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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RE[2]: Debasement of language
by Tony Swash on Sun 1st Jul 2012 23:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Debasement of language"
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

I repeat my question and would genuinely like an answer as I think it is a question worth exploring.

Leaving aside whether Samsung have or have not copied Apple do you think that in general companies should be free to copy other companies products with no legal restraint?

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Debasement of language
by Alfman on Mon 2nd Jul 2012 02:59 in reply to "RE[2]: Debasement of language"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Tony Swash,


"Leaving aside whether Samsung have or have not copied Apple do you think that in general companies should be free to copy other companies products with no legal restraint?"


You need to define what is meant by "copy", there are copyrights, trademarks, process patents and design patents. None of them work quite the same way... The biggest controversy with patents in particular for CS folks is that they are used against implementations even when they are NOT copied.

Of course this case is about overly broad design patents. Some can be so broad that it's very likely for new products to infringe simply by coincidence, and that's a problem.


In the case of one guy's freedom to kick competitors out of the market, and our freedom to develop & bring new products to the market, I think the law should error on the side of allowing competitors in the market. Being copied is just be a risk of doing business.

If customers are honestly being confused, then I can see merit in stopping the counterfeits. But if customers understand what they're buying, then let them drive the market without interference by government decree.

Reply Parent Score: 4

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Ok, I'll feed the troll.

In general, yes, companies should be able to copy each other's work sometimes. Arguing otherwise would be as silly as giving someone a patent on liquid containers or car steering methodologies. Then, of course, legal limits also have to be set so as to prevent unfair competition such as counterfeiting clothes at a fraction of their design costs.

Now, get some real arguments out to prove your point ;)

Reply Parent Score: 4