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Posted Thursday, January 30, 2014 7:10 AM
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Thomas Abraham (1/30/2014)


I share your sentiments. However, from personal experience, I can tell you there are still plenty of databases out their that look like they were designed by someone that thought the rights to 3NF were owned by someone else!


LOL! I've heard bad DB designs described a lot of ways but to think they were trying to avoid patent infringement...RIOT!
Post #1536328
Posted Thursday, January 30, 2014 7:13 AM


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Another telltale sign that the current implementation and enforcement of patents is wrong is the way companies are buying other companies based solely on their "patent portfolio" in order to not only protect themselves but also to generate income directly i.e. not via monetisation of products utilising the concepts.

Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
Post #1536330
Posted Thursday, January 30, 2014 7:18 AM
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Steve said in the article, "It almost seems as though digital ideas and software defy analogies and explanations that we can relate to the real world."

Like all of you, I'm in IT and while I can't speak for everyone else, I still find a lot of tech-talk conversations difficult to understand. For example, I live in an MS world and don't relate much to Apple/Linux discussions though I do try to pick through them. Again, it's difficult. I can only imagine what it would be like to be a layman, like a juror that has to sit and muddle through the facts of some court case that contains today's technology lexicon. I imagine patent regulation is much the same.
Post #1536334
Posted Thursday, January 30, 2014 7:36 AM


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"1-click purchasing"; that's nothing; they're already moving way past that.

Amazon Wants to Ship Your Package Before You Buy It:

http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2014/01/17/amazon-wants-to-ship-your-package-before-you-buy-it/

http://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?PageNum=0&docid=08615473&IDKey=2809423B2F61

The Seattle retailer in December gained a patent for what it calls “anticipatory shipping,” a method to start delivering packages even before customers click “buy.”

In deciding what to ship, Amazon said it may consider previous orders, product searches, wish lists, shopping-cart contents, returns and even how long an Internet user’s cursor hovers over an item.

But the patent demonstrates one way Amazon hopes to leverage its vast trove of customer data to edge out rivals.

We all know that many online retailers accumulate huge repositories of click-stream data for the purpose of data mining and predictive modeling; but I'm surprised that Amazon records how much time web browers spend "hovering over a link".
Post #1536345
Posted Thursday, January 30, 2014 7:39 AM
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call.copse (1/30/2014)
Was there anyone whose heart's cockles were left unwarmed by this story? An oldie but goldie.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/01/how-newegg-crushed-the-shopping-cart-patent-and-saved-online-retail/



That was an excellent article. Thanks for posting it as I missed it the first time around (1 year ago). LOL, I don't keep up with the times...
Post #1536346
Posted Thursday, January 30, 2014 7:47 AM
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Good place to start:
http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2013/07/22.html
http://patents.stackexchange.com/



Post #1536353
Posted Thursday, January 30, 2014 8:22 AM
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On a more ridiculous note...

The word "candy" is now trademarked

This is all sorts of absurd. The makers of the Candy Crush line of mobile phone games were granted a trademark to the word "candy" in relation to games; they're now happily suing every other game maker that has the word "candy" in its name. They're also trying to trademark the word "saga", though the case for that one is currently suspended; nonetheless, they're suing one game maker that has the word "saga" in its name, as well.

Trademarking a word's existence in relation to software... That's all kinds of insane!




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Post #1536370
Posted Thursday, January 30, 2014 8:30 AM
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I'm going to go out on a limb here.

First, the U.S. Constitutional clause that allows IP:
"To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries" (http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html)

My preference:
Patents are for objects (i.e. Inventors), copyright is for writings (photographs, paintings, text of any kind, music) (i.e. Authors).

Patents: Set back to the original rules; they're for physical objects only, and you have to submit a working model to the patent office; scrap the machine transformation test, if there's no machine, there's no patent. The patent covers only the physical expression of the object - not embedded software (writings), etc. I'm ok with a 14-21 year term, which is in line with historical norms.

Copyrights: For writings only. The actual writing (code) must be submitted. For writings which can be executed (code), the original 1790 act 14 year + 14 year extension may be too much - I'd take this down to a single 14 year term, or perhaps a 7 year + 7 year term. If you haven't gotten your return in the first 14 years of your software, you probably aren't going to - write some more. For writings which cannot be executed (photos, paintings, books, articles, scientific papers, music, etc.), either the 1790 act 14 year + 14 year extension, or perhaps even the 1831 act 28 year + 14 year extension; it can take a lot longer for a book or painting or song to become famous/popular/give some return to the author.

Post #1536375
Posted Thursday, January 30, 2014 8:42 AM


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hisakimatama (1/30/2014)
On a more ridiculous note...

The word "candy" is now trademarked

This is all sorts of absurd. The makers of the Candy Crush line of mobile phone games were granted a trademark to the word "candy" in relation to games; they're now happily suing every other game maker that has the word "candy" in its name. They're also trying to trademark the word "saga", though the case for that one is currently suspended; nonetheless, they're suing one game maker that has the word "saga" in its name, as well.

Trademarking a word's existence in relation to software... That's all kinds of insane!

I understand trademarking the phrase "candy crush" or "candy saga", to prevent other game makers from attemting to sell counterfeit apps with an identical or same name (which does happen and is a legetimate concern). However, attempting the trademark the word "candy" is too broad. App developers (or basically any company that sells a branded product or service) really should perform a search on pending patents and trademarks serveral times a year to help circumvent this type of thing, rather than getting a letter from an attorney after the fact. They could do something like setting up a Google keyword alert on the government website(s) to identify pending trademarks and copyrights that might be an issue.
Post #1536384
Posted Thursday, January 30, 2014 9:52 AM
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Software code should not be able to be patented. A copyright is more appropriate. There is little difference between me writing a book and writing code.

If I write code to display "Hello World" on a screen, someone else can use the same tool, generate the same basic templates (Visual C++ for example builds a lot of boiler plate for you) and then type in their code to do the same thing. Odds are there will be very little difference. What I did was not anything that deserves a patent. If the second developer looked at my source code and used copy/paste, we could say they violated a copyright.

Obviously there is the question of scale, but a large program is simply a collection of objects and functions, each of which is a small piece of code. Most of the time, that code was "copied" from someone else, whether a KB that showed how to do something or a web page. I recognize there are those people who come first, and that figure out how to do something new, but they use the underlying OS calls to do so. How is that something that deserves a patent? I don't believe it does.

Patents were intended to protect the efforts required to imagine and develop new things. We now have patents for the human genome, which is absolutely ridiculous. I have a friend whose child was denied medical treatment because a company patented the gene that caused the issue he suffered from - and would not allow anyone else to develop a solution to the issue. The abuse is rampant.


Dave
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