Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

M$/TomTom Lawsuit

Who's copying who isn't a clear cut case

The rise of MS is also an adventure of copyright violations and exploitation of weak patents. The computing industry has existed for a long time now and has for several years been an integrated part of people's daily life. Code that in the past was viewed as Mr. Merlin's magic is today is today a knowledge shared by many, even outside corporate buildings. Therefore I think this is more a testimony of how deprecated the whole idea of how patents work in this industry is. There's always a breaking point when something becomes common knowledge and therefore can't be viewed as intellectual property.

But of course if carton box still needs 6 (or is it 9?) patents printed on it in the US then probably FAT must be viewed as rocket science worthy of Nobel price to its initial author. Since exploitation of patents in itself is a lucrative business in the US you've got printed black on white that the system has to be overhauled. As it is now everything imaginable and thinkable beyond a coke and burger is valid to be patented. MS isn't alone in this silly brainstorm game; a look at many company's patent portfolios reveal the same.

No, I don't think this MS/TomTom thing is anything else but an attempt to strengthen a business model of living well on weak but never challenged patents. In view of how the market is changing faster than MS is able to adopt, it might be a "smart" move to make sure your economical future is a bit more secure even if your software fails, or sales of it.

The premesis and qualifications for a patent...

is an important question. A patent system isn't a universal unchangeable set of rules. Hence patent systems differ and what might be a valid patent in one country isn't even qualified to become one in another.

Emotions aren't of any interest and you're actually allowed to comment with a portion of playfulness with words, aren't you? If a patent system doesn't fulfil its intentional purpose it has become unproductive and in need of an overhaul.

I assume you don't like Bilski's arguments for a change of the US patent system? I fear that the lobby against such changes is too strong in both influence and money, but I believe the suggested changes would stimulate innovation and remove some of the obstacles to innovations. As of today it's difficult for innovators with limited money resources to defend their innovations.

Therefore my answer to your question [or questioning of my understanding] is: it's not good enough to only know current patent laws, it's even more vital to defend the initial purpose of them and strengthening them accordingly. We might have different opinions on the matter without the need to ridicule one another.

Schestowitz

Do you need glasses? Perhaps you should try one of those screen magnifier app's so you don't have to inflict the rest of us with your over sized type.

Obama, fix you f*ing system

"Since the birth of the Republic, the U.S. government has been in the business of handing out "exclusive rights" (a.k.a., monopolies) in order to "promote progress" or enable new markets of communication. Patents and copyrights accomplish the first goal; giving away slices of the airwaves serves the second. No one doubts that these monopolies are sometimes necessary to stimulate innovation. Hollywood could not survive without a copyright system; privately funded drug development won't happen without patents. But if history has taught us anything, it is that special interests—the Disneys and Pfizers of the world—have become very good at clambering for more and more monopoly rights. Copyrights last almost a century now, and patents regulate "anything under the sun that is made by man," as the Supreme Court has put it. This is the story of endless bloat, with each round of new monopolies met with a gluttonous demand for more."

--Lawrence Lessig

If they can uphold the

If they can uphold the patent, then they can make all the other companies using FAT pay up. Easy money.

More in Tux Machines

Video: Headless ARM9 SBC boots Linux in less than a second

Technologic has posted a video demo of its fast-booting headless PC/104-expandable SBC, which runs Debian on a PXA16x SoC and includes a Lattice FPGA. Read more

UBOS -- a new Linux distro for personal servers and IoT devices

UBOS is a new Linux distro that aims to make it 10x easier to run server-side apps for yourself, or for your family, on hardware you own. Why give your valuable data to Google or some other data overlord, if you can keep it under your own control? All you need is a spare (physical, virtual, or cloud) computer that can run Linux. UBOS automates much of the administration, so you can get on with life. Want to use ownCloud instead of Dropbox? Shaarli instead of delicious? An RSS reader or an Internet-of-Things app? UBOS makes installation and maintenance easy and quick.

Slovak statisticians rely on open source for voting machines

The Slovak Republic’s Bureau of Statistics has used PCs running Ubuntu Linux for recording votes in the country’s municipal election on 29 November. Using open source saves money, says Štefan Tóth, Director Geneŕal of Informatics Section at the agency. For the bureau’s IT system administrators, Ubuntu proves easier to maintain and configure, and the software also withstands malware attacks better than the proprietary alternative, director Tóth confirms Read more