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.


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

Mozilla News/Views

  • What we learned about gender identity in Open Source
    To learn more, we launched a Diversity & Inclusion in Open Source survey earlier this year, which sought to better understand how people identify, including gender-identity. Our gender spectrum question, was purposely long — to experiment with the value people found in seeing their identity represented in a question. People from over 200 open projects participated. Amazingly, of 17 choices, each was uniquely selected, by a survey participant at least once.
  • Why we participate in support
    Users will not use Firefox if they don’t know how to use it, or if it is not working as expected. Support exists to retain users. If their experience of using Firefox is a bad, we’re here to make it good, so they continue to use Firefox.
  • WebRender newsletter #16
  • A good question, from Twitter
    Why do I pay attention to Internet advertising? Why not just block it and forget about it? By now, web ad revenue per user is so small that it only makes sense if you're running a platform with billions of users, so sites are busy figuring out other ways to get paid anyway.
  • This Week In Servo 108
    We have been working on adding automated performance tests for the Alexa top pages, and thanks to contributions from the Servo community we are now regularly tracking the performance of the top 10 websites.

Blockchain: DigitalBits, Aventus, Cryptocurrency

  • DigitalBits launches open-source blockchain-based marketplace for loyalty points
    Their value — or at least their versatility — could get a boost if The DigitalBits Project is successful. This community endeavor, soon to become a nonprofit foundation based out of the tiny European country of Lichtenstein, is today launching an open-source blockchain-based infrastructure that supports trading loyalty points or rewards or transferring them to other individuals.
  • Aventus Announces Development of Open-Source Protocol Foundation
    Aventus, the blockchain ticketing startup that raised 60,000 Ether via a crowdsale in 2017, has announced the next stage of development for its non-profit foundation. The Aventus Protocol Foundation will serve as an entity tasked with supporting open-source projects built using the Aventus protocol. This encourages the growth of the Aventus ticketing ecosystem while protecting the rights of holders of AVT, the native Aventus token.
  • An Overview of Cryptocurrency Consensus Algorithms
    One of the most important aspects of a decentralized cryptocurrency project is the consensus algorithm it employs. A consensus algorithm is crucial to the implementation of a digital currency because it prevents the double spending problem, a challenge that has historically limited the development of digital currencies until the recent development and adoption of the blockchain ledger method. Because cryptocurrencies are implemented as public, decentralized ledgers that are append-only, they must employ a consensus algorithm to verify that there “is one version of the truth” and that the network cannot be overwhelmed by bad actors.

today's howtos

Fedora: Release Party, Fedora Diversity, Critical Firefox Fix