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Defend Innovation - Sign EFF's Software Patent Petiton

This is a discussion on Defend Innovation - Sign EFF's Software Patent Petiton within the Technology forum, part of the General Chit-Chat; https://defendinnovation.org/ The patent system is in crisis, and it endangers the future of software development in the United States. Let's ...

  1. #1
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    Defend Innovation - Sign EFF's Software Patent Petiton

    https://defendinnovation.org/


    The patent system is in crisis, and it endangers the future of software development in the United States. Let's create a system that defends innovation, instead of hindering it.

    1. A patent covering software should be shorter: no more than five years from the application date.

    2. If the patent is invalid or there's no infringement, the trolls should have to pay the legal fees.

    3. Patent applicants should be required to provide an example of running software code for each claim in the patent.

    4. Infringers should avoid liability if they independently arrive at the patented invention.

    5. Patents and licenses should be public right away. Patent owners should be required to keep their public records up-to-date.

    6. The law should limit damages so that a patent owner can't collect millions if the patent represented only a tiny fraction of a defendant's product.

    7. Congress should commission a study and hold hearings to examine whether software patents actually benefit our economy at all.

    do it.



  2. #2
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    Agreed. It's getting fucking ridiculous to the point that innovation is being stifled under a mountain of red tape.

    Loosen up the legislation and let competition and market forces determine the better product. There should be protection, but nowhere near to the point where, for example, a wi-fi protocol and video codec can threaten the 360's place in the video gaming market. That nit-picking, penny-pinching bullshit is crippling growth and destroying technological innovation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ps360 View Post
    Other than #2 which I don't understand, it looks cool, but I don't know the current patent laws to properly comment on them.

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    6. The law should limit damages so that a patent owner can't collect millions if the patent represented only a tiny fraction of a defendant's product.
    Freaking agreed. Some of this patent laws are insane and do much more harm than good.

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  5. #5
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    Two primary issues:

    4. Infringers should avoid liability if they independently arrive at the patented invention.
    Not a valid item. It will do one of two things, either make the law unenforceable or never come into play. There is no way to actually prove you can independently arrive at the same conclusion as someone else if the patent satisfied non-trivial criteria in the first place.

    Once again, please do your research. To be granted a patent the person apply needs to prove that the invention is

    7. Congress should commission a study and hold hearings to examine whether software patents actually benefit our economy at all.
    No study necessary, there have been countless analysis by both the economic and legal community (independent of the stupid US Congress) over the last 3 decades over the veracity of the concept of patents in a knowledge-based economy, which we have shifted to since the invention of telecommunications.

    There are two common threads among these studies:
    - Patents don't lead to monopolies, business practices do. This is why the intelligent members of the legal community aren't openly attacking the concept of a patent system, but rather the anti-Trust laws in various countries and pushing the enforcement of said laws and suggesting specific reforms.

    Apple, as an example, is everyone who hates the patent system's favorite horse to beat, but is the problem their patents or the fact that they are allowed to build a system whereby they can exclude and/or punish competition? Is it the breadth of their patents or the fact that they are allowed to sue over things that aren't protected IP (patents, copyright, trade secrets, etc)?

    See, I've argued (since you started ignorantly bringing this up), the problem isn't the patent system... Its how the patent system is enforced and how the legal community basically lets the judges filter out what is and is not a valid IP suit (thereby using precedent to dictate everything rather than law).

    - Patents have a large economic effect because of the benefit to knowledge-engineering and quality management processes in companies who operate in arenas with protected ideas.

    There are countless examples of this: China with everything, any poorer country attempting to establish a technology industry (Middle East, South Africa, etc), or any country thats not the US with pharmaceutical patents.

    Fundamentally, the issue in our current economic state is the amount of effort it takes to pioneer truly inventive breakthroughs. Anybody who has spent time in academic research or private R&D will tell you that your success rate (at best) is between 30-50% on a project, and only ~50% of those are anything you'd label as truly pioneering and maybe 10% of that is anything that you'd consider patentable.

    Meaning, for every 100 USD a research company spends, ~2 USD will result in something that allows said company to establish a defend-able market.

    Now, if you remove the economic incentive to create these markets, you actually end up encouraging a division of wealth in the economic community as the only companies capable of making inventions are companies that have the funds coming in (this is why its incredibly difficult to establish a non-public research company outside of Hong Kong in China) because you can't defend your inventions, so you end up in situations where the richest company is the only one who can move anything because they just dismantle products, take, and resell without any type of exchange.

    And this leads to a final point I have, by in large the problem with patents is the courts, not the patents themselves. In practice what the patent ends up doing is encouraging alliances and information sharing because you know, as a patent holder, you're protected. I know for a fact, because I've operated in all three of these in a research capacity, that the Automotive, CE, and Defense community is littered with cooperative technology exchange agreements. Company D will allow usage of Patent A, B, and C and Company Z will allow usage of Patent W, X, and Y.

    Patents are effectively bargaining chips, and they allow and potentially even the playing field between large and small business. I am telling you right now I know of an agreement that is still in place between two companies to share patents when one company is 12 people and the other is 300k.

    Not to mention Patents spin off businesses all the time.

    I am going to say this again. Patents do not harm the economy, empirical evidence and logic shows the polar opposite.

    We need to reform the patent system, but only minor changes are needed (quicker turn around, more technical expertise in the USPTO, more consistency in interpretation of the primary criteria, etc)... What really needs to happen is these governments need to start coming out with the Anti-Trust sticks and start enforcing those laws.
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