Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 4th Jun 2013 12:45 UTC
Legal Ah, patents - the never-ending scourge of the technology industry. Whether wielded by companies who don't actually make any products, or large corporations who abuse them because they can't compete in the market place or because they're simply jerks, they do the industry a huge disservice and are simply plain dangerous. According to The Wall Street Journal (circumvention link), president Obama is about to take several executive actions to address patent trolls - which may seem like a good idea, but I am very worried that all this will do is strengthen the positions of notorious patent system abusers such as Apple and Microsoft.
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Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Tue 4th Jun 2013 17:09 UTC
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

Just wondering which small companies have been "trolled" by Apple and its patents.

I see a lot of Apple inspired products in shops made by a number of rather unknown brands, yet I never see any news of Apple sueing any of them.

They did go after Samsung, which one can hardly describe as an easy helpless target.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by WorknMan on Tue 4th Jun 2013 18:04 in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Just wondering which small companies have been "trolled" by Apple and its patents.

I see a lot of Apple inspired products in shops made by a number of rather unknown brands, yet I never see any news of Apple sueing any of them.


Ya, I'm not saying that it never happens, but all I ever see these giant commercial bastards do is sue one another, and then nerds around the world are screaming about how this is harmful to small businesses. And unless these big businesses who are getting sued are also lobbying hard for severe patent reform, I don't feel sorry for them. You want to play that game, don't whine like a bitch if you lose.

Even if some small company were put out of business by a frivolous patent lawsuit, there can only be so much of this. If company x worth $1 billion started going after mom and pop shops with gusto, the bad PR would stack up pretty quickly, and bad PR is like kryptonite to these companies ;)

Whatever the case, I hope there's one thing that comes out of this, and that is if a business is going to threaten somebody else with ominous patent violations, they either have to put up or shut up.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Tue 4th Jun 2013 20:33 in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Why waste money, time and energy on small companies that cause you little harm.

If you sow thousands of seeds and the birds steal 100 of them would you invest in a WiFi linked scarecrow defense grid?

Apple could go after these small companies that sell imitation products, but they don't do much damage, it won't win Apple much and take one out and three new ones arise.

People who buy these cheep crappy gadgets would never buy an Apple product anyway.

But I see my original post got its first down vote, but nobody has been able to name one single small company yet. Oh well.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by JAlexoid on Wed 5th Jun 2013 09:06 in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Apple itself is not the problem. Neither is Samsung or Microsoft, or IBM, or any other big player.

Problem is that they are opposing changing of the rules that allow them to battle it out... the side-effect of those rules is that medium sized companies or small trolls can use the same rules to scare and attack the small guys.

Their opposition to change of patent laws, what they see as a valuable legal tool, results in a massive negative side-effect on small and medium business.

In fact, now the pharmaceutical companies are against the rules that they helped to introduce... the rules that are to vague and allowed a vast set of "inventions" to be patented.

Complaining about any of the big boys is like complaining about a manager that is adamant that he cannot change an arbitrary rule that he introduced himself and has no legal obligation to enforce.(I had such an argument recently)

Edited 2013-06-05 09:08 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 5th Jun 2013 09:28 in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I don't think they should be able to oppose anything, they don't have a vote in congress nor do they pay taxes (joke)!

I don't like the patent system, but I think a middle way can be found. First get rid of companies with patents and no products. If one doesn't make anything one can't complain of others doing it.

Make patents expire rather quickly, let's say 2 years. Two years is a LONG time in tech. Plenty of time to do your thing with the advantage of being first. After that you either innovate, which is what we want, or be one of the many companies that produce products with your expired patent.

Also get rid of silly patents. Once that are silly, too obvious or prior art.

Reply Parent Score: 2