Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 24th Aug 2012 23:54 UTC
Legal And just like that, within a matter of days, the jury has reached a verdict in Apple vs. Samsung. The basic gist is simple: Apple's software patents are valid, and many Samsung devices infringe upon them. Apple's iPhone 3G trade dress is valid, and Samsung's Galaxy S line infringes, but other devices did not. Samsung did not infringe Apple's iPad design patent. Apple did not infringe any of Samsung's patents. Apple is awarded a little over $1 billion in damages. Competition lost today, and developers in the United States should really start to get worried - software patents got validated big time today.
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just my thoughts
by ikidunot on Sat 25th Aug 2012 09:07 UTC
ikidunot
Member since:
2011-06-04

You guys simply don't get it on many fronts.

This case was never going to end any other way. The average American believes that only Americans have original ideas and everyone else copies.

Now look at the economics involved. This is not about companies; it's about nations and foreign exchange. America is BROKE. America NEEDS MONEY any way it can get it and, since America PRODUCES NOTHING ANYBODY WANTS, then MONEY FOR NOTHING is the only transaction possible. America needs a cut of the production of everyone else's sweat; it is the only way out of the economic hole it has dug for itself. If you think the US State department does not have a fist in this pie, you are delusional.

The whole purpose of patents has been completely subverted in the last few decades. From a lecture by Eben Moglen, the original US patents were for three years during which time the inventor had exclusive rights to develop and monetize the idea for his own betterment. After that, everyone could develop the idea into bigger and better things and expand industry for the country as a whole. The founding fathers were not stupid; they were not going to allow an individual to lock up some idea to the detriment of the growing nation. How times have changed.

Software patents are a joke and an insult to any developer worth their salt. For a start, there is no discovery involved; no new insight into natural phenomena to be exploited. The average Joe (developers included) simply does not have the ability to decompose a problem space to the point where a solution is obvious. To the majority of people, this process is magic and they are right in thinking it should be rewarded. The only problem is it is not the people with the required skills who ever get the rewards. Has been so for centuries and is unlikely to change any time ever.

The biggest problem I see with patents over UI elements is that it breaks Common User Access which is the one thing that has made computing accessible to the masses and allowed the consumer electronics industry to flourish. Anyone old enough to remember computers of the early '80s will remember that every word processor and every spread sheet had a unique look and feel and specific training was required for each and every one. The training industry loved it and worked very hard at perpetuating the mith well into the '90s. I really don't know what would be the result of every device manufacturer developing a UI exclusive to it's own products. I don't think it would happen. While they were able to make sales, manufacturers would just pay the protection money to the patent mafia and get on with business.

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