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Software patents

This is a discussion on Software patents within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; I will speak my opinion about it. Which is exactly what I did. This particular case is over, they both ...

  1. #31
    Master Apprentice phantomotap's Avatar
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    I will speak my opinion about it.
    Which is exactly what I did.

    This particular case is over, they both played the game, one won, the other lost, so what.
    O_o

    No. The "battle" is over. The "war" will wage for a long time.

    This crap is going to drag on for years... appeals and motions galore.

    Has nothing to do with any of those companies or this particular case.
    Okay. I didn't say it did.

    You are right about "megacorporations" only acquiring patents as a defensive measure. Even Microsoft is surprisingly (to me) good about it.

    To my mind though, this thread is about the broken patent system which allows "patent trolls" their game.

    With that in mind, the acquisition of patents isn't a cost of doing business as "defensive patents" are useless against aggressive "patent trolls".

    Unfortunately, the "patent trolls" are aware of the cost of litigation (Papers are published about this every year.); this knowledge allows them to set the cost of licensing just below the cost of litigation so all but the most powerful companies pay up rather than try to fight setting justification for the continued legitimacy of the patents in question. The unfortunate state means that validity of patents is tested not in court but in ransom because "patents trolls" have no real expenditures allowing all income from such licensing to be invested in the futures of litigation giving them a massive cache of resources solely dedicated to making such litigation more costly than the ransom.

    A kind of "self-fulfilling prophesy" if you will.

    Soma

  2. #32
    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Subsonics View Post
    I see what you are saying, but I'm not interested in discussing any particular case. But if I must, for example if SlyMaelstrom bring it up out of the blue. I will speak my opinion about it.
    Hardly "out of the blue." The original post in this thread references specifically a patent application by Apple and every major discussion about this topic lately has centered around the Apple/Samsung case which cause quite an uproar among tech sites that tried to remain impartial throughout the entire thing. Not to mention the fact that the entire thread's discussion was shifting towards the point that many of these large corporations buy and create patents for no other purpose other than to put themselves at a legal advantage over their top competitors only to be played as trump cards when their competitors start to get close financially and not as soon as they feel they're being intellectually infringed upon.

    As for the trade dress aspect of the case... nobody brought that up but you. In fact, that's the one part of the case that I did agree with as there is plenty of evidence to suggest that Samsung made deliberate attempts to mimic the iOS appearance in it's TouchWiz UI. This discussion is purely about the patents.... the multi-touch patent, the bounce back patent, etc. It's not to say that Apple is the only one guilty of this... they're all suing each other over nonsense patents. However, you're really avoiding the fact that the circumstances of that case down to the jury foreman to the errors made by the defense in explaining how the patents differ from the product being accused. The legal system in the USA is broken way beyond just patent law suits, this is almost undeniable these days. That said, I think people have made good points as to why it's a problem that these patents are just being approved and letting these things get disputed in a broken court system when the patent never should have existed in the first place.
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  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlyMaelstrom View Post
    Hardly "out of the blue." The original post in this thread references specifically a patent application by Apple and every major discussion about this topic lately has centered around the Apple/Samsung case which cause quite an uproar among tech sites that tried to remain impartial throughout the entire thing.
    Well, if by "this topic" you mean software patents in general then you are wrong. I thought it was meant to serve as an example of a weak patent. And how did you derive that I support this practise from my first comment? That was not my intention at all. Anyway, what are the chances of that patent standing up in court you think? I would guess that as soon as something new is created in any of the larger corporations, a patent is filed as a matter of principle, better to be safe than sorry. Here are some other examples: Patent US7028023 - Linked list - Google Patents

    Quote Originally Posted by SlyMaelstrom View Post
    Not to mention the fact that the entire thread's discussion was shifting towards the point that many of these large corporations buy and create patents for no other purpose other than to put themselves at a legal advantage over their top competitors only to be played as trump cards when their competitors start to get close financially and not as soon as they feel they're being intellectually infringed upon.
    That practice is far from the largest problem with software patents in general, as it's practiced by these corporations against each other. The larger problem is, so called patent trolls in my opinion. A simple adjustment of the law could get rid of that problem, for example, an acquired patent needs to be used in a product before x amount of years or the patents become public domain or something like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by SlyMaelstrom View Post
    As for the trade dress aspect of the case... nobody brought that up but you. In fact, that's the one part of the case that I did agree with as there is plenty of evidence to suggest that Samsung made deliberate attempts to mimic the iOS appearance in it's TouchWiz UI. This discussion is purely about the patents.... the multi-touch patent, the bounce back patent, etc. It's not to say that Apple is the only one guilty of this... they're all suing each other over nonsense patents.
    The mutli-touch patent got thrown out.

    The bounce back patent serve a purpose (look up the expert witness testimony), and it's one of those things that gives iOS it's personality, hence it can be seen as being part of the trade dress. The problem it aims to solve is also possible to solve in numerous other ways.

    Quote Originally Posted by SlyMaelstrom View Post
    However, you're really avoiding the fact that the circumstances of that case down to the jury foreman to the errors made by the defense in explaining how the patents differ from the product being accused. The legal system in the USA is broken way beyond just patent law suits, this is almost undeniable these days. That said, I think people have made good points as to why it's a problem that these patents are just being approved and letting these things get disputed in a broken court system when the patent never should have existed in the first place.
    Samsung is now counter suing btw, look at these patents. Some FRAND patents, and the rest is just ridiculous to the point that it's clear that this is a case of revenge rather than actual infringement, look at #3 for example.

    FOSS Patents: Samsung asserts eight more patents against Apple in California, including two FRAND patents

    My point is that all these lawsuits between corporations are largely a concern for them only. I'm more concerned about consequences for indie developers and small firms, lonely inventors and so on.

    I'm aware of the rage on the internet, but most of that is silly.
    Last edited by Subsonics; 09-26-2012 at 05:53 PM.

  4. #34
    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Subsonics View Post
    And how did you derive that I support this practice from my first comment?
    Where did I derive the you support what practice? Sorry, I don't know what sentence you're referring to. By multi-touch, by the way, I should have said pinch-to-zoom which from what I recall was found to be infringed upon.

    Anyway, I never meant to take away from the small developers and, in fact, I made this point in my first few posts... however, as you said, they have bigger problems whether they can get the patent or not. Most small developers simply can't handle the legal fees required to defend a patent that they own if they can ever afford to get it. ... and even if they can afford some legal fees, the nature of our court system pretty much dictates that the better your lawyer, the more laws you can afford to break because it's not law it's a game of who can fool the ignorant jurors. If I'm ignoring the little guy at all, it's simply because changes have to go beyond the patent office in order to get their problems fixed. The big developers, however, are only hindering their own and each other's progress and tying up the courts with frivolousness. It's not good for the consumer and it's not good for the country.
    Last edited by SlyMaelstrom; 09-26-2012 at 08:08 PM.
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  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlyMaelstrom View Post
    Where did I derive the you support what practice? Sorry, I don't know what sentence you're referring to. By multi-touch, by the way, I should have said pinch-to-zoom which from what I recall was found to be infringed upon.
    Your response to this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Subsonics View Post
    Most megacorporations have large patent portfolios only to be able to counter sue, and come to a cross license agreement if they are sued themselves. It's a cost of doing business basically. In practice the validity of a patent is tested in court when ever it goes that far, that's how I see it at least.
    Was this:

    Quote Originally Posted by SlyMaelstrom View Post
    Tested in court by a jury of uneducated citizens. Patent lawsuits should be determined by trained arbitrators that have at least some understanding of the concepts being explained to them. Almost every major player in the tech field, including Steve Wozniak, has spoken out against the decision of the Samsung/Apple patent suit. This is because it's determined by a jury that knows nothing about technology and explained to them by lawyers that know very little.
    My post had a much larger scope than apple vs samsung, it wasn't about that at all, it was not a defence of what it described. Just a short statement of how I see the situation.

  6. #36
    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    I still don't see how you say I derived that you support the practice. You appear to be, however, belittling the problem by suggesting that our court system is there to ensure the patents aren't used unjustly. My response, which you probably should have quoted when you responded to it in #33, was rebutting the usefulness of the court system and citing a key example as to why... but apparently that was way to detailed for you and citing examples that support a broad argument is just totally unheard of.
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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlyMaelstrom View Post
    I still don't see how you say I derived that you support the practice. You appear to be, however, belittling the problem by suggesting that our court system is there to ensure the patents aren't used unjustly.
    That's the problem, I did not say that nor did I mean that. I said that in practice the validity of a patent is tested in a court, not when the patent is granted, that would obviously be a problem no? novocain provided a link that shows that this is actually the case as well.

    I'll say this however, it is not a problem for large corporations. They can afford to make an appeal if they do not agree with the outcome. I also don't get why I should be concerned, takes sides or feel pity for these corporations, they can afford to do it. They are because of this, not a good example to demonstrate what is wrong with the patent system if you want to make that case, it's working for them.

    In my opinion the bigger problem is that, a.) an individual or small company can't defend them selves, valid patent or not, if they are put up against one of those giants. b.) The landscape of granted patents in use is a minefield, if you accidentally infringe see a. And finally, there exist companies whose sole business model is to buy and trade in patents in order to sue.
    Last edited by Subsonics; 09-27-2012 at 09:28 AM.

  8. #38
    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    The thing about patent trolls is I can't be anymore mad at them than a major corporation that actually does develop a product. Yes, what they do feels sleazier and morally incorrect, but this is capitalism and there is a market there for owning patents... and that's the real problem. The people that we need to point the finger at is the people who legislate patent law. I'm not saying what's being asked of them is any simple task, but it is their obligation to make it work.
    Sent from my iPadŽ

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