Just When You Thought RIM's Patent Problems Were Over

from the this-helps dept

Mobile e-mail software company Visto found itself in an interesting deal with Research In Motion's tormentor NTP last year, when NTP bought an equity stake in the company at the same time Visto licensed its dubious patents -- a move that looked an awful lot like a horse trade orchestrated by NTP in an attempt to bolster its patent case against Research In Motion. It looks like Visto's now putting both the cash and experience of NTP to use, announcing that it won a patent case against rival Seven and is now suing RIM. While at least Visto sells an actual product, unlike NTP, it's hard to buy their founder's claims that they're "a global leader in the mobile email market" if they can't compete in the market and have to resort to using legal tactics to try to shut competitors down, or piggyback on their success. The amount of patent litigation in the mobile email space makes it hard to believe that many of these patents aren't obvious, while prior art isn't hard to find. On a side note, the Visto case took just five days (in a jury trial, natch) thanks to everybody's favorite patent judge in Marshall, Texas -- so guess where they've filed suit against RIM. Seven says the win wasn't nearly the blowout Visto portrays, as it was found to have infringed just five claims from three patents, rather than the almost 200 claims on six patents Visto alleged. Seven will fight on in court and with the Patent Office, which is re-examining the patents and has offered an initial rejection of one already. Does this sound familiar? It should, as it's awfully similar to what happened to RIM: the USPTO gives patents that shouldn't have been awarded in the first place, then can't undo its screwups fast enough to stop them from being run over by courts that can't, or won't, wait.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    Zippy the Pinhead, May 1st, 2006 @ 10:57am

    Perpetrating ignorance without a license

    "the USPTO gives patents that shouldn't have been awarded in the first place" We here at Techdirt love making sweeping ignorant statements like that because our agenda is not thoughtful analysis, but rather to foment some sort of anarchy against "the man" who is out there granting all these patents on stuff. In our angry little world, nobody should have patents. And this is an article that shouldn't have been written in the first place. But we think its cool to comment on patent stuff 'cause, well, were not really sure, but well "natch."

     

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  2.  
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    Zippy's friend, May 1st, 2006 @ 10:57am

    Another useless diatribe

    This blog isn't worth the money I paid to read it. Wait, its free. Like I said...

     

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  3.  
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    Carlo, May 1st, 2006 @ 10:57am

    thanks

    Thanks once again for your copious insight and for refraining from personal attacks. If the patent office you love so dearly is invalidating these patents, that's a decent enough indication that they shouldn't have been awarded.

     

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  4.  
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    Mike Masnick, May 1st, 2006 @ 10:57am

    the thing i don't get

    What I don't get is why Rob... er... Zippy keeps insisting that our points aren't well supported with basic capitalist economics. Whereas his assertions (like we're trying to stick it to "the man") make no sense whatsoever. His response is quite similar to what I saw last week at CATO. What's funny is that CATO is obviously a big free market, libertarian think tank, and they certainly felt I was qualified to speak there -- and the majority of people in attendance seemed to agree with what I was saying. It's funny that Zippy claims to be such a free market thinker, and then trashes a group that is well known for supporting most of his other positions. We're basing what we write on straightforward free market economics, and have data and plenty of facts to back up what we say. What do you have?

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Zippy the Pinhead, May 1st, 2006 @ 10:57am

    Ex Post vs. Ex Ante

    For all the wanna-be lawyers here at Techdirt (and for some strange reason there are a lot of them), the typical Techdirt "analysis" contains the classic logical fallacy of post-hoc ergo proctor-hoc reasoning. More simply, its the more formal way of saying "hindsight is 20/20." The Patent Office, like all institutions of man (except Techdirt of course) is imperfect. For a reasonable fee, you get a patent grant over the art the PTO can find during a reasonable course of examination. If someone finds better art, it can be submitted in a re-exam, which is a high hurdle. But let's not let reason interfere with the breathless and ignorant rhetoric you routinely find here... Hey what do I know, I'm just a Pinhead.

     

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  6.  
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    Mike Masnick, May 1st, 2006 @ 10:57am

    Ah once again

    Once again Zippy is making the mistake of thinking only lawyers can talk about patents. We're not discussing this from a legal perspective, but from a business perspective, because frankly, that's what matters. The focus is in understanding how this impacts the economy -- which our experience as trained economists and business practitioners makes us pretty damn well qualified for. So, Rob, stop focusing in on legal minutiae and start looking at the big picture. The fact that you think you appear clever for pointing out minor details of legal procedure doesn't make you look smart. It makes it look like you're avoiding the actual issues... which, again, you are. So, again, we are giving plenty of good reasons and absolutely backing up each of our points. That you don't agree doesn't mean that we're "breathless and ignorant." I'd like you to actually defend your claim that we're ignorant. You call us that a lot, but all of us here are quite well trained and experienced in this stuff. From our willingness to discuss the actual issues, I'd even say we look a lot more well prepared for this debate than you do. I will say, by the way, that there are an awful lot of lawyers who agree with us (so your claim that only we feel this way isn't just provably false, it's laughable). Rob, a suggestion: if you want people to take you seriously, simply insulting them doesn't help. As I've told you repeatedly, I'm more than willing to debate the actual issues with you. That you ignore those issues and focus on insults is your problem.

     

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  7.  
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    Zippy the Pinhead, May 1st, 2006 @ 10:57am

    bizness

    Oh I see, when bizness is involved, you can forget the minutae. Oh, and like its hard to find a lawyer willing to agree with a position however ridiculous - Just ask Johnny Cochran (dont hear much from him these days). Oh, and you're prepared to "debate" an issue. Just like the Patent Office, Techdirt can't undo their logical screwups fast enough. And, as has been said by others, Techdirt's "dirt" is characterized as fast to the trigger attack on stuff they don't really understand (I guess they figure they'll learn about it by studying it "some" later). Like armchair quarterbacks, waitingroom doctors, and drinking fountain lawyers, Techdirt "writers" offer their ill-informed solutions. Also, as has been said by others, the take here at Techdirt is often naive and amounts to bloggish ranting. So much for actually debating issues - which you have never been prepared to do. You are simply pushing a childish mentality, e.g. "patents are bad." What a load of crap.

     

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  8.  
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    Judge John T. Ward, May 1st, 2006 @ 10:57am

    No personal attacks?

    You guys at Techdirt are always attacking people. Heck,there's a personal attack on me right here in this "article." Its one thing to try to pull the wool over people's eyes about patent issues, its another to look at a blue sky and tell them its pink.

     

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  9.  
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    Napoleon Dynamite, May 1st, 2006 @ 10:57am

    gaaawd

    Idiots!

     

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  10.  
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    Mike Masnick, May 1st, 2006 @ 10:57am

    hmm

    Not saying to forget the minutiae. Just pointing out that it's not really relevant. Anyway, come on, let's debate the issue, if you really want to do so. As for the claim that "others" have said our take is naive, almost all of those comments seem to come from one IP address: yours. It's fine if you think so, but I'd prefer that you actually point out *what* you find naive so we can debate it. And, again, you are simplifying (incorrectly) our argument. It's not that "patents are bad." It's that the patent system has both incentives and disincentives when it comes to innovation -- and too often the disincentives outweigh the incentives. We're trying to bring balance back to the system so that innovation is actually encouraged. In the past, you've said that there are no disincentives inherent in the system -- which is provably false. So, let's debate: point us to a logical screwup and why it's wrong, and we'll discuss. Go for it. We're waiting.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Zippy the Pinhead, May 1st, 2006 @ 10:57am

    blah, blah, blah...

     

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  12.  
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    Mike Masnick, May 1st, 2006 @ 10:57am

    wow

    blah, blah, blah...

    I prove your argument is 100% wrong and that's your best response? Yup. Makes us take you seriously...

     

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  13.  
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    Zippy's friend, May 1st, 2006 @ 10:57am

    That giant sucking sound...

    ...is the sound of whatever vestiges of your credibility vanishing down the drain. Once again, let's not let facts get in the way of your rhetoric and false accusaions that the only claims of your naivete come from Zippy. For an independent characterization of your naivete IN YOUR OWN PUBLICATION, see, e.g. Techdirt Greenhouse The Big Recap. I guess it would be asking too much for you to familiarize yourself with the content of your own publication. No wait, it is too much. You are too busy spouting garbage.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Mike Masnick, May 1st, 2006 @ 10:57am

    link

    Oh, I almost forgot. If you'd like to read the full post from Shel, it's here: http://conferenzablog.typepad.com/conferenza/2006/03/techdirt_greenh.html Read that and tell me he thinks we're naive.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Mike Masnick, May 1st, 2006 @ 10:57am

    reading comprehension

    Apologies. It looks like our system had a hiccup this morning and deleted my own comment. We're looking into this... However, what I wrote was to point out that Zippy's reading comprehension needs some work if he thinks the post in question was calling us naive. His comment is wrong on so many levels it's hard to figure out where to start. First, let's show the entire quote in context: "I was impressed on several levels. I attended no event better organized to take advantage of the wisdom of crowds. The quality and thoughtfulness of attendees was apparent wherever I looked. The ideas to real business problems, were occasionally naive, in my opinion, but more often they were creative, concrete, funny or occasionally inspired. " To read that and think it's someone calling us naive is an astounding misreading. First, it's not about us and what we write, but about attendees at the conference we run. Second, it's about the brainstorming sessions at the conference, where everyone is encouraged to discuss a variety of ideas, whether naive or not. That's what brainstorming is all about. Are you going to tell us that brainstorming is all part of the deconstructionist or anarchist's agenda? You seem to like to throw both of those accusations around a lot. Finally, when you read the entire thing in context, you find that he's saying that the qualty of the people and ideas was tremendous... and while every once in a while someone through out a niave idea, MORE OFTEN they were " creative, concrete, funny or occasionally inspired." Reading that and thinking it's someone calling us naive takes a special kind of reading comprehension.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    angry dude, May 1st, 2006 @ 11:38am

    WTF are you talking about ?

    RIM was suing competitors right and left before it was sued itself by NTP...

    It's a dog-eat-dog world out there by corporate design.

    Or, live by the sword, die by the sword...

    Unlike mostly cluless people of Techdirt, those guys know all too well what they are doing and what risks they take...

    Just calm down and go about your bussiness.

     

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  17.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), May 1st, 2006 @ 11:54am

    Re: WTF are you talking about ?

    Once again, angry dude is angry without actually understanding what's going on.

    RIM was suing competitors right and left before it was sued itself by NTP... It's a dog-eat-dog world out there by corporate design.

    Or, live by the sword, die by the sword...


    Did we deny this? Nope. In fact, we wrote almost exactly what you wrote last year. So can you explain to us how we're idiots, when we actually said what you said well before you said it? Right... you can't, because you have no credibility.

    Whether or not RIM gets involved in patent suits isn't the issue here. In fact, in the past, we've been just as critical of RIM's patent suits. Does that change the issue? Not in the slightest.

    In the meantime, because you still refuse, I have to ask again. Angry dude, show us your patent. It's public info, isn't it? Why won't you tell us?

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous of Course, May 1st, 2006 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Re: WTF are you talking about ?

    goat

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    ThinkSolveDo, May 1st, 2006 @ 1:08pm

    You are in LaLa Land... What is the weather like t

    Suing (or not suing) is no indicator of patent validity. It is simply an indication that you do not know what you are taking about.

    Have you ever applied for a patent for yourself? Do you actually own any patents?

    Clearly your bull horn is bigger than your experience.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    ThinkSolveDo, May 1st, 2006 @ 1:14pm

    Re: WTF are you talking about ?

    I think the TechDirt people are part of a marketing firm designed to help out the big companies at the expense of the small. The stuff they beat out on their keyboards clearly has a bias against small innovators. So who would pay to fuel their brainless drumbeating? Corporate? China? India? Someone is footing the bill for this nonsense.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    angry dude, May 1st, 2006 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re: WTF are you talking about ?

    The answer might be a lot simpler - they are just totally clueless little retards eating corporate propaganda.

    If I were running a corporate PR campain I would certainly pick somebody more knowledgable about patents and high-tech in general than Mike.

    But, hell, who knows ? It is sometimes amazing to see that some of the highest-paid CEOs in this country are just dumb mother-fuckers...

     

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  22.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), May 1st, 2006 @ 1:48pm

    Re: You are in LaLa Land... What is the weather li

    Suing (or not suing) is no indicator of patent validity. It is simply an indication that you do not know what you are taking about.

    Uh, what...? The fact that the USPTO is rejecting these patents certainly does seem like a sign of patent validity. So, why are we the ones who don't know what we're talking about?

     

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  23.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), May 1st, 2006 @ 1:53pm

    Re: Re: WTF are you talking about ?

    I think the TechDirt people are part of a marketing firm designed to help out the big companies at the expense of the small. The stuff they beat out on their keyboards clearly has a bias against small innovators. So who would pay to fuel their brainless drumbeating? Corporate? China? India? Someone is footing the bill for this nonsense.

    Man. You have serious issues. We are not part of any marketing firm designed to help big companies at the expense of small.

    We actually very much support the rights of small innovators and have REPEATEDLY called out whenever big companies misuse the patent system.

    We're just as upset at that as we are when small companies misuse it.

    Our complaint is with the way the overall patent system works and how it's holding back the entire economy, by putting in place incentives that STIFLE innovations.

    If you want to make baseless accusations against us, at least try to make them sound sensible.

    I will state, for the record, that there is NO ONE who is funding us to make these statements. I will stand by that. I will swear to it on whatever belief system you want, because it's 100% true. We absolutely believe in what we state here, and just because you DISAGREE, doesn't mean that we are paid to make these statements.

    What's funny, ThinkSolveDo, is that every time you post here, I go in and point out where you're wrong. Yet, all you do is come back and insult me. Now you're adding lies to the list.

    Insults and lies. And you expect us to take you seriously?

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Joe Smith, May 1st, 2006 @ 3:26pm

    Angry dude

    What I don't understand about Angry Dude is why he keeps coming back to this website when he disagrees strongly with statements made here.

    There are legitimate issues about how the patent system should be reformed to best serve the society (at whose sufferance it exists at all) and yet Angry Dude can't get beyond: little guy good; big guy bad.

    I've made the point before that there is an irony in Angry Dude's incoherent rage at calls for reform of the patent system when he himself complains that the current system is not working for him personally. He should be all in favour of reform which supports genuine innovation and discourages squatting on public intellectual property (which is what is going on right now with companies like RIM).

    Oh and before I get accused of being on someone's payroll let me say that I'm not - I'm just grumpy.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    R3v3n63 0f D@ F15h, May 1st, 2006 @ 3:27pm

    Woot for Mike!

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Angry dude, May 1st, 2006 @ 6:18pm

    Sorry folks, I'm off my meds. Didn't mean to piss y'all off so quick. The patent system is actually waaay screwed up, we all know that. I'm just interested in getting mine because I'm a greedy capitalist bastard with nothing better to do with my time. I don't actually have a patent portfolio of my own, I just pretend to so I can make myself feel important. I like feeling myself. Anyways, y'all behave now, ya hearrr!!

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    curious observer, May 1st, 2006 @ 6:20pm

    Re:

    that's better angry dude. it's bout time you came around to your senses.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    angry dude, May 1st, 2006 @ 6:28pm

    Re: Re:

    Fuck you all, useless techdirt retards...

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Joe Smith, May 1st, 2006 @ 6:48pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Fuck you all, useless techdirt retards...

    I take it that your Ph.D. is not in English....

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    angry dude, May 1st, 2006 @ 8:38pm

    OKAY, FINE -- Here's my patent!!

    http://righttocreate.blogspot.com/2005/11/ridiculous-patent-antigravity-device.html

    I'm just waiting for someone to build it, then I will sue their asses off. Muhahahahaha! I'm a genius boy!!! I'm a bonas fide genius!! The patent office says so!!!! And all you losers who don't have no patents can't say anything about it, because you are all a bunch of dumbies without patents! Unless you have a patent, you are stupidheads.

    Ha! Take that!

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    ThinkSolveDo, May 1st, 2006 @ 8:40pm

    Corporate Shills

    Anyone who doesn't like the patent system and doesn't think it is perfect (which it is) must be getting kickbacks from the cuban mafia and Enron and Arthur Anderson and Exxon and the Rothchilds.

    The patent system is 100% perfect. It is the best that there ever was and ever could be. It never screws up! It is perfect!

     

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  32.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), May 2nd, 2006 @ 10:55am

    If it isn't obvious...

    If it isn't obvious, those last two comments from Angry Dude and ThinkSolveDo aren't actually from them. I'm not sure why someone decided to put up satirical posts in their name... as the two seem to be doing an excellent job looking foolish on their own with their own words.

    Anyway, we prefer that you *not* post such satirical posts mocking our regular commenters. If you disagree with someone, simply reply and show why you disagree.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    ThinkSolveDo, May 2nd, 2006 @ 7:19pm

    Re: Corporate Shills

    Very Funny Guys... I did NOT write "Corporate Shills". But I bet I know who did.

    Once again we see people who can't create stealing from those who can.

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    ThinkSolveDo, May 2nd, 2006 @ 7:19pm

    Re: Corporate Shills

    Very Funny Guys... I did NOT write "Corporate Shills". But I bet I know who did.

    Once again we see people who can't create stealing from those who can.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    ThinkSolveDo, May 2nd, 2006 @ 7:19pm

    Re: Corporate Shills

    Very Funny Guys... I did NOT write "Corporate Shills". But I bet I know who did.

    Once again we see people who can't create stealing from those who can.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    ThinkSolveDo, May 2nd, 2006 @ 7:19pm

    Re: Corporate Shills

    Very Funny Guys... I did NOT write "Corporate Shills". But I bet I know who did.

    Once again we see people who can't create stealing from those who can.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    ThinkSolveDo, May 2nd, 2006 @ 8:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: WTF are you talking about ?

    What's funny, ThinkSolveDo, is that every time you post here, I go in and point out where you're wrong.

    I just read your NOTICE... that I did not write that foolish "Corporate Shill" note. Thank you for pointing out the truth about that. I do speak my mind and appreciate your letting everyone know that was not me. With that said... hear is my response to your statement above.

    First off please note... I live and breath IP. The only thing you are pointing out in your posts is that you do not know much about IP and how the real world of innovation works.

    The changes you are suggesting will kill innovation, give the market less than it deserves and make the big companies rich in cash at the expense of diversity and the individual.

    The specific examples you use make it appear as though 100% of the system is broken. It's like throwing a piece of aluminum in the air and then when it falls you tell everone, "now we know for sure that planes can't fly." Your examples stink.

    Read the news and you will see that big companies do not need a level playing field. In fact... they do not want one. If the playing field gets too level they sue, price fix or use some other trick to keep the edge. We read about what happend years later and after our money was taken and the crappy product we were sold was thrown out. If we are lucky we get a Class Action Award of 15 cents.

    Todays patent system allows people, real people like you and me, to stake a claim on our invention and, if possible, work to bring it to market. I have FIRST HAND and ACTUAL EXPERIENCE that big companies would rather kill an idea AND keep it from the market than to pay an honest royalty. Nothing has changed since the RCA TV incident.

    Go get a patent and try to sell it to a big company. You will be singing a different tune in less than a year. When you see how the system really works you will finally realize the changes being discussed are BAD for innovators and innvation.

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    ThinkSolveDo, May 2nd, 2006 @ 8:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: WTF are you talking about ?

    What's funny, ThinkSolveDo, is that every time you post here, I go in and point out where you're wrong.

    I just read your NOTICE... that I did not write that foolish "Corporate Shill" note. Thank you for pointing out the truth about that. I do speak my mind and appreciate your letting everyone know that was not me. With that said... hear is my response to your statement above.

    First off please note... I live and breath IP. The only thing you are pointing out in your posts is that you do not know much about IP and how the real world of innovation works.

    The changes you are suggesting will kill innovation, give the market less than it deserves and make the big companies rich in cash at the expense of diversity and the individual.

    The specific examples you use make it appear as though 100% of the system is broken. It's like throwing a piece of aluminum in the air and then when it falls you tell everone, "now we know for sure that planes can't fly." Your examples stink.

    Read the news and you will see that big companies do not need a level playing field. In fact... they do not want one. If the playing field gets too level they sue, price fix or use some other trick to keep the edge. We read about what happend years later and after our money was taken and the crappy product we were sold was thrown out. If we are lucky we get a Class Action Award of 15 cents.

    Todays patent system allows people, real people like you and me, to stake a claim on our invention and, if possible, work to bring it to market. I have FIRST HAND and ACTUAL EXPERIENCE that big companies would rather kill an idea AND keep it from the market than to pay an honest royalty. Nothing has changed since the RCA TV incident.

    Go get a patent and try to sell it to a big company. You will be singing a different tune in less than a year. When you see how the system really works you will finally realize the changes being discussed are BAD for innovators and innvation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    ThinkSolveDo, May 2nd, 2006 @ 8:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: WTF are you talking about ?

    What's funny, ThinkSolveDo, is that every time you post here, I go in and point out where you're wrong.

    I just read your NOTICE... that I did not write that foolish "Corporate Shill" note. Thank you for pointing out the truth about that. I do speak my mind and appreciate your letting everyone know that was not me. With that said... hear is my response to your statement above.

    First off please note... I live and breath IP. The only thing you are pointing out in your posts is that you do not know much about IP and how the real world of innovation works.

    The changes you are suggesting will kill innovation, give the market less than it deserves and make the big companies rich in cash at the expense of diversity and the individual.

    The specific examples you use make it appear as though 100% of the system is broken. It's like throwing a piece of aluminum in the air and then when it falls you tell everone, "now we know for sure that planes can't fly." Your examples stink.

    Read the news and you will see that big companies do not need a level playing field. In fact... they do not want one. If the playing field gets too level they sue, price fix or use some other trick to keep the edge. We read about what happend years later and after our money was taken and the crappy product we were sold was thrown out. If we are lucky we get a Class Action Award of 15 cents.

    Todays patent system allows people, real people like you and me, to stake a claim on our invention and, if possible, work to bring it to market. I have FIRST HAND and ACTUAL EXPERIENCE that big companies would rather kill an idea AND keep it from the market than to pay an honest royalty. Nothing has changed since the RCA TV incident.

    Go get a patent and try to sell it to a big company. You will be singing a different tune in less than a year. When you see how the system really works you will finally realize the changes being discussed are BAD for innovators and innvation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), May 2nd, 2006 @ 10:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: WTF are you talking about ?

    First off please note... I live and breath IP. The only thing you are pointing out in your posts is that you do not know much about IP and how the real world of innovation works.

    Do not make assumptions about what I do, or do not, know. You may find yourself looking foolish in the end. I'm not making assumptions about what you do or do not know... However, if you want to talk to me about IP, you'd be better off focusing on the issues, rather than making baseless statements, as you've done repeatedly (including suggesting that I made the satirical post, which I clearly did not). It makes you look silly when you make these assumptions.

    Just because I disagree with you does not mean I don't know what I'm talking about. Please take that into consideration.

    The changes you are suggesting will kill innovation, give the market less than it deserves and make the big companies rich in cash at the expense of diversity and the individual.

    First off, I'm guessing that you're making assumptions about what "changes" I want to make. I do believe that most people in power are talking about are dangerous and will hurt innovation. You seem to assume that just because I don't like the system now, I must support the current reform effort -- I do not. Again, I suggest you not make assumptions. They're not going over well so far.

    Second, your claim that they will "kill innovation" is provably false if you look at history. Look at historical examples of places that had weaker or no patent protection, and you see plenty of evidence that innovation actually did much better. So, for you to say that it would kill innovation is simply false -- and that's a historical fact.

    You seem to base your assumption on the idea that the only incentive to innovate is to get a patent. That's false. Many people innovate in order to get rewarded in the marketplace from paying customers. Others innovate to solve interesting challenges.

    The specific examples you use make it appear as though 100% of the system is broken. It's like throwing a piece of aluminum in the air and then when it falls you tell everone, "now we know for sure that planes can't fly." Your examples stink.

    Equally, you seem to act as though the system is perfect. However, if you read what I write instead of jumping to conclusions, I have stated *REPEATEDLY* that the patent system creates both incentives to innovate and disincentives to innovate (something you told me I was clueless about, despite it being accepted fact among most). So, I'm the one presenting the balanced viewpoint, while using examples to demonstrate the disincentives, because so few people talk about them. So, no, my examples don't stink. They highlight the problem... which is important because people like you want to pretend that the patent system doesn't act to stifle innovation in some cases. I'm showing how it does.

    The question is whether or not that disincentive outweights the incentives. That's a point that you can argue over... but the evidence seems to suggest that's true as well.

    Read the news and you will see that big companies do not need a level playing field. In fact... they do not want one. If the playing field gets too level they sue, price fix or use some other trick to keep the edge. We read about what happend years later and after our money was taken and the crappy product we were sold was thrown out. If we are lucky we get a Class Action Award of 15 cents.

    Again, you are making assumptions about how I feel about big companies. I don't disagree with you on what you're saying here. Big companies will often (though, not always) act unethically, and that's a huge problem of the system. However, suggesting that patents are the solution is curing a symptom not the illness. Corporate ethics is a different issue -- and one that isn't really impacted by patents, since an unethical company will be unethical either way.

    Also, by the way, I find it amusing that you claim I only highlight the bad use of patents... and then in your very next paragraph you claim that *all* big companies are evil and unethical. Frankly, I think claiming that is as ridiculous as saying that all patents are awful.

    Todays patent system allows people, real people like you and me, to stake a claim on our invention and, if possible, work to bring it to market. I have FIRST HAND and ACTUAL EXPERIENCE that big companies would rather kill an idea AND keep it from the market than to pay an honest royalty. Nothing has changed since the RCA TV incident.

    Please do not speak to me as if I'm a child. I, too, have first hand experience bringing products to market. I've done so successfully and have fought off big companies that tried to compete with me. And I did it proudly without patents. I don't care if big companies copy my ideas, because I believe I can continue to out-innovate them and beat them in the marketplace. I have faith in my ability to compete -- rather than waste my time and money at the patent office.

    Please don't assume I have no experience. It's both foolish and wrong.

    Go get a patent and try to sell it to a big company. You will be singing a different tune in less than a year. When you see how the system really works you will finally realize the changes being discussed are BAD for innovators and innvation.

    No, I'd rather innovate and bring products to market. I have no desire to license a patent to a big company. If they want to compete, let them. It only drives me and my company to offer better products and services -- something we think we do succeed in. In the meantime, I'll focus on innovating and serving my customers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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