unique in combination) but use their own logic (code) to the achieve the same. How will a copyright protect my idea & execution procedure? I'm OK if somebody takes my idea but uses a different execution approach to solve the problem. But, I don't want somebody copying my idea & execution procedure without me getting any benefit out of it. This is specifically true for cases where a company invests millions of $$ in R&D, just to find that somebody copied their idea & execution approach into their product to get the feature for free. In any case, patents should have a stringent expiry clauses (not exceeding 5yrs) without possible extensions. Modification of original patent by adding a new approach must not be considered as a new patent. I personally feel 5yrs is more than enough for companies to benefit from their patent. Further, government must stop trading of patents between companies as assets. Ideally, a company's patents must be released to public domain if the company is taken over by another.


As far as I know, patents do not protect ideas, they protect implementations of ideas, aka "inventions".

I liken this to a simple concept that people can picture easily:

- A person can invent a new type of water pump, and perhaps get a patent on it, but they cannot get a patent on the idea of pumping water. Another person later on can invent yet another new type of water pump, and they too can perhaps get a patent for it.

- Both inventors have invented water pumps, the two pumps in question just work differently. Neither inventor has a patent on the idea itself of pumping water.

AFAIK, this is how patents work.

Examples with pictures ... there are a number of different steam engines on this page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_engine#Motor_units

Double acting stationary steam engine, double piston stroke, oscillating cylinder, triple expansion, uniflow and turbine are shown. AFAIK there are still other types, pistonless rotary engine, Wankel engine, Rankine cycle and Schoelle cycle?

All of these confrom to the idea of a steam engine, but they are all different "inventions", they are all different implementations of that idea of a steam engine.

Edited 2011-08-05 07:13 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

deppbv78 Member since:
2008-06-29

Exactly my point... Patent covers idea & a specific execution approach not just an idea.

Then, what is exactly wrong with software patents? Why shouldn't execution approach for implementing an idea be protected?

Reply Parent Score: 1

_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17


So, without a patent somebody can take my idea & execution procedure (unique in combination) but use their own logic (code) to the achieve the same. How will a copyright protect my idea & execution procedure?


Specially in the field of software, I would think it rare that anybody didn't think of the same execution at the same time. Part of the problem is that good execution is good execution and you're far from the only person to think of the same idea at the same time (only in very,very rare instances will the execution be truly novel).

It is highly also highly unlikely that your execution is all that original. It will build on previous art. What many are doing is looking at previous art and adding a widget which then makes the patent acceptable but not novel (anybody can go for previous art and add widgetX). Unless widgetX is truly innovative, that is BS patent (if widgetX were innovative why not patent that instead?)

Reply Parent Score: 4

kivan Member since:
2011-08-05

Aim of my post is to gain more understanding into patents & copyright....

Isn't a patent provided to cover the idea, process of execution & its applicability? As I understand, copyright can protect my code but not the idea & its implementation process.


With patents, the invention itself can be just a method (meaning that you could get a patent on a process for building a brick if that process was new and non-obvious, even if the brick itself isn't). With bricks, it is safe to assume that all kinds of process having to do with them have been around for a long time, hence is practically impossible to come up with a new one.

The trick with software patents (which are just method patents) is that the field of technology is relatively recent, so that there is not enough prior art to invalidate new patents. Thus, it is much easier to come up with a broad claim.

In any case, patents should have a stringent expiry clauses (not exceeding 5yrs) without possible extensions.


And this is the other problem. Patents have been designed for other fields of technology, where the rate of innovation was much slower. For hydraulic valves, a patent term of 20 years is reasonable. For software, it isn't.

Reply Parent Score: 2