Indie developer organizing against Lodsys, patent trolls with 'Operation Anthill'

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
An independent developer has founded a coalition, codenamed "Operation Anthill," to help the iOS developer community fight back against legal threats from patent licensing companies like Lodsys.



Mike Lee, a former Apple employee and founder of Netherlands-based development initiative Apperstdam, on Monday announced plans for the coalition, which he called "an 11th hour rally," Ars Technica reports.



"Operation Anthill" has hired technology attorney Michael McCoy to put together the Appsterdam Legal Defense Team, as well as a related fund. McCoy will put into motion the coalition's efforts to protect independent software developers with a "three-pronged attack:" legal action, lobbying for legislative reform and mobilizing a "massive media marketing campaign" to raise public awareness.



Lee has pulled together a staff or roughly 60 people to help with the effort.



"Intellectual Ventures and their ilk are many tentacled beasts who use thousands of shell companies to do their dirty work. When they send blood-sucking tentacles like Lodsys into our community, we need to cut them off," Lee wrote. "Eventually the head will figure out to stop losing tentacles."



He went on to explain the coalition's codename, noting that stepping on an anthill in Texas draws an attack from swarming, biting ants. "You could, in theory, crush them one by one, but it?s much easier to just avoid anthills," he said.



"Let App Makers be as the ants of East Texas, minding their business until someone invades their anthill. Then Swarm! Swarm! Swarm!" he continued. "We will let the patent trolls know: if you attack one indie, you attack all indies, and we will file every motion we can against you, we will attack your patents, and we will show you for the mafioso thugs you are."



Earlier this year, Lodsys drew accusations from the iOS development community of being a patent troll when it filed a suit in East Texas against a number of smaller developers for infringement of a patent related to in-app purchasing. The court in the East Texas district has become the default court for "patent trolls" because it generally favors patent holders and has a quick turnaround time with its cases.



Lodsys, a non-practicing entity, has since added larger developers to its suit, such as gaming giant Electronic Arts and Rovio, the maker of the popular "Angry Birds" game.



Apple has filed a motion to intervene on the case, but is awaiting approval from the court. As is to be expected, Lodsys has opposed the motion.



"We're going after Lodsys for sure, but understand the ultimate target is Intellectual Ventures," Lee told the publication, adding that "they are the Mordor to these trolls," a reference to the villain's lair in J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy.



Though Lee has yet to line up other developers for the coalition, he has issued a call to his colleagues in the industry: "You have two options: join us, or wait to be next." According to him, the purpose of Monday's announcement was "to rally and cheer the community. To give people hope. To get people ready."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 54
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    'They are the Mordor to these trolls'



    The geeks are rising!
  • Reply 2 of 54
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,901member
    Excellent news.
  • Reply 3 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    McCoy will put into motion the coalition's efforts to protect independent software developers with a "three-pronged attack:" legal action, lobbying for legislative reform and mobilizing a "massive media marketing campaign" to raise public awareness.




    Their only real chance is to effectuate legislative relief. The US Courts have a proven track record of validating these bullshit obvious patents with loads of prior art. Outlawyering Intellectual Ventures will possibly slow them down, but it will not solve anything, and would be a waste of resources.



    I say pour all or most of the money into clever, targeted legislative reform and "massive media marketing" - including informative television spots - that will tell the story to the public that patent law as practiced suffocates, rather than encourages, innovation. You need public outrage. As a solution, I think it's a good idea to validate patents only if there's products being made from them. Software patents and business method patents should probably be totally invalidated. We just don't need people brainstorming and patenting their brilliant "inventions" such as "method for enabling internet connected purchases of merchandise from inventory with clicks of mouses and presses of keys" with no intention but to trap some unsuspecting entrepreneur who is actually producing something and contributing something to this world.



    The law will never change without a hue and cry from the public, and that won't happen unless you shove it in their faces. repeatedly. for a long time. What's the last you heard of Net Neutrality? I can't remember, either. The public consciousness blitz faded, and now the people and, hence, the politicians have forgotten about it. Don't let that happen with patent reform.
  • Reply 4 of 54
    Bravo. This is long overdue. I'm not even an app developer, and I would/will donate to this cause.
  • Reply 5 of 54
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Thanks, Appsterdam! Best of luck?I?ll be watching this effort with interest.
  • Reply 6 of 54
    ash471ash471 Posts: 705member
    A political campaign would be a tragedy. The threat of patents is what keeps companies inventing. In fact, this recent name calling of "non-practicing entities" and "trolls" started with the Blackberry RIM litigation. The CEOs of RIM didn't think they needed to pay the inventors of push email because RIM was the first to commercialize push email. Rather than pay the inventors for their technology RIM decided to hire expensive lawyers from New York and spend the inventors into the ground. The patent holder ran out of money and sold his patent to an investment group who beat RIM to a pulp. When RIM got their a$$es handed to them in court RIM took the low road and resorted to complaining and whining and talking to politicians. This was the beginning of the fallacy that inventors should make products or they are trolls. That's bull $hit. Inventing has nothing to do with selling. The fact that RIM commercialized push email, doesn't mean they invented it. The patent system is purposely set up to reward inventors, not commercializers. The patent system creates a race to advance technology. What makes the patent system work is that you don't have to a big entrenched company to enter the race. Whoever discloses the invention first wins. In fact, we want non-practicing people to be able to enter the race. Large companies often stop inventing when they take over the market. That may not be true for Apple, but it is certainly true for lazy people like RIM. RIM could have paid the inventor of push email 5 million for a license. Instead RIM spend tens of millions fighting the patent system and complained when it ended up losing 500 million. Instead of complaining and trying to change the patent system RIM should have spent more time inventing; if they had done that, maybe they wouldn't be driving down the road of obsolescence.



    My comment to the iOS developers is, if you don't want to infringe the patent, take the patented feature out of your products. For instance, if you don't want to pay Lodsys for in-app purchases, then don't offer your customers in-app purchases or argue that you have a license through Apple. However, arguing that you shouldn't have to pay an inventor to use their intellectual property because they don't sell products is ignorant. And using an inventors patented technology without paying is just as immoral as stealing.



    Yes, I know some of you will argue that the patent shouldn't have been granted. My response would be, if it isn't valid, prove it. The United States Patent and Trademark Office thought it was patentable. The USPTO actually paid an Examiner to review the patent and the prior art to make the determination. Why would I believe that some computer blogger making an off-the-cuff remark has a clue about what is patentable. If you don't know what 35 U.S.C. 102 and 103 says and understand how the courts apply those laws, you have no idea whether a patent is valid or not.



    As for Intellectual Ventures being an "anthill"......All I have to say is that the thieving, whining, non-inventive salesman like RIM created this beast by using lawyers to avoid paying inventors a reasonable price for their inventions. It didn't use to be that way. The 1800s was probably the heyday of big companies seeking out small, non-practicing inventors and buying up their patents. Thomas Edison acquired numerous patents this way. The inventors often took that money and went right back to the lab to invent something else. I'm not sure how we got to where we are today. How come everyone thinks that inventors are evil if they just invent and ask to be compensated for inventing. That seems reasonable to me. The inventors at Apple don't work in the sales department, but they still expect to be paid for inventing. Why can't a small inventor or non-practicing inventor expect to be compensated for inventing? The argument that you need a sales department to be eligible to invent is a dangerous road to go down. Inventing is the goose that lays the golden egg in the U.S. Be careful not to shoot it.
  • Reply 7 of 54
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ash471 View Post


    A political campaign would be a tragedy. The threat of patents is what keeps companies inventing.



    How dare those small independent developers go around demanding changes to the IP system to support development eh? The important thing is that the IP system should support patent lawyers! How dare they attack Lodsys' patents validity, they should just pay up and stop whining about obvious patents that should never have been granted.



    Who do they bloody think they are?



    It would be a tragedy if software patents were to no longer be granted, we'd be back in the dark ages of the 1980s when pretty much everything important about computer science was developed. Nobody would have created the world wide web if they couldn't patent it and make oodles of money! Nobody would have created the spreadsheet, or the LALR parser! None of the networking protocols, no object orientation, no programming languages at all - we'd all be programming using toggles to push bits directly into main memory! No, without software patents none of the systems we use today could possibly exist, because nobody would be interested in making them.



    In fact what we need is MORE patents. We need to get the millions of software developers round the world who waste time creating pointless code that does stuff and get them to make patents. With another 10 million people making patents full time just imagine the wonders we could produce!



    </sarcasm>
  • Reply 8 of 54
    ash471ash471 Posts: 705member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EsquireMac View Post


    Their only real chance is to effectuate legislative relief. The US Courts have a proven track record of validating these bullshit obvious patents with loads of prior art. Outlawyering Intellectual Ventures will possibly slow them down, but it will not solve anything, and would be a waste of resources.



    I say pour all or most of the money into clever, targeted legislative reform and "massive media marketing" - including informative television spots - that will tell the story to the public that patent law as practiced suffocates, rather than encourages, innovation. You need public outrage. As a solution, I think it's a good idea to validate patents only if there's products being made from them. Software patents and business method patents should probably be totally invalidated. We just don't need people brainstorming and patenting their brilliant "inventions" such as "method for enabling internet connected purchases of merchandise from inventory with clicks of mouses and presses of keys" with no intention but to trap some unsuspecting entrepreneur who is actually producing something and contributing something to this world.



    The law will never change without a hue and cry from the public, and that won't happen unless you shove it in their faces. repeatedly. for a long time. What's the last you heard of Net Neutrality? I can't remember, either. The public consciousness blitz faded, and now the people and, hence, the politicians have forgotten about it. Don't let that happen with patent reform.



    What you don't understand is that there is a standard for patentability and the Courts can't change the law. The reasons these patents are held valid is because they are valid. Your allegation of "bullshit" is completely unfounded. I've seen people say a patent is total Bullshit when it has been (i) held valid by the patent office, (ii) held valid by a district court, (iii) held valid by the Federal Circuit, (iv) re-examined by the patent office and upheld, (v) held valid a second time by a district court, and (vi) held valid again by an appeals court. Just because you are annoyed that someone else has a patent on something simple that you would like to do, does not mean that that simple invention is not patentable. Our patent laws have created the most technologically driven economy in the world. Your standard of living (assuming you live in the developed world) is directly tied to the patent system. What a tragedy to see you disparage the system that has brought you such good fortune.



    More importantly, it sounds like you are the kind of person that thinks the commercial developer (i.e., the infringing business) should be able to dictate to a court whether a patent is valid or not. I suggest you move to Russia. That's exactly how their patent system works. In the U.S. we prefer that the judge apply the law regardless of the emotions or wallets of either party. Our system is a pretty damn good system. If you aren't convinced of that, you need to get out in the world and experience another legal system.
  • Reply 9 of 54
    ash471ash471 Posts: 705member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post


    How dare those small independent developers go around demanding changes to the IP system to support development eh? The important thing is that the IP system should support patent lawyers! How dare they attack Lodsys' patents validity, they should just pay up and stop whining about obvious patents that should never have been granted.



    Who do they bloody think they are?



    It would be a tragedy if software patents were to no longer be granted, we'd be back in the dark ages of the 1980s when pretty much everything important about computer science was developed. Nobody would have created the world wide web if they couldn't patent it and make oodles of money! Nobody would have created the spreadsheet, or the LALR parser! None of the networking protocols, no object orientation, no programming languages at all - we'd all be programming using toggles to push bits directly into main memory! No, without software patents none of the systems we use today could possibly exist, because nobody would be interested in making them.



    In fact what we need is MORE patents. We need to get the millions of software developers round the world who waste time creating pointless code that does stuff and get them to make patents. With another 10 million people making patents full time just imagine the wonders we could produce!



    </sarcasm>



    You exemplify the naive clouded thinking that I'm trying to thwart. I have no problem with the small developer putting up a legitimate fight. The problem I have is that Lodsys is being attacked because they are a "non-practicing entity". I have a problem with someone that wants to infringe a valid patent by lobbying to change the patent system.

    The reason patents and patent litigation are so expensive is because of rich, lazy companies tried to defeat the little guy by spending them into the ground. They fought valid patents on the assumption that they could win by spending more money. They miscalculated because investors like Intellectual Ventures came swooping in and financed the little guy and took all the profits. Now you have a bunch of rich guys mud slinging.

    By the way, Lodsys isn't interested in the pittance that a developer might provide them. Lodsys wants another paycheck from Apple. If you want to talk about why Lodsys are ass holes, address the real issue, which is that they sold Apple a license and then turned around and sued Apples's developers. Complaining about the licensing behavior is justified. I'm totally for the developers and Apple on this one. However, setting up a consortium to destroy the patent system is stupid, naive, and idiotic. It misses the mark in so many regards, I don't know where to stop.
  • Reply 10 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ash471 View Post


    What you don't understand is that there is a standard for patentability and the Courts can't change the law.



    You evidently missed my opening sentence: "Their only real chance is to effectuate legislative relief."



    I never said the Courts misapplied the law. My point is that the law needs to change via the legislature - hence, my suggestion that "legislative relief" is their "only real chance." Thus, unless the law is changed, these "bullshit" outcomes will not change.



    And, yes, the system that you defend so dearly lets obvious things get patented not just once, but dozens and dozens of times by different people. I never said our patent system doesn't do some things right - it clearly does. However, it cannot be denied that the system is broken, which leads to tragic outcomes. There is room for improvement. I never said I disrespected the courts, or wanted them to misapply the law. I said fix the law.
  • Reply 11 of 54
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,224member
    I am ready to make a donation to the effort. Where do I send my check?



    I agree that the political/PR effort is as important as the courts. It's time for Intellectual Vultures to get their comeuppance. But more importantly, it's time for meaningful patent reform. President Obama just mentioned it in a speech today, that now that the debt ceiling matter is settled it is time to get back to important legislation like patent reform.



    I reject the all or nothing approach taken by patent status quo apologists on this forum--that we have to leave things as they are to protect the little guy. That by making a distinction between patent brokers and inventors the inventors will lose. It's time to change this nineteenth century institution into a twenty-first century one. Intellectual property matters, but wholesale trading on that creative genius is the "derivative market" of the invention world. Protect and reward the inventor, not the the greed merchants who masquerade as his defender.
  • Reply 12 of 54
    ash471ash471 Posts: 705member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post


    How dare those small independent developers go around demanding changes to the IP system to support development eh? The important thing is that the IP system should support patent lawyers! How dare they attack Lodsys' patents validity, they should just pay up and stop whining about obvious patents that should never have been granted.



    Who do they bloody think they are?



    It would be a tragedy if software patents were to no longer be granted, we'd be back in the dark ages of the 1980s when pretty much everything important about computer science was developed. Nobody would have created the world wide web if they couldn't patent it and make oodles of money! Nobody would have created the spreadsheet, or the LALR parser! None of the networking protocols, no object orientation, no programming languages at all - we'd all be programming using toggles to push bits directly into main memory! No, without software patents none of the systems we use today could possibly exist, because nobody would be interested in making them.



    In fact what we need is MORE patents. We need to get the millions of software developers round the world who waste time creating pointless code that does stuff and get them to make patents. With another 10 million people making patents full time just imagine the wonders we could produce!



    </sarcasm>



    I admit that it is really hard to prove how valuable the patent system is. However, you do realize that the Founders of the United States thought it was important enough to put it in the U.S. Constitution. You can make yourself believe that all those people working in software weren't driven by patents, but the evidence suggests otherwise. There is a clear correlation between the strength of a country's patent system and the amount of innovating that occurs in that country. Software developers may not be thinking about this each day they write code. However, the markets that are protected by patents create the value chain that allows developers to get paid. Take for example the iPad. If Apple didn't think it could protect some of its market share, it couldn't have justified the investment to create the iPad. Apple can't spend billions of dollars creating a product that someone else can just copy. RIM tried to invent their own iPad and it has failed. Samsung and Google have had much better success ripping off Apple's products. Hopefully the patent system will be a huge impediment to Samsung and Google.
  • Reply 13 of 54
    mr.mr. Posts: 1member
    Before you attack this brave effort with misinformation, become informed. Our only choice is to fight against the flaws in the patent system. Patents are different than copyrights. Most software (but not all) should be copyrighted- not patented. The same guys behind Lodsys and other shell companies backed by intellectual ventures recently wrote a 600 plus book on cooking- probably so they could sue mcdonalds the next time they came out with a new sandwich. And that is the most productiive work they've actully done. Listen to this podcast and then come back and post again.



    http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radi...v4aikCJVHnDDvw
  • Reply 14 of 54
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,224member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ash471 View Post


    I admit that it is really hard to prove how valuable the patent system is. However, you do realize that the Founders of the United States thought it was important enough to put it in the U.S. Constitution. You can make yourself believe that all those people working in software weren't driven by patents, but the evidence suggests otherwise. There is a clear correlation between the strength of a country's patent system and the amount of innovating that occurs in that country. Software developers may not be thinking about this each day they write code. However, the markets that are protected by patents create the value chain that allows developers to get paid. Take for example the iPad. If Apple didn't think it could protect some of its market share, it couldn't have justified the investment to create the iPad. Apple can't spend billions of dollars creating a product that someone else can just copy. RIM tried to invent their own iPad and it has failed. Samsung and Google have had much better success ripping off Apple's products. Hopefully the patent system will be a huge impediment to Samsung and Google.



    Spoken like a patent attorney . . . oh wait, you actually are. That explains it.
  • Reply 15 of 54
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ash471 View Post


    I have a problem with someone that wants to infringe a valid patent by lobbying to change the patent system.



    But there is no issue whatsoever with software developers lobbying for a change to the patent laws to end the patenting of software. There's nothing unreasonable about it, or unfair about it. Existing patents would inevitably have to stand for the next decade or so, but then this disastrous experiment with software patents would be done with. This is precisely what politics is for, to allow laws to be changed to better serve society.



    Quote:

    By the way, Lodsys isn't interested in the pittance that a developer might provide them. Lodsys wants another paycheck from Apple. If you want to talk about why Lodsys are ass holes, address the real issue, which is that they sold Apple a license and then turned around and sued Apples's developers. Complaining about the licensing behavior is justified. I'm totally for the developers and Apple on this one. However, setting up a consortium to destroy the patent system is stupid, naive, and idiotic. It misses the mark in so many regards, I don't know where to stop.



    Technically that's not what happened. Intellectual Ventures sold Apple a license. Then 'sold' the patent to Lodsys who went off to sue the indies.



    And don't exaggerate, this consortium isn't out to destroy the entire patent system. They're not concerned with pharma patents. They're probably not concerned with design patents. They're concerned with software patents, and as my examples showed, software patents have never been and will never be critical to innovation in software.
  • Reply 16 of 54
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ash471 View Post


    I admit that it is really hard to prove how valuable the patent system is. However, you do realize that the Founders of the United States thought it was important enough to put it in the U.S. Constitution. You can make yourself believe that all those people working in software weren't driven by patents, but the evidence suggests otherwise.



    Software wasn't even held to be patentable in the US until the 80s, except in a very few special cases. None of the examples, even those like the web which are later were patented - so clearly none of the people working on them felt it was needed.



    The evidence is entirely against you that patents are key to software innovation.
  • Reply 17 of 54
    ash471ash471 Posts: 705member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    I am ready to make a donation to the effort. Where do I send my check?



    I agree that the political/PR effort is as important as the courts. It's time for Intellectual Vultures to get their comeuppance. But more importantly, it's time for meaningful patent reform. President Obama just mentioned it in a speech today, that now that the debt ceiling matter is settled it is time to get back to important legislation like patent reform.



    I reject the all or nothing approach taken by patent status quo apologists on this forum--that we have to leave things as they are to protect the little guy. That by making a distinction between patent brokers and inventors the inventors will lose. It's time to change this nineteenth century institution into a twenty-first century one. Intellectual property matters, but wholesale trading on that creative genius is the "derivative market" of the invention world. Protect and reward the inventor, not the the greed merchants who masquerade as his defender.



    My complements on making a well-reasoned response.

    I agree it would be better if we could take the "brokers" out of the picture. However, U.S. big business has created this problem. Big businesses won't license a patent from a little guy even if they infringe it. Instead of paying a little guy a million dollars for an invention that is clearly infringed, the big company will spend 2 million to fight it. Intellectual Ventures has flipped the table. Intellectual Ventures will call their bluff and raise them two. Intellectual Ventures has been able to buy up an enormous number of patents that are worth less than 5 million dollars because small inventors can't get investment money to litigate unless the damages are at least in the 15-20 million range. Intellectual Ventures is big enough that they can actually do to the companies what the companies did to the little guys. Intellectual Ventures can brandish a 20 million dollar war chest of cash and say "you either pay up or I will spend 20 million in litigation, sue you for legal fees, and get treble damages for the infringement.



    The answer isn't to change the patent law. If small inventors can't win in litigation and they can't sell their patents to brokers, you will have effectively destroyed the ability of small inventors to participate in the patent system. Over time, big companies will form a cabal and the patent system will be ruined.



    The answer is simple. Companies need to start buying up patents from the little guys before Intellectual Ventures does. Throw the little guy a bone instead of litigating him into the ground.



    The shame in this whole Lodsys scenario is that Apple did pay Lodsys for a license. The bastards at Lodsys turned around and sued Apple's developers on a patent that was already licensed to Apple. The legality of it is not clear and I'm not sure how it will come out. Regardless, the guys at Lodsys are scum bags.



    Please don't support the Consortium. It won't help. The consortium is fighting the wrong battle. If they win, we risk undermining our technology sector.



    Maybe someday I'll have to move to China. Lately I've seen China doing everything it can to bolster its patent system and the U.S. is doing everything it can to destroy its patent system.
  • Reply 18 of 54
    When Patents Attack! - This American Life http://j.mp/qptC6R This Excellent Podcast is directly related to this topic!



    It would be great if that whole Patent Universe was more Just, Sane!!!



    My initial reaction is that it's a good thing to see the Developers Organize so that it's All For One and One For All... That way they all have a better chance against abuse... But I also realize that all those cases are very nuanced and that, if they are rushed, there is a greater likelihood of injustice, where the side with more $$, and or better lawyers wins...



    There seems to be an increase of case against Apple!!! I'd like to think that Apple does their homework, yet the cases keep coming! I suspect that it's because we all keep hearing about Apple's Billions of $$ in Cash!!! That Cash excites some folks to go after Apple, hoping for "OK, here is a few million $$, just go away" type of a Settlement!!!



    Of course I am simplifying things here.... But overall, I'll repeat:



    It would be great if that whole Patent Universe was cleaned up...
  • Reply 19 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ash471 View Post


    The answer isn't to change the patent law. If small inventors can't win in litigation and they can't sell their patents to brokers, you will have effectively destroyed the ability of small inventors to participate in the patent system.



    Ash, you're taking everyone's arguments too far. Most people would agree that the wholesale elimination of the patent system is a bad idea. You're fighting a straw man, and a pretty weak one at that. What is called for, however, is reform of the bad parts - e.g., obvious patents that slip through the cracks, software patents, and business method patents.



    Can you make a cogent argument that pursuing those reforms would ruin everything and make you want to live in China?
  • Reply 20 of 54
    ash471ash471 Posts: 705member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post


    But there is no issue whatsoever with software developers lobbying for a change to the patent laws to end the patenting of software. There's nothing unreasonable about it, or unfair about it. Existing patents would inevitably have to stand for the next decade or so, but then this disastrous experiment with software patents would be done with. This is precisely what politics is for, to allow laws to be changed to better serve society.







    Technically that's not what happened. Intellectual Ventures sold Apple a license. Then 'sold' the patent to Lodsys who went off to sue the indies.



    And don't exaggerate, this consortium isn't out to destroy the entire patent system. They're not concerned with pharma patents. They're probably not concerned with design patents. They're concerned with software patents, and as my examples showed, software patents have never been and will never be critical to innovation in software.



    When technology is developing rapidly everyone likes to think the technology would develop rapidly without the patent system. In the 1800s there were a lot of patents related to trains because that was the rapidly developing technology. There is nothing inherently unique about software. Software patents are methods implemented in a computing environment. They should be just as patentable as a method for making a chemical compound.

    The problem I have with the consortium is that it alleges that Intellectual Ventures is the problem and that we need to rid the system of brokers. These "patent reform measures" are not limited to software. They attack the broker, which is the only market the small guys have since they can't afford to fight the big companies in court and the big companies won't buy their patents. What is the small inventor suppose to do?



    Intellectual Ventures selling a license to Apple and then selling the patent to another entity that indirectly sues Apple is a scum bag thing to do. However, you can't get rid of the Broker unless Apple is willing to buy from the small inventor. The solution is for companies to start buying up patents before Intellectual Ventures does. Changing the patent system to prevent small inventors from having a market to sell their patents is not the correct solution.
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