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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RE: What is a Patent
by cyrilleberger on Mon 26th Mar 2012 06:56 UTC in reply to "What is a Patent"
cyrilleberger
Member since:
2006-02-01

If you define a patent by what it meant when the Constitution was written then it has to be a physical invention as that was all that existed 200 years ago.


Yes, and that the thing people who defend software patent seems to not understand. The cost of reverse engineering hardware is way lower than the cost of the R&D effort that was put into developing the device (especially 200 years ago, nowadays, hardware artefacts are very complex, but still it is easier to reverse engineer than to design from scratch).

While in the software world, the development cost is the same for the original and for the clone. You may argue that there is also a design cost that is not spent when writing a clone, but that is untrue, it is not because you can see how any application behave that you can reproduce it right away, you still need UI designers for your clone, access to research on algorithms, etc... At the end, the clone and the original product would have a similar development cost, meaning it would not be possible for the clone to compete on price. Meaning it would not be possible for the clone to compete at all, since the original would be on the market before, there is limited incentive to buy the clone. The only way to compete is by providing innovations.

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