Stupid patent lawsuits



  • I think this is the first lawsuit I've heard of where they're upset the patented thing wasn't made:

    It's tragic that someone died but I think this lawsuit is insane.



  • US family sues at the drop of a hat.

    News at 11.



  • @boomzilla hmm... that does raise an interesting question.

    If the person who invented and patented, say, the seatbelt, had refused to produce them or license anyone else to allow them to produce them -- would they be legally and/or morally within their rights to do this?



  • @Rhywden said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    US family sues at the drop of a hat.

    Wow, that's cold, but I guess it's consistent with your lack of concern for bodily safety when entering an intersection.



  • @boomzilla Naw, it's just pretty par for the course in the US to seemingly sue anything and anyone just because they didn't tell you something common sense should have told you right from the start.

    IKEA would be another example of this. Pretty much anyone over here knows to secure power outlets and secure furniture when you have a toddler.

    It's this weird cognitive dissonance thing you've got going on: You want freedom to the max and then promptly complain when someone forgot to warn you of blindingly obvious consequences of said freedom.



  • @anotherusername said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    @boomzilla hmm... that does raise an interesting question.

    If the person who invented and patented, say, the seatbelt, had refused to produce them or license anyone else to allow them to produce them -- would they be legally and/or morally within their rights to do this?

    Or... for a possibly more realistic scenario, this reminds me of that drug company that suddenly jacked up the price of that whatever-it-was life-saving drug... what if a company had a patent on some life-saving drug, and then they decided to simply stop making the drug altogether -- and wouldn't let anyone else make it -- what then?

    What if a company that holds profitable patents on chemo and/or radiation therapy found a cheap cure, but patented it and wouldn't let anyone produce it? Would that be legal? Would it be ethical?


  • SockDev

    Any sensible court would throw that case out immediately. It's not Apple's fault the driver was breaking the law.



  • @Rhywden said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    It's this weird cognitive dissonance thing you've got going on: You want freedom to the max and then promptly complain when someone forgot to warn you of blindingly obvious consequences of said freedom.

    That's just you not comprehending that there are millions of people in the US and we don't all agree. Either way, I'm not the dick saying that the death of a child is "the drop of a hat."



  • @anotherusername



  • @boomzilla said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    @Rhywden said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    It's this weird cognitive dissonance thing you've got going on: You want freedom to the max and then promptly complain when someone forgot to warn you of blindingly obvious consequences of said freedom.

    That's just you not comprehending that there are millions of people in the US and we don't all agree. Either way, I'm not the dick saying that the death of a child is "the drop of a hat."

    Weren't you just lambasting President Obama for pulling that same argumentative stunt regarding gun control? Bravo!



  • @Rhywden said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    Weren't you just lambasting President Obama for pulling that same argumentative stunt regarding gun control?

    No. I mean...both things involve dead children, so I can see why you'd be confused about this, but no, I'm not trying to exploit the dead girl for anything. I was just kind of shocked at your casual disregard for human life.



  • @Rhywden said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    @anotherusername

    That's a slightly different situation -- if we're talking about entirely different countries, someone in a third-world country could start locally producing and selling a drug that's patented in some other country, and if I'm not mistaken, there wouldn't be a whole lot that could really be done about it unless the two countries' respective governments were both willing to cooperate and come to some sort of agreement to stop them.



  • @boomzilla I'll make note of that next time you casually dismiss dead Islamists or someone you didn't like.

    And please don't lie. You're not "shocked" or anything, you merely want to score a cheap argumentative point, you sanctimonious bastard.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Rhywden said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    You want freedom to the max

    Do we? Most people here think libertarians are crazy.



  • @anotherusername Legally, yes. Morally, probably not.



  • @Rhywden said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    @boomzilla I'll make note of that next time you casually dismiss dead Islamists or someone you didn't like.

    Because you can't tell the difference between that and someone killed by another driver? You seem as keyword focused as 🦊 .

    And please don't lie. You're not "shocked" or anything, you merely want to score a cheap argumentative point, you sanctimonious bastard.

    I was not lying. I even mentioned the death in the OP. Don't be ashamed! Fly that sociopath flag proudly!



  • @Rhywden That's a very good analogy for this situation. Using FaceTime while driving is obviously dangerous and obviously no one should do it -- but at the same time, why would Apple not have released the safety feature they patented several years ago to prevent exactly this? Save some money, perhaps. Strictly illegal? Probably not, but most ethically shady actions aren't -- laws are there to prevent the obvious ones, after all.

    Here is a link to an article describing the drug debacle I believe was being referred to. Turing Pharmaceuticals had a monopoly on a major AIDS treatment drug, and decided to charge $750 dollars for it, even though it was a little over $15 before. That is probably the most infamous example, and they didn't even create the drug, just had the rights for it.

    The funny thing is, I'm actually a small government guy. But I don't know how you can say "This is fine" when a multinational corporation uses the laws of a nation against it on its own turf (using patents to keep live-saving knowledge and production rights out of the hands of native citizens). At that point, someone has to step in to protect the people, because the corporation might as well be a foreign agent acting maliciously at that point. Hell, who's to say they aren't? Who's to say that GlobalCorp didn't receive money from Russia/China/Name Your Favorite Bogeyman to do something like this just to shaft a population they see as enemies? We're programmers, right? So consider the edge cases.

    Apple's case isn't nearly as bad as Martin Shkreli/Turing Pharmaceuticals, considering that Apple's FaceTime service only leads to tragedy rarely. Still, it leaves you wondering: shouldn't a multinational corporation with the power to significantly change the behavior of a large number of citizens for the worse receive punishment when they abuse that power? In this case, by not caring enough about the lives of their customers when they knew that the service they released would be dangerous (as proven by the fact they spent time and resources patenting a driving safety feature). The fact that they knew it was dangerous and released it anyway/didn't recall it changes things a bit, in the same way that the FBI always look for "intent" to commit criminal action before pursuing a suspicious individual.



  • @boomzilla said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    @Rhywden said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    @boomzilla I'll make note of that next time you casually dismiss dead Islamists or someone you didn't like.

    Because you can't tell the difference between that and someone killed by another driver? You seem as keyword focused as 🦊 .

    Why? Do you think some lives are worth more than others?



  • @anotherusername Legally, yes, morally, no. It also shouldn't make any sense from a capitalistic point of view: if you own something, you should be trying to make money from it. Sadly it's not always that simple, companies may prefer suppressing an invention from the market to selling it, or may be planning a future product (the Apple Car) but it gets delayed, etc.

    There's a good solution though: FIX THE DAMN PATENT SYSTEM! It's supposed to protect WORK, like the expensive research behind medicines, not random ideas that anyone with half a brain can come up with.

    I mean, look at the patent in question

    Lock-out mechanisms for driver handheld computing devices. The lock-out mechanisms disable the ability of a handheld computing device to perform certain functions, such as texting, while one is driving. In one embodiment, a handheld computing device can provide a lock-out mechanism without requiring any modifications or additions to a vehicle by using a motion analyzer, a scenery analyzer and a lock-out mechanism. In other embodiments, the handheld computing device can provide a lock-out mechanism with modifications or additions to the vehicle, including the use of signals transmitted by the vehicle or by the vehicle key when engaged with the vehicle.

    What the fuck is this?! All it says is "phone that disables itself when in a car". Gee, what an incredible invention, totally not something that any amateur programmer could make.

    OK, I admit it's not a trivial problem to detect if you're in a car, but it's well within what we can do within smartphones. I haven't read the patent but I doubt they haven't come up with any new amazing ways to do it.


  • SockDev

    @anonymous234 If I had to guess, it's basically just using the GPS to detect when its moving above, say, 10mph.



  • @Rhywden said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    @boomzilla said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    @Rhywden said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    @boomzilla I'll make note of that next time you casually dismiss dead Islamists or someone you didn't like.

    Because you can't tell the difference between that and someone killed by another driver? You seem as keyword focused as 🦊 .

    Why? Do you think some lives are worth more than others?

    Does capital punishment imply that criminals' lives are worth less than the lives of non-criminals?



  • @anonymous234 said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    OK, I admit it's not a trivial problem to detect if you're in a car

    It's even less trivial to detect if you're driving the car.



  • @anotherusername said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    @Rhywden said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    @boomzilla said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    @Rhywden said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    @boomzilla I'll make note of that next time you casually dismiss dead Islamists or someone you didn't like.

    Because you can't tell the difference between that and someone killed by another driver? You seem as keyword focused as 🦊 .

    Why? Do you think some lives are worth more than others?

    Does capital punishment imply that criminals' lives are worth less than the lives of non-criminals?

    Is dodging a yes-or-no-question with a counter question en vogue now?



  • @Rhywden said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    Is dodging a yes-or-no-question with a counter question en vogue now?

    Comparing Muslims to death row inmates is the pinnacle of clear thinking, too...



  • @Rhywden said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    @anotherusername said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    @Rhywden said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    Do you think some lives are worth more than others?

    Does capital punishment imply that criminals' lives are worth less than the lives of non-criminals?

    Is dodging a yes-or-no-question with a counter question en vogue now?

    Is dodging a yes-or-no-question with a completely unrelated counter question en vogue now?





  • @Rhywden well, you just did it, so you should probably just say "yes".

    My question was related. It was not a dodge. In fact, the answer to:

    Does capital punishment imply that criminals' lives are worth less than the lives of non-criminals?

    will be sufficient, paired with whether or not the person supports capital punishment, to also answer the question you asked:

    Do you think some lives are worth more than others?

    You ask a trick question, and I'm going to point out the gotcha that makes it a trick question...



  • @anotherusername In which case one might also point out Blackstone's formulation and the fact that you're executing (or at least trying to execute) a non-negligible number of innocent people...



  • @Rhywden how do you figure that?



  • @anotherusername said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    @Rhywden how do you figure that?

    Well, considering that you're regularly releasing people from death row due to their innocence, it only follows that some of the already executed people were also innocent.



  • @CrazyEyes said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    The funny thing is, I'm actually a small government guy.

    Isn't the patent system itself a Big Government thing?


  • Dupa

    @anotherusername said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    @anotherusername said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    @boomzilla hmm... that does raise an interesting question.

    If the person who invented and patented, say, the seatbelt, had refused to produce them or license anyone else to allow them to produce them -- would they be legally and/or morally within their rights to do this?

    Or... for a possibly more realistic scenario, this reminds me of that drug company that suddenly jacked up the price of that whatever-it-was life-saving drug... what if a company had a patent on some life-saving drug, and then they decided to simply stop making the drug altogether -- and wouldn't let anyone else make it -- what then?

    What if a company that holds profitable patents on chemo and/or radiation therapy found a cheap cure, but patented it and wouldn't let anyone produce it? Would that be legal? Would it be ethical?

    My undefinedery makes me do this, I swear!

    So, well… Everything is ethical.


  • :belt_onion:

    @anotherusername said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    Does capital punishment imply that criminals' lives are worth less than the lives of non-criminals?

    Yes.

    And I'm fine with that.



  • @Rhywden said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    @boomzilla said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    @Rhywden said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    @boomzilla I'll make note of that next time you casually dismiss dead Islamists or someone you didn't like.

    Because you can't tell the difference between that and someone killed by another driver? You seem as keyword focused as 🦊 .

    Why? Do you think some lives are worth more than others?

    Of course. Don't you?



  • @Captain said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    @Rhywden said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    Is dodging a yes-or-no-question with a counter question en vogue now?

    Comparing Muslims to death row inmates is the pinnacle of clear thinking, too...

    What are strawmen lives worth?



  • @Rhywden said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    you're regularly releasing people from death row due to their innocence

    Citation needed.

    A handful of rare instances is not

    regularly

    Mistakenly executing a few innocent people is not

    trying to execute ... a non-negligible number of innocent people



  • @boomzilla said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    Of course. Don't you?

    Oh, we've been there, done that. 'tis a bit of a slippery slope.



  • @Rhywden said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    @boomzilla said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    Of course. Don't you?

    Oh, we've been there, done that. 'tis a bit of a slippery slope.

    It isn't, but I could see how you might think it was.



  • @anotherusername 4% of 20,000 is not a "handful".



  • @anotherusername said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    A handful of rare instances is not

    You released a 150 people from death row. Considering that you executed 1442 people as of 2016, I wouldn't call 10% "rare".



  • @Captain said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    @anotherusername 4% of 20,000 is not a "handful".

    That's an ass-pull number. It's also not what the study actually determined.

    they deployed a technique known as “survival analysis”, to calculate the percentage of prisoners who have been taken off death row but who might still be innocent

    Not even "are" innocent. "Might" be innocent.

    The study... does not solve perhaps the greatest single riddle of the death penalty: how many innocent people have actually been put to death in modern times. That remains a haunting unknown.

    They actually weren't able to prove that even one single innocent person had been executed. Their conclusion is simply that you can't help but believe that it's happened:

    If you look at the numbers in our study, at how many errors are made, then you cannot believe that we haven’t executed any innocent person

    Strongly believing that the inescapable conclusion is that at least one innocent person has been executed is a rather far cry from saying that 4% of the people who have actually been executed were actually innocent.



  • @anotherusername said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    They actually didn't proven that even one single innocent person had been executed. Their conclusion is simply that you can't help but believe that it's happened:



  • @Rhywden said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    You released a 150 people from death row. Considering that you executed 1442 people as of 2016, I wouldn't call 10% "rare".

    So 150 people weren't executed, and you think that this proves that a large number of innocent people were executed?

    Also, if you're trying to get a real handle on the number, you should consider both those on death row but not yet executed (2,905 as of last July), and those who were placed on death row but died before they were executed. You should be comparing 150 people vs. 1442 people executed plus 2905 people still on death row plus ?? people who actually died of natural causes while they were waiting on death row.

    Anyway, nobody is trying to execute innocent people. In cases where the person's guilt is in doubt, I wouldn't support using the death penalty. But in cases where the guilt isn't in doubt, and where the person's crimes are serious enough to warrant death, I support it 100%.



  • @anotherusername said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    Anyway, nobody is trying to execute innocent people.

    The list of those 40 people up there tells a bit of a different story. In dubio pro reo, my ass.



  • @Rhywden said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    you sanctimonious bastard.

    Oh, a better badge than deplorable.



  • @Rhywden said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    The list of those 40 people up there tells a bit of a different story. In dubio pro reo, my ass.

    Let me rephrase. If anyone actually was trying to execute a person they personally knew or believed to be possibly innocent, they are guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, and should be brought to justice for that. It doesn't mean the legal system should be modified to make it impossible to give the death penalty to those who actually do deserve it.



  • @anotherusername And in the land of unicorns and rainbow farts, that may actually work.



  • @CrazyEyes said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    The funny thing is, I'm actually a small government guy. But I don't know how you can say "This is fine" when a multinational corporation uses the laws of a nation against it on its own turf (using patents to keep live-saving knowledge and production rights out of the hands of native citizens).

    This is a side effect of letting someone buy a patent, rather than keeping the patent with the original owner.

    I don't think the purpose of patents ever intended to let them be sold and then held unused. The point was for inventors and people that invest in a product to get their money back from their investment. Not to lock a product out of the market, or to gouge.

    In the spirit of the law, Turing is NOT getting their money back from their invention investment. They're getting their money back from a patent purchase.

    @CrazyEyes said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    In this case, by not caring enough about the lives of their customers when they knew that the service they released would be dangerous (as proven by the fact they spent time and resources patenting a driving safety feature).

    A couple of things are wrong with this statement.

    1. The customer wasn't the one that died.
    2. You can find a dangerous use for most things if you aren't using them as designed. Should seatbelts have a feature so they can't be strapped under your arm, which reduces the effectiveness?
    3. Specifically to this case, should the app be unusable if you are a passenger in the car?

  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @Rhywden said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    Why? Do you think some lives are worth more than others?

    Of course they are. You are an idiot if you think they are not.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @anotherusername said in Stupid patent lawsuits:

    They actually didn't proven that even one single innocent person had been executed.

    In 1828, Patrick Fitzpatrick was hanged after being declared guilty for the rape and murder of an innkeeper's daughter. In 1835, Fitzpatrick's former roommate confessed to the murder on his deathbed, proving that Fitzpatrick had been executed for a murder in which he was innocent.


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