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Old Jul 5, 2012, 11:06 AM   #76
KnightWRX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by semitry View Post
You can't patent all "Drugs to cure cancer" or all "designs of an apple with a bite out of it", but you can patent all implementations of "slide to unlock" or "pinch to zooms"? If I can say it in a few sentences and ONE person can write the code needed to do it in a few days, I don't think it should be patentable.
There's already a non-obvious clause to patent grants. You can't patent obvious ideas/methods. The problem is that corporations are getting pretty good at obfuscating through language so that "obvious" becomes "non-obvious" with a few simple choice words thrown in the application.
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Old Jul 5, 2012, 11:07 AM   #77
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We don't need software patents, but we also don't need to have everything be open source.


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Originally Posted by BMNB1tch View Post
for those thinking

deregulate software sure...

patents are evil only big pharma can have them

no one dies if software messes up

unless your software is running;

trafficlights
bank transfers
airplane autopilots
missile defense systems
lazer satellites
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machines that go Ping!
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Old Jul 5, 2012, 11:08 AM   #78
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We don't need software patents, but we also don't need to have everything be open source.
I agree, but getting to a solution I believe will be a huge challenge.
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Old Jul 5, 2012, 11:09 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by igot2n0 View Post
Big Pharma is a bad example. They frequently patent medicines that were developed using tax dollars. If they accept tax dollars for the research I think they should not be able to patent that medication.
Eh, I'd be careful with that line of thinking. They still do take on considerable risk (although I personally think they're playing fast and loose too often). I agree with you if you mean how they change the scope to get an extension but otherwise keep the drug functionally the same.
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Old Jul 5, 2012, 11:09 AM   #80
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Software Sold "As-Is" Should Not Have a Patent

In the U.S. most software is sold (actually licensed) "as-is" and carries copyright protection. I think those protections need to relinquished if a software product wants to benefit from patent protections.

Let's see how many companies are willing to do that.
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Old Jul 5, 2012, 11:10 AM   #81
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Absolutely, software patents do more harm that good.

Ultimately, these words from the judge will land on deaf ears.
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Old Jul 5, 2012, 11:11 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by TsunamiTheClown View Post
This sounds like a reasonable suggestion. The "concrete application" of an idea is patentable, not merely the idea itself. Am i reading you correctly? If so i agree with this in theory.
Yes. How I envision it, examples of patentable things: a original design patterns on a red t-shirt, a particular construction of an antennae which boosts signal strengs, a particular water-resistant membrane for clothing. Non-patentable things: a t-shirt, idea of signal transmission via EM-modulation, idea of putting a membrane into cloth.

Actually, I am rather sure that this is how it already works right now. Its just wasn't applied to software patents carefully enough. The whole area developed to quickly and the legal system is severely lagging behind. I mean, its very similar in regards to software/music copyright, where laws try to apply similar reasoning as with material content (e.g. books) - and it simply does not work, because the nature of the media is fundamentally different. *
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Old Jul 5, 2012, 11:12 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by rendevouspoo View Post
Apple tries to get lucky when they sue. Something has a hint of looking like something they've done? Screw it, SUE! To an extent, IPP should be allowed. Apple sues like it's nothing praying they luck up.
I'm going to guess that your main exposure to the patent system is reading about Apple's patent cases.

Frivolous lawsuits aren't limited to patent cases. I doubt Apple is any more litigious than any other company of its kind. Controlling for the obvious differences in scale, of course! Does anyone have any statistics?

The main difference with Apple, of course, is the level of publicity around every single lawsuit. And, from a patent perspective, they probably are less willing than most companies to license their patents.

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How pissed would you be if Google were to sue Apple for everything that resembles something they came up with?
I wouldn't be pissed at all. I'd be interest to follow the case though!
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Old Jul 5, 2012, 11:13 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by BaldiMac View Post
I wouldn't be pissed at all. I'd be interest to follow the case though!
We'll they're effectively doing it by proxy via Motorola. So get out the popcorn!

PS: Anyone remember when Apple and Motorola were best buddies with IBM? I know this is Moto Mobility but still.
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Old Jul 5, 2012, 11:14 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by Winni View Post
Actually, the entire world developed very well for thousands of years without patents. How could this happen?
XD point taken.
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Old Jul 5, 2012, 11:16 AM   #86
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Heres how I see this simple term..

Patenting "software methods" is equivalent to patenting a screwdriver, nails and 2x4's because it helped you build a house.
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Old Jul 5, 2012, 11:16 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by Winni View Post
I yet have to meet the first software developer who supports software patents. There must be a reason for that. Software patents are about as stupid as patents for mathematical equations or human language would be. All actual developers agree on this, only managers and lawyers say otherwise. Guess why.
Exactly.

Let's translate what happens in the area of software patents to more conventional patents.

Let's say I come up with an idea of a flying car powered by water - quite a generic idea. I can patent that idea. Now, I don't even have to construct that car, I just own the (software) patent. But let's say I build the flying car, it's quite slow, only hovers 2 feet above the ground, but kinda works. Then company X builds another car that floats 2.3 feet above the ground. It doesn't matter how they've done it, but I can sue them because they have infringed my patent (idea). Should I be allowed to sue them? Isn't this stopping innovation?
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Old Jul 5, 2012, 11:19 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by dgree03 View Post
Heres how I see this simple term..

Patenting "software methods" is equivalent to patenting a screwdriver, nails and 2x4's because it helped you build a house.
The very broad in scope ones are basically patenting using wood in all applications.

And it gets through because the people reviewing them don't realize what the patent is doing because the field is relatively new.

Makes you wonder why such a broad patent is even an option, frankly.
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Old Jul 5, 2012, 11:21 AM   #89
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Just so people are clear, if Hollywood worked like the tech industry does then only Paramount would be allowed to pan and tilt cameras. Only Fox would be allowed to use green screens. And only Disney would be allowed to make cartoons.

How anyone thinks that sounds great is beyond me.

Hollywood seems to protect their movies just fine without laws like that. Yes, you shouldn't be able to take iOS and sell your own phone with it. No, the current system is not needed to achieve that. Software should be like movies - Protect the final output, not the way the work was done.
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Old Jul 5, 2012, 11:22 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by KnightWRX View Post
No one is talking about deregulating software. Software already benefits from protection through Copyright. No one can copy your software. Patents don't cover your actual software, but the ideas and methods behind it. That is what is hurting the consumer and the industry in general. Software patents shouldn't be granted, software should be protected by copyright only.
That is not _actually_ what is hurting. What is hurting: You can only get a patent for things that are novel and non-obvious, but the level for "non-obvious" is just too low. If my boss says "do xxx" and I say "I can't figure out how to do xxx" and then I look through a patent database and say "I couldn't figure it out, but these guys did and they patented it" - well, without patents xxx wouldn't have happened because I couldn't figure it out, with patents my boss has the choice of not doing it, or paying for a patent license. Clearly better to have the choice.

However, most things I just figure out as problems come up. And so do many other people. The fact that a solution to a problem might be found in a patent doesn't help me at all, because most of the time, finding the patent and figuring out what the patent actually says is ten times harder than figuring out how to solve the problem. Because the level of "non-obviousness" that you need for a patent is so low, the number of independent re-inventions are enormous. That's the problem: While doing a normal days work, solving a simple problem, I run the considerable risk of solving it in a way that someone else has patented, without knowing anything about the patent, and opening up the product to patent infringement claims.


Quote:
Originally Posted by KnightWRX View Post
There's already a non-obvious clause to patent grants. You can't patent obvious ideas/methods. The problem is that corporations are getting pretty good at obfuscating through language so that "obvious" becomes "non-obvious" with a few simple choice words thrown in the application.
Suggestion: Ask the developer who infringed on the software patent under oath whether he has seen, read and understood the patent before infringing or not, and if not, how long it took him to re-invent the patented invention. And take that to decide whether it's obvious or not.


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Originally Posted by angrynstupid View Post
Posner isn't totally right. Some companies have paid millions for some software technologies and are not as trivial as he alludes. However, determining what's trivial and not is part of the problem.
Software is protected by copyright. That means if I write some software, you can't just copy it. But you can write software yourself. Writing software isn't cheap. You'll pay $100,000 per year for a good software developer. To develop some good software, you need a few developers, managers to keep things on track, designers, testers, lawyers, human resources, and it quickly adds up to a few millions. Copyright makes sure that nobody can just take the software that cost a few million and copy it. They can write software that does the same things; it will cost them millions as well. And with all those millions in cost, there isn't any need for patents. There is protection against stealing software. That's all there is needed.

Writing software that works is expensive. That doesn't mean it should be protected by patents. Copyright prevents you from stealing my work. Patents prevent you from doing what I did, even if you never knew what I did.


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Originally Posted by FakeWozniak View Post
Posner seems to be suggesting that patents be used as a means to protect huge development investments. This is not the same reason they were created. IIRC, patents were invented to protect the individual/smaller corporations from the larger corporations. To me this sounds the opposite from Posner.
Patents were created to advance the state of the art, by giving inventors a monopoly on the invention in exchange of publication. This was supposed to help, because others would read the patents and then improve on them, instead of the inventor keeping the invention secret. That purpose has been destroyed completely.

Last edited by gnasher729; Jul 5, 2012 at 11:38 AM.
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Old Jul 5, 2012, 11:23 AM   #91
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Old Jul 5, 2012, 11:23 AM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Small White Car View Post
Just so people are clear, if Hollywood worked like the tech industry does then only Paramoubt would be allowed to pan and tilt cameras. Only Fox would be allowed to use Green screens. And only Disney would be allowed to make cartoons.

How anyone thinks that sounds great is beyond me.

Hollywood seems be protect their movies just fine without laws like that. Yes, you shouldn't be able to take iOS and sell your own phone with it. No, the current system is not needed to achieve that. Software should be like movies - Protect the final output, not the way the work was done.
Great post. It seems like people think it's fine to try to bully the industry if the company that does it is the one you support.

If Apple were the receivers of these ludicrous suits, this place would be up in arms.
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Old Jul 5, 2012, 11:24 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by I Am Designer™ View Post
I disagree with the judge wholeheartedly.

Protection of works should be allowed.

Big Pharma might take years to develop a drug etc and then want to reap the rewards of it - but just because a good idea can come a long in a heartbeat - it doesn't mean that the person with the idea should have any less chance to reap the same awards.

Protection of original work and ideas is necessary.
Great, until we all find out that some obscure company actually patented the crop function in photo editors and Photoshop gets pulled because Adobe can't sell it. Then we will see where the creative industry ends up. Because this is the kind of crap that's happening now.

As the judge said, the head start innovative companies get should be their reward.
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Old Jul 5, 2012, 11:25 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by rendevouspoo View Post
If Apple were the receivers of these ludicrous suits, this place would be up in arms.
Apple are the receivers of many ludicrous suits. They are probably the most sued company in tech.
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Old Jul 5, 2012, 11:30 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by BaldiMac View Post
Apple are the receivers of many ludicrous suits. They are probably the most sued company in tech.
And indirectly too. The whole Lodsys/Intellectual Ventures bs shell game does quite a bit to hurt Apple by going after app devs who are using basic OS functionality.
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Old Jul 5, 2012, 11:31 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by Stella View Post
Absolutely, software patents do more harm that good.

Ultimately, these words from the judge will land on deaf ears.
Clearly there's a balance. The problem is Apple shouldn't have to fight off an iOS equivalent of a Hackintosh. A company should not be able to release an OS called eOS and have all the same features.

I agree with the judge on this one, but I also understand that Apple doesn't want to simply give up all their technologies.
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Old Jul 5, 2012, 11:31 AM   #97
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Finally!

A US Judge that talks sense. Well Done.

Copyright is enough. No need for patents.
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Old Jul 5, 2012, 11:36 AM   #98
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do not think everything can just be open for the taking - there needs to be a balance.

one good thing about all this litigation is that nonsensical patents like "slide to unlock" will be tossed out and real innovative ideas that need protecting will survive.

In the end this will just lead to a clear understanding of who owns what and what to avoid or what needs a license if you make an Android or iOS phone.
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Old Jul 5, 2012, 11:37 AM   #99
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Although I agree with this judge, I wonder how it's his business to question these matters. He's there to rule fairly according to law, not question the system in place, in which software patents are part of at least in the USA.
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Old Jul 5, 2012, 11:38 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by a.gomez View Post
one good thing about all this litigation is that nonsensical patents like "slide to unlock" will be tossed out and real innovative ideas that need protecting will survive.

In the end this will just lead to a clear understanding of who owns what and what to avoid or what needs a license if you make an Android of iOS phone.
Lot of assumptions there.
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