Software patents



  • Apparently there's not much we can do as programmers that someone can't potentially charge a license fee for...



    making guides using markup



    middleware, basically



    Aspect Oriented Programming (Granted to Xerox, who released AspectJ under Common Public License, which retains some patent rights)



    determining local variable type when using subroutines (feature used by pretty much any debugger)



    remote call basically involving two DLLs



    checking dependencies among oo classes



    "task-oriented" apps



    Caveat: I only read through the AOP patent, so some of these may be more worthwhile then I make them out to be. Then again, I found these after some quick browsing on a patent site, so I'm sure there there are worse "catchall" software patents out there.



  •  It sounds like you're judging what the patents cover based on the abstracts rather than the claims. The abstact only provides a general description of the invention and for most inventions will wind up describing the device that would use the invention and not the invention itself. If you invented a hammer with a triangular head to get into corners, your abstract would be all about what a hammer is and what it does. The fastest way to tell what a patent is about is read each independent claim (claimsthat don't reference other claims).



  • "The idea that I can be presented with a problem, set out to logically
    solve it with the tools at hand, and wind up with a program that could
    not be legally used because someone else followed the same logical
    steps some years ago and filed for a patent on it is horrifying." - John Carmak



  • @Huf Lungdung said:

    "The idea that I can be presented with a problem, set out to logically
    solve it with the tools at hand, and wind up with a program that could
    not be legally used because someone else followed the same logical
    steps some years ago and filed for a patent on it is horrifying." - John Carmak

    That quote is so fucking stupid.  That's true of any patent.  He may be a hell of a programmer, but he doesn't know the first thing about property law.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Huf Lungdung said:

    "The idea that I can be presented with a problem, set out to logically
    solve it with the tools at hand, and wind up with a program that could
    not be legally used because someone else followed the same logical
    steps some years ago and filed for a patent on it is horrifying." - John Carmak

    That quote is so fucking stupid.  That's true of any patent.  He may be a hell of a programmer, but he doesn't know the first thing about property law.

     

    If one 'skilled in the art' - and presumably Mr. Carmack qualifies - can logically solve a problem by using the tools at hand, then that solution is not patentable. Whether the patent office allows such patents is another issue entirely...



  • @PeriSoft said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @Huf Lungdung said:

    "The idea that I can be presented with a problem, set out to logically
    solve it with the tools at hand, and wind up with a program that could
    not be legally used because someone else followed the same logical
    steps some years ago and filed for a patent on it is horrifying." - John Carmak

    That quote is so fucking stupid.  That's true of any patent.  He may be a hell of a programmer, but he doesn't know the first thing about property law.

     

    If one 'skilled in the art' - and presumably Mr. Carmack qualifies - can logically solve a problem by using the tools at hand, then that solution is not patentable. Whether the patent office allows such patents is another issue entirely...

    How does that not apply to almost every patent?  Presumably, most advances are made by one skilled in the art using logic.  And is something only patentable if it was created without the tools at hand?  That's such an overly-broad statement as to be meaningless.  I'm not saying there aren't a lot of frivilous patents out there, but this notion that software patents are all horrible is bullshit, Slashdot groupthink.



  • @PeriSoft said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @Huf Lungdung said:

    "The idea that I can be presented with a problem, set out to logically
    solve it with the tools at hand, and wind up with a program that could
    not be legally used because someone else followed the same logical
    steps some years ago and filed for a patent on it is horrifying." - John Carmak

    That quote is so fucking stupid.  That's true of any patent.  He may be a hell of a programmer, but he doesn't know the first thing about property law.

     

    If one 'skilled in the art' - and presumably Mr. Carmack qualifies - can logically solve a problem by using the tools at hand, then that solution is not patentable. Whether the patent office allows such patents is another issue entirely...

     

    Then the world government will disconnect you from the internet because you violated the patent of someone else's code. If only you would have kept that comment ( //I wish Reagan were here ) out of your source.



  • @cmccormick said:

    Apparently there's not much we can do as programmers that someone can't potentially charge a license fee for...
     

     

    You're forgetting Microsoft's sudo for dummies patent...  yes they didnt patent sudo itself but the various distros have had a gui implementation since well before Vista.



  • I wont mention the whole i4i patent (which i've read over a few times)... Which basically says that if you have content (see: data, files, anything) that you control the structure of differently than the content of, it falls under i4i's patent. See: the Sony's SFO format: A table (of pointers) a table (of types, lengths and pointers) and a table (of data)... Hmmm seems like the structure is pretty damn well defined, but the controlling of that content is pretty much up to whoever wants to use that. I've written a DB engine in C# that uses SFO files for tables :V



  • @Indrora said:

    I wont mention the whole i4i patent
     

    I think you're lying.



  • My general stance on patents and things similar:  real scarcity is bad enough, so why make things worse by creating artificial scarcity?

    I also happen to believe that cooperation is more productive than competition, but sometimes I am a naive idealist.



  • @too_many_usernames said:

    I also happen to believe that cooperation is more productive than competition, but sometimes I am a naive idealist.

     

     Yeah you are. If you're working together, you have no incentive to crush your competition with your sheer awesomeness, since your competition is actually working with you and holding you back.



  • @too_many_usernames said:

    My general stance on patents and things similar:  real scarcity is bad enough, so why make things worse by creating artificial scarcity?

    It is the basis of all property law.  "Real" scarcity can be defeated by ingenuity and hard work.  Protecting the intellectual property (or tangible property) of individuals allows them to reap the benefits of their ingenuity and hard work, guaranteeing more productivity in the long run.  Now, you're not a retarded child (I think) so you've probably heard this before, which means you're feigning ignorance as a means of advancing arguments that are so simple-minded you know they will be ripped to shreds the second they appear.  You just hoped nobody would call you on it.

     

    @too_many_usernames said:

    I also happen to believe that cooperation is more productive than competition, but sometimes I am a naive idealist.

    Once again, what a sad display of your ignorance or deceptiveness.  You are creating a false dichotomy; cooperation and competition are not mutually exclusive, and I suspect you know this.  Each can be beneficial under the right circumstances.  You are using this straw-man to attack Capitalism and property law, and yet neither force people to cooperate or compete.  What property law does is to allow every individual in a market the ability to choose whether they want to cooperate or compete based on whether it is beneficial to them and it gives them the leverage to do so.  Your statement relies on this well-trod fallacy to make the case for "cooperation"; although you are well-aware that cooperation and competition exist in large amounts in free societies, you hope to convince people that mandatory cooperation is a better alternative than freely-chosen cooperation or competition.  You are shamelessly spreading a lie that you know is responsible for the deaths of 150 million and the suffering and poverty of billions.

     

    Or else you really are a retarded child.



  • or it could be that the USPTO only employs Structural, chemical and civil engineers (they've turned down Systems Engineers before because "we already have engineers").

    That, and the USPTO is just a bunch of id10ts.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @too_many_usernames said:

    My general stance on patents and things similar:  real scarcity is bad enough, so why make things worse by creating artificial scarcity?

    It is the basis of all property law.  "Real" scarcity can be defeated by ingenuity and hard work.  Protecting the intellectual property (or tangible property) of individuals allows them to reap the benefits of their ingenuity and hard work, guaranteeing more productivity in the long run.  Now, you're not a retarded child (I think) so you've probably heard this before, which means you're feigning ignorance as a means of advancing arguments that are so simple-minded you know they will be ripped to shreds the second they appear.  You just hoped nobody would call you on it.


    I would agree that real property law is there to address the issue with the scarcity of real property.  I disagree that "intellectual property" law has the same basis as real property law, because real property is scarce independent of the law whereas "intellectual property" is scarce only because the law declares it
    to be so. I also don't think observation supports the assertion that IP protection actually guarantees more productivity over time than there would be without such protections.

    @morbiuswilters said:


    @too_many_usernames said:

    I also happen to believe that cooperation is more productive than competition, but sometimes I am a naive idealist.

    Once again, what a sad display of your ignorance or deceptiveness.  You are creating a false dichotomy; cooperation and competition are not mutually exclusive, and I suspect you know this.  Each can be beneficial under the right circumstances.  You are using this straw-man to attack Capitalism and property law, and yet neither force people to cooperate or compete.  What property law does is to allow every individual in a market the ability to choose whether they want to cooperate or compete based on whether it is beneficial to them and it gives them the leverage to do so.  Your statement relies on this well-trod fallacy to make the case for "cooperation"; although you are well-aware that cooperation and competition exist in large amounts in free societies, you hope to convince people that mandatory cooperation is a better alternative than freely-chosen cooperation or competition.  You are shamelessly spreading a lie that you know is responsible for the deaths of 150 million and the suffering and poverty of billions.

    That's a lot of extrapolation based on my admittedly easily misinterpreted statement. Basically my argument is that if two competing groups pooled their resources toward solving a problem rather than developing independent solutions to the problem, you might have better results. Of course I realize that competition often forces people to search for and/or develop solutions that would not be found without competition.  A simpler observation might be "all competition is not equally beneficial."  (I really don't follow how you thought I was proposing cooperation should be mandatory though; I actually find the idea of making anything mandatory quite abhorrent.)

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Or else you really are a retarded child.

     

    Only when I apply brakes.  (Yes, I know that's terrible.)



  • @Indrora said:

    or it could be that the USPTO only employs Structural, chemical and civil engineers (they've turned down Systems Engineers before because "we already have engineers").

    That, and the USPTO is just a bunch of id10ts.

    Which doesn't have a fucking thing to do with what I said.  I never claimed the USPTO is infallible or that it doesn't have a history of granting absurd patents.  Neither of those are arguments against patents in general or software patents in particular.  Nor does it invalidate anything I said about the role of property law in promoting productive markets and ordered civil liberty.



  • @too_many_usernames said:

    I would agree that real property law is there to address the issue with the scarcity of real property.  I disagree that "intellectual property" law has the same basis as real property law, because real property is scarce independent of the law whereas "intellectual property" is scarce only because the law declares it
    to be so. I also don't think observation supports the assertion that IP protection actually guarantees more productivity over time than there would be without such protections.

    Which is wrong, wrong, wrong and stupid.  Property law exists to aid the most efficient allocation of scarce resources and to encourage the development of more resources.  Intellectual property law exists for the same reason.  Tangible property is no more scare than intellectual property, in fact it is probably less so.  Tangible property frequently requires development to guarantee efficient exploitation; why invest the time in developing a resource if the fruits of that labor are not secured to you?  Intellectual property always requires development; it simply does not exist with human effort.  You are simply ignoring thousands of years of history and being a total dipshit in the process.

     

    @too_many_usernames said:

    That's a lot of extrapolation based on my admittedly easily misinterpreted statement. Basically my argument is that if two competing groups pooled their resources toward solving a problem rather than developing independent solutions to the problem, you might have better results. Of course I realize that competition often forces people to search for and/or develop solutions that would not be found without competition.  A simpler observation might be "all competition is not equally beneficial."  (I really don't follow how you thought I was proposing cooperation should be mandatory though; I actually find the idea of making anything mandatory quite abhorrent.)

    Sure, competition isn't always equally beneficial.  Why don't you also tell us that the sun rises every day?  You create a false dichotomy when you make a statement like "durrr... cooperation is more productive than competition".  Either you are an ignorant fool or you are being intentionally deceptive.  Either way, it is inexcusable for an adult to suffer such deficiencies in intellect or morality and I'm going to call you out on it.



  • Morbius, now you're just trolling for the purpose of trolling.  You know very well that IP protection leads to NIH, in addition to a lot of the WTF's that this site is dedicated to pointing out.

     

    The primary point here is that Intellectual Property protection cannot be built in the same way as Tangible Property protection.  To do so would ignore the fact that Tangible Property requires resources to reproduce, even after it's out of development, whereas Intellectual Property requires neglible resources to reproduce once out of development.



  • @Shishire said:

    You know very well that IP protection leads to NIH, in addition to a lot of the WTF's that this site is dedicated to pointing out.

    Sorry, I'm not acquainted enough with the inside of your ass to know the "facts" you pull out of it.  I could ask the male whores you frequent if they've come across this "fact" during one of the times they were fisting you.

     

    @Shishire said:

    The primary point here is that Intellectual Property protection cannot be built in the same way as Tangible Property protection.

    Nobody said they are exactly the same.  They are similar.

     

    @Shishire said:

    To do so would ignore the fact that Tangible Property requires resources to reproduce, even after it's out of development, whereas Intellectual Property requires neglible resources to reproduce once out of development.

    How do you even formulate something this stupid?  Both tangible and intellectual property require resources to produce initially.  If the law does not protect somebody from using my tangible property without my approval, then I will lose any and all incentive to produce and maintain that property in the first place.  The identical situation applies to intellectual property.  It is not "free" just because it's easy to copy; the initial production requires the bulk of investment, hence the need for property protection.

     

    The thing is, you already know this.  This is a simple argument that a worthless dipshit like yourself could understand.  You are feigning ignorance in an attempt to pass off an flawed argument.  This makes you an asshole.

     

    Or else you really are a retarded child.



  • I just realized the best way to continue this "conversation" is to say:

    Pierre didn't care, so he got eaten by a lion.


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