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Old 10-01-2012, 10:10 PM
 
15,924 posts, read 17,680,111 times
Reputation: 7646

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I swear lawyers and greedy people have almost completely destroyed American innovation...

Quote:
In short, the Web belongs to everyone. But now and then an individual, a nation, or a company decides that this should not be the case. Today that company is PersonalWeb, a shell company from the Eastern District of Texas, which has set out on a course of patent litigation against some of the largest Internet companies in an attempt to claim the Web as their own. In December of 2011 they filed a series of suits against Amazon, Caringo, EMC, Google, Hewlett-Packard, and NetApp regarding a bevy of software patents they partially hold. They have followed this action up recently with even more lawsuits, this time against the likes of Apple, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft, and Yahoo. They even accidentally sued Rackspace, a company that merely hosts Github, the company they were actually trying to assault.

If PersonalWeb succeeds in getting a judgment or a settlement out of these large companies, it will only increase the "market value" on these sorts of ridiculous patents. It will make it easier and more profitable to extract larger and larger payments from anyone who tries to run a Web site while having money in their bank account. It will encourage opportunistic individuals to file or buy more broad software patents in a land rush to try and lock down and seek rent on the Web.
Save the Web from software patents — Free Software Foundation — working together for free software
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:50 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,656 posts, read 55,623,172 times
Reputation: 32705
Stuff like this is why I go into periodic rants on how the intellectual property laws are stifling technology. (It was also why I didn't use any "includes" when writing my own software.)
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:58 PM
 
28,674 posts, read 40,685,611 times
Reputation: 37391
Why not? If Apple can win a lawsuit claiming round corners on a cell phone are patentable then anything anyone cares to sue for seems logical.

The problem isn't the lawyers and companies, it's the idiot judges and juries that think this is okay.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:19 AM
 
40,454 posts, read 41,945,776 times
Reputation: 16901
Patent law needs a substantial overhaul, they work the system and patent something trivial in the hopes someone will use it later. These are usually obvious and broad ideas that no one has ever thought of simply because there is no need.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:17 PM
 
15,924 posts, read 17,680,111 times
Reputation: 7646
You guys remember way back when Microsoft tried to copyright the word "Windows"?
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Old 10-02-2012, 02:42 PM
 
40,454 posts, read 41,945,776 times
Reputation: 16901
Quote:
Originally Posted by plwhit View Post
You guys remember way back when Microsoft tried to copyright the word "Windows"?
Copyrights only cover creative works and don't cover single words, trademarks do and Microsoft most certainly owns the trademark for Windows. That doesn't mean I can't use the word windows if I was selling house windows or couldn't use the word Windows when talking about MS's product. What I can't do is misrepresent a product of my own as Windows.

To put this into another context if you were a US based airline you can claim to be an American airline but you can't claim to be the Americans Airlines.
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