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Patent Trolls Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 1st September 2011
  #1
Patent Trolls

It's not creative people that are abusing copyright laws or even the music industry that's killing creativity, it's the tech industry:
BBC News - Patent war hits small app developers
Old 1st September 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
 
AwwDeOhh's Avatar
 

And i thought the forum trolls here were bad!
Old 1st September 2011
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AwwDeOhh View Post
And i thought the forum trolls here were bad!
I'd call Chris's attempt to blame the tech industry for every problem, even one not related to the music industry, a pretty blatant troll...
Patent trolls aren't part of the tech industry. They just happen to find plenty of victims there. Enjoy your schadenfreude.
Old 1st September 2011
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Hills View Post
I'd call Chris's attempt to blame the tech industry for every problem, even one not related to the music industry, a pretty blatant troll...
Patent trolls aren't part of the tech industry. They just happen to find plenty of victims there. Enjoy your schadenfreude.
No, patent trolls are a result of, and parasite upon, the tech industry. And not just digital or electronic tech, either, they're a serious problem in biotech as well.

I'd actually blame the legal industry for the existence of patent trolls.
Old 1st September 2011
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Hills View Post
I'd call Chris's attempt to blame the tech industry for every problem, even one not related to the music industry, a pretty blatant troll...
Firstly.... no, not every problem.
But the fact is the tech industry is seen as the answer to all our ills. It's cool, it's forward thinking. Many of the leading lights in the tech industry also join in the lobby questioning current IP laws.
.......and all the while many tech companies are suing each other over supposed patent infringement, and now a tech company is chasing individual creative people for infringing patent in a very questionable way.
The big cry of the anti copyright lobby is that copyright and patent law is crushing creativity, but (rather astoundingly) here is a tech company actually going out of it's way to crush creativity.
Old 1st September 2011
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Firstly.... no, not every problem.
But the fact is the tech industry is seen as the answer to all our ills. It's cool, it's forward thinking. Many of the leading lights in the tech industry also join in the lobby questioning current IP laws.
.......and all the while many tech companies are suing each other over supposed patent infringement, and now a tech company is chasing individual creative people for infringing patent in a very questionable way.
The big cry of the anti copyright lobby is that copyright and patent law is crushing creativity, but (rather astoundingly) here is a tech company actually going out of it's way to crush creativity.
Actually, Chris, I wouldn't really call them a tech company as they have no actual R&D, no technical staff, and produce no products, tech or otherwise, except lawsuits. In fact they only staff they have are lawyers (and presumably secretaries and legal assistants.) I'd say they are an opportunistic legal company.

That's not to say that other, legitimate tech companies don't play the same game. This company has simply dispensed with the actual tech company side of things.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #7
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Dang it John, you had to go and say something I can't argue with... :-)
Patent wars (and patent trolls) are not confined to the "tech" industry. The same scenes play out within other industries. "You ripped off my riff! Pay up or I'll sue!"
Old 2nd September 2011
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Hills View Post
Dang it John, you had to go and say something I can't argue with... :-)
Patent wars (and patent trolls) are not confined to the "tech" industry. The same scenes play out within other industries. "You ripped off my riff! Pay up or I'll sue!"
Man, if you could sue over copped riffs Chuck Berry would be a millionaire!

Oh, wait.........
Old 2nd September 2011
  #9
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razorboy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Hills View Post
Patent trolls aren't part of the tech industry. They just happen to find plenty of victims there. Enjoy your schadenfreude.
There are no patent trolls, there are patent owners and those who want to use the patents without paying. If there were no patents, there would be no inventions.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #10
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Para-Legal-Para-Site......(sang)

LK
Old 2nd September 2011
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorboy View Post
There are no patent trolls, there are patent owners and those who want to use the patents without paying. If there were no patents, there would be no inventions.
You are wrong.

Patents are intended to protect the rights of INVENTORS to develop and market their inventions and thereby profit.

Patent trolls, on the other hand DO NOT develop inventions, they merely buy up patents, generally at bargain basement rates, and sit on them until somebody else comes up with a parallel invention, at which point they sue. They are non-productive parasites on the legal system and discourage progress and the development of new products with their often spurious lawsuits.

They benefit neither the inventors (because they pay far less than the potential real value of the patents they obtain) or the industries they prey on - because often the patents they own are spurious, either being for "developments" for which there is established prior art or because the patent in on something that is obvious, and therefor unpatentable. A good example of this is the "buy now" button on a retailer's web page. They bully small developers who can not afford to defend a patent suit in court into purchasing licenses for invalid patents. (If the patent office actually hired investigators who are competent in the areas they deal with this would be far less of a problem. But they don't.)

One of the patents involved in the case Chris's article referred to (did you actually bother to READ the article) is for a "patent" on the "upgrade now" button on a software vendor's site. This is a textbook example of a nondefensable spurious patent on an "invention" which is plainly obvious. The patent is also nondefensable because it is a patent on a general idea, rather than a specific implementation of an idea and it is one of the basic tenets of patent law that you can't patent an idea, only the expression of the idea (I.E. the specific code to implement an upgrade button ion a particular case is patentable. The idea is not and there are many different ways to code such a button.) The patent should never have been granted in the first place.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #12
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Old 22nd September 2011
  #13
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3rd Degree's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Patents are intended to protect the rights of INVENTORS to develop and market their inventions and thereby profit.

They benefit neither the inventors (because they pay far less than the potential real value of the patents they obtain) or the industries they prey on - because often the patents they own are spurious, either being for "developments" for which there is established prior art or because the patent in on something that is obvious, and therefor unpatentable. A good example of this is the "buy now" button on a retailer's web page. They bully small developers who can not afford to defend a patent suit in court into purchasing licenses for invalid patents. (If the patent office actually hired investigators who are competent in the areas they deal with this would be far less of a problem. But they don't.)
Exactly. These companies made no investment into the technology, they buy patents from people/companies who were not able to develop a profit from technology they developed. Their goal is not to protect this technology from being used in other products, the goal is that the technology is used, but at the cost of the developer. They go after people who cannot afford to get into a lawsuit and settle on a percent.

Usually, it is very unclear if their is any real overlap of technology. Again, they go after people who can't afford to even prove they are not infringing.


I know about this because I know product developers. Often they just make a design change but they may just pay into it. Some actually just disregard it and risk it, knowing that the company doesn't have a solid case and likely can't really make a case.


It may have nothing to do with music but these people are trying to find opportunities where ever they can. If it was financially feasible, these types of companies would pay people to write every song you could possibly make so that every time you release something, you infringe on their copyright. They are just bad news, luckily there isn't a lot they can do with the music industry, other than hinder technology that would go into creating music, to new formats and the like.
Old 24th September 2011
  #14
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And who do you think buys the patents from the inventors, so that the inventors get their money NOW instead of having to live 140 years?

Patents are a legitimate piece of property, just a a company is, a trademark is, a domain name is, and a band name is. People with no respect for civil property law do not have the right to rip stuff off because they want to and can.
Old 24th September 2011
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorboy View Post
And who do you think buys the patents from the inventors, so that the inventors get their money NOW instead of having to live 140 years?

Patents are a legitimate piece of property, just a a company is, a trademark is, a domain name is, and a band name is. People with no respect for civil property law do not have the right to rip stuff off because they want to and can.
First off, patents do no last 140 years. In most countries the current duration of a patent is 20 years, increased from 17.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Term_of_patent

Most of the patents owned by patent trolls are not even legitimate and could not stand a test in court - which is why they troll small developers who can't afford to contest the claim.

The INTENT of patent law is to protect the right of the inventor to develop his patent under protection. The intent was never to establish a market in patents or to permit trolling by secondary owners who are making no effort to develop or market the patent.

Patent trolls are simply law firms whose business is based on taking advantage of deficiencies and loopholes in the way the law was written, contrary to the spirit and intent of the law.

Patents were intended to encourage development of new technology. Patent trolls do the exact opposite - they DISCOURAGE legitimate development to make a profit without actually producing anything.

The practice should be outlawed.
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