Video Shows How Patent Trolls Kill Innovation

from the uniloc-again dept

The good folks at Reason TV have put together a new video called How Patent Trolls Kill Innovation:
It more or less rehashes the story that we've covered in the past concerning patent troll Uniloc suing the indie developer of X-Plane over a ridiculous patent (6,857,067) that never should have been granted in the first place, and is now being claimed to broadly apply to pretty much anyone who sells apps in mobile app stores. The video has a bunch of great quotes from Julie Samuels, the newly appointed "Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents", highlighting just how screwed up the system is.
"You can't separate the problem with the patent troll from the problem with software patents," says Samuels. "There are hundreds of thousands of software patents floating around that are really broad, that are really vague ... and a lot of them are bought up by patent trolls."
Nothing in the story or the video will really be all that new to regular Techdirt readers, but it's great to see more attention being given to the problems of patent trolls and how they harm innovation. It's also great to see it come from Reason.TV, a part of the libertarian Reason Foundation -- as there is still some dispute among the wider "libertarian" crowd as to whether or not the patent system is good or bad. It's felt like there's been a growing recognition that the answer is "bad," and hopefully videos like this represent a recognition that the scale is tipping.


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    Anonymous Monkey (profile), Feb 27th, 2013 @ 12:42am

    Date of Patent

    Filed: Feb. 26, 2001
    Granted: Feb. 15, 2005...

    It talks mainly about the smart cards... they were/are primarily used in Cable/satellite set-top boxes.
    Smart cards were used well before it was even filed ...

    The focus of the patent is in use of the smart card for communication and encoding/encryption for secure verification for access.
    The fact that the patent primarily centers around the smart cards shows that the patent's focus, and what it's being used in trolling, aren't the same. And that's just aside from it's broad obviousness.

    Gah, software patents are an insult to programmers and innovators everywhere. You may as well be trying to patent 'the internet' as broad and vague as these patents are.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2013 @ 1:28am

      Re: Date of Patent

      Patents are an insult to programmers and innovators everywhere.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2013 @ 2:33am

        Re: Re: Date of Patent

        Nope. Patents don't offend me (pointless ones that shouldn't be patents do but that's beside the point).

        Software patents are however always offensive.

         

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      Pseudonym, Feb 27th, 2013 @ 6:44pm

      Re: Date of Patent

      This illustrates a key point of fighting patent trolls: You probably don't infringe the patent.

      This is good news for you, because it's far easier to prove that you don't infringe than that the patent shouldn't have been granted.

       

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    Mr. Applegate, Feb 27th, 2013 @ 3:59am

    First, I need to say that I think the vast majority of patent law is totally out of touch with the world today. I know most people here agree with that sentiment.

    Patent law was designed for a time when it might take decades to recoup the development costs for a new idea. Today, companies probably recoup costs in months and new ideas replace old ones every few years. Ideally, the entire system and it's usefulness to society needs to be rethought.

    At a minimum I believe there should be at least two major changes to the patent laws. These changes would go a long way toward fixing some of the major problems with patent law.

    1. Disallow the holding of a patent that the holder does not actively use. In other words, if you patent something and then don't utilize the patent in your product or license it to another company in a certain period of time, you lose the patent and it enters the public domain.

    2. Disallow the sale or transfer of patents. In other words if a company goes bankrupt, or is bought out, the patent is non-transferable and the patent enters the public domain. A patent should not be a commodity that has value to anyone other than the person or company that patented the idea.

    These two steps alone, I believe, would be a huge boon to the economy and greatly reduce abuse. They would prevent patent trolling, and they would prevent large companies swallowing small ones simply to acquire patents, which doesn't help the economy at all. Both of these will promote innovation while stifling the ability to charge others for an idea which your company did not originate.

    I am going to go ahead and throw in a third change.

    3. A patents lifespan should be based on cost to develop and time to recovery of those costs plus some factor. This one is a little trickier, because I am certain corporations would come up with a way to make sure the patent never 'made money' on the books at least (much like the MAFIAA). But basically, when you file the patent you would have to put a 'cost to develop' on the idea (with proof), and file information to support a time to recoup those costs as your product was sold. The reason for this is to prevent large companies such as Microsoft, Apple... from being able to lock out smaller companies from competing for years, when in fact what they hold the patent on has long been paid for. This might actually prevent patents on things like rounded corners or 'slide to unlock' or end of file bounce in smart phones.

    So these three changes could pretty much eliminate most of the problems with patents while preserving a companies right to profit from a truly unique idea that they identify, document, and implement.

    So, tell me where did I go wrong in this thought process? I am expecting to be rather busy today, so my time to respond may be slow, but what does Techdirt think?

     

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      That One Guy (profile), Feb 27th, 2013 @ 4:54am

      Re:

      The first two ideas seem solid, though the second would have some pretty large repercussions, as companies wouldn't be able to count their patent portfolio value when dealing with another company looking to buy them out.

      Still, the trade-off, that of keeping patent trolls and other companies from buying smaller companies and their patent portfolios simply to use said patents as weapons against others would seem to be more than worth it.

      The third seems like it might work on the surface, but it would also open the door to 'cost inflation' as seen in the pharmaceutical arena, where a company will add everything they can think of to the 'cost of development' to make it seem like a drug cost far more than it actually did to develop.

      Now, a possible counter to that, would be to treat patents as what a lot of companies see them as, and what they may already be considered legally: property, specifically in regards to taxes.

      If patents had a yearly tax applied to them based upon their 'development costs/value', then it would not only give companies incentives to keep from artificially inflating the listed value, it would also make it so there would actually be an incentive for companies to let a patent enter the public domain eventually.

      This would also have the happy little side effect of making patent trolls and their like, those who do nothing more than buy up a bunch of patents to sue people over, pay dearly for their greed, as suddenly a massive patent portfolio like that would be a bane rather than a boon.

       

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        Mr. Applegate, Feb 27th, 2013 @ 5:51am

        Re: Re:

        "though the second would have some pretty large repercussions, as companies wouldn't be able to count their patent portfolio value when dealing with another company looking to buy them out."
        That is actually an intended result. The idea is to have more smaller companies to increase competition in the market place, rather than one or two large companies that can run everyone else out of town. I am thinking much like WalMart has done in the retail industry or the large banks have done to the smaller banks. They use their clout to get rid of the competition then the prices go up.

        "The third seems like it might work on the surface, but it would also open the door to 'cost inflation' as seen in the pharmaceutical arena, where a company will add everything they can think of to the 'cost of development' to make it seem like a drug cost far more than it actually did to develop."
        I agree, and that is a potential problem. I think you may be onto something with your idea that
        "If patents had a yearly tax applied to them based upon their 'development costs/value',"
        I am leery of taxing an idea, however a 'patent fee' based on performance could be an excellent idea (I know it is really just a tax, but if it is a fee it can't creep as easily into my life).

         

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          Willton, Feb 27th, 2013 @ 7:26am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "If patents had a yearly tax applied to them based upon their 'development costs/value',"

          I am leery of taxing an idea, however a 'patent fee' based on performance could be an excellent idea (I know it is really just a tax, but if it is a fee it can't creep as easily into my life).


          We already have this. Their called "maintenance fees."

           

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            Mr. Applegate, Feb 27th, 2013 @ 7:57am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I assume you are talking about maintenance fees on software...

            That really isn't the same thing at all.

            A patent fee would be a fee charged by the government to the patent holder to maintain the patent. Which would force companies to turn over patents to the public domain if the return was not higher than the fee.

             

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              Willton, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 7:57am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I assume you are talking about maintenance fees on software...

              That really isn't the same thing at all.

              A patent fee would be a fee charged by the government to the patent holder to maintain the patent. Which would force companies to turn over patents to the public domain if the return was not higher than the fee.


              No, that's EXACTLY what a maintenance fee is. See the link below:

              http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/qs/ope/fee100512.htm#maintain

               

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2013 @ 4:01am

    trolls are a symptom of the fundamental flaw of the patent system, and software patents only make the flaw more apparent.

    The whole system is designed so that patents are really only useful if you a. have a big portfolio (so you can countersue, the misnomer 'defensive patents' is often given here), or b. are not actually making anything (i.e. trolls), so you can't be countersued. So originally patents are supposed to protect the lone innovator against the big companies, but in effect the 'protection' goes the other way around.

    An even more fundamental problem is the ridiculous notion that you can own somebody else's idea. I get that if you have an original idea you don't want others to run with it, but similarly, why is is acceptable that *you* can have an idea that you can't use because someone else happened to 'own' it already, even if your idea wasn't derived from the other?

    Copyright has its flaws, but at least there you have the concept of derivative works. For patents, the problems are much more fundamental, and not just for software patents or patent trolls.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2013 @ 5:39am

    nor do TD readers apparently care, it's not like they are in the business of innovation, imitation yes..

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2013 @ 6:24am

      Re:

      Coming out of someone who doesn't know how to do anything outside of imitating Lowery's rants, that's pathetic.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2013 @ 7:44am

      Re:

      That's because rarely is innovation like jumping from steam power to coal: the whole process of innovation is in increments. Take transistors as an example - the earliest transistors were huge (see also: Enigma).

      And yet, incrementally, each iteration became more efficient, both in scope and power consumption. And today, they are miniscule. Imagine now that patents had held the whole thing back. For a START, I wouldn't be able to talk to you, and the Internet would barely be conceivable! Because computing and computer science would probably still be a niche.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2013 @ 7:48am

        Re: Re:

        Yeah but the big problem is how vague a software patent could be. Unilock can use anyone on the android marketplace basically with the way the patent is written. The patent office should have never allowed such a patent in the first place.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2013 @ 4:09pm

        Re: Re:

        So... you're saying there could be advantages?

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2013 @ 7:37am

    Why is it that here virtually everyone who comments on "bad" patents has no substantive experience in all facets of patent law, including the preparation and filing of a patent application and continuing through the issueance of a patent? As for those who are admitted to practice law and bemoan "bad" patents, why is it that only rarely is any one of them admitted to practice before the USPTO? If one is going to throw the word "bad" around, it seems to me that expertise involving the above criteria is critically important.

    As for the patent itself, while I express no opinion concerning its validity other than the statutory presumtion of validity, broad, generalized statements are not particularly persuasive unless accompanied by a claim analysis vis a vis each of the references (assuming they actually are prior art) alleged to anticipate or render obvious the patent's claims.

    It is easy to declare "bad", and it is quite another to present relevant evidence with the technical details necessary to back up the declaration.

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 27th, 2013 @ 9:41am

      Re:

      Why is it that here virtually everyone who comments on "bad" patents has no substantive experience in all facets of patent law, including the preparation and filing of a patent application and continuing through the issueance of a patent? As for those who are admitted to practice law and bemoan "bad" patents, why is it that only rarely is any one of them admitted to practice before the USPTO? If one is going to throw the word "bad" around, it seems to me that expertise involving the above criteria is critically important.

      Why is it that virtually everyone here who comments on how "good" the patent system is has no substantive experience in all facets of innovation economics, including how to measure the impact on the economy of broken patent systems? As for those who have some economics knowledge, and still accept the "good" patent system, why is it that only rarely does any of them have any actual data to support their position? If one is going to attack those who actually understand economics, it seems to me that some expertise involving the above criteria is critically important.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2013 @ 10:06am

        Re: Re:

        Please answer me this, "Where in my comment did I state, suggest, imply, or in any other manner provide support for "how 'good' the patent system is...?"

        I did no such thing, and for you to respond as if I had is inaccurate and disingenuous. My comment was limited solely to criticizing the litany of tendacious articles and comments in response to such articles appearing here that call any particular patent as being "bad" without providing and relevant, evidentiary support directed to the patent's specific claims.

        Feel free to criticize all the patents you may perceive as being problematic, but perception is not "evidentiary proof". Perhaps this specific patent may be of dubious validity, but criticizing it without lifting an analytical-finger in support of such criticism wholly lacks any substantive merit and persuasive force.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2013 @ 10:08am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Not sure why all the "bold" is contained in my comment. I did not to my knowledge use the necessary tag.

           

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 27th, 2013 @ 10:48am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Please answer me this, "Where in my comment did I state, suggest, imply, or in any other manner provide support for "how 'good' the patent system is...?"

          Oh come on. You remain so full of shit it's not even funny. You are SOOO focused on defending the patent system and the copyright system every time you comment here. Of course you were implying that the system is good, because you outright mock anyone who dares question the system.

          What you leave out, of course, is your own profession, and the fact that you and others profited massively from the system.

          If you want to know "why" to your original question, that alone is the answer. You are paid not be objective on this matter, and you have made out nicely by sucking off the teet of the system. No wonder that you would never dare criticize it for a moment.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2013 @ 11:06am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Now that you have "ad hominems" and segues into irrelevant matters out of your system, perhaps you would be so kind as to answer the question posed concerning the assertions made in this article.

            My observations here and other previous articles are that specific patents being called "bad" is meaningless without even a modicum of evidentiary support that an issued patent is of dubious validity under one or more of at least Sections 101, 102, 103, or 112 of Title 35. Maybe they are "bad", but just saying so without more is an unsubstantiated opinion disguised as fact.

             

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              Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 27th, 2013 @ 10:26pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              My observations here and other previous articles are that specific patents being called "bad" is meaningless without even a modicum of evidentiary support that an issued patent is of dubious validity under one or more of at least Sections 101, 102, 103, or 112 of Title 35. Maybe they are "bad", but just saying so without more is an unsubstantiated opinion disguised as fact.

              I'd argue that the people who actually WORK IN THE FIELD, that is the people who actually INNOVATE and DESIGN THE PRODUCTS know a hell of a lot more about this than some patent lawyer.

              So, forgive me for pointing out that the lawyers, like yourself, don't know the first thing about innovation. You just know how to file paperwork.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2013 @ 7:14am

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

                Apparently you did not get ad hominems and segues out of your system. This is disappointing because it neatly avoids answering questions associated with the statements you made in this article. No wonder one commenter keeps challenging you to debates on the merits of many opinions presented here in articles and deftly disguised as facts.

                Your comment "You just know how to file paperwork" is made from complete ignorance, could not be more wrong, and serves merely as another insulting comment having no basis in actual fact. The same can be said for your snide comment that "[L}awyers, like yourself, don't know the first thing about innovation."

                Of course, my comment here is in response to your once more avoiding what I know to be a fair question. You called the cited patent "ridiculous" and stated it should "never should have been granted in the first place". Maybe this is true, but just saying so does not make it so, and it is here where you article lacks persuasive force.

                 

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                  Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 28th, 2013 @ 10:15am

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

                  Apparently you did not get ad hominems and segues out of your system. This is disappointing because it neatly avoids answering questions associated with the statements you made in this article

                  No, listen: I'm pretty careful to direct such comments directly at you and you alone, because you deserve it. Considering that you REGULARLY drop into the comments, leave the most pedantic comments mocking everyone for not being so fucking brilliant as you are, and not having spent their lives buried up to their necks in patents, and then you tend to add a comment showing near TOTAL ignorance of basic subjects (shall we rehash the Bret Easton Ellis discussion?), that you deserve to be called full of shit. Because you are.

                  As for this particular patent, there's a simple litmus test: if you believe that the Uniloc patent in question is a good patent, you are a certifiable idiot.

                  Really.

                  I know there are other patents that may be debatable, but this is not one of them. This is an out and out ridiculously broad patent on a ridiculously obvious idea. It never should have been granted. If you had *any* experience in the relevant field it would take you all of about 2 seconds to recognize that.

                  But you don't have any experience or any relevance. Because you're a lawyer who made a living abusing the system, not an innovator.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2013 @ 10:42am

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

                    I regret seemingly getting "under your skin", but that is never my intent.

                    In the case of this particular article, my interest was piqued simply because of the statement that the patent was "ridiculous" and "never should have been granted". Of course this may be completely true, but without addressing each of the limitations recited in the claims, and then applying to each such limitation one or more actual and relevant prior art references, the declarations made in the article lack any evidentiary foundation.

                    I can easily be persuaded that a claim is invalid by cogent arguments that a claim, considered as a whole, in neither new nor non-obvious, but in order for such arguments to have persuasive force they need to be supported by an evidentiary foundation. It is such a foundation that is lacking here.

                     

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                    Willton, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 8:05am

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

                    I know there are other patents that may be debatable, but this is not one of them. This is an out and out ridiculously broad patent on a ridiculously obvious idea. It never should have been granted. If you had *any* experience in the relevant field it would take you all of about 2 seconds to recognize that.

                    And yet, you continually fail to provide any evidence to support this opinion. Show us the prior art that renders this patent obvious. We'll wait. In the meantime, all your bluster looks like the rantings and ravings of a madman.

                    You constantly tout the virtues of evidence-based reasoning. Well, have at it then: show us the evidence that supports your theory. Thus far, you have not put forth anything of the sort.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 8:19am

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

                      Compelling "evidence" has been provided in the form of ad hominems and segues. What more could you possibly need?

                       

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                        Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 1st, 2013 @ 10:32am

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

                        Compelling "evidence" has been provided in the form of ad hominems and segues. What more could you possibly need

                        Uniloc claims to have patented having to check a central server for permission to access a computer program. Such systems have been in place for DECADES as anyone with even the SLIGHTEST familiarity with ANYTHING would know.

                        If you want some prior art, look at FlexNet or Sassafras's KeyServer, both of which were doing what Uniloc's patent describes well over a decade before the priority date on Uniloc's patent.

                        I, myself, was working for a company in 1998 that had a product on the market since 1996 that worked in the same manner.

                        But, even going beyond prior art, we're talking about one of the most obvious concepts ever if you want to limit access to content. Put 100 engineers in a room and ask them for ways to do this, and 99 of them will come up with what's in the Uniloc patent on their own, and the last one is the one you know should become a fucking patent lawyer, because he's too stupid to program.

                        And, yes, I'm calling you names, because there are some cases where it's a waste of everyone's time to explain the obvious to complete morons. So instead, it's much more productive to call you out for what you are.

                         

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                          Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 10:46am

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

                          You seem to focus on the specification, whereas my focus is on the claims, which are the one part of the patent to which what is and what is not prior art applies.

                          I do not doubt that many "systems" have long been used, but just because this is so does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that the claims are invalid (which is the essence of what you are saying).

                          You may very well be correct in your conclusion, and I have not dismissed this possibility. My only point is that as yet the claims appear to have been analyzed with respect to prior art only by the USPTO. It would help if others did so as well. Until that happens, the only "cards on the table" are those dealt by the USPTO.

                           

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                            Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 1st, 2013 @ 11:42am

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

                            You seem to focus on the specification, whereas my focus is on the claims, which are the one part of the patent to which what is and what is not prior art applies.

                            I'm focused on what Uniloc is saying those CLAIMS cover, and pointing out that it's bullshit, because anyone who knows ANYTHING about this space knows both that there is tremendous prior art *FOR THOSE CLAIMS* as well as the fact that the claims cover obvious concepts.

                            That you continue to argue otherwise, again, only speaks to your inability to comprehend some rather basic concepts.

                             

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      Mr. Applegate, Feb 27th, 2013 @ 11:10am

      Re:

      "Why is it that here virtually everyone who comments on "bad" patents has no substantive experience in all facets of patent law, including the preparation and filing of a patent application and continuing through the issueance of a patent?"
      Because you don't need to be a farmer to see the milk has soured and is no longer fit to drink!
      "As for those who are admitted to practice law and bemoan "bad" patents, why is it that only rarely is any one of them admitted to practice before the USPTO?"
      Perhaps, even most lawyers choose not to wear the foulness of greed, and lies that drench your skin when you enter the USPTO.

      Just a thought.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2013 @ 4:18pm

      Re:

      Okay, so, why do you have to be practiced in law to recognize a bad patent? Apparently those that do practice law are blind to the specifics of the patents they are pushing for. Shouldn't they have in-depth, working knowledge of the industries they are affecting before they push those patents? By the spirit of your post, that's something they should probably gain before they talk about them, too.

      I always wonder about these people that think that being in the industry gives some sort of be-all power to be in the right about whatever, and anyone that doesn't have that intimate knowledge just has to be wrong, even if they are right.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2013 @ 4:30pm

      Re:

      I don't have to be a master chef to know that your cooking sucks, I only have to taste it...

      Similarly, I don't have to know the inner workings of the patent office or process (obviously most employees of the patent office don't....) to know that the process is not doing what it was intended to do.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2013 @ 7:43am

    Unilock basically is saying they own the way to verify if someone bought android software.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2013 @ 8:16am

    If I may respond to #11's comment, maintenance fees apply to all utility patents once they issue, and are payable in three, ever increasing amounts, over the life of the patent. Of course, failure to pay a fee results in the patent lapsing.

     

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    staff, Feb 28th, 2013 @ 6:45am

    more dissembling by Masnick

    Lies and damned lies! These are mere dissemblings by huge multinational thieves and their paid puppets -some in Congress, in the White House and elsewhere in the federal government. Their intent is to pervert or weaken the patent system so it can only be used by them and no one else. Then they can rob at will and destroy their small competitors.

    For the truth, please see http://www.truereform.piausa.org/
    https://www.facebook.com/pi.ausa.5
    http://piausa.wordpress.com/

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2013 @ 12:49pm

    Details about the internal business practices of various companies? Probably not, since I do not work there.

    Details associated with internet-related technology? Yes, but I doubt you will ever believe this to be the case because...well...how can a lawyer possibly know anything about technology? Perhaps because technical knowledge is a must when dealing with R&D, Tech Ops, and Production Ops "stuff". Engineers speak in "Greek", whereas most lawyers speak in "Latin". There are, however, lawyers like me who are "bi-lingual" because it is a professional requirement. You have to participate in meetings involving technical personnel to understand what I mean. It is painful to watch colleagues attend such meetings and have not a clue what is going on. ;)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 3:28pm

    The only way to know what a claim "covers" (i.e., its scope) is to read it in light of the specification, with due consideration being given to the prosecution file history contained in what is referred to as a "file wrapper".

    The only way to know if a claim is infringed is to place the claim alongside the potentially infringing product/method/composition/etc., and to then read each element of the claim to determine if that or an equivalent element is present in the product/method/composition/etc. (IOW, does the claim "read on" that believed to infringe the claim?).

    The only to know if a claim is invalid, as you seem determined to posit, it to study the claim in light of the prior art to determine if one or more "pieces" of prior art "teach" each of the claims elements. One reference clearly does so? See Section 102 and relevant case law. No single reference does so, but two or more considered collectively appear to do so in a manner consistent with the test for non-obviousness? See Section 103 and relevant case law. Obviously, this discussion is kept as general as possible, but it should be borne in mind that what is and what is not "prior art" does not readily admit to a simple discussion.

    Pick a claim...say No. 107...and then run through the above. Of course, if infringement appears a possibility, then continue on to bases for invalidating the claim. Neither novel nor non-obvious. Perhaps "lack of candor" during prosecution. Other?

    When done only then can one honestly say, with reference to citable authorities, that they hold an informed opinion that may be presented with persuasive force.

    Of course I expect push-back based upon the opinion expressed in this article, but like it or not some or all of the foregoing need to be done. Anything less is merely an unsubstantiated opinion.

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 1st, 2013 @ 5:14pm

      Re:

      Read the comment you just wrote, and recognize why the patent system is broken.

      No engineer is going to do any of that, because all you've described is a legal mess that only lawyers can do. When you have a system built by patent lawyers for patent lawyers, you're not promoting innovation. You're promoting full employment (plus bonuses) for patent lawyers.

      Which, of course, you approve of. Because you're a patent lawyer.

      Once again: ANYONE with even the SLIGHTEST experience or knowledge of the market knows, without a doubt, that this patent is bogus. Because what's described, and what's being sued over not only was done before, many times, but is the obvious way that anyone would handle a similar situation.

      Of course I expect push-back based upon the opinion expressed in this article, but like it or not some or all of the foregoing need to be done. Anything less is merely an unsubstantiated opinion.

      No, what you describe above is a boondoggle. It's designed not to promote the progress. Not to disclose information. Not to promote innovation. But to ensure that people have to pay you a shitload of money to spew bullshit.

      Disgusting. What leads people into such a lifestyle?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 6:45pm

        Re: Re:

        Sigh. You just keep claiming the patent is bogus, but, of course, you can't do the actual analysis to prove it. This is pretty much how you approach everything. You haven't proved that it's bogus, nor can you. You jump to the ad homs and get all angry, but the fact is that the only thing that's bullshit here is you. Total fake, total coward. And you know it. That's why you run from a debate on the merits every time. You're doing it here, just like you've done with me hundreds and hundreds of times. What a joke. At least the mental midgets think you're cool. Congrats!

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 9:22pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          On a brighter note, when intellectually honest comments are avoided by moving from relevant, substantive matters to ad hominems and other issue avoiding measures, then clearly a button labeled "how dare anyone question me" has been pushed and achieved a positive result, even if that result is not understood by the many who regularly come to TD's defense as a matter of course. "How dare he/she challenge the prevailing wisdom here? Obviously that "troll" deserves to have his/her "drivel" consigned to the infamous "This comment has been flagged by the community..." seating section in the upper section of TD's center field seats at the TD Stadium. I guess uncomfortable comments, even when true, are not openly received and thoughtfully considered.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2013 @ 10:13am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Perchance, are you admitted to practice before the USPTO?

          Please advise.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2013 @ 10:35am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Perchance, are you admitted to practice before the USPTO?

            Please advise.


            Nope. Law student at the moment. Not admitted to practice anywhere.

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2013 @ 8:55am

        Re: Re:

        ANYONE with even the SLIGHTEST experience or knowledge of the market knows, without a doubt, that this patent is bogus.

        "Markets" do not infringe, it is "products, methods, compositions, etc." that may infringe. One may have all the experience in the world about a market, but that is of no moment if said one does not know in detail what actually comprises the specific "product, method, composition, etc." that may infringe. I know the inner workings of many markets in intimate detail, but such information is absolutely irrelevant insofar as infringement is concerned.

        Because what's described...

        What is being described is of no moment. What is being claimed is the linchpin.

        [P]romote the progress

        There is no clause in the Constitution that goes by this name, but that is beside the point. Having read time and time again your almost unshakeable belief what "progress" means as used in the US Constitution, all I can really say is that your belief and 223 years of statutory law/associated jurisprudence are 180 degrees out of sync.

        [P]ay you a shitload of money to spew bullshit.

        Since you know nothing about what I may ask as recompense, I can assure you that the answer would surprise you immensely. As for "spewing BS", no one I have ever assisted has ever said anything even remotely approaching what you say. Quite the contrary. At one time or another all of them have stated the opposite. Of course, there have been many with adverse interest who have suggested or outright stated what you say. At the end of the day, however, their minds had changed...much to their chagrin.

        Disgusting. What leads people into such a lifestyle?

        Since when did it become "disgusting" to help people solve legal and business problems? Was it disgusting when I helped force the USG to stop directly competing with the private sector? The people did not think so. Was it disgusting when I helped reduce what many would call a "troll" to a position of total irrelevancy? Was it disgusting when I helped force the USG to modify its export control laws to significantly increase the worldwide dissemination of technical information useful for the conduct of R&D? Was it disgusting when I and two of my colleagues forced the USG to stop taxing exports, a tax expressly forbidden by the US Constitution? Was it disgusting when I facilitated the creation of civilian startups using technology that would otherwise have remained unknown and locked up behind the walls of government contractors (virtually all of which had not been patented)? Was it disgusting when my work helped many employees remain employed by bringing in business that provided those "magic" things we call "charge numbers"? Not a singe one of them told me "Damn you. I am not being layed off."

        These are things, among many others, that were secured by working quietly in the background while assiduously avoiding any consideration of resort to litigation.

        If you consider any of the above "disgusting", then I submit your definition of that word and mine are likewise 180 degrees out of sync.

        It would be nice if just once TD considered the possibility that not every lawyer is an ambulance chaser looking out for Number One, as well as the possibility that some lawyers comment here to try and facilitate discussions by providing more accurate information and positing more nuanced views.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2013 @ 10:39am

          Re: Re: Re:

          A couple years ago Mike claimed I abused the copyright system for profit, even though he knew for a fact I didn't. In his mind, I was likely to in the future, so that was enough for him to claim that I was already doing it. When asked to explain, he ran away every single time. He goes straight to the ad homs and the "Disgusting!" bullshit whenever he's backed into a corner and he knows he can't win on the merits. It's hilarious to watch him do it in this thread. The angry little troll that he is really shines through. Keep up the great work. Watching Mike squirm please me no end. What a db.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2013 @ 10:45am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The funniest part is, I think he's a smart guy with some really good ideas. I challenge him all the time, and it's not because I think I'm right and he's wrong. I like to be challenged myself, and I'm trying to get him to stop spouting high-level rhetoric. But it's hard to discuss the nuance, and that's where his arguments apparently start falling apart. He doesn't appear to have the goods--hence the catering to the dregs of the internet instead of having reasoned discussion on the merits. I'm sure he would win many debates with me if he actually had the stones to put some skin of his own in the game. But, unfortunately, he gets angry and goes to the ad homs and is apparently incapable of having productive conversations. It's a shame, really. And ironic. He claims to be a facts-oriented person, but as far as I can tell, facts are not his strong suit. He's more about rhetoric. And whining.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2013 @ 11:06am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I too believe he raises many points that are truly thought provoking. Where he and I part company is when he delves into matters of law where he opines on what the law is when I well know that his "is" in many cases is well of the mark, if not outright erroneous. Here all I have tried to point out is that unsubstantiated opinions lack persuasive force precisely because they are unsubstantiated. Maybe his opinion is spot on, but it is impossible to tell if this is the case on the record he has presented. Merely by way of example, the prosecution of a patent application requires the presentation of relevant evidence by both the applicant and the examiner, and decisions are made on the basis of such evidence.

             

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2013 @ 3:30pm

    BTW, 107 is identified because it is the only one specifically mentioned in the original complaint. Because this case was filed the middle of last year, it is possible that other claims have been thrown into the mix.

     

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