Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 30th Jun 2012 19:34 UTC
Legal Yesterday, we were treated to another preliminary injunction on a product due to patent trolling. Over the past few years, some companies have resorted to patent trolling instead of competing on merit, using frivolous and obvious software and design patents to block competitors - even though this obviously shouldn't be legal. The fact that this is, in fact, legal, is baffling, and up until a few months ago, a regular topic here on OSNews. At some point - I stopped reporting on the matter. The reason for this is simple: I realised that intellectual property law exists outside of regular democratic processes and is, in fact, wholly and utterly totalitarian. What's the point in reporting on something we can't change via legal means?
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copying is anti innovation
by Netfun81 on Sun 1st Jul 2012 19:11 UTC
Netfun81
Member since:
2008-03-25

hmmm so lets see if I got this right. If I invent something really popular and different by spending millions on research and development, it should be ok for any cheap imitation to come to market without any penalties? That ruins innovation by destroying the companies that do the research and innovation. Apple has every right to sue anyone that steals from them and so does Samsung. Why can't Google and Samsung make something unique and better rather that just stealing the whole iphone and ipad designs. Because they are not innovators and the world is rewarding the cheap copiers not the true innovators. Long live ip law, and protect against these thieves around the world. I am not an Apple fan boi...but on the opposite side of this argument.

Reply Score: -4

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

hmmm so lets see if I got this right. If I invent something really popular and different by spending millions on research and development, it should be ok for any cheap imitation to come to market without any penalties?


I have never said anything even remotely like that in any article I have ever written - this one or earlier ones. Don't make stuff up. Just because I criticise current IP laws does not mean I advocate having no IP laws at all. Your reasoning is exactly the same as that of extremist religious folk who claim that people who are pro-gay marriage are also in favour of marriage with animals or children.

Intellectual property is a good thing. Our current IP regime, however, is not. This isn't rocket science.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Netfun81 Member since:
2008-03-25

ok then maybe we agree partially. I'm not fond of gay marriage but I do believe we should be able to marry animals. Its not fair that geeks have been so repressed ;)

Reply Parent Score: 1

Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

Intellectual property is a good thing. Our current IP regime, however, is not. This isn't rocket science.


What is not clear is what you think the limits of the law on IP should be. The devil is in the detail. It's all very well saying current IP is broken or dysfunctional - OK - what should a working IP legal structure look like?

I get the impression that you don't like software patents at all, why? What in principal is different about owning the legal rights to a piece of code or software design compared to say owning the rights to a novel or a piece of music?

What about hardware patents? Are some OK but some not? In which case what are the dividing lines? Suppose someone sets up a company and makes shoes that look just like the latest Nike shoes and has a logo on them that looks very similar to a Nike logo and uses a product name similar to the Nike shoes? Should Nike have the opportunity to claim in court that their designs are being infringed? And if you can seek legal protection for the design of a pair of shoes why not for a phone or tablet?

It seems to me that product bans freak people out and Apple winning products bans really freak people out, including you Thom, and provoke generalised statements that sound plausible and principled but which obscure the fact that in the real world these issues are immensely complex and difficult. Generally the further away from the practical reality of a problem one is the easier it is to believe that there are simple solutions or that the issues are clear cut.

I personally think the current system of arguing the details out on a case by case basis through exhaustive legal actions in multiple courts in multiple jurisdictions is probably as a good a way to sort this sort of stuff out as one could find, tiresome though it is to watch. I think it is incumbent on those who say the current system is rotten to suggest what should be in it's place. How much of what sort of stuff should companies be allowed to copy and how and who should make the judgment of when thy have crossed the line?

Reply Parent Score: 1

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

marriage with animals

Seems it's not unheard of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human–animal_marriage

Overall, humans are a bit silly with this - zoophilia is supposedly taboo, but a) mass slaughter of animals is apparently fine, as is causing what will be one of the most rapid extinction events in geological record b) a typical caressing of pet animals, if done on another human, would generally be perceived as quite sexual in nature (also, if my cat is in what remains - after sterilisation - of its heat, then it quite often displays mating behaviour when caressed by a human...) c) any animal roughly compatible with human is probably large enough to severely damage the human, if it didn't like it...

Then there are silly people, one replying nearby, who at first glance could be understood by somebody as being OK with the above, but have something against two consenting adults.

(and WRT children, wasn't that more or less standard exactly in the more traditional approaches?... at least as far as legal "non adult" definition goes; plus it was all often already arranged much earlier)

Edited 2012-07-04 10:15 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: copying is anti innovation
by lemur2 on Sun 1st Jul 2012 23:33 in reply to "copying is anti innovation"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

hmmm so lets see if I got this right. If I invent something really popular and different by spending millions on research and development, it should be ok for any cheap imitation to come to market without any penalties? That ruins innovation by destroying the companies that do the research and innovation. Apple has every right to sue anyone that steals from them and so does Samsung. Why can't Google and Samsung make something unique and better rather that just stealing the whole iphone and ipad designs. Because they are not innovators and the world is rewarding the cheap copiers not the true innovators. Long live ip law, and protect against these thieves around the world. I am not an Apple fan boi...but on the opposite side of this argument.


An Android phone is not a copy of an iPhone, it is a work-alike. Just as a GM vehicle is not a copy of a Ford, it is a work-alike. Likewise, Airbus aircraft are not copies of Boeing aircraft, they are work-alikes.

There are myriad products on the market which are not copies of competitor products, they are built differently but they look and work in a similar way to produce similar functionality and performance.

It is the whole basis of a capitalist free market economy that there are multiple similar products competing against each other in open competition. Supply and demand. Competition is good.

Are you saying that you do not believe in a free market economy?

Edited 2012-07-01 23:33 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5