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 Post subject: Re: I can't believe they patented this
PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:30 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:26 am
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lol.......admit it.... xD
RemediesRxSch


Last edited by Markk786 on Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: I can't believe they patented this
PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:35 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 9:42 am
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Eeek! Zombie thread! Run away!

Mind you, Microsoft is far from the biggest threat in this regards; not only do both IBM and Oracle have bigger pools of patents to attack with (though many of those have now expired), the long-held concern that such companies would use such patents (i.e., ones which are for material which is prior art, but has never been patented or published because it is so well known already) to gain an unfair competitive advantage has largely failed to materialize. The large companies are rather circumspect about their public image, and while they have used them against competition in the past - or threatened to - they generally steer clear of attacking FOSS projects openly like that due to PR concerns. They tend to focus on cases where they have a clearly legitimate patent unless really solid opportunity presents itself.

In any case, this is an instance where most people get so caught up in worrying about a high-threat but low-risk problem (e.g., that is unlikely to materialize) that they fail to notice the more serious risk that is already there. The bigger problem isn't companies like these, it's companies whose sole interest is in the shaking people down over alleged infringement.

The majority of actual cases where patents (software or otherwise - the problem has existed since the 18th century) are used as a bludgeon have been from 'patent trolls': law firms and holding companies who buy up patents from companies which are in financial difficulty, or who deliberately create invalid or excessively broad patents, for the sole purpose of using them to pressure smaller manufacturers and software vendors into giving them royalties to avoid a lawsuit - often in a fashion that is closer to racketeering than legal action. Just as with copyright trolls (such as the recent Prenda law cases), these patent trolls rely on the fact that most of their targets would rather pay them off than deal with a protracted legal battle; but as with Prenda, they often overstep significantly, even to the point of criminal actions, meaning that they generally will back off on anyone who does fight and if cornered may end up in legal trouble themselves.

(discussion begins at 8m 10s)


Note that copyright and patent law are far from the only places where vexatious and coercive litigation occur, of course; it has been theorized, for example, the that primary goal of the 2016 James Romine vs. John Doe et. al. case was to get the names of the targets from Valve, which would then let them 'settle out of court' in a coercive manner using the threat of continued litigation, and it was generally agreed that the earlier Romine v. Stanton case was aimed at getting critics such as Sterling (Stanton) to stop reviewing and discussing Digital Homicide Studios' products.

(both of these next two videos are NSFW, and the third has some wording you might want to be careful about as well)





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