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01.30.08

Patents Roundup: Amazon Enters Patents Hall of Shame Again; Apple Sued

Posted in Apple, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Patents, SCO at 10:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We have endlessly tracked and covered Amazon’s unhealthy obsession with patenting trivial ideas, e.g. [1, 2]. Microsoft is no Saint, either.

There is no sign of abatement just yet because Amazon’s CEO has just patented the idea of delivering customised error pages to site visitors.

Among the patents awarded to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on Tuesday was one for his invention of Error Processing Methods for Providing Responsive Content to a User When a Page Load Error Occurs, which covers displaying alternate web pages in response to HTTP 404 page-not-found errors.

Not so long ago, Amazon patented — or applied for a patent — covering the passing of arguments through a URL string. What has science descended to? What will be the effect? As you may recall (because this was mentioned yesterday), there is risk to Free software as well. More on this here:

The latest patent idiocies could put phone prices up and increase your security bill. And only one of the cases would be fixed by my own theory of patents (if you don’t yourself manufacture the item or use the process protected by a patent, I think you shouldn’t be able to benefit from the patent by extorting money from companies that do go to the effort of actually making something).

Apple is meanwhile being sued also — by a patent firm.

This guy doesn’t waste time. The stamp on the patent document was barely dry when Kim Ki-il filed suit in California against Apple and a boat equipment supplier from Florida called AtlanticRT, to name just two defendants. Both of the firms allegedly violated the inventor’s patent that his firm, Minerva Industries, just received from the US Patent and Trademark Office.

As a general statement, software patents are a step too far, especially when combined with a broken system of litigious abuse. Software patents are just an innovative new way to be anti-competitive. It’s more effective than dumping techniques and SCO-esque bogus litigation by proxy.

“Programming becomes a luxury of the wealthy and a real burden involving patent planning.”With all those patents out there, you must be rich just to write some lines of code. Programming becomes a luxury of the wealthy and a real burden involving patent planning. You have to review hundreds of patents for each thing implemented, take them into account all at once and pray to God that you can be first to patent (i.e. ‘protect’) your code for future defence. With something like codecs, for instance, it’s all maths. It’s matrix theory largely, as well as other types and areas of maths. How can one own this?

Big corporations that employ programmers, unlike programmers, want to ‘protect’ themselves. To use a parable, they buy a gun (patent). Then, the threatened competitor needs a gun to defend itself from that other gun. Before you know if you have a whole big town full of guns (and therefore ‘protected’, allegedly). Then come the children (or trolls) pulling guns from their parents’ drawers and walking around town shooting people. Welcome to Mafia Culture.

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