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11.11.11

Patent Lawyers Compare Patent Monopolies to Children

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Will somebody think about the patents!!

Parent with patent

Summary: A glance at the sordid mess created by patents, companies’ real attitude towards patents, and propaganda from patent lawyers who monetise this mess, where legal instruments subvert real competition

IN THE MIDST of patent wars we learn about the surge in number of lawsuits, which are by no means indicators of progress. The patents storm raises the cost of everything and eliminates a lot of companies. Small companies are unable to compete and according to Rupert Murdoch’s press, “more small tech companies in the Bay Area are prioritizing patenting their own inventions as a defense and seeking patent services from law firms and businesses that help defend patent suits.”

“This means that resources get funnelled into unwanted areas rather than development.”So they get patents not because they like patents but because they are afraid of lawsuits. This means that resources get funnelled into unwanted areas rather than development. Can anyone still argue in favour of patents as facilitators of innovation? With a straight face even? That’s just the sad state in the United States and over in Europe there are attempts to make things equally bad. Well, software patents are “back again in the UK, data being processed within the computer was a physical concept, not an abstract one,” writes the FFII’s president. He cites this patent lawyers’ blog which implicitly compares children to patents (yes, honestly!):

As a caring society, we seek to protect both our children and our inventions. Occasionally one is presented with an opportunity to protect the two simultaneously. One such opportunity came in Protecting Kids the World Over (PKTWO) Ltd, in re [2011] EWHC 2720 (Pat), a decision of Mr Justice Floyd (Patents Court, England and Wales) from 26 October which somehow got lost in the wash. This decision touches once again on the potential exclusion from patent protection of an invention which looks jolly useful and, in this Kat’s opinion, would be bound to sell well — but which is afflicted by the twin blights of being implemented by computer and of being a simulation of a mental act.

Those lawyers from London crave patents on algorithms just because it would mean more business (e.g. litigation and trolling) for them. Beware those parasitical elements that write about patents. To them, “innovation” means ways of bamboozling a judge into imposing a fine on innocent parties, passing money from one company to another by bypassing real competition. Microsoft is a good example of this and we shall cover it in the next post.

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10 Comments

  1. mcinsand said,

    November 11, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Gravatar

    >>Can anyone still argue in favour of patents as facilitators of innovation?
    >> With a straight face even?

    I can, but I am apparently from a different planet than the software world. For us, patents make it safe to invest in the research needed to develop and implement new ideas, but we actually make things, and those things have to be described in detail with clear boundaries. Without patents, investment in research centers would be stupid, since those that invest would be helping the competition, as well… best to let the state of technology remain static, if investment makes no sense. We don’t deal in formulae and language, though; what we handle are matters of composition and physical structure (no, nothing so silly as rounded corners). We steer clear of our competitors’ patented areas and, in doing so, those barriers do drive us to create our own technologies.

    The difference between my work area and software is also very stark in highlighting how your use of ‘extortion’ is precise and accurate (there is a difference). In fact, their behavior is not only a good case for antitrust action, but it also falls into what I have been taught in my career as a way to lose patent rights. If they had valid patents, if they had patents with merit, the way to protect themselves would be to proclaim that Linux, Android, HTC, whatever infringes on claims x, y, and z of patent . That isn’t what they have been doing, though. For years now, they have been indimidating an industry, claiming to have patents, but not providing any infringement information, claim numbers, or patent numbers. In other words, they have been proclaiming knowledge of infringement without giving any means for halting the infringement. Granted, one reason is no doubt to keep the ridiculousness of the patents under a shroud (emulating a pointing device? really?). That could help with getting rid of software patents, as the ’rounded corners’ and ‘slide to lock’ patents are building public awareness of how the USPTO is failing to do its job.

    Anyway…

    MS is not protecting any patent rights. They are publicly claiming to know of infringements and doing nothing, except in the case of some examples. That is a way to dilute and then maybe eventually lose those rights.

    More importantly, whether or not there is consensus about patents as a whole, threatening companies and an industry without being public and clear on alleged infringements is extortion. It is racketeering, and I’m pretty certain it is illegal in the US; if you’re going to cast a cloud over a group with no clear evidence, that is criminal behavior.

    Sorry for the ramble, especially if I was unclear from discontinuity, but I had a quick minute and need to get back to work.

    Regards,
    mc

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Right. When I said patents I implicitly referred to BM patents and swpats (software patents), among others like genetic patents. “Patents” is abbreviation like “Linux” (shorthand for GNU/Linux/X/etc., usually).

    There are no ways to ‘work around’ mathematics and logic.

    mcinsand Reply:

    There is no need to debate software patents, or other patents on language or mathematics (I include logic in both). However, our patent system is broken, and a good healthy overall debate is needed on all levels. I saw your reply when I was logging in to supply a couple of caveats. Most importanly, although I was providing a perspective where I see the patent system as a driving force for new developments, that does not emcompass all that patents are currently touching. Also, we cannot ignore that I am part of that particular system. I only meant to provide what I see as part of the discussion.

    We can look back for decades to see patent system failures. SLR camera manufacturers all had patents on their particular lens bayonet mount systems, despite the fact that they all (or at least all but one) clearly anticipated each other. And, if you want another bit of concrete evidence for how our patent system is royally messed up, go read US patent number 6,960,975. I would have laughed, if I had not felt more like crying.

    Regards,
    mc

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Patent 6,960,975: Stargate Spaceship
    http://gizmodo.com/136753/patent-6960975-stargate-spaceship

    Apple claims to have ‘invented’ he tablet with bevelled edges and some buttons. Maybe someone should have patented that stuff from TV in the 60s:

    clip1: Apple iPad in the 1969 classic: 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQ8pQVDyaLo

    Michael Reply:

    Where does Apple claim to have invented the tablet with bevelled edges and some buttons?

    Oh.

    You made that up.

    Roy… you do that a lot. You argue against straw men because your claims are not supportable.

    Michael Reply:

    People who actually make things, such as Apple and Google, understand the importace of protecting their investments. Roy simply cannot understand that, so he has no problem with Samsung doing all it can to copy Apple:

    http://i.imgur.com/TmUj2.jpg
    http://goo.gl/S2AJR
    http://goo.gl/bWDs6
    http://goo.gl/NjrfV

    As far as the “rounded corners” claim – that is a myth Roy keeps pushing. Nobody sued anyone else over “rounded corners”.

  2. mcinsand said,

    November 11, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Gravatar

    The tablet in 2001 is very relevant in that it shows how anticipated the basic concept is. If we do allow *REAL* technology patents, then storage, processor, batteries, and display could involve some innovation.

    Imagine a line of dots with coordinates (0,0), (1,1), (2,2), and (3,3). As we look at the line, is (4,4) innovative? Absolutely not, yet this is where the USPTO is falling down on the job and where Apple and MS derive much of their bullying ‘IP’ stick. I have had examiners use this concept (if not specific example) as an explanation for a rejection. Sometimes, I was able to explain how I saw my filing as a significant deviation from the existing line. However, if I was not successfull, then the idea was rejected because it was so clearly anticipated by the existing ‘dots.’

    Regards,

    mc

  3. Michael said,

    November 11, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    Gravatar

    Some stats from your links:

    U.S. lawsuits over mobile technology: 270

    Wow. That is a lot. A lot more than just what MS and Apple, your “duopoly” is involved in. Shows how biased you are. But it gets even more extreme. You claim that the defendants are being attacked. But who is the most common defendant:

    Of the 10 largest patent lawsuits of the last 10 years:
    * 6 were tech-related
    * 4 saw Microsoft as the defendant.
    * %6 Billion was awarded total

    What! In the 4 largest lawsuits, Microsoft was the *defendant*, the one being attacked to use your terminology.

    If we go by your logic that it is the defendant that is being attacked, Microsoft is the biggest victim in this mess. Completely contrary to your claims.

    I know you hate patents, but you have yet to suggest a way for companies to prevent others from clearly doing wrong by copying their work, as shown here:

    http://i.imgur.com/TmUj2.jpg
    http://goo.gl/S2AJR
    http://goo.gl/bWDs6
    http://goo.gl/NjrfV

    Without a solution, your complaints do no good.

    Mikko Reply:

    still trolling with false pictures

    Michael Reply:

    Your lack of refutation is noted. Do you think some of the “after” pictures come from “before”? If so, then please show it – if you do I will be happy to admit to my error.

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