Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 14th Oct 2011 19:05 UTC
Legal Yes, I'm hearing you guys - time to tone down a bit on the patent news. Hence, a summary here of recent developments concerning the various legal cases between Samsung and Apple. Today in The Netherlands, the judge ruled [Dutch] that Samsung will not be able to block the iPhone/iPad from the Dutch market. In the meantime, the Australian courts upheld the preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1, while the American courts ruled that while the Tab indeed infringes upon Apple's design patents, Apple has not yet convinced the judge that that actually matters. Tying this all together with earlier rulings we already covered - it seems like judges across the world are really, really willy-nilly. Update: DailyTech has some detailed visual comparisons between Samsung's and Apple's devices, as well with the various design patents. Huh. You don't say.
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RE[5]: The real loser...
by Alfman on Fri 14th Oct 2011 21:33 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: The real loser..."
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

One should never forget that patent royalties to patent holders are required even on our own independent implementations of the invention. Legally patents don't care if there was actual copying or not.

I see no reason software developers like myself should have to pay royalties on something we are willing and able to develop ourselves. Doubly so when when we never received any working code from, and had no knowledge of, the patent holder.

This kills off opportunities for independent developers. Of course, none of this matters in the US where the laws are written in favor of those with the largest wallets. Hopefully enough ridiculous lawsuits will stagnate the overall corporate market enough to force politicians to fix it for the better, although I remain skeptical that they'll ever consider the needs of independent developers.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[6]: The real loser...
by Neolander on Sat 15th Oct 2011 20:06 in reply to "RE[5]: The real loser..."
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Yeah, the problem of independent inventions does exist too, especially when patents become very broad, like software patents can be in some countries (where one could patent keyboard layouts or Turing machines, given sufficient patent application wording obfuscation).

It's not only about software, by the way. For this year's science festival, a lab at my university has built a flying skateboard based on superconducting levitation. Very fun stuff, I gave them some help for taking care of the stand.

Now, they have decided to patent the device too, with the aim of selling it to Disneyland and others. And this I feel a bit uncomfortable with, depending on what exactly is patented. Is it this specific vehicle design ? The idea of an individual superconducting vehicle ? The idea of a vehicle using superconducting levitation at all ?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[7]: The real loser...
by Alfman on Sat 15th Oct 2011 20:49 in reply to "RE[6]: The real loser..."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Neolander,

"It's not only about software, by the way. For this year's science festival, a lab at my university has built a flying skateboard based on superconducting levitation. Very fun stuff, I gave them some help for taking care of the stand."

That sounds awesome, my university never did things like that, but I've seen lots of videos of things that can been done with superconductors. Do you know exactly what your lab did differently that it'd be patentable?

The patent issues may carry over into disciplines other than software, but as I am a CS guy, I morally object to making claims about disciplines other than my own. I hate outsiders telling me my business, I don't want to be a hypocrite and tell a chemist/engineer/biologist what is best for them.

It's not that I don't have an opinion on general patents, but I only have experience with software, and the cost/benefit analysis may very well be different in other fields. I personally have no way to dispute claims that they are necessary in other fields.

Reply Parent Score: 2