12.03.09

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Martin Goetz Ridiculed for Starting and Harbouring Software Patents

Posted in Apple, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft, Patents at 11:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Martin Goetz

Summary: A defense of software patents backfires in the eyes of some; more news about the harms of intellectual monopolies

THE lead patent story today relates to a subject that we covered a few days ago [1, 2]. It is about someone special who has been benefiting/profiteering from software patents and now attempts to defend their existence. TechDirt says that his essay “actually raises questions about all computer patents” and adds:

Honestly, in reading through his arguments, what struck me is that there is no explanation for why even computer hardware should be patentable. It’s just taken for granted that computer hardware patents must be good, and since software is the equivalent of what’s done in hardware (not really true in many cases, but…), software patents must be good. But shouldn’t the original question be whether or not the hardware itself requires patents and whether or not that helps to “promote the progress of science and the useful arts”? Goetz never bothers to explain how any of these patents promote progress.

“Don’t let patents spoil a good film,” one might sarcastically argue, but it’s actually true that patents are now ruining film production too. [via TechDirt]

Can a science-fiction movie infringe a tech patent?

Imagine if NASA sued Stanley Kubrick for “2001: A Space Odyssey” claiming dominion over space travel. Or, better yet, fancy the patent-holding inventor of virtual environments going to court to claim James Cameron’s “Avatar” is a rip-off. Sound far-fetched?

Guess who else has just been sued? That would be Apple, the company which borrows existing technology, carves an Apple logo around it, and then sticks a hefty price tag on it. Marketing goes a long way, by selling people the illusion of a lifestyle.

APPLE HAS BEEN SLAPPED with another lack of originality lawsuit, this time over its QuickTime movie player.

Emblaze, which is a group of technology companies, claims that it owns a patent that describes a system for streaming media and that Quicktime infringes it.

The article above is titled “Apple sued for lack of originality” and the same can be said about Microsoft, which faces over 50 patent lawsuits at the moment.

“Microsoft has innovated nothing. The thing I find most contemptible is Bill’s lying, this thing about innovating. It makes me want to puke. That’s innovation a la Rockefeller, not innovation a la Edison.”

Oracle Corp Chairman Larry Ellison

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2 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    December 4, 2009 at 4:21 am

    Gravatar

    It’s no news to see yet another sock puppet yapping and nipping at Apple heels. Microsoft has been trying to kill, or get Apple to kill, Quicktime since 1995 or there abouts.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    We have some court exhibits about that.

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