Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 25th Mar 2012 19:44 UTC
Legal "Last week a large, profitable company sued a small start-up business for patent infringement. As a non-legal person, I can only guess that this sort of thing must happen fairly often. I would also guess that the large companies, which have the means to hire crackerjack legal teams and drag cases out, must often win. And while I guess I feel bad for the small businesses, I've never really cared before now. Because this time, the stakes are high. This time, it's my daughter's voice on the line. Literally." Infuriating. Maybe these are the kinds of stories we need to get normal people to care enough to force lawmakers to change. Sadly, the big bags of money from Apple, Microsoft, and Oracle are probably far more important to them than this sad story.
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A 'normal person' speaks up
by WorknMan on Sun 25th Mar 2012 22:40 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

Infuriating. Maybe these are the kinds of stories we need to get normal people to care enough to force lawmakers to change. Sadly, the big bags of money from Apple, Microsoft, and Oracle are probably far more important to them than this sad story.


Well, as a normal person who doesn't give two shits about patents, let me chime in here. This story is definitely a step in the right direction, as opposed to feeling the need to post about every finger gesture patent lawsuit that comes down the wire. The reason why this story works is because this is a small developer getting sued rather than a giant corporation. I am probably never going to care if one large company sues another over some abstract patent; as far as I'm concerned, those bastards can sue each other until they run out of money. There is one exception, however ...

The mistake you made with posting this story is that you blew your load too early. You need to wait until one of the lawsuits reaches a conclusion, and some product or service gets shut down. Then you can say, 'Hey, this thing that you might have been interested in was killed because of a patent dispute'. That kind of thing will get people's attention. Because, for better or worse, people don't tend to give a damn about things unless it affects them personally. And THAT is how you get peoples' attention. If you just keep posting these same f**king rants every time Apple sues an Android vendor over a 'swipe to unlock' patent, normal people are never going to care about that, and will not pay you any attention when you REALLY need to reach them.

As for the guy who wrote this story, somebody needs to show him how to jailbreak his ipad; will take about 5 minutes, then he can permanently back up the app, and he has it forever. Granted, this is not a solution to the overall problem, but it will make sure that his daughter doesn't lose access to the app.

Reply Score: 3

RE: A 'normal person' speaks up
by DanaN on Sun 25th Mar 2012 23:36 in reply to "A 'normal person' speaks up"
DanaN Member since:
2012-03-25

"The guy who wrote this story" is actually a girl. Me.

I don't know how to jailbreak anything, and I don't know about patents, and I don't know about much of the tech world, but I'm willing to learn.

Reply Parent Score: 4

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

DanaN,

"I don't know how to jailbreak anything, and I don't know about patents, and I don't know about much of the tech world, but I'm willing to learn."

I am a little surprised that a non-technical audience would find their way here. Anyways, most software developers despise software patents. They're especially troubling for us because, unlike copyright infringement, we routinely violate patents in the course of doing our jobs. Patent laws are used to deprive us of the right to use our own implementations even when they were independently developed without knowledge of or benefit from the patent holder, which is usually the case. In other words, we are impeded from using our own intellectual abilities in solving problems.

At an abstract level, solving computing problems isn't much different from a driver finding an optimal route from point A to point B on a map. There may be a handful of logical routes, but you quickly reach a plateau where additional unique routes become terribly inefficient and even impossible. Luckily drivers are free to choose the most logical routes for them regardless of what other drivers choose, but software developers are artificially constrained by patent monopolies that act as virtual road blocks and toll booths.

For us, we were fine before software patents, and we'd just as quickly refuse them again, but the lawyers won't leave us alone until they've sucked the life out of us.

Reply Parent Score: 6

kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

You don't need to Jailbreak anything. Since you purchased the app you will be able to continue to use the app and install it on new devices even if the developers is forced to stop selling it.

See my comment here ...
http://www.osnews.com/thread?511872

The issue you face is that if the developer looses the lawsuit or withdraws the app voluntarily you won't be able to get future versions of the app (bug fixes or enhancements).

If this does happen my suggestion to you would be to ask the developer to open source this app so that the community can continue to update and support it. I would certainly be more than happy to help as well as to supply you with a build for your specific device.

Reply Parent Score: 2

wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

"The guy who wrote this story" is actually a girl. Me.

I don't know how to jailbreak anything, and I don't know about patents, and I don't know about much of the tech world, but I'm willing to learn.


Sorry to hear about your story. I can think of a couple of places you can contact (I guess someone told you about them already):

http://www.groklaw.net/

https://www.eff.org/

This is a well-known anti-IP IP attorney:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephan_Kinsella

Oh, if you need money to raise money for a specific cause, you could try this place:

http://www.thepoint.com/

Have you tried complaining directly to the patent holders? Maybe they don't want the bad publicity.

I would also contact Apple (but watch out, they love patents).

That said, in my humble opinion the patent system is working exactly as intended, a winner-takes-all game. Of course there are many possible reforms which would make it less harmful, but only insofar as they make it less effective and closer to patent abolition (we can dream!).

Good luck.

Reply Parent Score: 2