decoration decoration

When you want to know more...
For layout only
Site Map
About Groklaw
Legal Research
ApplevSamsung p.2
Cast: Lawyers
Comes v. MS
Gordon v MS
IV v. Google
Legal Docs
MS Litigations
News Picks
Novell v. MS
Novell-MS Deal
OOXML Appeals
Quote Database
Red Hat v SCO
Salus Book
SCEA v Hotz
SCO Appeals
SCO Bankruptcy
SCO Financials
SCO Overview
SCO v Novell
Sean Daly
Software Patents
Switch to Linux
Unix Books
Your contributions keep Groklaw going.
To donate to Groklaw 2.0:

Groklaw Gear

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

Contact PJ

Click here to email PJ. You won't find me on Facebook Donate Paypal

User Functions



Don't have an account yet? Sign up as a New User

No Legal Advice

The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

Here's Groklaw's comments policy.

What's New

No new stories

COMMENTS last 48 hrs
No new comments


hosted by ibiblio

On servers donated to ibiblio by AMD.

Except. | 172 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Authored by: stegu on Thursday, April 25 2013 @ 06:26 AM EDT
That's true in a general sense, and hurting the "little guys" could be
an undesirable side effect of a reform that ended up being too blunt. Patents
are already being used by large corporations to club small inventors over the
head. That needs to be fixed as well, but it is a separate problem.

Consider that implementing and "marketing" some of these laughable
patents would require one person doing one hour of coding and uploading a
paid-for app to an online repository. It's trivial stuff, and it has nothing to
do with real invention. Like B&N says, these "inventions" would be
laughed out of the room by real inventors in a real scientific context. There is
absolutely no substance to them, and they contain no originality whatsoever.
Yet, the trolls extort millions for an undeserved patent on some trivial part of
a large and complex system.

The question is: how do we tell the difference between bad patents and good
patents? That is a hard question that requires some very good thought put into
it, but we could definitely move the line very far from where we are before we
get anywhere near cutting off some of the good patents from issuing, and being
successfully litigated by small and large inventors alike.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

  • Except. - Authored by: Wol on Thursday, April 25 2013 @ 04:48 PM EDT
Authored by: Steve Martin on Thursday, April 25 2013 @ 09:08 AM EDT

Simply requiring that a patent be "reduced to practice and commercialized", by contrast, impacts anyone who has not yet brought - may not even be able to bring - their legitimate patent to actualisation.

How can a patent be "legitimate" if the inventor has never actually produced a working copy of the invention? Until the invention exists in the real world and functions as described, there is no way to know if the invention actually works; if it does not, then it is not "useful" (a requirement under 35 USC § 101) and so should not be patentable in the first place.

"When I say something, I put my name next to it." -- Isaac Jaffe, "Sports Night"

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Lesser of two evils - require a working model
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, April 25 2013 @ 11:55 AM EDT

Evil 1:

    Require a working model and possibly shut out the inventor who does not have sufficient funds to build one.
Evil 2:
    Do not require a working model and allow bad patents to proliferate.
We can certainly measure the bad patents. If you're of the opinion Software is nothing but abstract and abstract concepts are not patentable subject matter therefore software patents should not exist: then 100% of software patents are bad patents! Oops, I forgot, they're not "software" patents anymore, now they're "method" patents.

Perhaps you can identify a single small inventor who was able to actually come up with a valid invention that he couldn't afford to build so was appropriately granted a patent?

If you can't identify one - then...

Perhaps it's a theoretical harm that may or may not exist.

Or perhaps it's a real harm that exists in such a small portion of the whole that it's hard to find an instance of it without a huge amount of effort combing through a lot of patents. A lot of patents wherein you'll likely to regularly be exposed to bad patents.

When weighed on the scales of "harm to Society" - because a patent grant is supposed to be a clear benefit to Society it surely does appear bad patents being granted far, far outweighs the harm to the garage-inventor.

Since the purpose of the Patent is to benefit Society - it is in that measurement things should be decided - not the measurement of the individual inventor.

If a particular situation has a choice where Society benefits equally from either choice and one choice gives the indvidual inventor a benefit - then I'd say the individual inventor should be considered.

But not when to give the individual a small benefit ends up causing a much greater harm to Society.


[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, April 25 2013 @ 02:53 PM EDT
Software based patents don't have this
argument. I think that it would be more
time and resource consuming to write it
down in a patent application and file it
then to actually implement it. If the
inventor cannot then either he/she is not
of ordinary skill or the patent is

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

"3. Cap Damages at the Amount Paid to Acquire a Patent"
Authored by: Ronny on Thursday, April 25 2013 @ 08:03 PM EDT
Their third suggestion (cap damages at the amount paid for the patent) is also
open to abuse.

It means you can have a genuine million dollar idea - or buy a million dollar
idea from somebody not in a position to exploit it - then be unable to prevent
it from being "stolen" by a big company.

If I invent a better mousetrap and patent it, it's reasonable to expect that I
can make more money from licensing my patent than it cost to develop the idea in
the first place. Otherwise, there is no incentive to invent in the first place.

It might be reasonable in cases where violation was not willful. But then you
get down to proving willfulness...

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 01 2013 @ 08:37 AM EDT
I just wanted to clrifay that 8.04 is not approaching end-of-life. The article
is mentioning end-of-life for 8.10, a standard release. The server editions of
both of the current LTS releases, 6.06 and 8.04, are still supported. They are
supported until June 2011 and April 2013, respectively. See Ubuntu's Releases
page for end-of-life dates.As noted, there are two upgrade paths to 10.4:
upgrading from the current standard release, 9.10, or from the most recent LTS
release, 8.04. Users of 6.06 will need to upgrade to 8.04 first, while users of
8.10 or 9.04 will need to upgrade to 9.10. Note that users of 8.10 specifically
will need to upgrade to 9.04 before they can upgrade to 9.10.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Groklaw © Copyright 2003-2013 Pamela Jones.
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners.
Comments are owned by the individual posters.

PJ's articles are licensed under a Creative Commons License. ( Details )