Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 3rd Apr 2014 17:15 UTC
Legal

Called the Partnership for American Innovation, the group warned that steps to stop the PAEs could also hurt truly innovative companies.

Companies signing on to the effort so far are Apple Inc., DuPont, Ford Motor Co., General Electric, IBM Corp, Microsoft Corp and Pfizer Inc.

[...]

In particular, the group would oppose efforts to make software or biotechnology unpatentable.

Google, Cisco and other supporters of efforts to curb frivolous patent litigation from PAEs, often termed "patent trolls," supported a bill that easily passed the U.S. House of Representatives in December.

Software patents are destructive and hinder innovation. Apple, Microsoft, and the other members are actively lobbying to limit innovation in the technology industry. This, in turn, will harm the American economy, and cost the American people tens of thousands of jobs.

It's easy to sound like a politician.

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I'm for patents with 10 yr life spans.
by Sabon on Thu 3rd Apr 2014 20:32 UTC
Sabon
Member since:
2005-07-06

For all of you that are against patents I'm guessing that pretty close to 100% of you have never created anything that you then turned around and tried to sell.

Without patents: You create a product or a version of a product that is deemed different enough to have everyone take notice for its new unique design and function that is attractive to a lot (maybe small pct of population but still large number) of people and you start selling a lot of that product. Great news!!! Then oops, you start seeing other people create a copy of your product that you have put lots of blood, sweat and your own personal money into, and here they come and steal all your customers and there is nothing that you can do about it. Since you have debts because of what it took to create the products you have costs that all the copiers don't have so you go bankrupt while they make money. Wow! Great system. NOT.

With Patents: You work very hard and create a brand new product or version of a product that is new enough to grab people's attention. It is different enough that you are able to patent your idea and maybe even the way you create your new device. Since you have a patent it is illegal for others to copy and sell your product. Because of this nobody can legally create a copy and sell it for less than what you can and because of this you are able to sell your product with the expectation that you are protected from being ripped off by others.

I believe that you shouldn't be able to buy patents unless you are going to use that patent for a product that you, yourself, or your company is going to make. You shouldn't be able to buy a patent as a patent troll.

The patent system isn't perfect but people that have never created and tried to patent something have zero clue how this system really works.

I'd compare those people to kids thinking they know better than their parents on how things should be. There are a few kids who do know better but for the most part they do not. Parents have wisdom from having gone through childhood and are now parents.

People that have never created a product and tried to patent it and then tried to sell a product based on that, well they are just little kids trying to figure out what it means to be an adult.

But just like almost every living animal in the world, we all have places where **** comes out of. Ignorance may be bliss but it is very ugly.

Reply Score: 0

shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

It's not against patents. It's against software patents. Check the difference and figure out why software patents in particular aren't encouraging innovation but doing completely the opposite.

Examples which explain the issue:
http://www.h-online.com/open/features/Hacking-through-the-Software-...
http://elsa.berkeley.edu/~bhhall/papers/HHvGR_Patent_Thickets_FIN_2...
http://www2.law.ed.ac.uk/ahrc/script-ed/vol6-2/ballardini.asp

How to fix it is debatable, but first one should acknowledge there is a serious problem with software patents. Dismissing it with saying "you never invented anything so what do you know" misses the point completely.

Edited 2014-04-03 21:04 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

Sabon Member since:
2005-07-06

I know what the difference is. Yes I noted that there are problems. But there has to be protection too if someone actually has something unique. I also noted that trying to be a patent troll should be illegal.

To me it should be the same as a physical device. The problem with software patents is the people granting the software patents don't seem to know what software is and they are not using the same kind of reasoning behind the patents as physical patents.

One thing that SHOULD be patentable (note for 10 years) is the shape of cars so that you don't have Toyota making the Prius and then Honda coming out with a care that looks too much the same. It was bull**** then and it is still that there should be a "hybrid shape". I the same is true with the physical looks of cell phones and the look and way the OS and software looks on cell phones. Each OS should be obviously unique so that, without seeing a brand you should be able to pick out which company created it.

Copying is laziness.

Reply Parent Score: 2

rr7.num7 Member since:
2010-04-30

You are the one who doesn't seem to understand software (I talk about software because that's what this article is about: software patents).

Without patents: You create a product or a version of a product that is deemed different enough to have everyone take notice for its new unique design and function that is attractive to a lot (maybe small pct of population but still large number) of people and you start selling a lot of that product. Great news!!! Then oops, you start seeing other people create a copy of your product that you have put lots of blood, sweat and your own personal money into, and here they come and steal all your customers and there is nothing that you can do about it. Since you have debts because of what it took to create the products you have costs that all the copiers don't have so you go bankrupt while they make money. Wow! Great system. NOT.


That is so naive it's almost cute. You remind me of all those kids in forums saying that the only important thing to learn is algorithms, because "all languages are almost the same", as if implementation didn't count. You know, companies can not magically know exactly how you did everything, and copy the quality of your code, your programmers, your QA practices, and your support, just by looking at your product. Are you so clueless to think that once you have an idea, everything else comes basically for free? That translating those ideas into quality products (and maintaining and supporting them) is the easy/cheap part? I suppose you think that if software patents were abolished, companies like Adobe and Microsoft would soon be out of business because the GIMP developers would have an indistinguishable copy of Photoshop in a couple of months, and the ReactOS guys would have a perfect Windows 8.1 clone by the end of the year, right?

With Patents: You work very hard and create a brand new product or version of a product that is new enough to grab people's attention. It is different enough that you are able to patent your idea and maybe even the way you create your new device. Since you have a patent it is illegal for others to copy and sell your product. Because of this nobody can legally create a copy and sell it for less than what you can and because of this you are able to sell your product with the expectation that you are protected from being ripped off by others.


WTF? That's what copyright protects you from. Do you know anything at all about patents?

Reply Parent Score: 3

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Sabon,

For all of you that are against patents I'm guessing that pretty close to 100% of you have never created anything that you then turned around and tried to sell.


Let me guess, you are not in the software industry are you? Most software companies & developers don't want anything to do with software patents because we don't come to this field to litigate, we come here to solve problems and write software to address customers' needs.


Copying is laziness.


And that's one of the core problem with software patents. It's trivial for us to trample on unknown patents in the course of building our software without copying. For copying, there's already copyright. With patents, it doesn't matter if we copied or not. It doesn't matter if implementation overlap is statistically inevitable when developers go to solve the same problems. We face triple damages if we knew about the patents - some companies tell employees NOT to read patents.


In practice, software patents are not sought after to recoup development costs, instead they are being sought after in and of themselves to be used for litigation against the rest of the industry. The software landscape has been broken up into virtual "land grabs", where it's not good enough for a developer to be able to write software of his own skill, he also has to worry about who else might already own the rights for the underling algorithms and sue him for royalties. Most likely he will fly under the radar for as long as he can until a patent lawyer sees that there's money to be had by bringing him to court.


Many people naively assume software developers are for software patents because they are supposed to give us more rights over our work. However it's easy to overlook that there are many developers working on similar problems, and that means lots of infringement is necessarily going to happen inadvertently. On top of that it doesn't help that companies deliberately patent every conceivable solution to a problem in order to minimize the chance others can find an efficient solution without infringing their patents.

Also, this software patents with litigation takes a huge toll on both software companies and on society at large. We've wasted millions of man hours and probably trillions of dollars that could have been put to much better use. That's a huge opportunity cost for humanity, for very little in return. At least with other types of patents (ie chemicals & drugs), those are being issued for a good cause and we have something to show for them. But this doesn't apply to software patents. At the end we are left with patent filings, written in legalese, that are so cryptic and useless even for professionals that they belong in the trash.

Edited 2014-04-04 04:15 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

For all of you that are against patents I'm guessing that pretty close to 100% of you have never created anything that you then turned around and tried to sell.


The chance of making profit by creating and selling software is less than the chance of getting your butt sued into bankruptcy by patent trolls. For this reason I'd assume you're correct, and all of the people here that could be creating and selling new and interesting software aren't.

- Brendan

Reply Parent Score: 3

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I more or less agree with what you're saying, but the solution isn't to keep software patents alive just because physical product patents benefit inventors. We need to fix the software patent situation, or scrap it altogether and build something better. Those are the only two valid options; keeping the status quo is what allows those little-guy developers you seem to care so much about, to be screwed over by patent trolls.

Reply Parent Score: 3