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Linux-powered Android Attacked by Skyhook Patents and Evidence Increases That “Software Patents Should Be Abolished”

Get hooked



Summary: Skyhook sinks its hooks into Google with a multi-million-dollar (in claims) lawsuit over software patents; Another call is made for such patents to be altogether abolished

THE company known as Skyhook has earned notoriety for its approach towards software patents and litigation. Type in "Skyhook" in Google and the recommendation "Skyhook wireless scam" will come up. At the moment, Skyhook is boasting 4 patents in its front page (that's right, and something about Android too), which is interesting because the company implemented something so simple that anyone could think of and now claims a monopoly on it. It is suing Google:



Skyhook Wireless, the company that provides software and a database for determining location using nearby Wi-Fi signals, has sued Google for interfering with its business and for patent infringement. The move underscores how important it is to control location data and monetize it as the mobile web becomes the platform for the next generation of technology innovation and investment. Skyhook is seeking an injunction on Google’s interfering actions and patent infringement as well as “millions of dollars” in damages.


They think they have a jackpot in the mere filing for a patent monopoly on location extraction (using intuition). How is that promoting anyone's interests except perhaps the interests of patent lawyers? Who would defend the indefensible and who benefits from it?

Rich lawyers are made rich for merely defending rich people from competition or from challenge (even verbal sometimes) and being the leeches of society sometimes they continue to defend software patents and ridiculing programmers who stubbornly say "no" to the practice. Just earlier today we found this in Google News:

Intellectual property lawyer lists in Lincoln Park for $1.125M



[...]

His areas of practice are intellectual property, electronic patents and computer and software patents.


Jackpot. Software patents are working extremely well... for lawyers.

Bob Warfield, who claims to write about "SaaS, Web 2.0, and Cloud Computing in general," has just published the essay "Software Patents Should Be Abolished":

Software patents should be abolished. They’ve gotten to be a travesty of what they pretend to be, and much as we might like to try to protect the “little guy” innovator, they do no good for that purpose at all. Largely, they fatten the pocketbooks of patent trolls and tax innovation to death. If not abolished, then at the very least they should be “use it or lose it.” If they’re not part of an ongoing business of some minimum scale (small enough for the little guy but large enough not to be abused), they go to the public domain. Given that it takes 6 years to get the silly patent in the first place, the minimum scale ought to be at least half a million dollars in revenue for the preceeding 12 months. If you can’t get it to half a million in revenue after 6 years, it’s dead, Jim.


Software patents never made economic sense. They make no engineering sense, either. To litigants it's a different story altogether, including those whom they defend (those who reward them).

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