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(C|Net)   Mark Zuckerberg granted patent on what amounts to dynamic web content   (news.cnet.com) divider line 153
    More: Asinine, Mark Zuckerberg, patent applications, USPTO, messages  
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13745 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Jul 2012 at 1:48 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-24 02:39:13 PM  

jonny_q: If the specific patented claims were the important bit, and this really was a very specific, limited, minor patent, and this was really the norm, there would be a lot fewer patent cases right now between pretty much everyone and pretty much everyone else.


You've got three conditions in there:
1. The claims are the important bit - this is true
2. This patent is a very specific, limited, minor patent - I know how I'd look to design around it, so give it a qualified yes.
3. This is the norm; most patents are very specific, limited, and minor - not necessarily.

I wouldn't agree with #3, nor would people filing suit over those other patents... hence why there's tons of patents.
That doesn't change that #1 is absolutely true.

Look at it this way - a patent is a legal document defining the scope of a property right. It's a lot like a deed. Deeds include a section that lists the metes and bounds of the property ("42.6 feet north, 16.2 feet west, etc.") and in the same way, patents include a section that lists the metes and bounds of the intellectual property. That section is the claims.
 
2012-07-24 02:41:22 PM  

Teiritzamna: Actual honest question, what premise might that be?


Apparently, believing that claims are important and that people don't sue over very specific, limited, and minor patents.
 
2012-07-24 02:49:54 PM  
A system and method for dynamically generating a privacy summary is provided.

Dynamic content generation is the basis for just about every GD thing on the web in the last decade. It's the first chapter of every web programming book out there. Seriously, wtf? Prior art is everywhere. Did he invent some new technology by which to access it? Doubtful.

Seems like one of those "yes, but this is [insert mundane concept that everyone knows] for a [fill in random specific application]!" patent.
 
2012-07-24 02:51:08 PM  
The obvious is obvious
 
2012-07-24 02:53:07 PM  

Theaetetus: rmoody: another patent troll defending jackass

Again, Facebook has a product. They're not a troll, by my definition.


FTFY. You're only here to fight a proxy biatchslap fight in defense of Apple's sh*tting all over the IP system.
 
2012-07-24 02:54:13 PM  

fluffy2097: I patented altering electrical voltages years ago.

I'm filthy rich now.


Checked user profile which doesn't give commenter's name. However, I suspect he is Nikola Tesla.
 
2012-07-24 02:54:57 PM  

Theaetetus: JackieRabbit: Actually, having a patent pending is in many ways better than having the patent.

This is correct, but for the wrong reasons:
A pending patent cannot be challenged.

It can be watched and challenged as soon as a notice of allowance is issued.

It's also easier to get a court to order someone to cease and desist if it believes a pending patent is being encroached on.

Absolutely not. A pending patent application gives the applicant no rights whatsoever other than a right to the filing date of the application. A court can not only not issue an injunction, they can't even hear a case relating to the application.


I stand corrected, as i just read this:

The expressions "patent pending" (sometimes abbreviated by "pat. pend". or "pat. pending") or "patent applied for" refer to a warning that inventors are entitled to use in reference to their product or process once a patent application has been filed, but prior to the patent being issued or the application abandoned. The marking serves to notify potential infringers who would copy the invention that they may be liable for damages (including back-dated royalties), seizure, and injunction once a patent is issued.
 
2012-07-24 02:56:43 PM  

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: Theaetetus: rmoody: another patent troll defending jackass

Again, Facebook has a product. They're not a troll, by my definition.

FTFY. You're only here to fight a proxy biatchslap fight in defense of Apple's sh*tting all over the IP system.


Patent troll
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Patent troll is a term used for a person or company who enforces patents against one or more alleged infringers in a manner considered aggressive or opportunistic with no intention to manufacture or market the patented invention.[1]


And I don't work for Apple, nor have I ever.
 
2012-07-24 02:56:44 PM  

Theaetetus: rmoody: another patent troll defending jackass

Again, Facebook has a product. They're not a troll, by definition.

Tell us more about how holding a monopoly on a process benefits society in any way shape or form.

Oh, it doesn't. Granting a time-limited monopoly on a process in exchange for public disclosure of that process benefits society. Or rather, the public disclosure benefits society, and the monopoly is the payment.
It's like asking how paying money for things benefits you in any way shape or form. Well, paying money doesn't benefit you, because you have less money... but then you get things. And things benefit you
.


/this
 
2012-07-24 02:57:59 PM  

JackieRabbit: I stand corrected, as i just read this:

The expressions "patent pending" (sometimes abbreviated by "pat. pend". or "pat. pending") or "patent applied for" refer to a warning that inventors are entitled to use in reference to their product or process once a patent application has been filed, but prior to the patent being issued or the application abandoned. The marking serves to notify potential infringers who would copy the invention that they may be liable for damages (including back-dated royalties), seizure, and injunction once a patent is issued.


Yep. "Patent pending" is a warning at best, and no one would ever say "gosh, they've got a patent pending, you better stop making your product."
 
2012-07-24 03:02:13 PM  

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: Theaetetus: rmoody: another patent troll defending jackass

Again, Facebook has a product. They're not a troll, by my definition.

FTFY. You're only here to fight a proxy biatchslap fight in defense of Apple's sh*tting all over the IP system.


Well to be fair, Patent Troll as invented meant a company or person who wanted to "make a lot of money off a patent that they are not practicing and have no intention of practicing and in most cases never practiced."

The wiki lists this is as its main definition: "Patent troll is a term used for a person or company who enforces patents against one or more alleged infringers in a manner considered aggressive or opportunistic with no intention to manufacture or market the patented invention."

Patently-O, one of the premier sites about Patent law, defines it thusly "The patent troll does not research or develop the technology or any products related to its patent. Rather, the patent troll waits for others to independently develop the patented technology into useful products and to create a market for those products. Once the newcomers are locked-into the new technology, the patent troll seeks rents either through licensing or litigation."

So yeah . . . its not so much his definition as the general definition in the industry and amongst lawyers.

/turns out words having meanings is a big deal for lawyers
 
2012-07-24 03:09:35 PM  
This is never gonna stop until we abolish patents.

They might once have been useful, but it's clear patent law simply can't keep up with modern technology; it hampers innovation far, far, FAR more than it aids it. Don't take my word on it; here's Google's position: "The tech industry has a significant problem... Software patents are kind of gumming up the works of innovation... Every software company would be happy if patents went away".

The innovators don't want it; the only people who do are the lawyers and the farking patent trolls.

Teiritzamna: jonny_q: He has his facts straight, but his opinions start from such a flawed premise that I find it hard to believe he actually believes anything he says.

Actual honest question, what premise might that be?


He's a lawyer. He tirelessly defends patents and patent trolling because it results in lawyers getting paychecks. That's it. I don't know why people expect anything deeper from him.
 
2012-07-24 03:09:50 PM  

Teiritzamna: /turns out words having meanings is a big deal for lawyers


Lawyers are certainly sticklers for words, and their connotative and detonative meanings
 
2012-07-24 03:11:54 PM  
Doesn't really matter what the word "Pattent Troll" means exactly, seeing as the guy who came up with the word now works for the largest patent troll company in existence. I think it's fair to say that grabbing obvious patents like this one (it IS obvious, the fact that damn near every website uses it should evidence that) in an attempt to gain leverage over your competitors in the MAD arms race that is software patents falls into the same territory as it is destructive and hurts innovation.

Only people that don't mind are, surprise, patent attorneys who make their living on this nonsense.
 
2012-07-24 03:12:13 PM  

Theaetetus: SacriliciousBeerSwiller: Theaetetus: rmoody: another patent troll defending jackass

Again, Facebook has a product. They're not a troll, by my definition.

FTFY. You're only here to fight a proxy biatchslap fight in defense of Apple's sh*tting all over the IP system.

Patent troll
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Patent troll is a term used for a person or company who enforces patents against one or more alleged infringers in a manner considered aggressive or opportunistic with no intention to manufacture or market the patented invention.[1]

And I don't work for Apple, nor have I ever.


Two things:
1) "Patent Troll" has no official definition. No, Wikipedia is not a valid source for that. You know better. The word is still a product of pop-culture who's meaning is malleable based upon those who use it, and like it or not, the term has come to commonly be used to describe circumstances at odds with how you prefer to use said term.
2) I never claimed you worked for Apple. I'm merely going by your history of being staunchly and rabidly pro-Apple at every turn (in addition to being pedantically defensive of the laughable condition of our patent system).
 
2012-07-24 03:15:38 PM  

Gunther: This is never gonna stop until we abolish patents.

They might once have been useful, but it's clear patent law simply can't keep up with modern technology; it hampers innovation far, far, FAR more than it aids it. Don't take my word on it; here's Google's position: "The tech industry has a significant problem... Software patents are kind of gumming up the works of innovation... Every software company would be happy if patents went away".

The innovators don't want it; the only people who do are the lawyers and the farking patent trolls.

Teiritzamna: jonny_q: He has his facts straight, but his opinions start from such a flawed premise that I find it hard to believe he actually believes anything he says.

Actual honest question, what premise might that be?

He's a lawyer. He tirelessly defends patents and patent trolling because it results in lawyers getting paychecks. That's it. I don't know why people expect anything deeper from him.


Ah so the flawed premise, (and i know this is not to jonny_q) in your mind is that he 1) actually knows something about the system and 2) is not for razing it to the ground.

Also, you do realize we lawyers are whores right? That we do what our clients tell us? That patent litigation is driven by rights holders?
 
2012-07-24 03:16:26 PM  

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: Two things:
1) "Patent Troll" has no official definition. No, Wikipedia is not a valid source for that. You know better. The word is still a product of pop-culture who's meaning is malleable based upon those who use it, and like it or not, the term has come to commonly be used to describe circumstances at odds with how you prefer to use said term.


The vast majority of people in the industry use that definition for "patent troll". But, that aside, all you've done is say "Facebook is a patent troll" and "your definition is wrong."

Okay... What's your definition of "patent troll"?
At least make one so that we can use the same meanings in the discussion.

2) I never claimed you worked for Apple. I'm merely going by your history of being staunchly and rabidly pro-Apple at every turn (in addition to being pedantically defensive of the laughable condition of our patent system).

Not quite sure what you're talking about. I'm generally anti-MS, pro-Apple, pro-Google, anti-Samsung, pro-Sony, etc. It's really a huge mishmash of opinions, like everyone else.
 
2012-07-24 03:18:09 PM  

Theaetetus: pro-Sony


i1.kym-cdn.com
 
2012-07-24 03:18:43 PM  

Gunther: This is never gonna stop until we abolish patents.


Hell no. Patents = good.

However, the way software patents are handled needs to change. A hard background in programming should be essential to anyone involved in granting such patents. Without that, they're philosophically crippled as to what is truly innovative right out of the gate.
 
2012-07-24 03:19:41 PM  

Necronic: Doesn't really matter what the word "Pattent Troll" means exactly, seeing as the guy who came up with the word now works for the largest patent troll company in existence.


NTP?

I think it's fair to say that grabbing obvious patents like this one (it IS obvious, the fact that damn near every website uses it should evidence that)

It was first filed for 6 years ago. That everyone's using it now is irrelevant... The question is whether damn near every website - or any - were using it then or earlier.

... in an attempt to gain leverage over your competitors in the MAD arms race that is software patents falls into the same territory as it is destructive and hurts innovation.

In what way? If every website is using it now and they weren't six years ago, then that seems to show that innovation is proceeding handily, no?

Only people that don't mind are, surprise, patent attorneys who make their living on this nonsense.

I think Zuckerberg is probably pretty happy, too.
 
2012-07-24 03:20:10 PM  

Theaetetus: Not quite sure what you're talking about. I'm generally anti-MS, pro-Apple, pro-Google, anti-Samsung, pro-Sony, etc. It's really a huge mishmash of opinions, like everyone else.


*this is me shrugging*
If you say so.
 
2012-07-24 03:21:10 PM  

Teiritzamna: Theaetetus: pro-Sony

[i1.kym-cdn.com image 150x134]


I had a power supply go on a PS2, and not only did the customer service drone elevate my call once it became clear I knew what I was talking about, I got a call from a VP in Quality Assurance to discuss it, and then he shipped me a new one with a prepaid return label.
That buys quite a bit of goodwill.
 
2012-07-24 03:21:34 PM  

Teiritzamna: Ah so the flawed premise, (and i know this is not to jonny_q) in your mind is that he 1) actually knows something about the system and 2) is not for razing it to the ground.


You missed my point. Patent lawyers benefit from patent law being such a tangled, horrible innovation-stalling mess, as it guarantees them more work. It's like arguing farm subsidies with a corn farmer - I can't possibly expect him to have an unbiased opinion on the issue.
 
2012-07-24 03:22:22 PM  

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: Theaetetus: Not quite sure what you're talking about. I'm generally anti-MS, pro-Apple, pro-Google, anti-Samsung, pro-Sony, etc. It's really a huge mishmash of opinions, like everyone else.

*this is me shrugging*
If you say so.


Sure, but that aside, what's your definition of "patent troll"? I'd like to know at least what competing definitions are out there so I'm not always assuming people mean the common one.
 
2012-07-24 03:22:33 PM  

Theaetetus: Teiritzamna: Theaetetus: pro-Sony

[i1.kym-cdn.com image 150x134]

I had a power supply go on a PS2, and not only did the customer service drone elevate my call once it became clear I knew what I was talking about, I got a call from a VP in Quality Assurance to discuss it, and then he shipped me a new one with a prepaid return label.
That buys quite a bit of goodwill.


These kind of serious rational answers are no way to respond on Fark, silly.
 
2012-07-24 03:23:27 PM  

Gunther: You missed my point. Patent lawyers benefit from patent law being such a tangled, horrible innovation-stalling mess, as it guarantees them more work. It's like arguing farm subsidies with a corn farmer - I can't possibly expect him to have an unbiased opinion on the issue.


It depends. I'm on the prosecution side of things. I benefit from more and more innovation. It's the litigators that you should be mad at.
 
2012-07-24 03:32:58 PM  

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: Gunther: This is never gonna stop until we abolish patents.

Hell no. Patents = good.



People say that, but they never seem to give any evidence, just vague "it's always been this way" type wishy-washy nonsense. It crushes innovation far more than it rewards it:

"Most people who work in corporations or academia have witnessed something like the following: A number of engineers are sitting together in a room, bouncing ideas off each other. Out of the discussion emerges a new concept that seems promising. Then some laptop-wielding person in the corner, having performed a quick Google search, announces that this "new" idea is, in fact, an old one-or at least vaguely similar-and has already been tried. Either it failed, or it succeeded. If it failed, then no manager who wants to keep his or her job will approve spending money trying to revive it. If it succeeded, then it's patented and entry to the market is presumed to be unattainable, since the first people who thought of it will have "first-mover advantage" and will have created "barriers to entry." The number of seemingly promising ideas that have been crushed in this way must number in the millions."
 
2012-07-24 03:33:04 PM  

Theaetetus: It depends. I'm on the prosecution side of things. I benefit from more and more innovation. It's the litigators that you should be mad at.


And as a litigator usually on the side of generic drugs, trust me I would much rather a streamlined and simple system. seriously.

/What people think lawyers want/do and what lawyers actually want/do are usually pretty divergent.
 
2012-07-24 03:35:44 PM  
So, he managed to patent something(retroactively for six years) that's been in practice on the web for over a decade? Most php forums I've seen allow for what is described in that patent, and they've been around since the '90s.
 
2012-07-24 03:47:34 PM  

Gunther: SacriliciousBeerSwiller: Gunther: This is never gonna stop until we abolish patents.

Hell no. Patents = good.


People say that, but they never seem to give any evidence, just vague "it's always been this way" type wishy-washy nonsense. It crushes innovation far more than it rewards it:

"Most people who work in corporations or academia have witnessed something like the following: A number of engineers are sitting together in a room, bouncing ideas off each other. Out of the discussion emerges a new concept that seems promising. Then some laptop-wielding person in the corner, having performed a quick Google search, announces that this "new" idea is, in fact, an old one-or at least vaguely similar-and has already been tried. Either it failed, or it succeeded. If it failed, then no manager who wants to keep his or her job will approve spending money trying to revive it.


So it's not "patents" crushing innovation, but risk-adverse managers and bean counters. I agree. I think people should give their engineers the freedom to take risks.

If it succeeded, then it's patented and entry to the market is presumed to be unattainable, since the first people who thought of it will have "first-mover advantage" and will have created "barriers to entry."

Again, it's the risk-adverse bean counters you're singling out with this anecdote. The existence of a patent isn't a barrier to entry to a market... it's a first step from which additional improvements can be- drumroll- innovated.

The number of seemingly promising ideas that have been crushed in this way must number in the millions."

Agreed. Let's abolish cowardly managers.

But this has nothing to do with patent law.
 
2012-07-24 03:48:25 PM  

Theaetetus: baronvonzipper: Screw all of these patent trolls

Facebook has a product.


Well said -- and the "product" is the users.
 
2012-07-24 03:50:57 PM  
In fact, Gunther, your link doesn't even say what you claim it does. That paragraph is surrounded by the following:
"Innovation can't happen without accepting the risk that it might fail." (as I said above)
and
"What if that person in the corner hadn't been able to do a Google search? It might have required weeks of library research to uncover evidence that the idea wasn't entirely new-and after a long and toilsome slog through many books, tracking down many references, some relevant, some not. When the precedent was finally unearthed, it might not have seemed like such a direct precedent after all. There might be reasons why it would be worth taking a second crack at the idea, perhaps hybridizing it with innovations from other fields."

In other words, it's not the patent that's the problem, but the unwillingness of managers to let their engineers take risks and innovate.
 
2012-07-24 03:53:57 PM  

Benni K Rok: So, he managed to patent something(retroactively for six years)


No, he actually filed for it 6 years ago. He didn't retroactively do anything.
 
2012-07-24 03:54:20 PM  

Theaetetus: Necronic: Doesn't really matter what the word "Pattent Troll" means exactly, seeing as the guy who came up with the word now works for the largest patent troll company in existence.

NTP?

I think it's fair to say that grabbing obvious patents like this one (it IS obvious, the fact that damn near every website uses it should evidence that)

It was first filed for 6 years ago. That everyone's using it now is irrelevant... The question is whether damn near every website - or any - were using it then or earlier.

... in an attempt to gain leverage over your competitors in the MAD arms race that is software patents falls into the same territory as it is destructive and hurts innovation.

In what way? If every website is using it now and they weren't six years ago, then that seems to show that innovation is proceeding handily, no?

Only people that don't mind are, surprise, patent attorneys who make their living on this nonsense.

I think Zuckerberg is probably pretty happy, too.


The essence of this "idea" is dynamically generated content, full stop. Yes, it's "dynamically generated content, as applied to privacy settings, but the core concept is the dynamically generated content, the application is not, imho, patentable, nor (really) is the core concept as it is so obvious. There's nothing novel about that, there never has been. There's really no difference between this and going into a restaurant where you are well known and your specific desires are catered to.

It's called customer service. Beyond that, to act like dynamically generated content as it appears on the web is only 6 years old is absurd. It's been around for ages. There's nothing new here. Effectively it's simply describing the advantages of a relational database.

As for zuckerberg being happy, I bet he would be much more happy if he didn't feel a need to invent worthless patents like this one to defend himself from other worthless patents. Seriously, the only people that are getting anything out of this are the patent attorneys.

Sorry if your job produces nothing and stalls progress.. (Note that I don't think that pattents are useless, the patent system is brilliant and incredibly valuable outside of the sofware industry. But within the software industry it is completely broken and is wasting billions of dollars.)

Also I don't know what NTP means.
 
2012-07-24 03:55:58 PM  
Effectively what's happened here is that Facebook tried to patent a hammer. The patent office said "no way, a hammer is an obvious invention", so then they pattented a red hammer that had the words "Hammer" written on the handle.
 
2012-07-24 03:57:22 PM  
I imagine there'll be even more of this jackassery as the wider adoption of AJAX and HTML5 mean that increasingly, you won't be able to avoid putting your code out there for everyone to see and duplicate.
 
2012-07-24 03:58:17 PM  

drmda: The obvious is obvious


yep, initially patent rejected because it was stupid. zuckerberg gets rich and now can buy all the influence and patents he wants. this is the american way.
 
2012-07-24 04:00:25 PM  

xanadian: So, he patented security and privacy settings?

Fark.com, you's in BIG TROUBLE NOW

/and pretty much every other Web 2.0 site out there


Surely every Web 2.0 site should be sued by the bulletin boards that invented it all several decades before? Having the users create the content was the normal (non-academic) situation for most of the internets history, especially before the web/html came along and made a commercial motive for people to create more than minimal content on their own website rather than getting others to build it up for them.
 
2012-07-24 04:09:53 PM  

Theaetetus: In other words, it's not the patent that's the problem, but the unwillingness of managers to let their engineers take risks and innovate.


It's the patent that's making it so damn risky, though.

You come up with a brilliant new idea to streamline the process for making a particular widget. You search for patents on the widget and find one that's similar enough to your idea that there's a small possibility that a lawsuit could be filed. Immediately there's a disincentive to innovate, long before you even get to the point where you're being sued over it. You're blaming the managers for not wanting to risk a lawsuit, but it's not their job to ensure innovations aren't stifled, it's their job to keep their company profitable. Patent law is supposed to protect innovation, not make it too risky to bother with.
 
2012-07-24 04:13:49 PM  

You come up with a brilliant new idea to streamline the process for making a particular widget. You search for patents on the widget and find one that's similar enough to your idea that there's a small possibility that a lawsuit could be filed. Immediately there's a disincentive to innovate, long before you even get to the point where you're being sued over it. You're blaming the managers for not wanting to risk a lawsuit, but it's not their job to ensure innovations aren't stifled, it's their job to keep their company profitable. Patent law is supposed to protect innovation, not make it too risky to bother with.


Then its not a new idea, is it?
 
2012-07-24 04:16:20 PM  

hammer85: Then its not a new idea, is it?


There's no such thing as a completely original idea.
 
2012-07-24 04:20:41 PM  

Necronic: The essence of this "idea" is dynamically generated content, full stop.


You can't do that, though. That's like saying "sure, you have a deed to your house, but really, it's in 'America', so it belongs to all of us. So get out." And even with eminent domain seizures, you still have to acknowledge their ownership prior to the seizure.
Same thing with a patent - you can't wipe out or ignore every limitation in the claims to claim that the broader unclaimed "essence" of the idea is obvious.

Here's an example:
Space travel is obvious. There's space, you want to travel in it: bam, space travel. Farkin' obvious.
But wait, no one is claiming "I own space travel," they're claiming "I own this design for a ship for traveling in space." That "space travel" is obvious is irrelevant, because if you have to ignore limitations in the claims to describe the "essence", then you're broadening the claim beyond the scope of the patent.

So, yeah, dynamic content has been around for more than 6 years. Hell, I've got applications from the early 2000s that describe ways to accelerate dynamic content delivery. But that's irrelevant, because this application isn't trying to claim "dynamic content".

Sorry if your job produces nothing and stalls progress.. (Note that I don't think that pattents are useless, the patent system is brilliant and incredibly valuable outside of the sofware industry. But within the software industry it is completely broken and is wasting billions of dollars.)

Actually, I'd say it's pretty clear that progress isn't stalled at all. Particularly in the software industry.

Also I don't know what NTP means.

NTP was the company that sued RIM over push-email, and earlier today announced a huge licensing deal with most of the industry players. It was a joke.
 
2012-07-24 04:24:39 PM  

Gunther: You come up with a brilliant new idea to streamline the process for making a particular widget. You search for patents on the widget and find one that's similar enough to your idea that there's a small possibility that a lawsuit could be filed. Immediately there's a disincentive huge incentive to innovate around the patent you found.


FTFY. You built a better mousetrap. You find that someone built one already. You could either throw up your hands and say "bah, patents are the problem, not that I haven't actually invented something," or you could build an even better mousetrap.

You're blaming the managers for not wanting to risk a lawsuit, but it's not their job to ensure innovations aren't stifled, it's their job to keep their company profitable. Patent law is supposed to protect innovation, not make it too risky to bother with.

If you can't make enough money on your better mousetrap to be profitable, maybe it's not good enough. Patent law isn't supposed to be a welfare program for people who got beaten to a good idea and can't come up with any commercially valuable improvements.
 
2012-07-24 04:25:31 PM  

Gunther: hammer85: Then its not a new idea, is it?

There's no such thing as a completely original idea.


Then isn't it reasonable to pay a fair royalty to the person whose shoulders you're standing on?
 
2012-07-24 04:29:31 PM  
At least he didn't patent upscaling the font size on a site and calling it a 'reskin', so fark is safe for now.
 
2012-07-24 04:35:25 PM  

Theaetetus: That's like saying "sure, you have a deed to your house, but really, it's in 'America', so it belongs to all of us. So get out." And even with eminent domain seizures, you still have to acknowledge their ownership prior to the seizure.
Same thing with a patent - you can't wipe out or ignore every limitation in the claims to claim that the broader unclaimed "essence" of the idea is obvious.

Also I don't know what NTP means.

NTP was the company that sued RIM over push-email, and earlier today announced a huge licensing deal with most of the industry players. It was a joke.


Ah ok, went over my head then.

But your analogy of

Dynamic Content Delivery is to Dynamic Delivery Dependant on Privacy Settings
as
America is to A Deed to a House (in America)

Is fundamentally flawed. The existence and structure of the house is not predicated on the existence of America, except for the fact that the house is in America. But the "in America" quality is not the essence of the house. It in no way describes the house in a way that can differentiate it from the State of California or my dirty socks.

Whereas with the DNC, one is fundamentally predicated on the other. Now, you could make the comparison
as
a gun is to a High Powerd Anti-Material Rifle.

Because while the latter is predicated by the former, the latter is definitely patentable. The problem here is that the AMR requires a significant amount of conceptual and logistical research and development, and is not an obvious application (or, better said, how to apply the concept is not obvious), of "a gun".

Wheras with the facebook system the application is both obvious and is obviously applied. The only difficult aspect of most applications DNC is to understand relational database theory and how to use it to customize data (which is not difficult.)

Also I didn't really mean to trash your work (if you're a patent attorney.) Pattent attorneys will be integral in fixing this mess.
 
2012-07-24 04:39:08 PM  

Theaetetus: FTFY. You built a better mousetrap. You find that someone built one already. You could either throw up your hands and say "bah, patents are the problem, not that I haven't actually invented something," or you could build an even better mousetrap.


Again, that's not actually gonna happen. You're gonna go to your manager and say; "we had this great idea, but when we looked it up it turns out some company patented something vaguely similar a decade ago" and he's gonna say "well, we better drop that, then". And you know what? it'd be irresponsible of him not to. Lawsuits are expensive, and minimizing the risk of one is just sensible behavior.

Theaetetus: . Patent law isn't supposed to be a welfare program for people who got beaten to a good idea and can't come up with any commercially valuable improvements.


No, it's supposed to foster innovation, not make it riskier and more expensive. Which is what it does.

Theaetetus: Then isn't it reasonable to pay a fair royalty to the person whose shoulders you're standing on?


Goddammit, the point is that you came up with a similar idea independently! you aren't standing on their shoulders - you didn't even know their shoulders existed until you googled the cool new idea you had and found out some asshole patented something vaguely similar-sounding in 1992. And then you throw the cool new idea in the dustbin, because it isn't farking worth the risk of being sued, even if you're fairly confident you'd win.

There's pretty much zero chance any idea you've ever had isn't similar to one someone else has had at some point in the past. Hell, I doubt anyone has ever come up with a completely original idea - innovation is a gradual process.
 
2012-07-24 04:43:54 PM  

Necronic: Theaetetus: That's like saying "sure, you have a deed to your house, but really, it's in 'America', so it belongs to all of us. So get out." And even with eminent domain seizures, you still have to acknowledge their ownership prior to the seizure.
Same thing with a patent - you can't wipe out or ignore every limitation in the claims to claim that the broader unclaimed "essence" of the idea is obvious.

Also I don't know what NTP means.

NTP was the company that sued RIM over push-email, and earlier today announced a huge licensing deal with most of the industry players. It was a joke.

Ah ok, went over my head then.

But your analogy of

Dynamic Content Delivery is to Dynamic Delivery Dependant on Privacy Settings
as
America is to A Deed to a House (in America)

Is fundamentally flawed. The existence and structure of the house is not predicated on the existence of America, except for the fact that the house is in America. But the "in America" quality is not the essence of the house. It in no way describes the house in a way that can differentiate it from the State of California or my dirty socks.

Whereas with the DNC, one is fundamentally predicated on the other. Now, you could make the comparison
as
a gun is to a High Powerd Anti-Material Rifle.

Because while the latter is predicated by the former, the latter is definitely patentable. The problem here is that the AMR requires a significant amount of conceptual and logistical research and development, and is not an obvious application (or, better said, how to apply the concept is not obvious), of "a gun".

Wheras with the facebook system the application is both obvious and is obviously applied. The only difficult aspect of most applications DNC is to understand relational database theory and how to use it to customize data (which is not difficult.)

Also I didn't really mean to trash your work (if you're a patent attorney.) Pattent attorneys will be integral in fixing this mess.


Biases aside, but if the facebook claim s so obvious and obviously applied, I'll give you until tomorrow to find prior art that meets all the limitations of claim 1 (and prior to the filing date) and by all means let's find a lawyer to negate the patent.

//Not holding my breath
 
2012-07-24 04:45:31 PM  

Necronic: Dynamic Content Delivery is to Dynamic Delivery Dependant on Privacy Settings
as
America is to A Deed to a House (in America)

Is fundamentally flawed. The existence and structure of the house is not predicated on the existence of America, except for the fact that the house is in America. But the "in America" quality is not the essence of the house. It in no way describes the house in a way that can differentiate it from the State of California or my dirty socks.


No, but it distinguishes your house in America from someone's house in France. The flaw is in enlarging the definition of your property to a much, much broader region - which you've termed "the essence".
Your gun analogy is certainly apt too. Similarly, while you could say "in essence, a high powered antimatter rifle is 'a gun'," that's irrelevant to whether the antimatter rifle is patentable, even though guns have existed for a long time.

Think of both of these analogies and the patent as Venn diagrams. You cannot claim ownership over a large region - America, 'guns', 'dynamic content' - but you can go much narrower and claim ownership over subsets within that region - your house, antimatter rifles, and dynamic generation of narrations based on privacy settings.

Wheras with the facebook system the application is both obvious and is obviously applied.

That's just a conclusion, though, like "the defendant is guilty". Legally, you have to support it with evidence, such as a combination of prior art references that teach or suggest each and every element of the invention.
Just like there's a high bar on a court to convict someone, even though we may still think OJ is guilty, there's a bar (lower, though, being civil) on the PTO to reject a patent, even if you think the invention is obvious. Due process applies in both situations.
 
2012-07-24 04:55:15 PM  

Gunther: Goddammit, the point is that you came up with a similar idea independently! you aren't standing on their shoulders - you didn't even know their shoulders existed until you googled the cool new idea you had and found out some asshole patented something vaguely similar-sounding in 1992. And then you throw the cool new idea in the dustbin, because it isn't farking worth the risk of being sued, even if you're fairly confident you'd win.


Ok, but here is the thing. You are not really innovating yet. Its like if i sat down and independently came up with the idea for the internal combustion engine. Its original (using the language of Copyright), meaning that this idea is traceable to me, and not to someone else through copying. But it sure isn't novel, which is the root of innovation. Its just not new. Yet.

So you have two options. You can throw up your hands and say poo, my great idea is not new at all. Or you can look at the publicly disclosed patent and use your smarts to try to improve on the device, to make something actually novel. You see what this system did - it forced someone to stop attempting to invent something that already existed and focused them onto inventing something actually new. It got information into the public so smart people could invent new things. It . . . fostered innovation!

Now the truth is that the present system of patents in tech are messed up not because of "obvious" claims, but because its actually very hard to search out tech patents and determine if you are re-inventing the wheel (both due to ambiguity in claims and the actual difficulty of searching word based claims for complex technical principles). So most inventors in that sector don't try anymore. They wade into a sea of possible invention knowing there are mines out there, but lacking any good way to detect them. They assume getting sued is just a part of life.

It why Pharma looks so different. Generally, there are no surprise infringements in pharma. If you have a molecule with a particular structure, you can find out if there are any patents out there that may bind you up pretty quick. After that you work on inventing around the problem, or you attempt to show the patents are bull by launching at risk. It is this difficulty in signalling that is a key problem in tech patents, not that patents as a whole are "bad."
 
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