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Innovation & Patent Trolls

Discussion in 'General Board' started by tifosi, Dec 20, 2011.

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  1. tifosi United Kingdom

    tifosi Well-Known Member

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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16243414
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16258916

    Eventually consumers will rebel at the continuous legal bullshit that is the result of an utterly broken technology patent system where spurious non-applied overly general and non-specific patents are given hoarded and then block sold on the open market to companies who then patent troll in the name of protecting their 'IP rights'.

    Nothing to do with protecting inovation. Everything to do with market share & profiteering.

    Quite sickening.
     
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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  3. rob

    rob Founding Member

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    HTC said the patent in question related to a small user-interface feature often called "data tapping", which allowed users to grab embedded information, such as a phone number, and do something with it, such as make a call.

    The company said it would completely remove it from all their phones soon.


    I would guess that relates to seeing a number in an app or page then tap to make a call.

    Stuff like that shouldnt be patentable , just like opening a door shouldnt as its batshit insanely obvious.
     
  4. BREWSTERS United Kingdom

    BREWSTERS Well-Known Member

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    Opening a door isn't patentable for obvious reasons, but if you created the technology behind 'data tapping' for instance, wouldn't you want something for the effort? It's not the effect that's patented, ie, the number ringing after tapping, but the technology that makes that work, that is patentable.
     
  5. rob

    rob Founding Member

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    The point is, go back far enough in history and if todays rules applied then I could patent someone using a device on hinges to enable walking through a space in a wall.

    £10 per door licence fee please :)
     
  6. tifosi United Kingdom

    tifosi Well-Known Member

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    The argument though is whether something like that 'should be' patentable.

    As rob said a technology has to be non-obvious to someone with industry knowledge. There have been far too many instances over the last few years of companies simply thinking up rafts of non-applied technological processes which may be applicable to the smartphones of the near future and then patenting them.

    The only winners in this are the IP lawyers. And they won't kill the golden goose. The companies developing the phones should realise this. They're doing themselves no favours in the end. Consumers will decide with their feet... I know I have. I won't buy Apple while they have this obvious vendetta.

    In the end we'll all pay for it with costlier tech.

    Too many of the technologies are industry standard now. Its not just killing handset design many app creators are getting slapped with legal challenges fo their apps by patent trolls looking to make a quick buck using spurious, vague, or globally required industry standard patents.
     
  7. Edwin

    Edwin Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    Actually if you go to Google's patent search engine http://www.google.com/patents you can probably find thousands of examples of "incredibly obvious stuff" that we now take for granted but which was initially patent protected (their archive goes back to the 1700s). Patents expire, and then the good ideas get absorbed into everyday use. The really bad ideas, of course, never actually needed patent protection in the first place!

    I agree that a lot of the more recent patents (especially in the web/mobile space) may seem like over-reaching, but at the same time it's worth considering that something may be so intuitive that it's "blindingly obvious" yet if you're genuinely the first person/company to point it out, then you probably have at least some rights to that "discovery".

    Much worse are the many cases where companies have tried (and sadly often succeeded) to patent things that were obviously already known/in use at the time. Because of the sheer volume of patents being filed (the pace of filing is higher every year) it's getting to the point where it's all but impossible for every one of these patent-grabs to be contested at the opposition stage.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2011
  8. BREWSTERS United Kingdom

    BREWSTERS Well-Known Member

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    Well yeah, why not? In this case the hinged (and possibly securable) element of the design was at some point 'novel'...why would that not have been eligible to patent?

    Inertia seatbelts; intermitant windscreen wipers; dippable rear view mirrors for cars; all would've been patented at the time - actually, Volvo invented inertia seatbelts and either didn't patent them or allowed other companies to use the invention for free as an altruistic gesture towards road safety.

    I don't think smartphone tech comes into the same bracket of importance as seat belt design.

    Smartphones, tablets etc are created purely to make money for their maker - not for the good of mankind - hence, tech patents are hard won and closely guarded.
     
  9. aZooZa

    aZooZa Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    I read that HTC article yesterday and could hardly believe it. Quite inane and very trivial in my opinion.
     
  10. tifosi United Kingdom

    tifosi Well-Known Member

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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16284020

    And yet another on for the IP lawyer christmas fund... At least the european patent system threw it out for being obvious. Got to wonder how many US patents are granted with a bit of 'lobbying'?
     
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