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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Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

Then the question would be, why should any company or person invest millions of $$$ on R&D to innovate something so that others can just copy them?

Everybody will wait for other to innovate so that they can copy. Thereby resulting in a condition where nobody innovates due to the fear of copy.


History disagrees with you. The software industry has done without software patents for most of its existence - and during this period without software patents, technological development was just as fast-paced - if not more so - than today.

Another example is the steam locomotive. Before Watt received a patent on certain parts of the steam engine, steam engines increased their power and efficiency very rapidly. Then, when Watt got his patent, development came to a screeching halt for the entire duration of his patent. When the patent expired, development went back to its regular, crazy-fast pace.

For most of the history of mankind, we have done without patents - which are not an inalienable human right, but a legal construct - and we did just fine.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Bounty Member since:
2006-09-18


History disagrees with you. The software industry has done without software patents for most of its existence - and during this period without software patents, technological development was just as fast-paced - if not more so - than today.


"On 21 May 1962, a British patent application entitled "A Computer Arranged for the Automatic Solution of Linear Programming Problems" was filed. The invention was concerned with efficient memory management for the simplex algorithm, and could be implemented by purely software means. The patent was granted on August 17, 1966 and seems to be one of the first software patents." -Wikipedia

Reply Parent Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

"
History disagrees with you. The software industry has done without software patents for most of its existence - and during this period without software patents, technological development was just as fast-paced - if not more so - than today.


"On 21 May 1962, a British patent application entitled "A Computer Arranged for the Automatic Solution of Linear Programming Problems" was filed. The invention was concerned with efficient memory management for the simplex algorithm, and could be implemented by purely software means. The patent was granted on August 17, 1966 and seems to be one of the first software patents." -Wikipedia
"

How about you read the rest of those Wikipedia articles as well, and then get back to me?

Gist: a VERY small number of software patents were granted until around the mid-'90s. Up until then, the USPTO was firmly against software patents, the US courts were in favour, but the Supreme Court against. Then, somewhere in the mid-'90s, Bill Clinton appointed a new head of the USPTO who came straight from the large software companies. Since then, software patents became accepted.

Thousands and thousands of software patents are granted each year now. Before that, between, say, 1960 and 1995, we have only a handful. Yet, software flourished just fine in that time period.

Edited 2011-08-05 17:57 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1