Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 27th Dec 2013 18:19 UTC
Legal

Google has decided to fight back against the Apple and Microsoft-backed patent troll Rockstar. It has filed a lawsuit, asking the court to state that the Android platform does not infringe any of the patents the patent troll is asserting against Android, Google, and Android OEMs. Google describes Rockstar's trolling in no uncertain terms.

Rockstar produces no products and practices no patents. Instead, Rockstar employs a staff of engineers in Ontario, Canada, who examine other companies' successful products to find anything that Rockstar might use to demand and extract licenses to its patents under threat of litigation.

A very interesting tidbit is found further down in the legal documents - Google claims that Rockstar actually contacted companies that use Android, asking them to... Stop using Android.

On information and belief, Rockstar contacted and met with these California-based companies in order to discourage them from continuing to use Google's Android platform in their devices, and to interfere with Google's business relationships.

This Apple and Microsoft shell company is way, way dirtier than we already knew.

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RE[2]: Rockstar is justified
by themwagency on Fri 27th Dec 2013 20:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Rockstar is justified"
themwagency
Member since:
2013-03-06

We need to do away with the software patents that inhibit innovation by blocking others from access to key technologies that we're not even allowed to implement ourselves using our *own* resources.


There are costs doing doing business in every industry. Some are larger than others. Debeers is inhibiting OUR industry by buying up all the diamond mines around the world. These are our diamonds and because of their actions it hurts small companies who also want to sell diamonds. Now they have to buy the mines directly from Debeers who sought to buy them first!


Software patents are not about rewarding innovation

In many instances they are. If there is to be any reform it should be in reinforcing the patents that are innovations and doing away with those that are not. It's important to understand that some of these points are highly debatable.

Edited 2013-12-27 20:54 UTC

Reply Parent Score: -1

RE[3]: Rockstar is justified
by Alfman on Sat 28th Dec 2013 03:51 in reply to "RE[2]: Rockstar is justified"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

themwagency,

There are costs doing doing business in every industry. Some are larger than others. Debeers is inhibiting OUR industry by buying up all the diamond mines around the world. These are our diamonds and because of their actions it hurts small companies who also want to sell diamonds. Now they have to buy the mines directly from Debeers who sought to buy them first!


You are ignoring the very big distinction between a natural monopoly arising from mutually exclusive physical property rights (ie diamond mines) versus an artificial government granted monopoly on ideas. Since ideas are inherently non-physical and not mutually exclusive, you need a damn good reason for granting a monopoly on them, and the majority of those in the software industry agree they don't make any sense for our field.

In any case, don't you find it ironic to compare patent monopolies to the most violent monopoly on the planet? Was your intention to highlight the similarities or the differences? If your point was to say "look, it's not as bad as THAT monopoly", well so what? That's truly a terrible justification for our patent policy.


In many instances they are. If there is to be any reform it should be in reinforcing the patents that are innovations and doing away with those that are not. It's important to understand that some of these points are highly debatable.


Software engineers like myself generally agree that software patents only get in the way. The vast majority of developers just want to do what we do best: R&D. Unlike other industries (ie pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, chemicals, aviation, etc) software development has unprecedented low barriers to entry, so anyone with talent can join us with very low up front investment. Patents are a major detraction for us.


A large part of the problem with a patent system is that it's inherently not scalable. Beyond a certain size, it just stops being feasible to effectively compare all patented and published works for a fixed cost (to say nothing of unpublished works). Even the patent office itself throws it's hands up and grants patents because they have no way to make heads or tails over whether something is unique given their limited time to review the matter. That responsibility shifts to the courts in trials that cost millions of dollars. This cannot be fixed, at least not without diverting exponentially more resources to patent matters.

With so many developers, it makes very little sense to grant some of them a monopoly on ideas that others are increasingly likely to come up with independently anyways.

Edited 2013-12-28 03:59 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

"Software patents are not about rewarding innovation

In many instances they are. If there is to be any reform it should be in reinforcing the patents that are innovations
"

For example...?

Reply Parent Score: 2