Judge who tossed Apple-Motorola suit questions need for software patents

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  • Reply 21 of 189
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,353member


    Yes, his past scholarship and jurisprudence are stunningly impressive, and have had wide impact.


     


    But when he starts to make silly statements like these, one has to wonder if he is approaching his sell-by date.....

  • Reply 22 of 189
    gwjvangwjvan Posts: 21member


    "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 Carmack

     

  • Reply 23 of 189
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,756member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GalaxyTab View Post



    I love it. Good old AppleInsider members telling us how it should be.

    I know what, how about becoming a great man/woman such as Posner so people actually take note of what you say instead of taking part of the eternal forum circle jerk?


     


    There's no need to be blinded by expertise. 


     


    Posner is a "great man", obviously. He's educated and a leader in his field. So were the participants at the Wannsee Conference (distinguished lawyers, legal scholars, legislators.) But that's for a different thread. 


     


    JUDICIAL INCOMPETENCE is nothing new. Misconduct is nothing new, either.


     


    http://ideas.time.com/2012/03/12/when-judges-are-racist/


     


     


    And frankly, if some of the top (perhaps older) legislators in the country have trouble understanding this "internet thing", it isn't completely beyond the pale to imagine that this problem might affect even the cream of the legal profession. 


     


    Some of us here have the sneaking suspicion that Posner is tired of software patent cases because he doesn't appreciate the impact of software, and this might influence his opinions, which have an even chance of finding their way into his adjudication. Especially since he's known to be "outspoken." So if every judge has an opinion, this one will *really* have one. And depending on his interests, it might not be the most informed opinion. 

  • Reply 24 of 189
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member


    He's a judge, just one judge, and that's just his opinion. There are many judges out there, and judges do not always agree.


     


    And why would he eagerly volunteer for a particular case, especially since he seems to be very willing to share his opinions on the matter? Maybe he has an agenda and ulterior motives.

  • Reply 25 of 189

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


     


     


    Interesting. 



     


    Well, the problem is that some kind of protection is needed. How can I otherwise compete with a larger shop, if they can systematically steal off of my ideas?

  • Reply 26 of 189
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member


    It's also quite funny how Fandroids are praising this judge all of a sudden, yet they were completely trashing that other judge who granted the injunctions against Samsung recently.

  • Reply 27 of 189
    rbryanhrbryanh Posts: 263member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Sacto Joe View Post



    How can you be so smart and so wrong? Patents are the lifes-blood of innovation. Without them, we'd eventually be ruled by oligarchs, since power would centralize as competition dropped away. Patents mean the pirates only win sometimes, not always. Doh!


     


    "I refute it thus!" he said, kicking the extraordinary polarization of wealth on our sorry planet.  


     


    We are ruled by oligarchs who use their centralized power to stifle innovation with monopolies, though "plutocrats" would be a more accurate term.

  • Reply 29 of 189
    sacto joesacto joe Posts: 895member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    Why wouldn't copyright laws fill the need quite nicely if the concern is truly "copying"?

    A patent runs for a shorter length of time than a copyright. Per wikipedia, in most of the world, the default length of copyright is the life of the author plus either 50 or 70 years. A patent is for twenty years.
  • Reply 30 of 189
    lochiaslochias Posts: 83member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Why wouldn't copyright laws fill the need quite nicely if the concern is truly "copying"?



    Because software does not protect in any way what the software does.  If I systematically rewrite code to do exactly what the original does, using minor variations from the original, I have not violated any copyright.


     


    If I copy all the names and numbers from the phone book and publish a phone book of my own, with my own header and format, I do not violate the original copyright.


     


    Copyright is totally ineffective for ideas or fact embedded in the words or symbols.

  • Reply 31 of 189
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Wh… wh… wait, wait, let… wait, he…
    He says they're not necessary… because there's LESS MONEY INVOLVED?!
    That can't be what he means. That has to be a misquote.

    The man has clearly lost it mentally. It would have to be massive misquote as the whole piece indicates to me that the judge doesn't have a clue about the patent system. One can argue about the wisdom of software patents but this guys comments are so broad as to invalidate the whole concept of patents. The whole point of patents is to protect the developer of a product by giving him exclusive rights to his ideas for a fixed time. It effectively protects the small time developer against those with money.

    People need to think really hard about the stupidity expressed by this judge. Take the example of a guy that invents something in his garage, is his right to a patent now dismissed because he spent little money to develop said patent? The attitude expressed by this judge should be scary to anyone anywhere that develops new technology.

    I have a hard time believing this is a misquote. Rather it just seems to indicate that someone has lost his grip on reality.
  • Reply 32 of 189
    drealothdrealoth Posts: 79member


    Posner's right. What we need are strong copyright and trademark laws - patent laws are too arbitrary, too difficult to enforce, and end up creating these huge legal deadlocks. I think that the comparison to pharma is correct - trademark laws aren't going to protect a drug that a company spent $500 million bringing to market, when a generic company can synthesize it for $2 a pill.

  • Reply 33 of 189
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,756member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Eternal Emperor View Post


     


    Well, the problem is that some kind of protection is needed. How can I otherwise compete with a larger shop, if they can systematically steal off of my ideas?



     


    Now either you and I are misunderstanding Posner, or he just doesn't care about your particular concerns as a developer. It seems your industry appears, let's say, "frivolous" to him, because any old software interface will do, as long as he can check his mail. It doesn't matter. It's all just pretty little pictures and words that do stuff when you click on them. Right? It's all the same anyway. Right? I mean, who really cares how the software looks and feels? Who really cares about all the "little things" that add up to really and truly differentiate software from one another?


     


    Your "investment" in your ideas doesn't amount to much because it isn't on the level of an industry that REALLY matters to human-kind, like pharmaceuticals. So: your own little venture is both without much financial risk, and also unworthy. 


     


    How do you like THAT situation? Does that make you feel good?

  • Reply 34 of 189
    wovelwovel Posts: 956member


    Maybe he should give up the bench and run from congress.  Congress is where we change laws.  Does he believe software patents are unconstitutional?  

  • Reply 35 of 189
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Drealoth View Post


    I think that the comparison to pharma is correct - trademark laws aren't going to protect a drug that a company spent $500 million bringing to market, when a generic company can synthesize it for $2 a pill.



    And what about Apple? They spent a pretty penny too on developing their phone and other devices. They built all sorts of expensive test chambers etc. And along comes other companies trying to release their own generic versions of Apple's innovation.

  • Reply 36 of 189
    sacto joesacto joe Posts: 895member
    rbryanh wrote: »
    "I refute it thus!" he said, kicking the extraordinary polarization of wealth on our sorry planet.  

    We are ruled by oligarchs who use their centralized power to stifle innovation with monopolies, though "plutocrats" would be a more accurate term.

    If that were true, then there'd be no power struggle. The oligarchs wouldn't find Citizens United necessary, because we wouldn't have elections in the first place.
  • Reply 37 of 189
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Yes, his past scholarship and jurisprudence are stunningly impressive, and have had wide impact.

    But when he starts to make silly statements like these, one has to wonder if he is approaching his sell-by date.....

    Well past his sell by date!

    What is troubling here is his overly broad dismissal of the value of the patent system. It is extremely troubling that a judge that clearly doesn't get it, or has some sort of political agenda, is still allowed to sit in judgement of others.
  • Reply 38 of 189
    gprovidagprovida Posts: 252member


    I am not sure that Apple did not invest a lot of money and time into the iPhone et al and so I think this reflects a misunderstanding of the complexities of iPhone HW/SW innovation and integration.  However, I feel that:


     


    1. SW and even hardware patents have way too low a threshold for innovation and impact.  This I think would be heathy for all industries to raise the bar and perhaps include some distinction between practicing and non-practicing entities.


    2. Design needs its own protection(s) whether copyright, patent, or other distinctions or ensure originality and brand is not diminished.  


    3. SEP should be allowed only if they are dramatically innovative not mere implementation choice and for those that reach that level must FRAND.

  • Reply 39 of 189
    lochiaslochias Posts: 83member


    We need a constitutional amendment forbidding patents on inventions employing software, wood products, or glass.  All require entirely too little investment.


     


    Anything so inexpensive hardly deserves the attention of overworked judges.


     


    What were Madison and those dreamers thinking?

  • Reply 40 of 189
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    Why wouldn't copyright laws fill the need quite nicely if the concern is truly "copying"?

    Because they cover different things.

    Copyright protects the exact work of art or commerce. A patent protects a process, not the wording. If you take copyrighted code and simply change it around (perhaps as simply as doing the same thing in a different computer language), you would not be infringing the copyright. OTOH, if you take a patented PROCESS and do the same process with a different language, it's still an infringement.
    malax wrote: »
    "It's not clear that we really need patents in most industries," Posner said.

     
    I didn't read the entire text of the speech, but this line is troubling in the context of his just having thrown out a patent-related case.  It's not a judge's job to decide what laws we "really need" or should have.  It's his job to fairly apply the laws that we do have.  This certainly raises the question as to whether he stepped over that line in this case.  The fact that he "only uses his iPhone for mail" is somewhat troubling too.  Doesn't sound like the best guy to understand the implications of software innovation.  It's also troubling that he didn't get the Apple-Motorola case by the luck of the draw but went out of his way to take the case in the first place.  He used his influence to take a high-profile software patent case; he dismisses said case; and then goes on the record saying that he doesn't believe we actually need software patents.  Well, perhaps we don't need judges legislating from the bench either.

    Exactly. This one is ripe for reversal on appeal. He has taken the position that he disagrees with the law of the land and went out of his way to request a case where he could exercise his personal opinion.
    quadra 610 wrote: »
    {that the investment is greater for creating a pharmaceutical product than a software product}
    Interesting. 

    His statement is absolutely true. It can cost hundreds of millions of dollars and 10 years or more to develop a single pharmaceutical product. And making even a minor modification can cost you a similar amount of money for the next round. For software, making modifications IS quite inexpensive, relatively speaking.

    Of course, that simply says that his facts are correct. It doesn't justify his conclusion. I'm not aware of anything in our patent laws that requires a certain level of investment for something to be patentable.

    wizard69 wrote: »
    The man just demonstrated that he is too ignorant to sit on the bench and you call him a great man. Now who here has an ethical problem. Real men speak up when others are in the wrong no matter their station in life.
    Posters comments honestly sound like those of an old man loosing his grip on his facilities. If he had focused on software patents he may of had a valid point or two, instead he said patents where questionable for most industries. That is totally asinine. More so even if his point was valid, it is his job to enforce the law not make law.
    There is nothing great about a man hanging on past his ability to execute his job correctly and rationally. If nothing else this is a clear sign that we need to get these old people out of the judicial system or at least review their mental competence as they age.

    More importantly, he has apparently forgotten the role of the judiciary. His job is to interpret the law as it was written by Congress and signed by the President. If he doesn't like a law, it should not affect his decision.

    Now, we don't know for sure that his view affected his view. But since this isn't the first time he's said this, it creates a very strong appearance of bias - which should have been avoided at all costs.
    "Apple wrote:
    [" url="/t/151104/judge-who-tossed-apple-motorola-suit-questions-need-for-software-patents#post_2140757"]He's a judge, just one judge, and that's just his opinion. There are many judges out there, and judges do not always agree.

    And why would he eagerly volunteer for a particular case, especially since he seems to be very willing to share his opinions on the matter? Maybe he has an agenda and ulterior motives.

    Whether he does or not, Apple will certainly use that argument in their request for an appeal.
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