MIT's Tech Review Comes Out In Favor Of Patent Trolls

from the sad-day-for-MIT dept

Reader David Carter sends in this bizarrely uninformed column by Christopher Mims at the MIT Tech review, praising patent trolls and calling them "the secret heroes of the tech world." Carter notes that when he first read the article he thought it was satire. I can see why he thought that as well, but it appears to be serious. Basically, the article focuses on one Finnish company, JoikuSoft (which, I have to admit, kept making me think of Jukt Micronics), which claims to be the first company to figure out how to turn mobile phones into WiFi hotspots. Yet, now, the company complains, everyone is out there using its technology, making mobile phones that can create WiFi hotspots, and no one's willing to pay Joiku. The "issue," according to Mims, is that JoikuSoft is still waiting on the dastardly US Patent Office to issue its patent so it can go and sue folks. And, even then, it's so damn expensive to sue -- and thus "patent trolls," who will buy up Joiku's eventual patent and sue the likes of Google for it, help "save" JoikuSoft. This sentence is indicative of the article:
Until the U.S. Patent Office grants JoikuSoft a patent on its technology, it doesn't own it and can't demand a licensing fee from anyone who builds their own version of it.
Scary, huh? Of course, this version of the story leaves out all sorts of important details. For example, the idea of turning mobile phones into hotspots was hardly an original or non-obvious idea. Lots of companies had been working on this, and the idea that only this one small Finnish company figured it out is laughably inaccurate. Second, it leaves out the fact that all these other companies, who are offering phones with the technology, are actually bringing new innovations to market, unlike JoikuSoft, who seems to be sitting around waiting for a patent to threaten people with it. That's not innovation that helps the market, that's a tax on innovation. It's a sad statement that a magazine like MIT's Tech Review would resort to such blatantly anti-innovation propaganda.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Nov 10th, 2010 @ 3:41pm

    Time for a visit

    I'm sure this bonehead will soon get a visit from fellow MITer Richard Stallman to disabuse him of his ignorance...

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2010 @ 4:18pm

    How is binding 2 network connections "new" in any way regardless of how obvious it is.

    Every XP machine out there even has the ability to act as a gateway (which is essentially all thats happening here).

    All they are doing is taking incoming wifi connections to the mobile and forwarding the data over the mobile network.

    How is that different to taking incoming lan/wifi connections, and forwarding them over cable/dsl/dialup modem.

    Adding gsm to the "cable/dsl/dialup" for the outgoing side isn't special. Nor would adding bluetooth to the incoming "lan/wifi" side.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 10th, 2010 @ 4:30pm

      Re:

      Everything in tech patents is so nutty that "new" barely even matters. It is indeed pretty ridiculous - right when the speed of digital technology meant it was probably time to raise the bar for non-obvious and no-prior-art, that bar seemed to go down instead.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2010 @ 8:05pm

        Re: Re:

        The USPTO is a govt agency. Generally speaking (except perhaps the military) govt technology is so behind the times that anything to the govt is considered obvious.

        Look at the USPS (which is kinda a govt entity). They never innovated anything, instead, they adopted what others have innovated.

        These people can't help it, like any govt agency, they're incompetent and what most people consider common sense these people consider innovative. That's what happens when you have a govt that does anything to help secure your job. It's the same reason why the only innovation that comes from cableco companies is higher prices (remember, DVR's came from TIVO and cable companies copied and now they charge a fortune).

         

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2010 @ 8:11pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Why do you think the whole Y2K scare came about. It's because these old systems that various govt agencies were using were build in the early 80's or so. They weren't thinking of Y2K at the time. For 20 years hardly any govt agency has upgraded its systems. By the time Y2K was approaching, most private corporations had already upgraded their systems to ones that can handle Y2K, but the govt agencies waited until the last minute to do anything about it and their response was mostly to panic. Years went by and they still used obsolete software on obsolete computers while the private industry had long moved on to much better technology. This is why countries like Russia fail, when the govt ensures your job why improve anything?

          Taxi cab companies, who's jobs are secured by various state governments, use ancient computers with 5 1/4 floppies (from what I hear). Why upgrade, invent, or innovate when the govt ensures your job?

           

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2010 @ 8:11pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          that anything to the govt is considered non - obvious

           

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

        •  
          icon
          TJGeezer (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 12:16pm

          Re: Anonymous coward

          "These people can't help it, like any govt agency, they're incompetent and what most people consider common sense these people consider innovative. That's what happens when you have a govt that does anything to help secure your job. It's the same reason why the only innovation that comes from cableco companies is higher prices (remember, DVR's came from TIVO and cable companies copied and now they charge a fortune)."

          What an amazing mix of non sequiturs. (a) All government agencies are incompetent (available data sez otherwise, btw)followed by (b) Therefore if government provides or guarantees your job you will become incompetent (huh?), followed by (c) That (i.e. government incompetence) is why legislated monopolies like cable will always grasp for money and contribute nothing new.

          It's kind of jaw-dropping. But maybe Anonymous Coward can explain it a bit better...?

           

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

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 6:18pm

            Re: Re: Anonymous coward

            Sorry that you're just a shill that benefits from a govt that helps sustain your job (and given your likely unethical nature, you probably won't admit it).

            If people get help sustaining their job from the govt (ie: be it working for the govt or working for a corporation that benefits from some soft of govt imposed competitive restriction) there is no reason to innovate or even have to think, they can get paid for being idiots. and so such jobs tend to

            A: attract idiots

            B: Turn employees and executives into idiots (ok, they're smart, they managed to scam the public into providing them with a guaranteed job that requires no thinking or work).

            Most of the people who work for the USPS are incompetent. I've dealt with them losing mail and packages and they're incompetent, almost every single on of them that I've spoken to, and they have the worst customer service.

            Cable co employees are the same. Yes, some of the technicians are OK, but most of the time the employees there are incompetent.

            These people don't innovate. Look how high the prices are and how slow the innovation is (the DVR being innovation they copied from TIVO). The U.S. is now falling behind in broadband exactly because of a lack of competition thanks to govt imposed competitive restrictions.

            The same is true for Taxi cab corporations. They don't innovate. The only innovation that comes from them is copied from competitors who are then forced out the market by them. They still have prehistoric computers and, from what I heard (from a taxi cab driver) if they were to accept a credit card it takes forever to process.

            http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20101024/21393211556/company-making-cab-limo-rides-more -efficient-ordered-to-stop.shtml

            This is why communism fails. It's why socialism fails. When there is no point in innovating why innovate? When the govt ensures your job why innovate or even attempt to improve your services and prices? Do you think corporate socialism has no impact on prices and innovation (a situation where the govt helps ensure the jobs of big corporations)? Of course it does, and the impact is negative. My claim is supported by the evidence. If you disagree, provide evidence.

            Free market capitalism provides for better prices, better services, and more innovation. This is empirically supported by the evidence. Those who claim to disagree are likely the ones who benefit from the legislative monopolies that the govt provides.

             

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2010 @ 4:30pm

    In our every man for himself world, why is the market more important than the individual? Why should JoikuSoft care about the greater market when they are only interested in helping themselves?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    @alexbasasa, Nov 10th, 2010 @ 4:32pm

    It's strange that the writer even admits that they don't have to copy JoikuSoft's technology to infringe on its soon-to-be patent: "anyone who builds their own version of it." = anyone who develops technology that does the same thing.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      petegrif (profile), Nov 10th, 2010 @ 5:09pm

      Re:

      it is not strange at all - in fact it is quite normal

      if you infringe on a patent you infringe on its claims not on the implementation. So you can perfectly well implement differently and nonetheless infringe on the claim(s).

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2010 @ 9:12pm

        Re: Re:

        thank you, Griff. I was just about to say the same thing. Yeah, It's the entire concept that they own regaurdless of the implementation... that's a "feature" of our modern monopoly system. The patent has nothing to do with the specific transformation (that's not even a test, though it should be).

        Also, as Pete pointed out, the claims in a patent (which can number in the hundreds) are the test of infringement. It's important to note that the claims of a patent may be amended with additional claims at any time. If you do it in the first year, you don't even have to have a showing! Hows that for invention's lil' helper ehh? Some find it hard to believe, but it's true! Someone only has to violate one claim.. and its 200 million dollar lawsuit time, woot woot!

        Of course, you have a long shot, if it goes to court and the cost of trial is in the multi million dollar range at best. But maybe you'll get lucky and the opposition will settle, then you can make claims of validity based on the dupes that payed up on your reboot patent. Though, it's more likely that you'll have a patent that's nearly impossible to prosecute once it's deemed to be obvious or have prior art. You pretty much have to BE in the patent business OR be a huge company. Like the article claims, the only way the little guy can make a buck is to hinder the whole market by selling 20 year monopolies on entire branches of delicate blooming markets to patent trolls... USA USA

         

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

        •  
          icon
          petegrif (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 11:51am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "The patent has nothing to do with the specific transformation (that's not even a test, though it should be). "

          this isn't quite true. the description can and has been referred to as a means of resolving conflicting interpretations of claims. This is particularly helpful when the person who is supposed to be infringing does indeed implement much the same way. It is for this reason that those who are patenting their ideas are encouraged by competent council to give a description of the best implementation and to elaborate with other possible implementations.

           

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

        •  
          icon
          petegrif (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 11:52am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "the claims in a patent (which can number in the hundreds) are the test of infringement. "

          this implies that it is good to have hundreds of claims. In fact the opposite is true. One broad powerful claim is way better. Patents with lots of claims (which is more significant to file, especially worldwide) are typically trying to patent around prior art.

           

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2010 @ 4:36pm

    "Of course, this version of the story leaves out all sorts of important details. For example, the idea of turning mobile phones into hotspots was hardly an original or non-obvious idea. Lots of companies had been working on this, and the idea that only this one small Finnish company figured it out is laughably inaccurate. Second, it leaves out the fact that all these other companies, who are offering phones with the technology, are actually bringing new innovations to market, unlike JoikuSoft, who seems to be sitting around waiting for a patent to threaten people with it."

    Is it not a bit premature to level criticism and declare as being obvious something that is not as yet available for review?

    I note that the company here is apparently associated with software, and has various software products available for purchase.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      :Lobo Santo (profile), Nov 10th, 2010 @ 4:46pm

      Re:

      "Is it not a bit premature to level criticism and declare as being obvious something that is not as yet available for review?"
      Isn't a patent supposed to be something novel and new? How is something everybody's working on already in any way, shape, or form 'novel and new'?

       

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

      •  
        icon
        petegrif (profile), Nov 10th, 2010 @ 5:12pm

        Re: Re:

        it is supposed to be novel and non-obvious to one skilled in the art. And the likelihood of a patent being issued for something that "everybody's working on already" is vanishingly small. So the question really in the above article is, is it true that everyone is working on it in this way really the case? If it it, take a chill pill 'cos there isn't going to be a patent.

         

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 9:51am

          Re: Re: Re:

          and how will the patent office magically know who is and who isn't working on it? and what's the criteria for them to determine obviousness to someone skilled in the art?

           

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

          •  
            icon
            petegrif (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 11:59am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "...and how will the patent office magically know who is and who isn't working on it"

            we have a 'first to file' system. In other words, if people work in something and CHOOSE to not put it in the public domain and thereby protect themselves then if someone else submits a patent it's tough luck for them. That is why a lot of big companies publish research - precisely so that it is in the public domain and hence is prior art and can't be patented.

             

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

            •  
              icon
              Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 5:34pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              we have a 'first to file' system.

              Not in the US we don't. It's first to invent here.

              In other words, if people work in something and CHOOSE to not put it in the public domain and thereby protect themselves then if someone else submits a patent it's tough luck for them.

              And you don't see a problem with that?

               

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

              •  
                icon
                petegrif (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 8:20pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Mike
                given that this is your site and you apparently care about the issues you are blogging about I find it rather disturbing that you can be so mistaken about something so fundamental.
                We do NOT have a first to invent system in the US. The way the US system works is that it represents a deal between the government and the inventor. The inventor gives up knowledge (trade secret) as to how to do something and in return gets an exclusive right to protect his claims. Any inventor can choose to patent or to not patent. If you do not patent then if you are being prudent you will either protect yourself from someone else patenting by publishing and hence placing the IP in the public domain or I guess you are confident that what you have is tough enough to figure out that your judgement is that you are better off with your IP as a trade secret eg the formula for coca cola.
                But if two people invent the same thing in private and neither discloses anything then the first to file gets the patent protection. That is a flat out fact. The other inventor cannot make any counter claim because he CHOSE to keep it a secret.
                As to whether it is a problem or not let's bear in mind that this is a choice. If they don't want to take this calculated risk all they have to do is write a paper about their invention, or even just give a public talk about it. That's all it takes. So the scenario in question is not hard to avoid.
                Very disturbing you don't seem to understand this. It is pretty basic.

                 

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

                •  
                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 9:11pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "We do NOT have a first to invent system in the US."

                  I can't tell if you're joking or not.

                  The U.S. uses a first to invent system. Everybody knows that.

                  "We do NOT have a first to invent system in the US."

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_to_file_and_first_to_invent

                  Provide a source that says otherwise.

                   

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

                  •  
                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 9:13pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Sorry

                    "The United States uses a first-to-invent system"

                    (wiki article)

                     

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

                  •  
                    icon
                    petegrif (profile), Nov 12th, 2010 @ 2:09am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    you are correct
                    IF AND ONLY IF
                    you have
                    a) a working implementation rather than the idea and some concept of how to reduce to practice ie you have truly invented the exact same thing
                    b) you can prove that you fulfilled (a) above. typically by means of a lab notebook, witness statements etc. In other words, you must be able to demonstrate that you had all the elements in place before the filing date of the other inventor and that such an invention would cover exactly the same claims.
                    the problem of course is that in many cases the inventions do not cover exactly the same claims but are rather in the same area with some overlap. And the 'earlier' inventor hasn't kept such notes etc etc

                     

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

                    •  
                      icon
                      Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 12th, 2010 @ 7:10am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      you are correct
                      IF AND ONLY IF
                      you have
                      a) a working implementation rather than the idea and some concept of how to reduce to practice ie you have truly invented the exact same thing
                      b) you can prove that you fulfilled (a) above. typically by means of a lab notebook, witness statements etc. In other words, you must be able to demonstrate that you had all the elements in place before the filing date of the other inventor and that such an invention would cover exactly the same claims.


                      Duh. Of course "first to invent" means that you would have to prove you were first.

                      Nice way for you to admit you were wrong while still pretending not to admit you were wrong.

                      You were wrong. You can say it. And, while you're at it, you could apologize for telling me I was wrong when I was right.

                       

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

                •  
                  icon
                  Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 12th, 2010 @ 12:12am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  We do NOT have a first to invent system in the US.

                  I'm sorry, but repeating an ignorant statement does not make it any less ignorant. Most of the world uses a first to file system, but the US absolutely uses a first to invent. One of the ideas in the reform proposals has been to switch us to a first to file, but none of those proposals have gone anywhere.

                  But if two people invent the same thing in private and neither discloses anything then the first to file gets the patent protection. That is a flat out fact.

                  Or it's flat out wrong. I'm sorry, but just do a basic search on "first to invent" and you'll see plenty of explanations of how the US is a "first to invent" system.

                  Very disturbing you don't seem to understand this. It is pretty basic.


                  Heh. Funny stuff.

                   

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

          •  
            icon
            petegrif (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 12:01pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "...what's the criteria for them to determine obviousness to someone skilled in the art?"

            this is a misunderstanding, or perhaps a misstatement. 'Obviousness to one skilled in the art' IS the criteria. You could then legitimately ask how do they determine what is obvious to one skilled in the art? And the answer is, that the examiners are engineers etc and have some sense of it, that they use researchers and access experts.

             

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

  •  
    icon
    petegrif (profile), Nov 10th, 2010 @ 5:06pm

    "Of course, this version of the story leaves out all sorts of important details. For example, the idea of turning mobile phones into hotspots was hardly an original or non-obvious idea. Lots of companies had been working on this, and the idea that only this one small Finnish company figured it out is laughably inaccurate."

    if this is true then there won't be a problem because they won't get a patent, will they?

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 10th, 2010 @ 5:18pm

      Re:

      if this is true then there won't be a problem because they won't get a patent, will they?


      You have a future in standup comedy.

       

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

      •  
        icon
        lostalaska (profile), Nov 10th, 2010 @ 5:26pm

        Re: Re:

        ...Made me laugh, then cry a little...

         

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

      •  
        icon
        petegrif (profile), Nov 10th, 2010 @ 6:47pm

        Re: Re:

        and you have a future in bulletin trolling.
        it is all very well for people on this board to spend their time dissing the patent office and bemoaning the state of software patents, but whatever shortcomings the office may have they do not dish out patents willy nilly if there is blindingly obvious prior art. And let's remember that this article is making very strong statements about such prior art. The writer is not saying that there was precedent in obscure articles in the East Katmandu Journal of EE, he is saying that "Lots of companies had been working on this, and the idea that only this one small Finnish company figured it out is laughably inaccurate." So one of two things is the case.
        a) they had been working on it in secret, their work was not known about and hence was not prior art
        b) their work was know about - which is strongly implied - and hence there was a ton of well known prior art.
        If the latter is is non-trivial to persuade an examiner your work is novel.
        And bear in mind that even if you do get a patent (which is time consuming and expensive) that had such prior art, the companies you sue can dispute it on the grounds the patent was improper. And if the examiner was lazy or incompetent but there was a ton of prior art, you will win.
        What goes around comes around.

         

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2010 @ 8:23pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "the office may have they do not dish out patents willy nilly if there is blindingly obvious prior art"

          that's hella larious :') really, get an agent and go on tour.

           

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

          •  
            icon
            petegrif (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 11:48am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            anonymous coward

            "that's hella larious :') really, get an agent and go on tour."

            I can see why you picked your name. If you feel as strongly as you do that the patent offices worldwide do indeed issue patents willy nilly despite blindingly obvious prior art and that such patents withstand subsequent challenge it seems to me that:
            a) your position is based rather on an ideological hatred of the system than reality
            b) it might be helpful if you give an example of such an obvious, non-novel patent that withstood such challenges

             

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

            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 6:25pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Many examples have already been given on Techdirt. TD readers know of these examples. You may ignore them but others don't.

               

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

              •  
                icon
                petegrif (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 8:27pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                here's the problem with "arguments' like this.
                I think that this forum can serve a useful purpose and IP and the associated law is a very important topic worth discussing. The law is certainly not perfect - big surprise. And neither is its practice - bigger surprise. But unfortunately I detect a lot of anger which is often based on misunderstanding. The problem with citing cases and ranting about them is that it is very easy to pick a few facts out and make the situation seem heinous, but as in most instances of law the devil is in the details. So unless we get a proper analysis of the case it is very easy for people to get hot under the collar about what is a misrepresentation. That's where I'm coming from. So if you have a specific case that you are entirely confident from your detailed study of it and your best understanding of the relevant law, I'd like to see it and I will pay it serious attention.
                I think there is a perfectly valid place for discussions of policy but blanket statements about ridiculous patents that obviously had vast amounts of prior art etc etc generally just reveal misunderstanding.

                 

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

        •  
          identicon
          Freak, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 7:09am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Pete, we'll see about this patent. I'll give you that, it may be rejected.

          But, most of us here watch a lot of tech blogs and news, and we've seen outrageously bad tech patents get through. A lot of them are much more outrageous than this one, such that my first thought on this one was that it seemed reasonable.

          (I quickly corrected myself, but it's still reasonable compared to a lot of patents. Say, compared to one that patented what amounts to tabbed browsing, ("The organization of browser windows to minimize memory space through a single 'master window' making 'slave windows' accessible through a menu-like device" (paraphrased from memory))tabbed browsing . . . in 2002. That's the year after Opera made the first browser with built-in tabbed browsing with opera version 6, (rather than tabbed-browsing look-alike), which was another year after 'multizilla', an extension for mozilla that did the same thing, which was 3 years after netcaptor made the first tabbed browser in 1997. Patent's still out there; never been used yet AFAIK. Separately, microsoft won a patent on tabbing (as in "using the tab button"), through a page to find the next link on the page . . . in 2004. They let their news make it sound like they have patented multi-tabbing, but the patent was for something even more obvious with prior art dating back decades)

          Once they've given a patent, it's very expensive for someone to actually fight it in court . . . especially the little guys. But even one idiot with a bad patent can cause a big headache for a big company.

           

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

          •  
            icon
            petegrif (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 12:07pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The problem with stories about patents is that frequently the people writing them don't understand patent law and haven't actually studied the relevant patents in enough detail to be confident about their sensational conclusion. let's take your example of tabbed browsers. I haven't read the patent in question. So I am very reluctant to draw any conclusions other than to observe that if you have the facts right - ie there absolutely definitely was prior art AND that prior art bears directly upon the EXACT claims of the patent in question (and this is often where people slip up because they haven't actually read the claims) then the patent should not have been granted because it clearly wasn't novel. and IF this is true then attempts to enforce it will fail. So it is not surprising to me that there have not been any such suits.

             

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

            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 6:30pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "The problem with stories about patents is that frequently the people writing them don't understand patent law"

              Irrelevant, the cost of overturning a bad patent can be huge.

              "and IF this is true then attempts to enforce it will fail."

              attempts to enforce it will cost the alleged infringer lawsuit money. Litigation costs money.

              "So it is not surprising to me that there have not been any such suits."

              You don't see a problem with the patent office granting patents on alleged innovations that are expected to be unenforceable?

               

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

              •  
                icon
                petegrif (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 8:29pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                see my post below on likely scenarios.

                 

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

                •  
                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 7:25am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Being that you still think that the U.S. has a first to file system, you clearly have no idea what you're talking about.

                  Likely scenario (supported by many examples).

                  Everyone wastes money fighting over who can do what. Those who can't innovate litigate and their litigation destroys the innovation of everyone else. Even if they know they will lose a lawsuit, patent trolls know the cost of litigation is so expensive that many people and businesses will simply settle.

                   

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

            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 6:41pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "The problem with stories about patents is that frequently the people writing them don't understand patent law and haven't actually studied the relevant patents in enough detail to be confident about their sensational conclusion."

              Bet you we can come up with more examples of bad patents than you can of good ones. Wanna play? We've played this game several times on Techdirt, IP maximists might be able to come up with a hand full of good examples if they're lucky. We can come up with tons of bad ones.

               

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

          •  
            icon
            petegrif (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 12:17pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Freak
            "Once they've given a patent, it's very expensive for someone to actually fight it in court . . . especially the little guys. But even one idiot with a bad patent can cause a big headache for a big company."

            In the US it isn't too bad. How it works out depends on the scenario.

            a) scenario 1 - big company, small guy with good patent
            big company tells small guy to get lost
            small guy hires attorney on contingency
            a year of filings, small guy doesn't pay
            big company settles, attorney takes 30%

            b) scenario 2 - big company, small guy with bad patent
            big company tells small guy to get lost
            small guy tries to hire attorney
            contingency guys won't touch it cos he doesn't have a case
            he backs off or hires shark by the hour
            he loses case and wastes his money and that of big company

            c) scenario 2 - big company, wealthy troll with good patent
            big company knows it has a problem
            may delay and hope troll will go away
            but ends up settling
            this scenario is the one which the original article was about - if small guy allies with troll...

            d) scenario 2 - big company, wealthy troll with bad patent
            big company tells troll to get lost
            troll has to have big think
            he is as pro
            knows it will be expensive and is likely to lose
            tries it on a few companies
            may try to set a precedent
            but even precedent not convincing to big company
            risk for big company here is jurisdiction shopping

             

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

        •  
          identicon
          AW, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 7:16am

          Re: Re: Re:

          There is a patent for entertaining a cat with a laser light...do you now understand why our faith in a system that would allow that as a patent might be lacking.

           

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

          •  
            identicon
            Freak, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 7:31am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Really? There's a patent for that?

            *googles*

            Wow. I have even less faith in the system now.

             

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

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 9:55am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            But the swinging sideways patent on a swing is a valid and perfectly brilliant patent.

             

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

          •  
            icon
            petegrif (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 12:09pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            sounds novel to me
            and certainly not obvious to one skilled in the art - which in this case is presumably the art of entertaining cats

             

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

            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 6:27pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You're an idiot.

               

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

              •  
                icon
                petegrif (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 8:30pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                jees
                you need to dial in your sense of irony
                or perhaps you are just an angry dude with no sense of humor - could just be

                 

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

                •  
                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 9:09pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  We have a lot of dumb IP maximists that make many dumb comments, it's hard to decipher a joke from the real thing. Heck, even the RIAA has said and done really stupid things that make us wonder what they're thinking.

                   

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

            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 6:27pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              and I'm sure swinging sideways is novel to one skilled in the art, namely, children.

               

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

      •  
        icon
        petegrif (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 8:33pm

        Re: Re:

        Mike
        techdirt has an important topic
        but your contributions are encouraging the tea party of the IP world.
        nobody thinks the system is perfect, but it would be nice if your contributions dealt with the real issues rather than encouraging popular misconceptions.
        I'm outta here.
        Pity.
        Coulda been good.

         

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

        •  
          icon
          Ronald J Riley (profile), Nov 12th, 2010 @ 10:40am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Petegrif,

          TechDIRT is a bastion of of ignorance & shills for those who steal others intellectual property. If you want to interact with with people who actually know something about these issues feel free to contact me and I will send you information on accessing a more enlightened forum.

          Your experience in this forum demonstrates why I and other inventors who have tried to reason with these knuckleheads have all come to the conclusion that the only useful purpose TechDIRT serves is to help people like us to come together.

          Ronald J. Riley,

          Speaking only on my own behalf.
          President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
          Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
          Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
          President - Alliance for American Innovation
          Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
          Washington, DC
          Direct (810) 597-0194 - (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.

           

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

          •  
            icon
            Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 13th, 2010 @ 9:04am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            TechDIRT is a bastion of of ignorance & shills for those who steal others intellectual property.

            Hi Ronald, always nice to see you stop by.

            It's been over two years now in which I've asked you to point to a single study that supports your position.

            Can you do so now?

            I'll wait...

             

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

  •  
    icon
    bordy (profile), Nov 10th, 2010 @ 6:42pm

    Trolls

    Perhaps someone is willing to educate me - I have a genuine interest but little to no expertise...

    I can imagine the trollers' justifications for their endeavors, but what have their critics traditionally argued? I.e., how is trolling counterintuitive to a system that theoretically encourages innovation?

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2010 @ 6:48pm

      Re: Trolls

      Trollers do not produce any goods and "tax" those that do through litigation.

       

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

      •  
        icon
        bordy (profile), Nov 10th, 2010 @ 7:40pm

        Re: Re: Trolls

        Ok...

        In theory, I imagine trolls believe: (a) enforcing the appropriate compensation owed per the patent helps drive the motivation for innovation (thus innovation itself), and (b) deterring misuse of another's IP keeps would-be infringers and true inventors focused on pure innovation, and not infringement litigation. Is there any support for this?

        I also assume that there are trolls thats truly earned their bad reputation. Is this the exception or norm within this niche industry?

         

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

        •  
          icon
          ChrisB (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 6:47am

          Re: Re: Re: Trolls

          I work in a technical field, and my experience is innovators innovate, and people who can't innovate get patents. Our company is a world leader in the specific type of analysis we do, and have zero patents. Our competitors have many.

          It is the difference between getting out and working hard every day, or sitting on the couch scratching lottery tickets hoping to win.

           

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

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 10:06am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Trolls

            Look at Google. Other than for defensive purposes, they're not too big on patents and they're very innovative. Their competitors are much more patent oriented partly because they're having problems otherwise competing.

             

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

        •  
          identicon
          AW, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 7:28am

          Re: Re: Re: Trolls

          Billions of dollars are spent defending against patent litigation that could go towards innovation. In countries with weaker patent enforcement there is more market pressure to innovate because if you don't you don't keep an edge.

          A good non patent analogy is cable television. They have a market monopoly on wired cable. Satellite is their only competitor yet prices stay high on both television and internet. In other countries all these prices are lower and there is more competition.

          Patents are explicitly against capitalism. Goverment shouldn't be a crutch to prop up businesses that can't make it on their own. The original length of a copyright or a patent would have put many of the patents and copyrights today into puyblic domain.

          Also many of these companies take discoveries funded by public tax dollars and lock them up. Why should our tax dollars go to someone who is going to prevent the rest of the country from using it?

           

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

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 11:34am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Trolls

            It's like with the USPS situation. They have a monopoly and the only innovation they've ever come up with is lost packages.

             

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

      •  
        icon
        petegrif (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 11:55am

        Re: Re: Trolls

        true
        but that is the case for many kinds of property.
        If you buy a building and collect rents from people it is no different.
        People like patent trolls BUY the IP they collect rents for. They invest, just as do other people who lay out capital. It is just a different class of asset.

         

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2010 @ 6:46pm

    The article brings up a bunch of good points. The length of time for receiving a patent, uncertainty for both inventor & competitor, litigation issues, big guy vs. little guy.

    But it makes a very odd statement that trolls are the way to fix it. That seems to be taken from left field.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2010 @ 7:42pm

    I guess these troll hunters never knew of provisional patents...

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    anger-management dude, Nov 10th, 2010 @ 8:18pm

    Your Coverage Is Not Fair And Balanced

    In trying to bolster your arguments about the drawbacks of patents, all the examples you cite are from the bad side of patents. How about giving some examples from the good side as well? Then the Techdirt lemming punk readers can make up their own minds about whether patents are good or bad.

    Isnít that how journalism is normally done in this country?

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2010 @ 8:24pm

      Re: Your Coverage Is Not Fair And Balanced

      "How about giving some examples from the good side as well?"

      The floor is yours. Git googling!

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2010 @ 8:18pm

    I read this earlier... and I too thought it was satire. It's so corny, and from MIT??? They've been outspoken critics since St.Street, how did you conclude it was serious?.. I guess thinking about it, nothing good can come out of this if it's intended for the LOLZ as the media looks for fluff like this to run to press with. Still, there has to be more to this.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    darryl, Nov 10th, 2010 @ 8:50pm

    How obvious ?? seems not enough for anyone to think of it !!

    For example, the idea of turning mobile phones into hotspots was hardly an original or non-obvious idea.

    Really, so even though we've had mobile phones for the past 25 years, and WiFi for a long time as well.

    You are saying that it was 'obvious', if it was in fact actually obvious, why has it not been patented in the past 10 years ?

    And you clearly dont understand patents even though you claim knowledge in them.

    For example, you know as well as I do, that they have not patented "Wifi for mobile phones" NO, they patented a SPECIFIC METHOD to do something.

    No they did not invent hotspots or mobile phones, but they used those components WITH A DIFFERENT (and patented) METHOD of doing something.

    When you patent a mouse trap, you do not have to patent the spring, the hammer, to latch or the baseboard, or the bait holder.

    You may have to pay patent license fees if you want to use someone elses technology, ie if it is cheaper to use wire someone else made, then 're-invent' wire from scratch.

    So its not obvious, if it was we would of allready had it, it might seem obvious after you hear about, but what it does is **NOT** the METHOD of HOW THEY DO IT..

    And you Mike of all people should make that clear to your readers, that you are deceiving them with untrue statements of fact..

    So if you think that company just purchased the patent, and did not 'invent' it themselves, (SO ?) then you use that as an excuse for you to us that idea without paying anyone for anything !!!.

    So its not ok for someone to pay the inventor and take on the risk of its, and the development costs. But it is ok to steal someone elses invention and use it for yourself, as long as you make lots of money (for yourself).

    Pick which system works (and IS working) and which system would fail, has failed, and is not even being considered by anyone who knows anything about common law and IP law..

    So in passing again how can you claim a METHOD is 'obvious' if you do not know what the method is ?

    The result may seem obvious, (in this case, it does not), but how do you know what their method is and then explain how it is obvious, but not obvious enough for anyone to think of in the past 10 years. or more !!!.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      techflaws.org (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 4:01am

      Re: How obvious ?? seems not enough for anyone to think of it !!

      Hard to believe but your drivel sucks even more in bold.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      AW, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 7:34am

      Re: How obvious ?? seems not enough for anyone to think of it !!

      Pick which system has failed? The overt patent system has failed wherever it exists. In fact the only places not affected by the global recession are those that don't have entrenched entitlements like patents.

      Seriously do some damned research before screeding like you do. You argue for entitlements for those with power and nothing for those without. You would probably been fighting the public libraries which were created in part by some of the founding fathers.

      But maybe you're right. Maybe we should stop fighting and let the system lock everything up

       

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

    •  
      icon
      Almost Anonymous (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 9:22am

      Re: How obvious ?? seems not enough for anyone to think of it !!

      """For example, you know as well as I do, that they have not patented "Wifi for mobile phones" NO, they patented a SPECIFIC METHOD to do something."""

      And therein lies a huge problem. I don't give a rat's ass what your methodology is, you should not be allowed to patent it! At best, you should be allowed to patent a very explicit and specific implementation that is non-obvious and new.

      In conclusion: Method patents are ridiculous.

       

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

    •  
      icon
      harbingerofdoom (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 9:32am

      Re: How obvious ?? seems not enough for anyone to think of it !!

      dude. take the time to figure out how to differentiate between who you are quoting and your own commentary.

      your post while im sure actually legible if i took the time to read the whole thing and parse it in my mind, gives me a headache just looking at it.

      by the way. your comments that i can attribute to you in this mangled mess you call a post, are wrong.
      have a nice day!

       

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

    •  
      icon
      petegrif (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 12:27pm

      Re: How obvious ?? seems not enough for anyone to think of it !!

      a lot of people have jumped on this post and dissed the writer. But in fact he is making an important point.

      "For example, you know as well as I do, that they have not patented "Wifi for mobile phones" NO, they patented a SPECIFIC METHOD to do something."

      What he is saying is that you cannot just patent an idea. Ideas are frequently obvious, particularly (as he observers) after the fact, but methods for how to implement ideas are not necessarily obvious.

      He is absolutely correct on this point. And he is absolutely correct to point out that there is widespread confusion on the point. A lot of people get hot under the collar about how obvious an idea is/was. But as he correctly points out - that isn't the point.

       

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

  •  
    icon
    Nick Dynice (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 12:22am

    Patents are for companies that are skilled in the art of wowing patent examiners with obvious ideas.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    MrBeck (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 3:55am

    AFAIR Jukispot was the first

    Despite what the author says, unless another vendor put wifi on a mobile before Nokia, unlikely, JukiSpot was the first to put a hot-spot on the phone. They released the code for the first Nokia with wifi, about 2003/4, and as I remember it pre-3G. So it was wifi and GPRS. Why Nokia didn't include the function in the phones I'll never understand. The E series have DLNA and VoIP built-in (no need for an app for that) but baulked at hot-spot, go figure.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 7:20am

      Re: AFAIR Jukispot was the first

      The whole point is ... so what?

      Even if they did do it first, the technology market is filled with products every day that involve taking two things and mashing them together. Camera + Phone = camera phone. Do you honestly believe that people deserve millions of dollars for being the first write the idea on paper?

      Increasingly technology patents feel more like a game show that only about 1/4 of the contestants are actually playing. You've got 3/4 of the people creating products and running a business and the other 1/4 are playing fastest gun in the west trying to write down ideas before anyone else.

      If (and this is a big if) we can keep the patent system viable in the technology market, patent applicants are going to need a functional version of their invention.

       

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

      •  
        icon
        petegrif (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 12:23pm

        Re: Re: AFAIR Jukispot was the first

        "patent applicants are going to need a functional version of their invention."

        they do need one. The description has to be sufficiently detailed that one 'skilled in the art' could build the invention in question and this implementation of the invention must be able to validate the claims.

         

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

        •  
          icon
          Modplan (profile), Nov 12th, 2010 @ 3:01pm

          Re: Re: Re: AFAIR Jukispot was the first

          Please show us some of these "sufficiently detailed" examples.

           

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

          •  
            icon
            Ronald J Riley (profile), Nov 12th, 2010 @ 6:04pm

            Skilled In The Art / AFAIR Jukispot was the first

            Pick an art area which you are most familiar with and read half a dozen patents in that art area. If you cannot figure out any of those patents then you need to accept that you are not especially skilled.

            The most rapid anti-patent people seem to be in the software arena. The bulk of people in the profession are uncreative drones who write an endless stream of largely repetitive code with slight variations. Is anyone surprised that so many suffer from the "Little Person Syndrome"?

            Ronald J. Riley,

            Speaking only on my own behalf.
            President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
            Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
            Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
            President - Alliance for American Innovation
            Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
            Washington, DC
            Direct (810) 597-0194 - (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.

             

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

  •  
    icon
    harbingerofdoom (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 9:49am

    for those of you who are saying that this is in fact a valid patent for whatever reason, consider the following:

    wifi, not new
    hotspots, not new
    any cellular connection currently in use, not new
    IP connectivity over cellular network infrastructure, not new
    bridging network connections, not new

    personally, im failing to see how this patent could be valid.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Vic Kley, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 3:10pm

    Why all of the world should join with Mike to kiss the * of large companies

    HELLO EARTH TO MIKE!!! Universities do not manufacture and market products nor typically do they develop new ideas into fully manufacture ready products.

    They do frequently invent new things that are the cores of innovation. These universities and their staff deserve credit and royalties for what they create. The US Patent law gives them and anyone else who owns a current patent the right to try to enforce it. If a company that is set up to support and enforce a patent steps up to do the job THAT'S GREAT and strengthens our system and helps to move repeat offenders like Microsoft to be compliant with reasonable demands by inventors.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    darryl, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 4:48pm

    Yes lets cancel the Patent System

    Now what other technologies do not have the advantage of patent protections, and what do they have to do ??

    Oh thats right...

    Lets look at military technology.


    Hopefully you can work out by yourself that enemy countries are not going to respect patents from the 'enemy'.

    In other words, for the slow of understanding,, patents are USELESS for military technology.

    So what does the military have to do, they cannot rely upon patents.. so what do they do ???


    Oh thats right, they keep everything SECRET, locked up and SECRET.

    They have too, they cannot rely on patents, they have to use other methods to protect their idea's.

    So the same thing would AND DOES happen outside of the military, you are all crying because patents stop you using the idea or invention from someone else.

    Patents say, "Dont be freaking lazy, think for yourself".

    So if there were no patents or patent protection all you plebs think the world would become an open utopia where all idea are shared freely, and the market would decide the winners and losers.

    But if you think that will happen, you are not living in the real world.

    That is why system's that do not have patent protection have to use other methods to achieve protection on their designs.

    That does not include TELLING EVERYONE ABOUT IT..

    If fact, its the opposite, you may never hear about the technology, because with patent protection that technology is kep secret..


    So you guys honestly believe that if the patent system suddenly went away that there would immediately be a flood of new developments, (from somewhere) and that MORE innovation would result ?

    How does that work, if you can use someone elses innovation, you dont have to innovate, (or even think) yourself.

    Its allready happening, and has been for years, do you think companies design their digital circuits in ASIC's and lock them down with a fuse bit, so you cannot see or work out the function of the IC.

    Military do it routinely,, when was the last time you was given access to freely available military technology advancements ?

    So sure, if you think the military system of secrecy is what you want, and if you think that is better than what we have.. Go for it.. good luck with that..

    Maybe you should think it through first, and think about the situation if things were different..

    Like they are for military technology.. for which you have ZERO access..

    And if you want to license some military technology, you cant, because for a start you probably do not even know it exists... Its hard to steal or copy something, you dont know about..

    But your stupid if you think that would be a better or more open system than what we presently have !!.. mabey you are !!!..

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Bruce, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 9:29pm

    Re: Re:

    Precisely on point petegrif. Mike should know better than to put out that BS about the US having a first to invent in the way Mike did on this thread. The US has a first to file system with an exception for a later filer who can prove invention prior to the filing date of the earlier filer coupled with due diligence from a date prior to the earlier filing to the date of filing of the later filer. There could be an even earlier inventor who chose secrecy or was not diligent, and such an even earlier inventor will lose out entirely to a subsequent inventor filer unless the even earlier filer makes his invention public by the critical date (one year prior to the filing date of the subsequent inventor filer or prior to the invention date of the subsequent inventor filer, whichever is later). Easy for uninformed readers to get this basic inventorship law confused and rant on foolishly. Complicated, but once understood the inventorship determination makes sense from a fairness standpoint. Basic 35 USC 102 law.

    Then to confuse things even more, Mike, using pronouns helps readers form misconceptions due to misassociation. Patent attorneys, especially prosecution patent attorneys, learn early on to avoid pronouns in patent applications for just that reason. Take a cue from prosecution patent attorneys and avoid the pronouns unless absolutely clear to what the pronouns refer. Otherwise it might get it confused it what it meant it should understand it to have meant it to mean.

     

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

    •  
      icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 12th, 2010 @ 12:18am

      Re: Re: Re:

      Precisely on point petegrif. Mike should know better than to put out that BS about the US having a first to invent in the way Mike did on this thread.

      Other than the fact that everyone knows the US is a first to invent system. I mean, part of the fight over patent reform was whether or not we should switch to a first to file system like the rest of the world.

      Kinda scary, frankly, that patent lawyers would so blatantly lie.

       

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

      •  
        icon
        Ronald J Riley (profile), Nov 12th, 2010 @ 11:25am

        Shill or ideology driven tunnel vision?

        "would so blatantly lie"

        Every time someone gets Mike Masnick's goat he start throwing around accusations of them lying.

        This is really ironic since virtually everything Mike Masnick writes about patents and inventors is based on minute bits of truth buried in either overt lies or lies by omission.

        There is not question about what Mike has to say, all that is unknown at this point is if Mike is just another PR huckster or if he actually believes the crap he writes. That is the question, shill or ideology driven tunnel vision?

        Ronald J. Riley,

        Speaking only on my own behalf.
        President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
        Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
        Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
        President - Alliance for American Innovation
        Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
        Washington, DC
        Direct (810) 597-0194 - (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.

         

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

        •  
          icon
          Jay (profile), Nov 13th, 2010 @ 2:58pm

          Re: Shill or ideology driven tunnel vision?

          Minute?

          You've yet to really explain your own arguments. All you do is try to throw everyone else under the proverbial bus. You've yet to explain how you came about your supposed engineering degree (which I find highly circumspect at this time), you've yet to answer about how Toyota's patent dispute, and now, you're not answering about how others steal IP when they may have an idea that adds value to patents.

          Quite frankly, I'm more likely to believe Mike than someone that has more to hide by distorting the truth.

           

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This