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02.02.08

Software Patents Insanity; Patent Compensation Six Times Your Market Value

Posted in Patents, Red Hat, Tivoization at 10:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The USPTO in its current state appears to be on the verge of collapse if the following news is anything to go by.

Rambus Inc., the designer of chips for Sony Corp.’s PlayStation video-game console, might collect royalties of as much as $10 billion, six times its market value, by winning a seven-year fight with Hynix Semiconductor Inc.

You can probably see what is happening here. Just the other day, Nokia got sued for many billions as well. There is a track record of abuse there. In Nokia’s case, the blow might be 10 times worse than Alcatel-Lucent (versus Microsoft) case, which had people question the validity of the whole system. Here is another disturbing patent find from Slashdot:

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a ruling by a lower court that Dish Network DVRs infringe upon TiVO’s patent on a ‘multimedia time warping system’. According to some analysts, this could not only make Dish liable for damages, it could force them to shut down their DVR service, harming their customers.

Some weeks ago we wrote about computer game patents [1, 2] and there is a good new article about it in Free Software Magazine.

Of course, there’s probably lots of prior art on this, so it’s hard to believe this even got accepted. Until you see the actual patents, of course. I think this is meant to be covered by Konami’s US patent #6450888 dating from September 2002, although Calloway indicated US patent #6347998 from February 2002. In any case, both show what empty snow jobs patents are nowadays.

Software patents are like guns. They give a false sense of protection.

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