Patent madness

Story: Samsung Asks for JMOL, or New Trial and Remittitur - Says Apple v. Samsung Trial Was Not FairTotal Replies: 12
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Sep 23, 2012
7:42 PM EDT
I have been following this case and probably like most of us, am disgusted at the fact that Apple holds patents that are both so obvious and based on prior art. I mean to say, my school slate (yes, in my one teacher primary school in country Queensland back in 1954, we DID use slates and slate pencils) was certainly larger but it had pretty much the exact shape, wooden borders and rounded corners of an Apple iPhone......and so did Roman wax tablets. Both slates and wax tablets are work spaces, and that is what smartphones now are, iPhones included.

It also appears (at least to me) that the trial procedures seem to have thrown justice out of the court-room and that the routines approved by the court were heavily weighted in Apple's favour. The jury in particular is now known to have operated on very incorrect assumptions. PJ's summation strongly indicates that the judgement against Samsung is open to enormous challenge and of course, Samsung's latest submission implies that the firm believes it has been denied natural justice - and from the Groklaw summary, that would be my opinion as well.

On the plus side however, what does seem to be happening is that there is now enormous publicity being given to just how badly the patents system is broken, not only in the USA but in other countries, and calls for its reform are now coming in louder and louder, so hope does remain. In any event, courts should NOT be used by business as management tools with which to destroy competition - and my perception is that this is really the only aim of the Cupertino monolith which sees only a monopoly as a suitable outcome for its future. Buy Apple products ? NEVER !!!

Sep 24, 2012
10:36 AM EDT
The publicity has spilled over into the general news,... but not nearly to the extent it needs to... This is hurting economies, the world over,... benefiting only those that flaunt patents from other jurisdictions (China?! anyone?!). Most post-industrial nations are now left bleeding jobs and industries to presently industrializing nations. That's great for a global economic equity. But it's horrible for the status quo.

But in post-industrial nations, consumers are left paying 3-4x the cost of manufacture for products that are marginally obsolete. $500-$600 for an unlocked iPhone 4?! I don't think so!! Now, Win8 tablets with Atom processors are being previewed for price points of $800-$1000,... When 2 years ago the same tech (a couple of Atom processor generations behind) went for under $500... Big business is trying to rewrite the rules. Moore's Law dictates that tech. should cost less every couple of years, ... not more...

Sep 24, 2012
11:03 AM EDT
One thing that I find amusing about people's attitude toward patents is that they seem to think that being the first person to think of something, no matter how mundane, justifies a patent for it. Lawyers seem to be primarily responsible for this attitude since it is good for them to put it forward. This is not the intention of the framers of patent law. Patents are supposed to be about being the first person to figure out how to do something difficult, not about being the first person to think of doing something easy.

People have this misinterpretation of what makes an invention "obvious" for patent purposes. It's not whether the value of the idea is obvious that's supposed to matter for patentability, it's whether the implementation is obvious that's supposed to matter. In other words, it's not supposed to matter if you were the first person to think of doing something. That doesn't make it patentable if once thought of, anyone could see how to do it (anyone familiar with the current state of involved technology, that is). It's only supposed to matter if how to do the thing is not obvious. If the "how" isn't obvious, then it's supposed to be patentable, even if the desirability is already obvious (especially if the desirability is already obvious).

Sep 25, 2012
7:24 AM EDT
CFWhitman - It's a bit like if you were to stand on one leg and shove 20 peanuts in your ear and then claim to be the world record holder for most peanuts stuffed in your ear while standing on one leg.

Sep 25, 2012
8:46 AM EDT
jacog - I see you're ready to file for your first patent. :-)

Sep 25, 2012
9:04 AM EDT
Someone here one suggested patenting the business method of being a patent troll. I doubt it's been done.

Sep 25, 2012
1:39 PM EDT
> patenting the business method of being a patent troll.

Too much prior art. :^)

Sep 25, 2012
1:48 PM EDT
> Too much prior art. :^)

I think only if it's documented. How many patent trolls bother to document their processes? It's the process your patenting, not the idea.

Sep 25, 2012
2:37 PM EDT
@jdixon: Only if it's documented? I'd call a few million pages of court transcripts "documentation" in this case.

Sep 25, 2012
3:36 PM EDT
> I'd call a few million pages of court transcripts "documentation" in this case.

Hmm. Possibly. But I'm not a patent lawyer, so I can't say for certain. In any case, file the patent anyway. When in the past 30 years has the patent office let prior art stop them from granting a business methods patent?

Sep 25, 2012
4:50 PM EDT
Too late. Halliburton (yes, that Halliburton) is already at the head of the line for a patent on patent trolling.

Halliburton October 30, 2008 :

Patent Acquisition and Assertion by a (Non-Inventor) First Party Against a Second Party

- - - - - - -

Though they might have to negotiate an arrangement with IBM over IBM's patent on patent licensing:

IBM October 18, 2007:

System And Method For Extracting Value From A Portfolio Of Assets

Sep 25, 2012
5:59 PM EDT
> Too late.

I should have known.


Sep 26, 2012
5:20 PM EDT
This thread appears to have had its formatting hurt by the spamming event that Scott mentions elsewhere.

Update......looks like it's been fixed.....all the lines are now complete. What can I say except well done.

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