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[TAL] When Patents Attack

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
We take you inside this war, and tell the fascinating story of how an idea enshrined in the US constitution to promote progress and innovation, is now being used to do the opposite.

[[URL="http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/441/when-patents-attack"]Source[/URL]]

Listened to this PodCast last night and was blown away. This is why people are extremely hateful of Apple and other Patent Trolls who are claiming money for inventions they never came up with in the first place. For instance, multi touch gestures, which weren't invented by Apple, but Apple are now using to extort money from their competitors, how they're using the Nortel patents they acquired to slam Samsung, Google and HTC. It makes you wonder if the world had been a better place if Google had been allowed to buy them.

It's an hour long, so set aside an hour to listen undisturbed.

To sum up quickly, but not ruin anything for you. There are companies out there like Intellectual Ventures who have a huge patent library, which they use to approach companies infringing on their patents and offer them a licence. These companies don't know they're infringing and they, in actual fact, did all the leg work for the invention and now must pay royalties on those inventions.

They've been called Patent Trolls because of the billy goats gruff style way of business. They sit under a bridge they didn't build and wait for someone to cross, before they leap out and make unreasonable and crippling demands.

They've also been likened to the Mafia, as they will approach companies and offer them a licence for various patents as "protection" from lawsuits. Which, imagine the mob coming into your business and suggesting it'd be terrible if this place burned down, give me some money and I'll make sure it doesn't happen. Yep? That's Intellectual Ventures. They deal with ever aspect of the technology world and no tech company can get by without bowing to them.

At the end of the cast it speaks about the Nortell auction of Patents which went to Apple, Microsoft and various others and outlines how Apple are part of the overall problem with the Patent system and how the very people the system is supposed to protect, Software Engineers and developers, actually hate the patent system and it does nothing to protect them.
Quote:
4.5 billion dollars on patents that these companies almost certainly don’t want for their technical secrets. That 4.5 billion dollars won’t build anything new, won’t bring new products to the shelves, won’t open up new factories that can hire people who need jobs. That’s 4.5 billion dollars that adds to the price of every product these companies sell you — 4.5 billion dollars essentially wasted, buying arms for an ongoing patent war. The big companies, Google, Apple, Microsoft, will probably survive this war. The likely casualties, the companies out there now that no one’s ever heard of that could one day take their place.

Edited by Viridian - 7/27/11 at 4:18am
    
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post #2 of 45
Its all about the bejamins right? Screw electronic innovation and progression. As long as the big boys are making the big bucks.

Really wish I could watch this, but on this awful internet it would probably stop to buffer every half a minute.
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post #3 of 45
Thread Starter 
It's a 27MB podcast MP3 smile.gif

My DSL line is 2Mbit and it took me 2-3 minutes to download it fully! There's also a transcript if you'd rather read that smile.gif
    
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post #4 of 45
There is a similar problem in the biology world. People are sequencing entire genomes, looking at the genomes and using computers to calculate every possible protein that DNA sequence could create, and then patenting those proteins. People don't even know if those proteins really exist or what their true function is yet and people are patenting them.

Besides, how can you patent stuff that was found in nature? In my opinion it's like patenting milk or beef...

Crazyness I tell you...

In my opinion you shouldn't be able to patent something unless you at least have a semi-functional prototype that can demonstrate what you are trying to patent.
    
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post #5 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epitope;14362888 
There is a similar problem in the biology world. People are sequencing entire genomes, looking at the genomes and using computers to calculate every possible protein that DNA sequence could create, and then patenting those proteins. People don't even know if those proteins really exist or what their true function is yet and people are patenting them.

Besides, how can you patent stuff that was found in nature? In my opinion it's like patenting milk or beef...

Crazyness I tell you...

In my opinion you shouldn't be able to patent something unless you at least have a semi-functional prototype that can demonstrate what you are trying to patent.

Which with physical inventions you need, but since they opened up to software patents it's gone downhill massively.
    
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post #6 of 45
dude this is awesome i will download it now and listen to it on the bus great and i totally agreed with the OP
 
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post #7 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epitope;14362888 
There is a similar problem in the biology world. People are sequencing entire genomes, looking at the genomes and using computers to calculate every possible protein that DNA sequence could create, and then patenting those proteins. People don't even know if those proteins really exist or what their true function is yet and people are patenting them.

Besides, how can you patent stuff that was found in nature? In my opinion it's like patenting milk or beef...

Crazyness I tell you...

In my opinion you shouldn't be able to patent something unless you at least have a semi-functional prototype that can demonstrate what you are trying to patent.

If you haven't already, you should read NEXT by Micheal Crichton, great read, and it is focused on that very subject.

You should also watch "Flash of Genius"
post #8 of 45
You will never change anything meaningful about our business structure until Corporate Personhood is ruled unconstitutional.

I'm not getting political, simply pointing out the likelihood of success in corporate changes, when mention how much the major banks screwed the average American, yet they fought and WON against most reforms. Now if a sector of business can almost single handily sink capitalism and this country and STILL successfully fight reforms while simulataneously taking 0% loans from the FED, borrowing TARP funds from the American people AND paying out record billions in bonuses, what do you think the likelihood is of fixing the patent troll issue? Zero.

Due to Corporate Personhood, Corporations on each side will dump millions into the debate and muddy the waters until only few people still care or can make heads or tails of the issue. Any reform that will be bad for Corporate status quo will be labeled a 'potential job killer' and the neanderthal masses will argue solely based on their ideology.
    
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post #9 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuNkDrSpOt;14363074 
You will never change anything meaningful about our business structure until Corporate Personhood is ruled unconstitutional.

I'm not getting political, simply pointing out the likelihood of success in corporate changes, when mention how much the major banks screwed the average American, yet they fought and WON against most reforms. Now if a sector of business can almost single handily sink capitalism and this country and STILL successfully fight reforms while simulataneously taking 0% loans from the FED, borrowing TARP funds from the American people AND paying out record billions in bonuses, what do you think the likelihood is of fixing the patent troll issue? Zero.

Due to Corporate Personhood, Corporations on each side will dump millions into the debate and muddy the waters until only few people still care or can make heads or tails of the issue. Any reform that will be bad for Corporate status quo will be labeled a 'potential job killer' and the neanderthal masses will argue solely based on their ideology.

Listen to the Podcast to find out why they are allowed to do this in the first place.
    
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post #10 of 45
Is this a joke? What has the world come to. Seriously. I don't even want nothing no more!
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