Microsoft wants to make Android phones illegal.

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CloudWalker
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06 Oct 2010, 7:08 pm

I don't see why software inventors should get less protection than their physical counterpart. The idea is still the same, why would anyone invest their time and money on something that will be copied on a blink. If you invented something and wanted to give it free to the world, that should be an option not obligation.

If there's anything wrong it's the administration. Why are they granting such generic patents in the first place?



Fuzzy
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06 Oct 2010, 10:41 pm

CloudWalker wrote:
I don't see why software inventors should get less protection than their physical counterpart. The idea is still the same, why would anyone invest their time and money on something that will be copied on a blink. If you invented something and wanted to give it free to the world, that should be an option not obligation.

If there's anything wrong it's the administration. Why are they granting such generic patents in the first place?


I think you are right. One of the qualifications for granting a patent is that it has to be defensible. On this they are failing.


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CloudWalker
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07 Oct 2010, 7:19 am

On a side note, if any phone is getting "illegal", it seems to be the iPhone.
First Mirror Worlds is awarded $600m from Apple.
Next Motorola sued Apple.



Fuzzy
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07 Oct 2010, 2:38 pm

Its like M.A.D. with patented technology.


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Jono
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07 Oct 2010, 2:48 pm

CloudWalker wrote:
I don't see why software inventors should get less protection than their physical counterpart. The idea is still the same, why would anyone invest their time and money on something that will be copied on a blink. If you invented something and wanted to give it free to the world, that should be an option not obligation.

If there's anything wrong it's the administration. Why are they granting such generic patents in the first place?


The problem is that software patents can be too broad in scope and so can stunt innovation rather than encourage it, which is the primary objective of granting patents. Since a lot of the time, software patents cover a broad range of algorithms even when they are used in situations totally different from the use that the "inventor" used it for, they tend cause a lot of problems in technological progress that make it very difficult for smaller software companies. Also, the more such patents exist, the harder it is for programmers to do their job because software patents apply even you write your own code, so society as a whole doesn't benefit. The primary purpose of a patent is to encourage innovation so that society benefits as a whole and the secondary purpose of a patent is to make money for the inventor. If the primary purpose is not fulfilled, then a patent should not be granted.

Also, software is already protected by copyright as works of literature under the Berne Convention, so if you just wanted to protect a particular program then a software patent wouldn't be needed. Anyway, for example, a business method is not patented under any other circumstances, so why should it be patentable when implemented in software?



MyFutureSelfnMe
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10 Oct 2010, 4:17 pm

- Motorola was aware of their "infringement" and chose the strategy of letting Microsoft fire the first shot and fighting in court. This was as opposed to HTC which chose to pay MS royalties. Based on their strategy, I can only conclude Motorola believes they will easily win the fight.
- It's implicit in the concept of a patent that you can't patent something that's trivial and obvious. I suspect this will be the basis of Motorola's argument.
- I believe patents have a useful purpose - allowing innovators to profit significantly from their innovations. Whether this is beneficial or necessary these days is open to debate, but I think very few people genuinely believe patents should come with no expiration date. These days, even two years seems a bit long and five would be an eternity. Microsoft is fighting on a 10+ year old patent. I plan to write a letter to my representatives suggesting a universal 2 year expiration date be put on all patents.
- I'm not familiar with the inner workings of the US Patent Office, but it seems like they have a tendency to approve trivial patents, forcing it to end up in a court battle later. This is wasteful and unproductive.



nthach
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11 Oct 2010, 3:00 am

Microsoft is a old relic, and Motorola is just barely alive - Comcast and Verizon are keeping them alive since Comcast depends on Motorola cable boxes/HFC drop amps/cable TV headend gear and they supply Verizon with IPTV boxes and cell phones...



Fuzzy
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11 Oct 2010, 9:56 am

nthach wrote:
Microsoft is a old relic, and Motorola is just barely alive - Comcast and Verizon are keeping them alive since Comcast depends on Motorola cable boxes/HFC drop amps/cable TV headend gear and they supply Verizon with IPTV boxes and cell phones...


Then you are making a strange statement. They are barely alive in the sense that IBM is barely alive? Being a ubiquitous supplier is an enviable position. Its like being a grand parent with 12 kids and 27 grand children.

As for MS, they are not so hard up either. They are in that stage of life where you realize you are not as smart or fast as the younger crowd, but still,most people would rather hire you anyway.


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CloudWalker
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13 Oct 2010, 12:02 am

Jono wrote:
The problem is that software patents can be too broad in scope and so can stunt innovation rather than encourage it, which is the primary objective of granting patents.

Patent encourages innovation because the inventors have to disclose the working of the idea in exchange for an exclusive period of time they can receive royalties. If we abandon the patent system, everyone will just keep their ideas as secret sauces. That will only stunt innovation even more.

Whenever $ is involved, greed will creep in, and you can be sure people will try to game the system. However, I don't think abandoning the system is the correct response. I stand by my opinion that it's the patent office that's in fault. They need to grant patents to ideas that are non-trivial which is what they should have done according to the law.

Jono wrote:
Also, software is already protected by copyright as works of literature under the Berne Convention, so if you just wanted to protect a particular program then a software patent wouldn't be needed.

I don't think protection by copyright alone is fair. There are many legitimate ideas in the software world that I think the inventor deserve to make $ out of it. If it's only protected by copyright, it will only prevent others from make whole copy of it. It will actually hurt small companies more since larger companies has the resources to copy the idea with copying the expression.



CloudWalker
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13 Oct 2010, 12:06 am

Fuzzy wrote:
Then you are making a strange statement. They are barely alive in the sense that IBM is barely alive? Being a ubiquitous supplier is an enviable position. Its like being a grand parent with 12 kids and 27 grand children.

As for MS, they are not so hard up either. They are in that stage of life where you realize you are not as smart or fast as the younger crowd, but still,most people would rather hire you anyway.

:wall: So true and so unique way of expressing it.



Fuzzy
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13 Oct 2010, 12:20 am

CloudWalker wrote:
Fuzzy wrote:
Then you are making a strange statement. They are barely alive in the sense that IBM is barely alive? Being a ubiquitous supplier is an enviable position. Its like being a grand parent with 12 kids and 27 grand children.

As for MS, they are not so hard up either. They are in that stage of life where you realize you are not as smart or fast as the younger crowd, but still,most people would rather hire you anyway.

:wall: So true and so unique way of expressing it.


Thanks, but go easy on your head, ok? Or at least be easy on the brick wall. :P


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Jono
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13 Oct 2010, 4:31 pm

CloudWalker wrote:
Jono wrote:
The problem is that software patents can be too broad in scope and so can stunt innovation rather than encourage it, which is the primary objective of granting patents.

Patent encourages innovation because the inventors have to disclose the working of the idea in exchange for an exclusive period of time they can receive royalties. If we abandon the patent system, everyone will just keep their ideas as secret sauces. That will only stunt innovation even more.

Whenever $ is involved, greed will creep in, and you can be sure people will try to game the system. However, I don't think abandoning the system is the correct response. I stand by my opinion that it's the patent office that's in fault. They need to grant patents to ideas that are non-trivial which is what they should have done according to the law.


Secret sauces? :lol: Anyway, I never said that the patent system must be done away with completely, just that it must be more restrictive. For example, a software patent where a non-obvious physical component is involved is acceptable. That would be an example of something non-trivial. However, when patents start getting granted for exclusive use of general algorithms then it becomes very difficult for programmers to write programs that do what they want to do efficiently without infringing someone's patent.

CloudWalker wrote:
Jono wrote:
Also, software is already protected by copyright as works of literature under the Berne Convention, so if you just wanted to protect a particular program then a software patent wouldn't be needed.

I don't think protection by copyright alone is fair. There are many legitimate ideas in the software world that I think the inventor deserve to make $ out of it. If it's only protected by copyright, it will only prevent others from make whole copy of it. It will actually hurt small companies more since larger companies has the resources to copy the idea with copying the expression.


Consider the following hypothetical situation. Suppose we have a small software company, let's call it Company A, that wants to protect one of it's ideas by applying for a patent. A much larger company, Company B let's say, which owns many of it's own frivolous patents decides to steal Company A's idea. When Company A threatens to sue Company B for infringement if it's patent, Company B points out that Company A is also infringing on a multitude of Company B's and threatens to counter-sue if Company A does not agree to a cross-patent licence agreement. Company A was therefore not protected by the patent in the end anyway. In practice, this scenario is the kind of thing that can happen to small companies who try to protect their ideas with software patents. So not only do patents on trivial ideas stunt innovation, but they can actually be harmful to the smaller companies in the sense of mitigating the protection that their patents are supposed give them