IBM Shamed Into Giving Away Awful Patent On Email Out-Of-Office Messages

from the so-why-get-it-in-the-first-place? dept

IBM basically tries to patent everything, no matter how stupid. The company has (no, really) been at the top of the patent recipient list in the United States for an astounding 24 straight years. Really. And, yes, sure, the company has done some innovative things and yes, Watson's pretty cool, but does anyone actually think IBM is the most innovative company around for the past two and a half decades? It gets tons of patents because IBM has an army of lawyers who just try to patent anything. Earlier this week, the EFF put out its regular Stupid Patent of the Month post, and it was about an incredibly stupid patent from IBM. The patent (US Patent 9,547,842) is for an out-of-office email messaging system.

You know, when you email someone and you get back a bounce that says the person is out of the office, and that they won't be reading emails (even though they probably are reading them anyway and probably will respond anyway, because, really, who goes off email these days?). Anyway, the application for this patent was filed in 2010, way, way, way after OOO messages were quite common. The one thing that might be considered different in this patent was that you could set it to tell people a few days earlier that you would be on vacation in a few days. But, as EFF pointed out, that's not particularly inventive or difficult for anyone to figure out and it certainly doesn't deserve a patent. As the EFF notes, going over the history of this patent demonstrates why the US Patent Office is so bad at this stuff. Rather than figuring what's actually obvious or in the prior art, it just looks at patents:

You might think that a patent examiner faced with a patent application on an out-of-office email system might look at some real out-of-office email solutions. But the examiner considered only patents and patent applications. The Patent Office spent years going back-and-forth on whether IBM’s claims where new compared to a particular 2006 patent application. But it never considered any of the many, many, existing real-world systems that pre-dated IBM’s application.

To take just one example, the Patent Office never considered this detailed specification from 1998 (PDF) from IBM describing the out-of-office agent in Notes. Nor did it consider other well-known email features like scheduling and signatures. If the Patent Office had taken a peek at the real world, and applied a modicum of common-sense, it would have quickly rejected IBM’s claims.

EFF also notes that the patent should have easily failed under the Alice standard, but IBM tap danced around it:

In Alice, the Supreme Court ruled that an abstract idea does not become eligible for a patent simply because it is implemented on a generic computer. That decision came down in June 2014, so the Patent Office had plenty of time to apply it to the application that led to this patent. If it had, it likely would have rejected the claims. The ’842 Patent goes out of its way to make clear that its method can be implemented on a generic computer. The final three columns of the patent recite at length how its claims can be implemented in any programming language on essentially any kind of hardware.

At one point, the examiner did reject some of the application’s claims under Section 101 of the Patent Act (which is the statute the Alice decision applies). But IBM overcame the rejection simply by arguing that the patent’s method was implemented in computer hardware. In January 2013, IBM noted that “it was agreed [between IBM and the patent examiner] that the rejection ... under 35 U.S.C. § 101 could be overcome by reciting that a hardware storage device stores computer readable instructions or program code.” Even if that was a reasonable response in 2013, it certainly was not after Alice. Yet the Patent Office never revisited the issue. We have submitted multiple rounds of comments (1, 2, 3, and 4) to the Patent Office urging it to be more diligent in applying Alice.

So, normally, we just repost the EFF's Stupid Patent of the Month posts here on Techdirt, and we even had this one lined up... but a funny thing happened on the way to the posting. Over at Ars Technica, Joe Mullin reached out to IBM to ask them the reporter's equivalent of "WTF?" and got back this response:

Asked today about EFF's criticisms of the patent, an IBM spokesperson said that "IBM has decided to dedicate the patent to the public."

Got that? So IBM spent tons of money not just applying for this patent, but arguing back and forth with the PTO for years over why it truly deserved this silly patent... and then it got it at the beginning of this year. And less than two months after receiving the patent, when the EFF publicly shames IBM over the patent, the company then says "oh, hey, we dedicate it to the public." That makes sense.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2017 @ 5:05pm

    Perhaps Shiva Ayyadurai has something to tell IBM

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

  • icon
    TechDescartes (profile), 1 Mar 2017 @ 5:53pm

    Is it just me?

    Or does it seem like Patent Examiners have set their out-of-office replies to "Patent Granted"?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2017 @ 6:13pm

      Re: Is it just me?

      No, the fault clearly lies with the party seeking a patent. Nothing at all to do with the government agency giving out this market advantage.

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

      • icon
        TechDescartes (profile), 2 Mar 2017 @ 7:29am

        Re: Re: Is it just me?

        If you view comments in the threaded view, this just is a friendly warning that you are approaching the event horizon of a black hole. Turn back now.

        Or not. (You just have to know, don't you? That tug you are feeling is the gravitational pull from which reason and logic cannot escape. You were warned.)

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

        • icon
          Atkray (profile), 2 Mar 2017 @ 8:17pm

          Re: Re: Re: Is it just me?

          Late to the party and I disregarded your comment. Read it but chose to ignore it.


          Should have listened.

          I can not understand why your comment not the most insightful comment of the week.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2017 @ 10:42pm

          Re: Re: Re: Is it just me?

          What you are sensing is not a black hole, but the most powerful force in the known universe, American Invention, first enshrined in the US Constitution, Article One, section 8, clause 8. This is why inventors have always flocked to the USA, and why we continue, as Americans, to lead innovation in all the world. Americans are now back in control of America, and American Inventors are thrilled to see President Donald Trump in office, who understands American values and priorities. (Hey Michael Malice, you do understand that you're on the wrong side of this, right? Come on over to the American side, let go of your malice, and celebrate the fantastic future coming for America! I'll bet Charles would let you off the hook if you said you were sorry)

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

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 3 Mar 2017 @ 12:52am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Is it just me?

            I like fantasy fiction too, but I fear that your hero is going to plunge the real world into the horror genre I'm most fond of. I personally prefer things like that to stay on the cinema screen rather than the news broadcasts.

            A shame really, since it used to be the openness and dedication to scientific pursuits that attracted the best of the best to your country. Many of the great American companies were started by and staffed by immigrants.

            Now that Trump is promising to block many innovators from entering your country, cripple scientific and other funding and offend the rest of the world so much that they don't bother considering your country as a good investment opportunity your golden age is over. Isolationism is a good way to cripple your country, but at least you'll be dead and/or retired before the effects are truly felt, huh?

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2017 @ 1:30am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is it just me?

              Trust me, I know Donald, and President Donald Trump will never block innovators from enter the US, it would be Un-American, and he's not about that. And regarding the investment opportunity, I would say it's just beginning. What's over is the Globalist/Socialist party (I'm assuming that's your party) ripping off American Invention in the name of "Open Source". You know, the whole "Open Source" religion is not so different from the "Open Border" religion, same rough logic. And both are about to be finished in the US. If you guys are looking for more Globalist/Socialist propaganda work, I'm recommend the EU. You're done here.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2017 @ 2:04am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is it just me?

                And, I would just say, you're missing a really important point. The reason that the best and brightest come to the US is because they can get RICH (albeit after quite a bit of hard work). The patent laws are intended to make American Inventors RICH! That's why inventors come to the US, and that's the WHOLE POINT of the patent system. We want the best and the brightest to be Americans (come join us if you're not here), and to reward them for their choice (and their labor) we give them AWESOME LEGAL POWER to GET RICH. That's a good thing!

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

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 3 Mar 2017 @ 2:10am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is it just me?

                "Trust me, I know Donald, and President Donald Trump will never block innovators from enter the US"

                https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/01/trumps-immigration-ban-is-already-harming-ame ricas-scientistsand-its-science/514859/

                Whether that was intentional or mere incompetence, you should be glad there's checks and balances to reverse what he's doing.

                This is also long-term thinking (something people like Trump are very bad at doing). Block immigrants from Syria right now? That means you don't get Steve Jobs a few decades down the line. From Alexander Graham Bell to Sergei Brin, American invention has been driven by immigrants whether you like it or not.

                Americans have had a huge part as well, of course, but isolationism would mean that a lot of "American" inventions would have happened overseas since the people responsible would not be in your country. It's the accepting environment that has driven innovation in the US, and Trump has promised to remove that.

                "ripping off American Invention in the name of "Open Source""

                Yes, companies like Amazon, Google, Red Hat and IBM are ripping off American invention with their focus on open source. Wait, those are all American companies! Just when I think you can't get any dumber... and this is meant to be the field you work in!

                "You know, the whole "Open Source" religion is not so different from the "Open Border" religion, same rough logic"

                Not really, though it's telling that you think that these things have to be a "religion" rather than a matter of opinion and well-considered policy. I'll bet you're even basing your "open borders" concept on a fiction rather than the reality of what people actually think. You are making a lot of bad assumptions based on outright lies here in this thread, at least.

                "What's over is the Globalist/Socialist party (I'm assuming that's your party)"

                No, but partly because that's a weird thing you made up in your own head. I'd be willing to bet you don't even know the actual definitions of those words (but, as we've seen, a poor grasp of word definition doesn't stop you from hallucinating that you're right about something).

                "If you guys are looking for more Globalist/Socialist propaganda work, I'm recommend the EU."

                I'm not, but luckily that's where I am. If only I didn't have to deal with the fallout of the poor decisions your idol will be making over the next few years, I'd be all set.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2017 @ 2:21am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is it just me?

                  OK, fair enough, you have a different opinion. Here in America, we have had a war between Americans and Globalists/Socialists, which is now coming to an end (thank God, and I mean that literally). Best of luck in the EU, I imagine there are changes coming there, too (I'm thinking of France). Americans are both the best inventors in the world and eternal optimists, our belief in the American Constitution (including Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8) has sustained us for almost 250 years, and (hopefully) much longer than that. It ain't perfect, but it stands heads and shoulders above every other system in the world.

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

                  • icon
                    PaulT (profile), 3 Mar 2017 @ 2:44am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is it just me?

                    Hmmm... I notice that you just repeat jingoism and falsehoods when challenged by facts. You don't want to address the citations that immigrants have been important to the US nor the fact that you lied about open source being anti-American. You just repeat the same idiocy. Like your idol, you're thin-skinned and unable to handle facts or criticism.

                    "Here in America, we have had a war between Americans and Globalists/Socialists, which is now coming to an end (thank God, and I mean that literally)"

                    Oh no, it's just starting. Trump is dividing your country heavily, and there's a lot of people who are going to be negatively affected by his policies. They're not going to stay silent for long, especially if his poorly-conceived policies are actually going to start negatively affecting Americans sooner rather than later. Plus, you have the factions wrong. Trump is a globalist. Oh, he talks about American Exceptionalism, but his actions show otherwise. Like any good conman, he's just realised that he only has to fool people like you into believing the lies that profit him personally.

                    "Best of luck in the EU, I imagine there are changes coming there, too"

                    Indeed there are. I just hope it's because of locally produced fiascoes like Brexit that we can have some control over and not another worldwide disaster caused by the US like the last global financial crisis.

                    "Americans are both the best inventors in the world"

                    Citation needed. Place special focus on actual Americans, and not inventions by American companies that were actually driven by foreign innovation. For example, while it would be correct to refer to the origins of the internet as American, the popular utility of it was largely driven by the invention of the web / HTML, which was due to a British scientist working in Switzerland. Successful internet companies are partly dependant on that foreign invention, even if they were set up in the US.

                    But, hey, you probably haven't even considered the irony of bitching about open source on a site largely driven by it, let alone interested in factual data. You're too interested in living in a fantasy world.

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

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2017 @ 3:00am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is it just me?

                      You know, I have to tell you, you have a great command of the English language, as a foreign speaker (I'm assuming its your second or third language). It speaks to your good education, intelligence and upbringing.

                      You are right to point out innovation outside the US, there is a lot of that. My point was that the US patent system and the "unfair advantages" it provides to American Inventors is one of the biggest reasons that the best innovators in the world come to America. "The patent system added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius", to quote a great American.

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

                      • icon
                        PaulT (profile), 3 Mar 2017 @ 3:32am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is it just me?

                        "(I'm assuming its your second or third language)"

                        Like all of your assumptions, you're not only incorrect but the polar opposite of the truth. But, even then, I'm not the one who's demonstrably getting the basic definitions of words wrong. So, at the very least you should be careful what you're throwing from that glass house.

                        Still no citations or discussions of the facts I've presented, however. Just mindless jingoism, baseless assertions and a refusal to address reality.

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

                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2017 @ 4:06am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is it just me?

                          Wow, I' m not really understanding the "glass house" reference. I'm an American, in an American country, spouting American ideology. With all due respect, I don't think I have to be careful, I think I have to be proud.

                          "America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand", to quote another famous American (I will understand if you don't know him).

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

                          • icon
                            PaulT (profile), 3 Mar 2017 @ 4:29am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is it just me?

                            "Wow, I' m not really understanding the "glass house" reference. I'm an American, in an American country, spouting American ideology"

                            So, you're not only ignorant of common English language proverbs, you're proud of the fact so long as they didn't originate on the patch of dirt you happened to be spawned upon? No wonder you're dumb enough to think Trump is doing good things, you must actively avoid real knowledge like the plague.

                            By the way, Benjamin Franklin is noted as paraphrasing the proverb, among many other Americans. What a shame you aren't as intellectually curious as he was.

                            https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/663973-don-t-throw-stones-at-your-neighbors-if-your-own-windows

                            "With all due respect, I don't think I have to be careful, I think I have to be proud."

                            You do appear to be proudly ignorant and xenophobic, that's true.

                            "America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand"

                            They why are you supporting actions that are driven by fear and have proven negative effects on American science and industry?

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

                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2017 @ 6:36am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is it just me?

                              Wow, I just have to say again, you are both a scholar and a gentleman. Your tone is just a little hard for me to understand sometimes, but I assume it is a cultural difference between you and I. About your question: "why are you supporting actions that are driven by fear", I would just say that perhaps America would be wise to do just as President Trump recently proposed, and shape our immigration system based on merit. Then, well spoken, strongly opinionated and very interesting people like you would have no trouble getting in, but perhaps the non-English speaking, radical Islamic terrorist could wait their turn. :)

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

                              • icon
                                PaulT (profile), 3 Mar 2017 @ 7:16am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is it just me?

                                "perhaps America would be wise to do just as President Trump recently proposed, and shape our immigration system based on merit"

                                Which differences need to be made, how are they to be implemented and how do you deal with the inevitable unintended consequences and destruction of the lives of people living in edge case scenarios?

                                That's the problem with Trump-like jingoism. It all sounds good until you look at the details. Then, you get half-assed plans that have to be overturned by the courts and create more problems than they solve.

                                "perhaps the non-English speaking, radical Islamic terrorist could wait their turn"

                                You're far, far more likely to be killed by an American than you are by one of those, yet your fear of them leads you to support poorly implemented xenophobic policies that are already deterring or even deporting talent from overseas. While doing nothing to stop the actual problems. Trumps xenophobic policies will do nothing to stop terrorist actions like the Charleston massacre (white English-speaking racist American) or the Pulse nightclub shooting (another American citizen). But, they do a good job of making sure that British tourists and NASA scientists are treated poorly or aren't able to get into the country, to give 2 examples off the top of my head (look up Juhel Miah and Sidd Bikkannavar). Then that's just the people we know about - who knows which future innovators have already been deterred from even attempting to set up shop in the US by immigration and spying fiascoes?

                                Again, the devil's in the details. Ignore for a moment that such travel bans aren't proven to make you safer, and are in fact a reaction to total fear on your part, how do you ensure that such things make your country better and not worse?

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                                • identicon
                                  Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2017 @ 7:21am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is it just me?

                                  Well, I could ask my friend Mad Dog. Then again, he's all bite and no bark, he probably doesn't have much to share with foreigners (sorry).

                                  Seriously, though, thank you again for your many thoughtful questions and answers. You and I have probably been monopolizing this thread long enough.

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

                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2017 @ 6:57am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is it just me?

                              And sorry, I just wanted to reply to one more thing you said. Being an American is not being proud of the "patch of dirt that you happened to be spawned on". Being American is being proud of the idea of America, and it's Constitution, it's history, and hope for it's future. I have heard just exactly what you said in my travels to Europe and to Russia, in both places, nationalism is tied to the "dirt" of the country. In most places, governments come and go, no one really feels it. In America, it's different. Politicians come and go, the American government has remained. In American, nationalism is tied to the Idea of America, which has been on display for (almost) 250 years. Certainly not perfect, but still the best in the world.

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

                              • icon
                                PaulT (profile), 3 Mar 2017 @ 7:28am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is it just me?

                                "Being American is being proud of the idea of America, and it's Constitution, it's history, and hope for it's future"

                                America has some great ideals, but none of them are unique to America. There's some things that push them more to the forefront compared to other countries, but then it is a much younger country than many of them so your founders could learn from the mistakes of those who came before. But, you have to be extremely disingenuous to claim that much of it wasn't built by immigrants or that restricting access to foreigners now will magically make it better.

                                "still the best in the world."

                                I'm yet to find a jingoistic flag-waver who can actually quantify that without resorting to falsehoods and stereotypes. Certainly none who can explain how they reached that opinion with evidence and research. Yet, almost every country has people who claim their country is the best - and almost invariably it just so happens to be the country they were born in. That's interesting to me - like the religious people who claim that the only true faith is the one they happen to have been raised in. Either they're very lucky or there's something missing from their thought processes.

                                I've never had such blind faith in my nation, although having lived in several countries (including the US) I've encountered many people who believe theirs is the greatest. They never seem to be able to explain why, though, and they certainly seem incapable of addressing their own country's failings.

                                In fact, they usually just blame the problems of their country on foreigners and then continue to elect the people who are actually causing their problems.

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                                • identicon
                                  Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2017 @ 7:48am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is it just me?

                                  OK, you win, I'll try to manage one more reply to your interesting points and questions. America is the best place to make money in the world, if you work hard and follow the rule of law there is no limit to your potential. Yes, that's a little jingly, but also true. That's why so many people want to come here. One of the ways we reached this achievement is to attract the best creative talent in the world with the best protection for what they create - intellectual property (including copyrights, patents, etc.). And to another one of your points, I must admit that I am a bit of a zealot, and my belief in America borders on religious fervor. When I see people like Michael Malice step on the rights of American Inventors by trashing the patent system, it infuriates me. I try to temper it, but there it is. I would prefer he moved his attention to a culture that cares about his globalist/socialist opinions, like maybe yours. :)

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                                  • icon
                                    PaulT (profile), 3 Mar 2017 @ 8:22am

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is it just me?

                                    "America is the best place to make money in the world"

                                    Well, yes and no (some Americans love to state this, but its truth varies wildly depending on location and industry, and the actual opportunity afforded to Americans varies wildly). But then, money also isn't everything. Some cultures are happy to work less and earn less, but therefore have more time to spend with family.

                                    In that regard, whether or not America is "the greatest" depends completely on what you personally value. Thus, your assessment only works for people who value money above all else. That doesn't include a lot of Americans, let alone people on the outside looking in.

                                    "And to another one of your points, I must admit that I am a bit of a zealot, and my belief in America borders on religious fervor."

                                    That may be the problem. Religious zealots do have a habit of ignoring facts and reality when they get in the way of their preferred fiction. They are also incapable of looking at things from other points of view or handling dissent - their view is truth, and the truth cannot be questioned.

                                    "When I see people like Michael Malice step on the rights of American Inventors by trashing the patent system, it infuriates me."

                                    Except, of course, he does no such thing. He does criticise the system, but he does so because it's truly broken in some ways. Those ways benefit the rich at the expense of others, though, so it's no surprise that money worshippers would defend it even as it's blocking innovation and invention from American companies. You think he's trying to attack America, but he's actually suggesting how to make it "great again", to quote the ferret wearer.

                                    Again, you're addressing a fiction. A nice, neat little fiction, but at this point you're literally attacking an American for stating what would help Americans because he dared question America. No country is perfect, including yours.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2017 @ 6:00pm

    What at you trying to say, MIke?

    I'm having trouble understanding the point of your story, Mike. You actually have no idea and no documentation regarding why IBM decided to do what they did. It would seem that they have left you without an issue to complain about. I am impressed that you seemed to use a legitimate source this time, but who actually cares about anything in this story? Shame on you for wasting my time.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2017 @ 6:45pm

      Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

      I'm having trouble understanding the point of your comment.

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

      • icon
        Ehud Gavron (profile), 1 Mar 2017 @ 7:12pm

        Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

        What at are you having trouble understanding?

        The guy's time is WORTH A LOT OF MONEY and Mike Masnick FORCED HIM to come over here, read this stuff, waste his time. Sad!

        E

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

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2017 @ 7:44pm

          Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

          Why, thank you, your words are very kind (except for sad).

          Hey, Mike, how about one of our famous legal opinions? Do you think your use of the word "shamed" in the title of this article would constitute "actual malice"? You admit (from your silence) that you have no documentation for why IBM did what it did. So, by using the word "shamed", is this just an unjustified cheap shot without any reasonable foundation, other than malice?

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2017 @ 9:48pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

            lol.

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

            • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2017 @ 11:40pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

              Actually, I'm not surprised to hear crickets from Mike Malice (oops, Masnick). Propaganda never stands up to scrutiny, and Mike Malice has a lot of that now.

              By the way, did you guys hear President Trump talk about the future of American Inventors in his last speech? He loves us!

              I predict TechDirt will be gone by 2018, without a trace, washed down the same drain that eventually takes all frauds and liars.

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

              • icon
                Mike Masnick (profile), 1 Mar 2017 @ 11:49pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                Actually, I'm not surprised to hear crickets from Mike Malice (oops, Masnick).

                Ah, it's you. The crickets guy. Shoulda known.

                Sorry, I actually have a life and don't read my own damn site as obsessively as you do. Best of luck to you.

                I predict TechDirt will be gone by 2018, without a trace, washed down the same drain that eventually takes all frauds and liars.

                As the zen master said, "we'll see."

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2017 @ 12:24am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                  Thanks, Mike Malice, and good luck to you, too. I'm really interested to see if you can write anything worth reading while you're under the microscope.

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                  • icon
                    PaulT (profile), 2 Mar 2017 @ 1:27am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                    Substance: the original article

                    Lacking substance: the childish idiot who whines about the article wasting his time then spends hours arguing while trying to come up with a nickname for the object of his obsession that a kindergartener would reject as too childish.

                    I wonder what it is about this site that makes obsessed children spam the comment section rather than participate in adult discussion.

                    "I'm really interested to see if you can write anything worth reading"

                    Please, you first.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2017 @ 1:54am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                      Hey, I'm not a propaganda writer, I'm a computer scientist. I write C, C++, Verilog, ASM and such. I'm guessing you wouldn't even know how to read write I write. I could direct you to some of my patents, they may be illuminating (I think they are). About the name, I must admit, it is not my invention. Mike Malice was inspired by President Donald Trump, who LOVES American Inventors (and despises fake news).

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                      • icon
                        PaulT (profile), 2 Mar 2017 @ 2:07am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                        "Hey, I'm not a propaganda writer"

                        I never said you were, I said you were a childish fool with no real argument or maturity.

                        "I'm guessing you wouldn't even know how to read write I write."

                        So, English isn't one of the languages you mastered? Either way, your faulty assumptions don't change your current behaviour.

                        "I could direct you to some of my patents, they may be illuminating (I think they are)"

                        Indeed, I would be fascinated to see how much your professional conduct differs from the stupidity you're displaying here. But, none of your previous professional conduct changes what you're doing now.

                        "Mike Malice was inspired by President Donald Trump, who LOVES American Inventors (and despises fake news)."

                        Ah, there's your problem. You're not intelligent enough to realise how much Trump has lied to you, but you're happy to adopt the less savoury aspects of his public demeanour.

                        I also despise fake news, I just use the actual original definition of the term, which does not equate to "things I don't like".

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                          identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2017 @ 2:17am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                          Come on, you have to admit, "crooked Hillary", "lying Ted" and "little Marco" were brilliant. They reflected the essence of their subjects in as few words as possible. I think "Mike Malice" (while nowhere near as brilliant as President Donald Trump's names) does capture a lot of who Mike is. Would you agree with that?

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                          • icon
                            PaulT (profile), 2 Mar 2017 @ 2:33am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                            No, I certainly wouldn't.

                            It's sad that you're so immature that you'd rather try and come up with silly names than address any substance or recognise how ridiculous you look, but given your behaviour here it's no surprise who your role model is.

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                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2017 @ 3:38am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                              OK, my friend, I see I have offended you, and I'm sorry for that. I would just like to suggest that you should consider that there is another side to every issue that Michael Malice (I think this rolls off the tongue better) speaks to, and when one speaks with Malice, it often weakens the case. We're ready to accept you on our side, Michael Malice (the American side), you're a good writer, and you could make money with us. Your socialist/globalist funds are going to dry up anyway, so why not come join us? We need propaganda, too. :)

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                              • icon
                                PaulT (profile), 2 Mar 2017 @ 3:51am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                                "OK, my friend, I see I have offended you"

                                No, people acting like children don't offend me, I just shake my head at the fact that some have come to think this is acceptable adult interaction. Even if you had a reasonable intelligent point behind it all, the immature presentation would be laughable, but it seems you don't even have that.

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                                • identicon
                                  Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2017 @ 4:06am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                                  OK, well, I would just say I am sorry again, and to keep my invitation to Michael Malice open. We need creative writers as we build the America of the future. You could be a great contributor, and be on the winning side of America vs. the Socialists/Globalists.

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                                  • icon
                                    PaulT (profile), 2 Mar 2017 @ 4:18am

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                                    Yes, I've got it - your political views are as simplistic and ill-informed as your level of discourse. No need to keep proving yourself to be a child.

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                                    • identicon
                                      Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2017 @ 4:31am

                                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                                      You do me too much honor, thank you again. Every meaningful issue can become enlightening with discourse, and your willingness to have discourse in public speaks volumes to your good character. So, what do you think? I think Michael Malice speaks (on nearly every single occasion) with malice, would you agree with that? Do you have opinions about the US Patent System that runs deeper than "abolish it altogether" (with malice)? You are a clearly a person that is generous with their time and you seem to be speaking to an issue that you care about, I assume related to patents. Please, I would like to understand your point of view (and Mike's). What do you think is actually wrong with the American patent system, and how would you fix it?

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                                      • icon
                                        PaulT (profile), 2 Mar 2017 @ 6:11am

                                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                                        "I think Michael Malice speaks (on nearly every single occasion) with malice, would you agree with that?"

                                        No.

                                        "Do you have opinions about the US Patent System that runs deeper than "abolish it altogether" (with malice)? "

                                        Yes.

                                        "Please, I would like to understand your point of view (and Mike's)."

                                        Sadly, you don't want that at all. You've not previously asked my point of view (although you have used our interaction to keep repeating the kindergarten-level nickname you think is so hilarious, as opposed to entering into discussion about the subject at hand). You've not stated what you think is wrong or malicious about the stated position of Mike (well documented here over many, many articles) nor what you find incorrect in the article. In fact, you've not even addressed the subject because you're too gleeful over your ability to make a joke that nobody else finds amusing.

                                        Sadly, it's too late to be trying to pretend that you're interested in an adult conversation about the subject at hand. I only hope your grasp at coding is a lot better than your grasp of intelligent debate.

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                                        • identicon
                                          Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2017 @ 6:49am

                                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                                          OK, you are right, I share a character flaw with (my hero) President Donald Trump, I like to invent names for people. But come on, Michael Malice really fits! Let's see how many articles Michael Malice can write without any malice. I looked at his history, there are NONE! Everyone is stupid, dumb, idiotic, pathetic, etc. and so on.

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                                          • icon
                                            PaulT (profile), 2 Mar 2017 @ 7:00am

                                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                                            "But come on, Michael Malice really fits!"

                                            Not really. But, the way that you're banging on about your ability to invent a stupid name would be obnoxious even if it had been funny or insightful the first time. The fact that it's not only untrue but expressed with a a pre-school level of maturity really undermines your attempt to suddenly be interested in a real conversation.

                                            "I looked at his history"

                                            Yet, it's always the people who refuse to offer the same opportunity to others who act as stupidly as you are. The people with long public posting histories tend to be much more sensible. Strange, isn't it?

                                            Anyway, the article prior to this one written by Mike is at the following link. Please explain what's malicious about this:

                                            https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170301/11320736819/soundcloud-tells-guy-it-needs-to-kill-hi s-account-8-years-because-someone-else-trademarked-his-name.shtml

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                                            • identicon
                                              Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2017 @ 7:09am

                                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                                              I would submit that the phrase "ridiculous laws" below (copied from the article you cited) is Malice. "ridiculous" is not a useful criticism with regards to the law. I think Michael Malice should use his literary talent to find some new words other than "ridiculous".

                                              "The problem here isn't so much SoundCloud, which is in a tough spot due to ridiculous laws, but with the nature of trademark law itself and how it's been expanded and twisted over the years."

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                                              • icon
                                                PaulT (profile), 2 Mar 2017 @ 7:23am

                                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                                                "I would submit that the phrase "ridiculous laws" below (copied from the article you cited) is Malice. "

                                                I would submit that you're laughably wrong. But, if you want to continue the argument, please explain how stating his opinion that these laws are ridiculous (an opinion shared by many, and backed by plenty of evidence) fit the definition of the word malice:

                                                noun
                                                1.
                                                desire to inflict injury, harm, or suffering on another, either because of a hostile impulse or out of deep-seated meanness:
                                                the malice and spite of a lifelong enemy.
                                                2.
                                                Law. evil intent on the part of a person who commits a wrongful act injurious to others.

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                                                • identicon
                                                  Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2017 @ 7:34am

                                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                                                  Well, I'm not an attorney, or a linguist, so my opinion is not very educated. I think Michael Malice has a hostile impulse towards intellectual property rights. He seems to promote the idea that if everyone just shared everything, that would be fine, and anyone who does not want to share something (like patent rights) is evil and misguided. All of his writing seems to reflect this, and my read of it is malice. Maybe I'm wrong, but after all the years of his writing on the same topic, hasn't he come up with a solution yet? If not, why not? What if I got him lunch with Melania, maybe that would bring him around?

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                                                  • icon
                                                    PaulT (profile), 2 Mar 2017 @ 8:05am

                                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                                                    "Well, I'm not an attorney, or a linguist, so my opinion is not very educated"

                                                    You've got that right. Which just raises the question of why you think the word is so appropriate that you have to keep repeating it as a "hilarious" attack on the author of this article. You're the one who claims that it's accurate. Are you now saying that you don't know what it actually means, or just fishing for excuses now that you know you're wrong?

                                                    "Maybe I'm wrong, but after all the years of his writing on the same topic, hasn't he come up with a solution yet"

                                                    Is that his job? I can criticise the poor state of my local roads and the damage they're causing to cars without being responsible for the plan to repair them.

                                                    "He seems to promote the idea that if everyone just shared everything, that would be fine"

                                                    The accuracy of that statement is about on par with your appraisal of Trump's playground attacks being funny or smart.

                                                    "What if I got him lunch with Melania, maybe that would bring him around?"

                                                    If only people like you were as obsessed with facts, truth and pragmatic solutions as they are with celebrity worship.

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                                      • identicon
                                        Wendy Cockcroft, 2 Mar 2017 @ 6:12am

                                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                                        I'll bite. First of all, Mike has answered that question many times.

                                        Secondly, I'll paraphrase the answer: get more funding into the department so they can hire more staff to scrutinise the patent applications that come in. It's a flippin' firehose at the moment so applicants blitz the office over and over again in the hope that some frazzled minimum-wage earner will finally stamp their application for "a sliding lock — on the internet", etc.

                                        With proper scrutiny by people who know what they're doing, the USTPO could reject frivolous applications and only let reasonable ones (where actual inventiveness is displayed) get through.

                                        As it is, they've been accepting tons of patents that can easily be rejected because of prior art, etc., but let them through. Result: there's an entire industry based on litigating over patent infringement even when they haven't got a leg to stand on because the people being extorted can't afford to defend themselves, so they settle.

                                        Do a search in the search box at the top for "Newegg." Have fun!

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                                        • identicon
                                          Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2017 @ 6:24am

                                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                                          Thank you, that's a thoughtful answer. I'm not sure it's based on actual experience, or (perhaps) urban legend and propaganda. The patent examiners that I am familiar with literally know more about the technology than I do, since they see all the materials from all the companies. I don't know about their wages, but I can certainly certify their intelligence. Of course, I know only a few, but there is no reason to think they are the exceptions and not the rule.

                                          The legal system in general is a difficult thing to understand, even after you've been through the grinder a few times. I think the most important tasks for us as Americans is to suggest how to fix what is broken, with specifics. About the cost, you're right, that's a factor, and it's also a good reason to "steer clear" of unwarranted conflicts.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2017 @ 5:49am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                        Sigh. Writing programs does not make you a "computer scientist."

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2017 @ 5:56am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                          One does not write "programs" with Verilog. If you don't know what Verilog is used for, I'm guessing you're not in a strong position to judge who is and who is not a computer scientist. (Don't mean to be offensive, just saying)

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                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2017 @ 9:52am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                            Yes, I know what Verilog is. I've been a software eng. for 30 yrs. I seriously doubt any researcher doing actual "computer science" is using Verilog.

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                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2017 @ 9:54am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                            Also: I love how you pull the one special-purpose language out of your list to try and move the goal post.

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                            • icon
                              PaulT (profile), 3 Mar 2017 @ 12:53am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                              I personally like the fact that his response to me telling him he was being a childish asshole was to try and post his resume. Somehow, that made sense is his mind.

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                      • icon
                        Ehud Gavron (profile), 2 Mar 2017 @ 6:40am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                        No. You're not a computer scientist.

                        Anyone who has to profess his resumé in an attempt to gain credibility while hiding behind a moniker AND using childish name-game insults isn't a computer scientist.

                        > I'm guessing you wouldn't even knwo how to read write I write

                        I'm guessing you should start with basic grammar and work your way up, "write I write Kid".

                        E

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                    • icon
                      Wolfie0827 (profile), 3 Mar 2017 @ 6:20pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                      PaulT, you are on a roll today and seem to be really attracting the nutcases. I salute you and wish I could devote more time (and the patience required) to respond to htese types as you do.

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                      • icon
                        PaulT (profile), 6 Mar 2017 @ 3:07am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                        Well, thanks, although it's really just my having a little too much spare time during a change freeze at work and having a little fun in the process.

                        I'm not entirely sure it's fair to categorise some of these people as "nutcases", though I do try to prod to see if I'm dealing with honestly held beliefs and not someone similarly bored playing a character. As always, I hope that I didn't accidentally distract from people with real counter-arguments having their opinions noted.

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                  • icon
                    Purity Denson (profile), 2 Mar 2017 @ 7:18am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                    Give it a rest, you're embarrassing yourself.

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              • identicon
                Who cares, 2 Mar 2017 @ 3:27am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

                Hey, Skankhunt42, we missed you!

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2017 @ 9:50pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

            Whatever!

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 1 Mar 2017 @ 11:46pm

      Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

      You actually have no idea and no documentation regarding why IBM decided to do what they did. It would seem that they have left you without an issue to complain about.

      Yeah, sure. It's likely that IBM spent all that time and money to get this patent, only to dedicate it to the public domain the day after EFF called them out on it. I'm sure there are other likely explanations that I'm somehow missing beyond the most obvious explanation.

      Shame on you for wasting my time.

      Feel free to invoice me, and I'll treat it with the respect such a claim deserves.

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2017 @ 12:41am

        Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

        I'm just saying, Mike Malice, that when people click on this article and then read it, they will feel the same (it has no substance). You have absolutely no evidence that IBM is embarrassed of anything, and saying it doesn't make it real. It just exposes your maliciousness.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 2 Mar 2017 @ 1:24am

          Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

          "that when people click on this article and then read it, they will feel the same (it has no substance)"

          No, they will feel the same thing - which is that article raises some good points (albeit not original ones on this subject - a sad reflection on the state of the industry). They will also note that there's some obsessed moron who keeps diving into these articles to whine about them not being relevant to his personal interests or are inaccurate in some way (which he never specifies nor backs up in any way).

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        • identicon
          Cowardly Lion, 2 Mar 2017 @ 3:32am

          Response to "The Crickets Guy" @12:41

          I have to disagree with you 100%.

          This piece has plenty of substance. Not only that, it's positively bursting with "Tech", so don't even start down that road... And what the hell are you talking about about evidence of embarrassment? WTF does that even look like? You're hilarious.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2017 @ 8:27am

          Re: Re: Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

          Well if he's to be what you call him. I think I'll call you johnny unemployed don't care so much he posts all day.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 2 Mar 2017 @ 1:21am

      Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

      "who actually cares about anything in this story?"

      You do, apparently. If you literally didn't care about anything in the story, you would have read the headline and moved on to a different story/site. That you not only continued to read the article, but immediately dived into the comment section to issue an opinion on the subject means that you really do care.

      "You actually have no idea and no documentation regarding why IBM decided to do what they did."

      You have no documentation proving that Mike doesn't have that documentation, and even if you're right why should he not state his opinion on his own opinion blog?

      "It would seem that they have left you without an issue to complain about."

      No, there's at least 2 issues here, which are directly explained in the article.

      "Shame on you for wasting my time."

      You wasted more time whining like a little girl than it took you to realise the story wasn't for you. Any time expended after that realisation is all on you.

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    • identicon
      Cowardly Lion, 2 Mar 2017 @ 3:39am

      Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

      Not quite coffee-spewing mayhem, but you did make me laugh. I voting you "Funny".

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2017 @ 5:22am

      Re: What at you trying to say, MIke?

      Shame on you for wasting my time.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2017 @ 6:03pm

    >IBM basically tries to patent everything, no matter how stupid.

    Given that the laws incentivize patent trolling, can we really blame them? Patent now or lawsuit later.

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  • icon
    Ehud Gavron (profile), 1 Mar 2017 @ 6:19pm

    Quick response

    IBM would have responded quicker to the EFF, but the person who's responsible was about to go on vacation and an auto-responder intercepted the message.

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  • identicon
    Capt ICE Enforcer, 1 Mar 2017 @ 6:40pm

    Amazing

    IBM fought really hard for us little guys by donating such vital technology to us. Of course we have President Trump and the FCC to thank for this. (Sarcasm 101)

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2017 @ 7:00pm

    It does make sense

    And less than two months after receiving the patent, when the EFF publicly shames IBM over the patent, the company then says "oh, hey, we dedicate it to the public." That makes sense.

    It actually does. This patent is clearly dead—now that people are aware of it, they've dug up tons of prior art and written legal arguments showing why this patent is invalid. Realistically, IBM will never be able to assert it. So they can either pretend like it's valid, and continue getting bad PR, or they can try to look altruistic.

    And now when they're lawyering up against a company, they'll have 99999 patents to threaten with instead of 100000. They'll eventually find something the defendant infringes, assuming the defendant can avoid bankruptcy for a few years while drowning in legal papers. If IBM is fighting for patents like this, it's clear they have some financial value. As long as we're not looking too closely.

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    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 1 Mar 2017 @ 8:21pm

      Re: It does make sense

      I wonder how much they'll declare the patent to be worth when they write the it off on their taxes.

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    • identicon
      David, 2 Mar 2017 @ 12:26am

      Re: It does make sense

      Realistically, IBM will never be able to assert it. So they can either pretend like it's valid, and continue getting bad PR, or they can try to look altruistic.

      Actually, they do both. Dedicating the patent to the public requires pretending it is valid in order to look altruistic.

      The funny thing is that even a nonsensical patent like this is actually worth something to the public since it protects against patent trolls filing for the same functionality more reliably than prior art.

      So they actually are being altruistic. The system is as sick as that. Arguably there are more cost-effective ways to be altruistic, but you don't save money if your legions of lawyers get fixed wages and find nothing more useful to do.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2017 @ 5:05am

        Re: Re: It does make sense

        The funny thing is that even a nonsensical patent like this is actually worth something to the public since it protects against patent trolls filing for the same functionality more reliably than prior art.

        Do patent trolls file for patents? I thought they just bought them. And do you have a reference for a patent being better than prior art? In theory, any prior art whether patented or not is supposed to make a patent invalid. I expect another patent on the same feature would have some technicality that makes it "different" from this one (like the minor tweaks IBM made to its).

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      • icon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 2 Mar 2017 @ 6:39am

        Re: Re: It does make sense

        That assumes the patent office won't issue another patent on the same subject. They are that dense.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2017 @ 5:26am

      Re: It does make sense

      "This patent is clearly dead—now that people are aware of it, they've dug up tons of prior art and written legal arguments showing why this patent is invalid. "


      Sad this was not done by our benevolent overlords to begin with. The people have to clean up the mess again.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2017 @ 5:11am

    "But the examiner considered only patents and patent applications."

    Just think how much less effort would have been wasted if the examiner just searched for prior art online.
    Maybe someone needs to file a "Method of teaching incompetent patent examiners how to use the internet... on a computer" patent before they'll consider that option.

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

  • identicon
    Capt ICE Enforcer, 2 Mar 2017 @ 5:42am

    Comments

    Hmm, WTF just happened?

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

    • icon
      JoeCool (profile), 2 Mar 2017 @ 8:27am

      Re: Comments

      Some AC with nothing better to do and a bone to pick with Mike decided to post 30-some comments on the same thing.

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 2 Mar 2017 @ 8:39am

        Re: Re: Comments

        To be fair I've been goading him on, but it's been a quiet day at the office and there's not exactly been a robust defence of the patent system offered to chew on. When adult stimulus isn't in the room, you might as well play games with the children.

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

      • icon
        Purity Denson (profile), 2 Mar 2017 @ 8:45am

        Re: Re: Comments

        Hopefully he's now been sedated or upped the dose of his meds.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2017 @ 4:38pm

          Re: Re: Re: Comments

          I gotta say, you guys are great, and have been very patient with my clumsy discourse. I just have one more question to put to my esteemed adversaries:

          If I understand the "anti-patent" side of the debate, you argue that some unscrupulous individuals and companies use patents unfairly, and "game" the system. I grant you that, but I would also point out that Judges and Juries are (usually)not idiots, and do not suffer idiots well. I don't say it never happens, but I believe it is the exception and not the rule.

          The real "rule" is that there are many more companies that would like to wantonly infringe on valid patents, and use technology developed by others without a fee. The largest of these players is the "open source" community that pays Michael Malice to write his nasty articles.

          So, who are you really supporting, the "downtrodden" and abused by the patent troll community, or the (ginormous) willful infringement community? Perhaps you are all shills for Red Hat, knowingly or not.

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

          • icon
            Wolfie0827 (profile), 3 Mar 2017 @ 6:27pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Comments

            Anyone want to bet that this AC is using Open Source software to post his comments?!? ... Anyone?

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

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 6 Mar 2017 @ 3:14am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Comments

              Whether or not he's personally using open source software to post his comment (and I'd be willing to bet he is, probably without realising it), the fact is that this website it totally dependant on such code. As are a great many American corporations, including the one he started trying to defend in this thread. Even if he were correct about FOSS routinely infringing patents at a higher rate than other software, the fact is ultimately that it's patents that are getting in the way of innovation, not the nasty innovators getting in the way of patents (and the riches he imagines they generate).

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

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 6 Mar 2017 @ 3:08am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Comments

            "The largest of these players is the "open source" community that pays Michael Malice to write his nasty articles."

            I'd love it if you were honest enough to provide citations for these claims. I'm sure they'll be provided any minute. Right?

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


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