whats wrong with software patents

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Peter, Oct 8, 2004.

  1. Peter

    Peter Guest

    Software patents stifle innovation and shut out competition.
    Don't believe me? Well, maybe you'll believe Bill Gates ...

    ?If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today?s
    ideas were invented and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a
    complete stand-still today. The solution . . . is patent exchanges . . .
    and patenting as much as we can. . . . A future start-up with no patents of
    its own will be forced to pay whatever price the giants choose to impose.
    That price might be high: Established companies have an interest in
    excluding future competitors.? Fred Warshofsky, The Patent Wars 170-71 (NY:
    Wiley 1994).
    http://www.lessig.org/blog/archives/001447.shtml

    If we want innovation, technical progress and a fair deal for consumers, we
    have to get rid of these software patents.


    Peter
     
    Peter, Oct 8, 2004
    #1
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  2. Peter

    whoisthis Guest

    In article <>,
    Peter <> wrote:


    > If we want innovation, technical progress and a fair deal for consumers, we
    > have to get rid of these software patents.


    Thats one view, the other is patents allow companies to invest into new
    ideas, many of which will never be put into a commercial use for perhaps
    years to come because the hardware is simply not capable, or it is such
    a radical shift from the current paradigms that it just does not fit
    anywhere currently. However all of this development work costs real
    money.

    If we restrict companies, stopping them from taking out patents for
    their original work, then we will stiffle inovation as they will only
    pursue safe options.

    A good example of this is Apple computers, their market share is small
    yet they inovate well beyond what other bigger companies do. IIRC they
    own more software and hardware patents than Microsoft and they own more
    hardware patents than all the other computer hardware manufacturers put
    together.

    Apple is a company that takes huge risks, they dumped the floppy disk 6
    or so years ago, yet even today many PC brands still have the floppy
    disk as they are too scare to be seen as non standard. The same applies
    to the serial and parallel ports, they are both a dead technology yet
    are still included because of the fear of loosing customers. Apple has
    made its share of costly mistakes, possibly more than its fair share,
    but because it has had income streams from patents it has been able to
    offset them. Yes, I do know that Apple is building on open source and is
    therefore using other peoples ideas, but I also know that Apple pays
    royalties to patent holders too and it has not stifled their
    developments and innovations.

    It is interesting to nate that patents are supposed to have stifled
    hardware inovation too, yet Moores law stll applies even after 30 years
    of patents and is predicted to hold true for atleat another 10 years.

    I may be wrong but I have yet to see any examples of some truely
    innovative open source software, sure ther is a huge amount of damn good
    implimentations of other peoples ideas, but true innovation seems scarce.
     
    whoisthis, Oct 8, 2004
    #2
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  3. Peter

    theseus Guest

    "whoisthis" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    >
    > I may be wrong but I have yet to see any examples of some truely
    > innovative open source software, sure ther is a huge amount of damn good
    > implimentations of other peoples ideas, but true innovation seems scarce.


    You are definitely wrong
    Software evolution is incremental.
    Windows and Apple operating systems were based on open source software that
    preceded them, they are implementations of other peoples ideas
    "On the shoulders of giants" as Isaac Newton said.
     
    theseus, Oct 8, 2004
    #3
  4. Peter

    ChrisOD Guest

    whoisthis wrote:

    > In article <>,
    > Peter <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    >>If we want innovation, technical progress and a fair deal for consumers, we
    >>have to get rid of these software patents.

    >
    >
    > Thats one view, the other is patents allow companies to invest into new
    > ideas, many of which will never be put into a commercial use for perhaps
    > years to come because the hardware is simply not capable, or it is such
    > a radical shift from the current paradigms that it just does not fit
    > anywhere currently. However all of this development work costs real
    > money.
    >
    > If we restrict companies, stopping them from taking out patents for
    > their original work, then we will stiffle inovation as they will only
    > pursue safe options.
    >
    > A good example of this is Apple computers, their market share is small
    > yet they inovate well beyond what other bigger companies do. IIRC they
    > own more software and hardware patents than Microsoft and they own more
    > hardware patents than all the other computer hardware manufacturers put
    > together.
    >
    > Apple is a company that takes huge risks, they dumped the floppy disk 6
    > or so years ago, yet even today many PC brands still have the floppy
    > disk as they are too scare to be seen as non standard. The same applies
    > to the serial and parallel ports, they are both a dead technology yet
    > are still included because of the fear of loosing customers. Apple has
    > made its share of costly mistakes, possibly more than its fair share,
    > but because it has had income streams from patents it has been able to
    > offset them. Yes, I do know that Apple is building on open source and is
    > therefore using other peoples ideas, but I also know that Apple pays
    > royalties to patent holders too and it has not stifled their
    > developments and innovations.
    >
    > It is interesting to nate that patents are supposed to have stifled
    > hardware inovation too, yet Moores law stll applies even after 30 years
    > of patents and is predicted to hold true for atleat another 10 years.
    >
    > I may be wrong but I have yet to see any examples of some truely
    > innovative open source software, sure ther is a huge amount of damn good
    > implimentations of other peoples ideas, but true innovation seems scarce.


    Shit maybe the internet,or to be more specific nntp (what you are using
    now), smtp (email), http (the innerweb).........

    Have a look at the whole RFC idea infact there are a fair number of open
    standards bodies, and that is where the open source ideas are discussed.
    Yes sendmail, or qmail are only open source implementations of others
    ideas but the ideas and detailed technical standards themselves were
    open source.


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    ChrisOD, Oct 8, 2004
    #4
  5. Peter

    whoisthis Guest

    In article <uOD9d.7174$>,
    "theseus" <> wrote:

    > "whoisthis" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >
    > >
    > > I may be wrong but I have yet to see any examples of some truely
    > > innovative open source software, sure ther is a huge amount of damn good
    > > implimentations of other peoples ideas, but true innovation seems scarce.

    >
    > You are definitely wrong
    > Software evolution is incremental.
    > Windows and Apple operating systems were based on open source software that
    > preceded them, they are implementations of other peoples ideas
    > "On the shoulders of giants" as Isaac Newton said.
    >
    >


    That is true of everything that has been "invented".
     
    whoisthis, Oct 8, 2004
    #5
  6. Peter

    whoisthis Guest

    In article <>,
    ChrisOD <> wrote:


    > Shit maybe the internet,or to be more specific nntp (what you are using
    > now), smtp (email), http (the innerweb).........
    >
    > Have a look at the whole RFC idea infact there are a fair number of open
    > standards bodies, and that is where the open source ideas are discussed.
    > Yes sendmail, or qmail are only open source implementations of others
    > ideas but the ideas and detailed technical standards themselves were
    > open source.



    Nope, the RFC are based on other ideas before there were even RFCs.
    Email was around well before the internet, as was hypertext.
     
    whoisthis, Oct 8, 2004
    #6
  7. Peter

    ChrisOD Guest

    whoisthis wrote:

    > In article <>,
    > ChrisOD <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    >>Shit maybe the internet,or to be more specific nntp (what you are using
    >>now), smtp (email), http (the innerweb).........
    >>
    >>Have a look at the whole RFC idea infact there are a fair number of open
    >>standards bodies, and that is where the open source ideas are discussed.
    >>Yes sendmail, or qmail are only open source implementations of others
    >>ideas but the ideas and detailed technical standards themselves were
    >>open source.

    >
    >
    >
    > Nope, the RFC are based on other ideas before there were even RFCs.
    > Email was around well before the internet, as was hypertext.

    Ok I'll bite two things
    1/. Do you conceed that the VAST majority of SW patents are also not
    truely original?
    2/. Which non open source inititive invented IPV4 the basis of routed
    non-heiracrhical networking.


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    ChrisOD, Oct 9, 2004
    #7
  8. Peter

    Peter Guest

    whoisthis wrote:
    > Thats one view, the other is patents allow companies to invest into new
    > ideas ... If we restrict companies, stopping them from taking out patents
    > for their original work, then we will stiffle inovation as they will only
    > pursue safe options.


    Unfortunately, that approach is not well supported by facts. Bill Gates
    opinion is quoted in the OP. For another view, consider the steam engine
    patent granted to James Watt in 18th century. In fact, he used business
    associates to get the patent law passed for the purpose of shutting out
    competition by stiffling innovation of competitors. He was successful in
    this.

    "Watt used his patents to block other inventors from making improvements
    that in the long run proved far more significant than Watt's own invention,
    the most significant being the high-pressure steam engine. Not
    surprisingly, Nuvolari finds that engine productivity growth stagnated
    while Watt's patents remained in force. He shows that the greatest
    increases in efficiency occurred after 1800, when Watt's patent expired.
    These improvements took place over a period when engineers rarely patented
    their inventions and shared their knowledge widely and freely with others.
    This openness clearly accelerated the rate of improvement, and was most
    dominant in the Cornwall region."
    http://www.tue.nl/promoties/uitleg/nuvolari_uitleg.html

    Patents may be great for the companies getting them (and their lawyers), but
    patents are bad overall for consumers and society in general.


    Peter
     
    Peter, Oct 9, 2004
    #8
  9. In article <>, Peter <> wrote:
    >
    >Software patents stifle innovation and shut out competition.

    *SNIP*

    I quote here from an e-mail I sent to Jim Anderton, Dover Samuels and
    Paul Swain, as the Minister and Associate Ministers (respectively) of
    Economic Development.

    --- BEGIN QUOTE ---
    Honourable Ministers,
    I realise that this e-mail comes late in the piece, but it is only with
    very recent developments in the US that I feel the issue has been given
    a poster child, so to speak.
    I refer to Sun's loss in Kodak v Sun, in New York, relating to patents
    that Kodak are holding as relevant to the operation of the Java
    programming language.

    The patents in question, US patent numbers 5206951, 5421012 and 5226161,
    relate to methods by which software may call functions provided by other
    software. These patents cover development techniques which are so
    fundamental that Microsoft licenced them from Wang, from whom Kodak
    purchased the patents in 1997, to allow continued development of
    functionality which is now deeply embedded within Windows, and relied
    upon by countless applications originating from numerous software
    development companies.

    With Kodak seeking USD1.06b (yes, billion with a b) in damages, one is
    left wondering what possible value Sun can see from Java. They have
    developed what is quite possibly the second most widely-used programming
    language in the world, falling behind derivatives of the C language that
    has been in used since the early 70s, and now face enormous punitive
    damages at the hands of a company that has contributed precisely zero to
    the advance of computer technology.
    Where is the driver to innovate, when a building block of the
    programming art is denied you? If this case is upheld on appeal, it is
    a given that Sun will think very carefully about ever undertaking such a
    project in future - And the world will be the poorer.

    In an article found at
    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20041003041632172 is repeated
    perhaps the most incisive disection of the fundamental problem with
    software patents: "How many ways are there to say 1+1=2?"
    At its heart, all software is merely mathematical constructs. And there
    are only so many possible ways of building an equation, even the highly
    complex ones associated with modern operating systems and programming
    languages.

    In closing, I ask that you consider the future for New Zealand's cottage
    software industry if software patents are upheld in this country, in a
    world where patents live by the golden rule: He who has the gold, makes
    the rules.
    --- END QUOTE ---

    So, whoisthis, how do you respond to this? I realise that your
    capitalist brainwashing has been very successful, but have you ever
    considered how a small country such as NZ, populated with small software
    development companies, can hope to compete in a world where the IBMs and
    the Microsofts have patented the equations to create every number from
    one to infinity?

    --
    Matthew Poole Auckland, New Zealand
    "Veni, vidi, velcro...
    I came, I saw, I stuck around"

    My real e-mail is mattATp00leDOTnet
     
    Matthew Poole, Oct 9, 2004
    #9
  10. It seems like Sat, 09 Oct 2004 12:07:46 +1300 was when Peter
    <> said Blah blah blah...

    >Patents may be great for the companies getting them (and their lawyers), but
    >patents are bad overall for consumers and society in general.


    Perhaps temporarily bad. However, I like the idea of patents. For
    instance, if I patented an idea I had for say the computing industry,
    I could make money off that idea for 20 or so odd years without anyone
    else being able to, but then anyone can use it right? If there wasn't
    patents, then how could I make money off it, when a bigger company
    (IBM for instance) comes along, and says "Good idea" and decides to
    make it themselves? Honestly, what business advantage am I going to
    have over IBM apart from a patent?
    --
    Regards,
    Waylon Kenning.

    1st Year B.I.T. WelTec
     
    Waylon Kenning, Oct 9, 2004
    #10
  11. In article <>, wrote:
    >It seems like Sat, 09 Oct 2004 12:07:46 +1300 was when Peter
    ><> said Blah blah blah...

    *SNIP*
    >instance, if I patented an idea I had for say the computing industry,
    >I could make money off that idea for 20 or so odd years without anyone
    >else being able to, but then anyone can use it right? If there wasn't
    >patents, then how could I make money off it, when a bigger company
    >(IBM for instance) comes along, and says "Good idea" and decides to
    >make it themselves? Honestly, what business advantage am I going to
    >have over IBM apart from a patent?


    20 freaking YEARS!? The IT industry moves so fast that 20 years may as
    well be 1000.
    Patents aren't meant to lock an idea up for its entire useable lifetime
    and beyond. They're meant to let it get established, earn the creator
    some money, then enter the public domain.
    Also see my earlier post, where I explain why software patents are so
    stupid - They're a patent on a way of writing an equation. Next you'll
    be saying that Einstein should've patented E=mc^2.

    --
    Matthew Poole Auckland, New Zealand
    "Veni, vidi, velcro...
    I came, I saw, I stuck around"

    My real e-mail is mattATp00leDOTnet
     
    Matthew Poole, Oct 9, 2004
    #11
  12. It seems like Sat, 09 Oct 2004 02:07:27 GMT was when
    (Matthew Poole) said Blah blah blah...

    >Patents aren't meant to lock an idea up for its entire useable lifetime
    >and beyond. They're meant to let it get established, earn the creator
    >some money, then enter the public domain.

    You're right, what do you think would be a useable lifespan for
    software patents if they're still around like they are at the moment?

    >Also see my earlier post, where I explain why software patents are so
    >stupid - They're a patent on a way of writing an equation. Next you'll
    >be saying that Einstein should've patented E=mc^2.

    Ok, so software patents are stupid. Hypothetically, how could I make
    some money off a cool program I've made that I know IBM would be
    interested in just copying, improving and not giving me credit for it?
    --
    Regards,
    Waylon Kenning.

    1st Year B.I.T. WelTec
     
    Waylon Kenning, Oct 9, 2004
    #12
  13. Peter

    Peter Guest

    Waylon Kenning wrote:
    > Perhaps temporarily bad. However, I like the idea of patents. For
    > instance, if I patented an idea I had for say the computing industry,
    > I could make money off that idea for 20 or so odd years without anyone
    > else being able to, but then anyone can use it right? If there wasn't
    > patents, then how could I make money off it, when a bigger company
    > (IBM for instance) comes along, and says "Good idea" and decides to
    > make it themselves? Honestly, what business advantage am I going to
    > have over IBM apart from a patent?


    What's so special about the computing industry?
    In buildings, did someone patent putting one floor above another? If they
    did, it would prevent anyone else designing multistory buildings.
    Does lack of patents prevent innovation and creation in engineering? No one
    gets royalties for use of ohms law, or the beam equation, but plenty of
    people make a living using these and other ideas.

    You don't need patents as a prerequisite for innovation. James Watt
    invented and commercialised his steam engine _before_ patents came into
    law. Obviously, he didn't need protection of patents for this. He did get
    a patent, and this stiffled innovation without giving Watt any significant
    financial advantage.

    In science, innovation and discoveries are built on the work of others.
    Newton said his work is on the shoulders of giants. Much of what Newton is
    credited with was actually discovered earlier by Hook and others, Newton
    just developed it a bit further. And Einstein said that his relativity was
    built on the field equations of Maxwell. Locking things up in patents or
    copyright will only prevent this fertile cross pollination.


    And you think you can take on IBM or Microsoft with a patent?
    Sounds good until you actually look closely at it. A patent doesn't give
    you any protection, it just gives you the right to sue. Even if you're
    right, they can ensure your legal budget is exhausted before you get
    through the legal battles. They don't even need to buy you out. In legal
    wars, the party with the biggest budget wins.

    Conversely, in an environment free of patents, customers will be free to pay
    top rates for people who are truely innovative and creative, and these
    people will be free to utilise and build on the best ideas and concepts
    around.


    Peter
     
    Peter, Oct 9, 2004
    #13
  14. Peter

    Dumbkiwi Guest

    On Sat, 09 Oct 2004 10:55:16 +1300, whoisthis wrote:

    > In article <uOD9d.7174$>,
    > "theseus" <> wrote:
    >
    >> "whoisthis" <> wrote in message
    >> news:...
    >>
    >> >
    >> > I may be wrong but I have yet to see any examples of some truely
    >> > innovative open source software, sure ther is a huge amount of damn good
    >> > implimentations of other peoples ideas, but true innovation seems scarce.

    >>
    >> You are definitely wrong
    >> Software evolution is incremental.
    >> Windows and Apple operating systems were based on open source software that
    >> preceded them, they are implementations of other peoples ideas
    >> "On the shoulders of giants" as Isaac Newton said.
    >>
    >>

    >
    > That is true of everything that has been "invented".


    Thus disproving your own stupid point.

    Matt
     
    Dumbkiwi, Oct 9, 2004
    #14
  15. Peter

    whoisthis Guest

    In article <>,
    Peter <> wrote:

    >
    > What's so special about the computing industry?
    > In buildings, did someone patent putting one floor above another? If they
    > did, it would prevent anyone else designing multistory buildings.
    > Does lack of patents prevent innovation and creation in engineering? No one
    > gets royalties for use of ohms law, or the beam equation, but plenty of
    > people make a living using these and other ideas.


    You have quoted examples that are hundreds of years old and therefore
    would have no patent anyway so are irrelevant. But as you want to go
    back that far start looking at the guild halls, although there were no
    patents their trade secrets were closely held and no guild people were
    often "removed".

    >
    > You don't need patents as a prerequisite for innovation. James Watt
    > invented and commercialised his steam engine _before_ patents came into
    > law. Obviously, he didn't need protection of patents for this. He did get
    > a patent, and this stiffled innovation without giving Watt any significant
    > financial advantage.


    Then look at it this way, because patents were new the system had bugs
    because no one really understood the what and how of them. That is
    untrue today. But as I said earlier look at the history of guild halls
    and trademarks, also look how tightly innovations were kept secret
    preventing others from having any access which stiffled development even
    more so.

    >
    > In science, innovation and discoveries are built on the work of others.
    > Newton said his work is on the shoulders of giants. Much of what Newton is
    > credited with was actually discovered earlier by Hook and others, Newton
    > just developed it a bit further. And Einstein said that his relativity was
    > built on the field equations of Maxwell. Locking things up in patents or
    > copyright will only prevent this fertile cross pollination.


    Wrong. Science and technology are racing ahead in leaps and bounds,
    patents have not stopped this, I would even suggest they have made it
    possible. Instead of companies withholding their ideas and technological
    developments they can now patent them and allow others to use it, for a
    fee. This however means that company A can use bits from company
    b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j,k to build a new product. Without access to that
    technology the innovation would not have happened because it would have
    required them to make all the innovations first.

    >
    >
    > And you think you can take on IBM or Microsoft with a patent?
    > Sounds good until you actually look closely at it. A patent doesn't give
    > you any protection, it just gives you the right to sue. Even if you're
    > right, they can ensure your legal budget is exhausted before you get
    > through the legal battles. They don't even need to buy you out. In legal
    > wars, the party with the biggest budget wins.


    You have proof of this ?

    >
    > Conversely, in an environment free of patents, customers will be free to pay
    > top rates for people who are truely innovative and creative, and these
    > people will be free to utilise and build on the best ideas and concepts
    > around.


    Huh ? Why. You pay top rates for someone inovative, I pay nothing to
    copy your idea. Because I have not had any development costs to offset I
    can sell the same product cheaper than you can. Because I can sell my
    product cheaper you actually cant recover your development costs leading
    to bankruptcy and one innovator now out of work.

    The costs of technological innovation are rising rapidly with companies
    spending billions in research and development.If they can not reasonably
    expect to recoup their costs they will not spend it.

    It is interesting to note however the electronics and computing
    industries are amoung the most heavily patented and yet they are the
    most innovative. It is also worth noting that the countries with the
    most innovation happening also have the tightest patent laws.
     
    whoisthis, Oct 9, 2004
    #15
  16. Peter

    whoisthis Guest

    In article <>,
    Waylon Kenning <> wrote:

    > Ok, so software patents are stupid. Hypothetically, how could I make
    > some money off a cool program I've made that I know IBM would be
    > interested in just copying, improving and not giving me credit for it?


    what you mean like:
    Apple internet Mail server, written by someone in Christchurch from
    memory, Apple bought the product and gave the guy a job.

    Spam Assasin was a New Zealand product too.

    And there are lots of others, I am sure that many of the things Weta
    studios developed are patented too.
     
    whoisthis, Oct 9, 2004
    #16
  17. Peter

    Dumbkiwi Guest

    On Sat, 09 Oct 2004 16:16:33 +1300, whoisthis wrote:
    <snip>

    >
    > It is interesting to note however the electronics and computing
    > industries are amoung the most heavily patented and yet they are the
    > most innovative. It is also worth noting that the countries with the
    > most innovation happening also have the tightest patent laws.


    In terms of software, where is the measure of this. How do we objectively
    measure the level of innovation that happens with/without patents?
    Difficult isn't it?

    How do we know that software could not have progressed even further in
    that time without patents? Is software the same as other
    creative/innovative endeavours, deserving of the same protection? If the
    point of patent protection is to give the inventor a monopoly only
    sufficient to recoup the cost of the invention, in return for full
    disclosure, and then release into the public domain at the end of the
    monopoly, is 20 years too long?

    Furthermore, given that you can't, and shouldn't be able to patent the
    laws of nature (which includes mathematics), where do we draw the line
    between software and mathematics. It seems that there is very little
    analysis of these issues when discussing patents.

    An interesting article I have found is here:

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=582602

    Worth a read for those interested in intellectual property protection.

    Matt
     
    Dumbkiwi, Oct 9, 2004
    #17
  18. It seems like Sat, 09 Oct 2004 15:47:52 +1300 was when Peter
    <> said Blah blah blah...

    >Conversely, in an environment free of patents, customers will be free to pay
    >top rates for people who are truely innovative and creative, and these
    >people will be free to utilise and build on the best ideas and concepts
    >around.


    I agree with your whole post, so I've got no negative comments,
    however, I still don't have the marketing budgets Microsoft or IBM
    have either, so apart from being absorbed into those companies, I
    don't see how I could survive if they were to compete against me. I
    couldn't even give my stuff away for free (i.e. Open Office) and still
    get a market share.

    I'd probably say people would be better off without patents technology
    wise.
    --
    Regards,
    Waylon Kenning.

    1st Year B.I.T. WelTec
     
    Waylon Kenning, Oct 9, 2004
    #18
  19. Peter

    Brendan Guest

    On Sat, 09 Oct 2004 15:00:59 +1300, Waylon Kenning wrote:

    > Perhaps temporarily bad. However, I like the idea of patents. For
    > instance, if I patented an idea I had for say the computing industry,
    > I could make money off that idea for 20 or so odd years without anyone
    > else being able to, but then anyone can use it right?


    1. So what if I had previously patented, say, the mouse pointer - there by
    denying you the ability to make money off your idea without paying me first
    ? And what if I didn't like you, and denied you a license to use my mouse
    pointer ? You'd be stuffed. Regardless how good your idea was or even if it
    was a cure for cancer.

    2. If I was Microsoft and wanted your Idea, and you wouldn't give it to me,
    I'd simply claim you were infringing one of MY patents. Even if it was not
    true. You'd spend millions on lawyers and run out of money. I'd then
    'settle out of court' for some token amount and take ownership. You'd have
    a gag clause put on you.

    3. You would not be allowed to patent your idea, because hidden on p[age
    103 of the EULA license agreement you agreed to when you opened the box
    containing the word processor you used to make your patent application is a
    clause where by you agree to give me ownership of, or license free use of,
    anything you produce with it. I'd then sell sub license your idea to
    whoever I want, and sue you for breech of contract if you tried to compete.
    If you think you'd fight it in Court, see point 2.

    >If there wasn't
    > patents, then how could I make money off it, when a bigger company
    > (IBM for instance) comes along, and says "Good idea" and decides to
    > make it themselves?


    1. You make money by producing products based on the idea at a price that
    no one else can compete on. After that you are employed for your
    innovation.

    2. IBM/Intel/Microsoft/Sony/etc just tie you up in court for a 3 years. You
    wind up broke, they make millions of dollars selling their old product
    during that time, as yours is too risky to invest in due to the court
    actions. By the time it is over it's no longer viable.

    >Honestly, what business advantage am I going to
    > have over IBM apart from a patent?


    None - with our without patents.

    And that is just ONE reason they are a waste of time and not even the most
    important one.

    1. Pharmaceutical companies patent their medicine, so no one else can make
    it.

    2. By using this monopoly, they can charge whatever price they like. So
    they charge A LOT, regardless of true costs.

    3. Because production capability is limited, and logistics costs high, it
    is more profitable to sell to a few people at high cost than a lot of
    people at low cost. So the poor miss out en mass, while the rich get
    fleeced.

    4. Better medicines are often impossible, because patents allow
    corporations to dictate what combinations may be made. Superior medicines
    from combining two or more patented ones are not profitable, because it is
    more profitable to sell you two pills.

    Furthermore, I can patent/copyright things in such a way as to make
    previously free stuff illegal. Adobe does this with their E-books, and
    Disney does it as well.

    These are not well meaning moral companies. They are grasping, rapacious
    bandits operating a disguise designed to enrich themselves.

    Society does not OWE you anything for your idea; YOU owe society for the
    thousands of systems YOU use every day that were previously invented by
    society.

    --

    .... Brendan

    EDUCATION, n. That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding. -- Ambrose Bierce

    Note: All my comments are copyright 9/10/2004 4:17:31 p.m. and are opinion only where not otherwise stated and always "to the best of my recollection". www.computerman.orcon.net.nz.


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    Brendan, Oct 9, 2004
    #19
  20. Peter

    Steve Guest

    theseus wrote:
    > "whoisthis" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >
    >
    >>I may be wrong but I have yet to see any examples of some truely
    >>innovative open source software, sure ther is a huge amount of damn good
    >>implimentations of other peoples ideas, but true innovation seems scarce.

    >
    >
    > You are definitely wrong
    > Software evolution is incremental.
    > Windows and Apple operating systems were based on open source software that
    > preceded them, they are implementations of other peoples ideas
    > "On the shoulders of giants" as Isaac Newton said.
    >
    >

    The problem comes when w*nkers like Amazon.com attempt to patent basic
    ideas that have been around for 20+ years, and are simple to any 12 year
    old kid. In fact, were simple when *I* was a 12 year old kid, and
    computers were room size then.

    Software implementation is an *art*, not a science. When was the last
    time you saw anyone patent a Picasso?

    $0.02

    Steve.
     
    Steve, Oct 9, 2004
    #20
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