back to article Google leaps on patent reform bandwagon

Today, some of the biggest names in high-tech have their eyes on the nation's capital, where lawmakers are babbling about an overhaul of the U.S. patent system. After years of lobbying from companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Intel, the Senate Judiciary Committee has pulled together a very official hearing called " …


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  1. Tom

    They blew you off?

    Can I have that phone number?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Be more selective in granting them in the first place.

    "A windshield wiper found to an infringe a patent should not spur a damage award based on the value of the entire car,"

    More to the point a windscreen wiper shouldn't be granted a patent in the first place, because we've had windscreen wipers for many many years and doing something new with a windscreen wiper (like putting one on a mirror instead of a windscreen) ought to be dismissed as "obvious" rather than a genuine invention.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's mine is mine what's yours is negotiable

    As an inventor embroiled in litigation against a large company, I can categorically say, the only advantage a plaintiff has is if their attorney works on a contingency (a percentage of award) lessening the risk in seeking remedy.

    Patent litigation is extremely technical and the entire case can rise or fall on the smallest of things. If the defendant wins a single key point, the entire case is lost.

    As for those who dislike patents, the ability to patent an invention is the surest means of encouraging innovation by incentivising people to be creative. Those offended by ownership of IP are free to open source their inventions and reap the good feelings they get when they know they gave away their invention. They are welcome to it.

  4. julian

    Re: What's mine is mine what's yours is negotiable

    Well said

  5. John Stag


    "invention is the surest means of encouraging innovation by incentivising people to be creative."

    So patents like these are encouraging people to write software?

    etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc

    The list goes on all day long.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    patents don't encourage anything

    Imagine going to school and not being able to learn how to calculate the area of a circle because that method is patented. Imagine the formula E=mc^2 being patented. Imagine the method of "how to drive a car" being patented.

    Now imagine all that knowledge being freely available for the progress of human civilization.

    Besides, just because someone had an idea in one part of the world and patented it, doesn't avoid that someone has the exact same idea in another place. Now, the second person would not be able to use his idea because someone else went running to the patent office.

    You could say that ideas are not necessarily that original, since they are highly influenced by context. And many people can be in the same context at the same time. Haven't you ever told someone about an idea and get a comment like "oh yes, I thought the same thing the other day".

  7. Alan Donaly

    patents always worthless

    You can spend your time fighting useless patent battles or you

    can innovate around them the only reason to patent anything

    you intend to use yourself is to keep others from patenting it and

    denying you the use of it. Companies that worry about patents are already behind but thats not to say you won't use them to hamstring

    your competitor if you get a chance it's war (business) after all.

  8. Ian Michael Gumby

    You these guys daft? This isn't patent reform...

    Its a license to steal.

    True patent reform would be the removal of software patents and business reform from being patentable along the same lines as a mathematics algorithm.

    There are only a finite number of ways of solving a problem given a specific language, and these end in an optimal solution. (Note: there can be more than one optimal solutions in some cases) Thus it is quite common that there will be prior art that contributes to a patent as well as multiple different groups that are attempting to solve a problem simultaneously.

    These major companies call such lawsuits as frivilious ?sp? yet, its their license to steal. Just ask Eolas.

    Should there be patent reform?

    Sure. Most definitely.

    But also consider tort reform too.

    One last comment. Its the triple damages which makes patent violations so expensive if/when you lose. Its probably one of the few things that keeps microsoft in check. Note that we're talking about a company which has been found guilty of being a monopoly and using its position as a monopoly in an illegal manner.

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