Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 5th Jul 2012 23:07 UTC
Legal Since I want to get this out of my system: here's a set of proposals to fix (okay, replace) the current failing patent system. No lengthy diatribe or introduction, just a raw list.
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RE: Comment by yokem55
by amadensor on Fri 6th Jul 2012 15:19 UTC in reply to "Comment by yokem55"
amadensor
Member since:
2006-04-10

Let's pretend that I find a way to compress video to 1/10 the output size of any other codec, while retaining all existing quality. This is a novel and useful invention, but if there is no software patent, then I cannot protect my methodologies. While I agree that most software patents are bad, there needs to be a way to protect a novel algorithm. Although the math itself cannot be protected, there needs to be a method to protect novel means of deriving a solution.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by yokem55
by viton on Fri 6th Jul 2012 18:18 in reply to "RE: Comment by yokem55"
viton Member since:
2005-08-09

then I cannot protect my methodologies
And why should you do it?

Just write the codecs/apps and sell it.

Do not disclose "methodologies" if you fear clones.
If it so trivial that even children could reimplement it,
then your methodologies worth nothing.

Edited 2012-07-06 18:19 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by yokem55
by tomcat on Sat 7th Jul 2012 15:36 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by yokem55"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

then I cannot protect my methodologies
And why should you do it?

Just write the codecs/apps and sell it.

Do not disclose "methodologies" if you fear clones.
If it so trivial that even children could reimplement it,
then your methodologies worth nothing.


This is what is known as a trade secret. Essentially, the formula behind "Coke". It is often the most effective way to protect an idea; however, keeping a secret doesn't protect you against reverse engineering or intentional reproduction. Which is why a lot of companies prefer patents.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by yokem55
by amadensor on Mon 9th Jul 2012 14:51 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by yokem55"
amadensor Member since:
2006-04-10



Do not disclose "methodologies" if you fear clones.
If it so trivial that even children could reimplement it,
then your methodologies worth nothing.


Actually, being simple to implement is exactly what makes them brilliant. If it is something simple to implement, but still novel, then it is even more valuable than if it is very complex. It can be simple to implement without being obvious.

I am not saying that software patents are good, or that our current system is even close to functional. I am saying that these are the things we need to consider as we fix it.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by yokem55
by zima on Wed 11th Jul 2012 00:05 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by yokem55"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Do not disclose "methodologies" if you fear clones.
If it so trivial that even children could reimplement it,
then your methodologies worth nothing.

Hello decompilation? (hence essentially forcing people into wasting time to obfuscate code)

If it's trivial to reimplement, but yet nobody implemented it before in the first place, maybe it was really hard to come up with / genius.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Although the math itself cannot be protected, there needs to be a method to protect novel means of deriving a solution.


No, that's still math. The other problem with your example is that it highlights an existing problem with software patents. In order for your video compression to be usefull, you have to have other people implement it. It has to be a standard. Currently the common way to get a codec standardised but also still make money for the inventors is through MPLA. You offer to provide it under FRAND terms. But everyone else and their dog want to attach their patents in with yours to make money off of their inventions too. So now you have 100's of patents in a single codec. Furthermore, it probably infringes on some one else's patent too. So anyone using your codec paying licence fees and everything is likely to be sued by a patent troll.

What's the solution? I don't know. Its tough, and I'm pretty afraid that what we have now might actually be the best case scenario for consumers. Technology is marching on and the patent lawsuits are starting to become just a price of doing business factored into the prices we pay. But then again, the prices we pay aren't that bad, considering everything its capable of.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by yokem55
by Alfman on Fri 6th Jul 2012 23:10 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by yokem55"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Bill Shooter of Bul,

"No, that's still math."

Agree math algorithms shouldn't be patentable. But we've seen idiotic patents over software which are not necessarily considered math, like XML case against microsoft. Software shouldn't be patentable whether it's considered math or not.

I like the definition posted earlier: any software running on commodity hardware should be in safe harbour from all patent infringement claims.

"But then again, the prices we pay aren't that bad, considering everything its capable of."

Well, I'd be curious to see an exact number of how much overhead patents are responsible for. But there are other factors that we shouldn't ignore like the monopolization of features, and technologically inefficient engineering workarounds that ultimately reduce product utility for consumers. Even corporate consolidation driven by patent acquisition has eliminated products from the market. It's difficult to put a dollar value on these kind of social costs.

Reply Parent Score: 2