Patent troll

Story: Newegg on trial: Mystery company TQP rewrites the history of encryptionTotal Replies: 4
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Nov 22, 2013
4:24 PM EDT
This "Erich Spangenberg" is doing a wonderful job of demonstrating how the patent system does far more damage than benefit, and deserves to be abolished.

Nov 24, 2013
5:35 PM EDT
This "Nathan Campbell" demonstrates how cars do far more damage than benefit, and deserve to be abolished.

Not buyin' it, Bob. Not all patent holders engage in this kind of barratry.

Nov 25, 2013
9:23 AM EDT
> Not all patent holders engage in this kind of barratry.

Indeed. Some cancers are more virulent than others.

Nov 25, 2013
10:35 AM EDT
Well, I don't know about patents in general, but I have yet to find a software patent that is both legitimate and works as patents are intended to work (in fact, the few that are not obviously illegitimate are arguably illegitimate).

The reason that most software patents are illegitimate is that they are patents for ideas (a result) rather than implementations. Why ideas end up getting patented seems to be a combination of either a misunderstanding, or willful misinterpretation of what a patent is supposed to be for, and the fact that any software implementations of ideas are inherently obvious because all software is based on the same set of simple instructions.

The few software patents that are not obviously illegitimate for not being on implementations are all for things that have alternatives that are equally effective and thus should not be useful patents. The only way that they become useful is if the implementation that they employ ends up being the standard implementation, so a lot of existing data or software requires that implementation to work correctly. These are things like the Microsoft long filename patent (though that ended up being invalidated for prior art anyway) and the mp3 patent.

Nov 25, 2013
11:26 AM EDT
+1 CFWhitman. The distilled version is:

Patents traditionally restrict the manufacture of a device. Software patents are attempts to restrict how a pre-existing device is used.

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