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Comment Re:A Modest Proposal ... (Score 0) 282

I wouldn't be so sure. How do you know that letters weren't sent ahead of time and these larger corporations ignored them? I tend to believe that small company/inventor wants to avoid an infringement suit since they easily cost over $1million.

Yes we all pay due to higher costs, but in many cases this all could have been avoided. I'm assuming the patent is valid and innovative.

Comment Re:Time to rethink patent laws (Score 0) 282

Just follow the EU's software patent battle and you'll see who it is who simply LOVE them, and it's not small inventors or small businesses. It's the big corporations that spend more time patenting the color blue than anything else (even the corporation I work for has a team of patent lawyers that rival some entire business' staff, and the company frequently begs us for "patentable stuff" if we've seen it or made it).

1) Large corporations get patents as a protection racket to throw mud back at. Most of those patents aren't innovative. Show me some that are (...and Google patents don't really count - they innovated and just happen to have grown so fast (actually due to innovating)).

2) Explain to me why the small inventors or businesses dont' see the use in them again?

If a person or small business wants to patent something and then negotiate with a larger company to do the muscle work beyond a prototype, I have no problem with that

ahh but herein lies one of the problems - without patent protection a medium-large corporation will almost always tell the inventor to buzz off, and then depending on the usefulness of the innovation - copy&paste the idea. You'd be surprised. Remember, these are soulless corporations who's sole purpose is to maximize profits for investors - and that means reduce expenses (e.g. technology license fee's).

but I can say that if a person sits on a patent waiting for someone else to come up with it so they can sue in East Texas, that person needs shot in the eye

I believe the problem lies in that the system too heavily favors the bigger guy. To start an infringement suit you need many things - one is due diligence - big time proof that they are infringing. This is intense and can take years to collect the evidence. Remember our law - defendent is innocent. So the larger corporation will make a business decision whether its more cost-effective to negotiate and buy a license or let him drag you through court. An infringement suit is easily over $1million. Now of course, the little guy should recognize this and not be too greedy - but in this case we're talking about innovating AV software here - no trivial innovation and so probably felt it worthwhile to pursue for higher amounts.

Corporatism is to blame for small business' lack of leverage

Interesting, but how so? Corporatism is one of the factors behind Western civilization that isnt going to be easy to get rid of, how is it to blame for small business lack of leverage? Corporations can be small - even one man (owner+employee) and provides certain advantages.

this sort of patent we're discussing here is a poor example of the "little guy" trying to get leverage to bring something to market. (It reeks of troll.)

I disagree. I suspect that what happened in this case was:

  1. guy recognizes a problem in the early 90's (viruses)
  2. guy see's there is no existing solution (contrary to other posters, chmod, VMS, etc... are not prior art)
  3. guy comes up with innovative way to solve problem
  4. guy asks himself - if I go to big company to license this then what's stopping them from stealing my idea? and weighs that against building software himself. The guy figures he's no software developer, doesn't have money to hire software developer, has other things to do (maybe more innovations - this guy has 100+ patents)
  5. guy patents innovation
  6. guy waits until patent issued (back then not so long, nowadays this is often 5-7 years)
  7. guy finally has patent, approaches companies on friendly terms - naively (he's an engineer not cut-throat businessman) thinking "I've got a way to solve this that nobody is doing yet, surely they will be somewhat fair"
  8. company(s) either play him, laugh at his "innovation"
  9. company(s) goes ahead and builds product
  10. guy notices product, examines it, and tries to reason with the company
  11. company ignores
  12. company(s) get cease and desist letter, company ignores
  13. guy decides he doesn't have the time or $money to pursue these huge guys (look at that list)
  14. guy finds another company willing to buy his "asset" for pennies on the dollar
  15. new company starts this suit

all I really want is for it to be equitable, less prone to moronic patents of obvious prior art

On Slashdot we never see proper analysis of the patent claims. Others claimed things like chmod and VMS were prior art - I'm sorry but those aren't antivirus products that stop virus.

Comment Re:Time to rethink patent laws (Score 0) 282

Rather than encourage development of new technologies, patents have become a way to choke the application of novel technologies in industry. So-called "patent holding companies" have become little more than extortion gangs, demanding their share of the money to which they have no right at all.

Or is it due to the fact that the large corporations completely ignore the little guy when he shows up with his innovation (e.g. years ago)?

It is common practice for these large corporations to get letters from the small inventor showing their innovations and asking for a royalty, the corporations patent counsel then thinks it over whether to

  1. R&D/innovate a workaround,
  2. negotiate and buy a license,
  3. ignore him.

#3 has all sorts of nice tricks (like pretend to be interested and stall him, counter-sue, etc...).

In today's world the large companies have big-time advantages (leverage, afford $better lawyers, ...). If the small patent holder would stand a chance we wouldn't have these cases where the original patent owner had to sell his patent to a patent holding company that could make a go of it. Some of these cases are not "patent trolls" but rather just selling off of assets (in this case IP) - the inventor is rarely the best one to negotiate the legal waters and better off to take a smaller cut on what he/she does best - R&D.

Comment Re:Time to rethink patent laws (Score 0) 282

arguments against Software Patents and their detrimental effect on innovation within software

Untrue unless you drink Slashdot koolaid.

Small inventors/businesses come up with a disproportionately large number of innovations. Now assume a world without software patents - large corporations could work most efficiently if they leverage their resources, brand, experience in just scanning their competitors and re-implementing whatever looks most profitable. In other words, why would a large company innovate and not just monitor competitors + copy-paste their code. You see large corporations do not need to innovate - they just leverage their strengths (brand, position, existing customer base, ...). In fact, in software its even worse than that, once a client is hooked on a platform it is very costly to migrate even if better technology exists (look at operating systems, look at office suites, etc...).

When someone comes up with a way to protect small inventors from larger companies that copy-paste the results of their hard work and innovation THEN AND ONLY THEN we can abandon the current patent system. Sorry copyright doesnt cut it - large companies just re-implement.

You are confusing bringing something to market vs recognizing the actual innovation or improvement. The market can be more efficient for smaller companies to do the actual innovation and selling their innovations to the larger corporations. Software folks miss this point (so far). Really the problem is the small inventor or business does not have enough leverage - companies like the 20 in this suit just dismiss them and expect the small guy to disappear or to run them over in court with their lawyers.

Comment Re:Sounds about right (Score 0) 649

Oh, bull. They'd get paid like every other craftsperson: by rendering services for appropriate compensation. "IP Providers" have a artificially-inflated idea of their own self-worth, supported by the artificially-inflated cost added by "intellectual property" laws. Get rid of those laws, let people provide goods or services in a normal market scenario, and then you'll get a proper valuation of what such services are really worth.

hate to burst your bubble but without those "intellectual property laws" you think are worthless/hindering we will be in for drastic changes to our lifestyle. Suddenly China and India will be able to copy-paste our designs and ship them into our country without the minimal opposition that patents provide. Who would pay $200 for an iPod when an _EXACT_ duplicate could be purchased for $50.

We have pushed out most of our manufacturing jobs, services are soon to depart, all we have left is design. Our children will be the 1st generation in a long time to be worse off then their parents.

Submission + - Court Blocks Controversial New Patent Rules (

An anonymous reader writes: InformationWeek is reporting that a court in Virginia has issued an injunction against controversial new patent rules that were supposed to go into effect tomorrow. The court granted a motion filed by GlaxoSmithKline, which is suing the U.S. patent office over the issue. Among other things, the new rules would limit the extent to which existing patent applications can be modified. The patent office says the new rules would speed up the patent process, but critics say they hurt inventors.

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