BT et C

Thursday, August 11, 2005

H.R.2795

Introduced 6/8/05 which I think means June 8, not August 6, so I'm a little behind the times.

But not as far behind as Congress, which has seen fit to draft some Patent Reform legislation that ... fasten your seatbelts ... says Precisely Nothing about software patents -- the most controversial, the most critical problem with the current patent system.

So what was so urgently in need of reform? Well, there's good stuff in there. Damages for infringement are limtied, injunctions are harder to obtain, and the best: a "Post-grant Opposition Procedure". (Don't read the bill. Read this.)

mmm... opposition...

I think I'm resolving, from now on, to do more opposition. Dennis Crouch (no relation) parrots the same ol' stance, the Martin Fink stance: viz. "software patents suck, but such is the world, so make sure you get some".

Fink! Crouch! Question in the back from the little guy with the PokerStars hat:
"What if I don't have $200,000+ to assemble a software patent portfolio?"

(sound of crickets chirping)

The actual answer, "Then you can't get in the software business", is something Fink et el. do not want to say. Because they would meet with quite a bit of opposition, I think.

Interlude: Fink's company, HP, is primarily a hardware company, so there is a good chance they're not Too Terribly Evil. I hope that most of the 1500+ patents they acquire each year are for actual machines/devices/hardware, and not for emoticons.

Still, I resolve to stay on top of this. I might even hack up a system to make "opposition" easier. That'd be fun. It'd be like Groklaw II.

3 Comments:

  • what's with that EGTY crap?

    Dennis there seems to think software entrepreneurs are all wanting to use proprietary models...?

    maybe he hasn't noticed that proprietary software is not quite the wave of the future it was 2 decades ago. Oracle, Microsoft, SAP and the like are doing well because of their past success. no-one could possibly think of these companies as entrepreneurial anymore, and they're about as innovative as unionized labor in New York (trust me, they're bad.)

    they're the ones cheering the loudest in support of software patents.

    By Blogger luke, at 2:32 PM  

  • What's EGTY?

    By Blogger Matt Crouch, at 10:41 AM  

  • What Dennis and so many others seem to think is that the reason we're not patenting everything under the sun like the big guys are is that we --gosh-- just didn't know you could do that.

    In fact, the reason is that we can't we can't we can't. We don't have the money.

    For others, it's that we won't we won't we won't, 'cause we think beefing up the book valuation of your company by amassing "IP" is a dubious practice at best.

    Naturally, everyone who is doing this (let's take e.g. Microsoft) says these goofy patents are for defensive purposes only. Really? Well, since the F/OSS development community is unable to attack MS with patents, shouldn't there be a binding pledge from MS not to attack this community with their "defensive patents"?

    Seems like that would clear up any uneasiness. But my breath, for the time being, will remain un-held.

    By Blogger Matt Crouch, at 6:33 AM  

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