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:
- guy recognizes a problem in the early 90's (viruses)
- guy see's there is no existing solution (contrary to other posters, chmod, VMS, etc... are not prior art)
- guy comes up with innovative way to solve problem
- 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)
- guy patents innovation
- guy waits until patent issued (back then not so long, nowadays this is often 5-7 years)
- 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"
- company(s) either play him, laugh at his "innovation"
- company(s) goes ahead and builds product
- guy notices product, examines it, and tries to reason with the company
- company ignores
- company(s) get cease and desist letter, company ignores
- guy decides he doesn't have the time or $money to pursue these huge guys (look at that list)
- guy finds another company willing to buy his "asset" for pennies on the dollar
- 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.