22 Jul

The Word of Notch – On Patents

But there is no way in hell you can convince me that it’s beneficial for society to not share ideas. Ideas are free. They improve on old things, make them better, and this results in all of society being better. Sharing ideas is how we improve.

via The Word of Notch – On Patents. Notch (the guy who started Minecraft) has a really good piece on why patents are a bad idea. My opinion on patents has slowly changed from thinking that just software and business process patents to getting more convinced that patents in general are a bad idea.

18 Aug

Freedom to Tinker – Google+Motorola = Software Patent Indictment

Wouldn’t we all be better off skipping those patent threats and cross-licensing transaction costs? As Google’s pre-Motorola travails showed, it’s almost* impossible to opt-out of the patent system by choosing to publish and not patent your own inventions. Unlike in copyright, where you can share under Creative Commons, for example, and just have to prove you never accessed another’s work if accused of infringement, you can only save yourself from patent claims by assuring that every bit of technology you use was published more than 17-20 years ago! (*Rare but not impossible: Richard Hipp of SQLite says he only uses 17-year old, published algorithms to keep his code free of patent clouds.)

In a work-in-progress, I argue that patent’s incentives aren’t working right for software, because they come at too early a stage in development. Patents for software motivate lawsuits more than they induce or reward product development. Google+Motorola may prove to have non-patent benefits too, but its early indications shine a spotlight on the thorny thickets of the patent landscape.

via Freedom to Tinker – Google+Motorola = Software Patent Indictment. That point is the reason patents are a blight on the software industry, you can’t just stop being a part of the system. Patents are a field of hidden landmines for any person/company that does software of any sort.

10 Aug

FARK.com – Patent-infringement lawsuit against Fark settled for zero dollars. Also, patent trolls suck hairy donkey balls

A lot of you were already aware that Fark was sued by a patent troll back in January. I wanted to share that as of today, after eight months of legal work, that lawsuit was dismissed.

Here’s the tl;dr version:

Their patent had nothing to do with Fark. The patent troll realized we were going to fight them instead of settle, so they asked for our best offer. I said how about you get nothing and drop the lawsuit? They accepted.

via FARK.com – Patent-infringement lawsuit against Fark settled for zero dollars. Also, patent trolls suck hairy donkey balls. Whee the patent system is working so well.

12 Aug

MarketWatch – Oracle sues Google over intellectual property

Oracle Corp. filed a lawsuit against Google Inc. on Thursday, alleging that the Internet search giant has infringed on intellectual property related to the Java software that Oracle acquired when it purchased Sun Microsystems Inc.

via MarketWatch – Oracle sues Google over intellectual property. I don’t which to think that Oracle is just insane or stupid.