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Motorola Asks ITC To Ban BlackBerry Imports

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the not-the-tasty-blackberries-don't-worry dept.

Patents 75

alphadogg writes "Patent litigation between Motorola and Research In Motion is heating up, with Motorola filing a complaint with the US International Trade Commission. In the complaint, Motorola alleges that RIM engages in unfair trade practices by importing and selling products that infringe five Motorola patents. The patents cover technologies related to Wi-Fi access, application management, user interface, and power management, Motorola said. Motorola is asking the ITC to investigate RIM and bar the company from importing, marketing, and selling products in the US that use the technologies."

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Well, if you can't compete... (5, Insightful)

Obstin8 (827030) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870570)

then the only option is protectionism.

Re:Well, if you can't compete... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30870592)

You're supposed to just say "first post" and not actually make some sensible argument. Jeez, what is /. turning to?!

Re:Well, if you can't compete... (1)

kno3 (1327725) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870934)

I thought the only rule of first post is that you do not talk about first post.

Re:Well, if you can't compete... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30871996)

No, you're supposed to say "frist psot!" and post something about the GNAA, if you want to be old school.

Re:Well, if you can't compete... (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30876202)

Thank you. From now on, I’ll quote your comment, whenever someone tries to argue, that /. is so much worse now, than it once was.

Re:Well, if you can't compete... (4, Insightful)

pete6677 (681676) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870624)

Within about 10 years or less, patent litigation will be the ONLY line of business left for former U.S. tech giants. All innovation will take place elsewhere, as it largely is already. You'll know this time is near once Microsoft loses their monopoly on the PC desktop, which they inevitably will.

Re:Well, if you can't compete... (2, Funny)

drej (1663541) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870776)

Someone mod this 'prophetic'.

Re:Well, if you can't compete... (4, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870832)

Someone mod this 'prophetic'.

Prophetic? I disagree. I think he's only stating what's already happened to us. The process really began back in the sixties, and has been on an accelerating curve ever since. We just aren't feeling the full effects of it yet because we've kept up the fiction that we're a good place for foreign investment (although the cracks are showing). Fact is, the nation is still running on inertia. There's a Great Collapse coming ... I just don't know when. I really hope it's after I retire in peace to the island I plan to purchase after I win the lottery. Let all the stupid, shortsighted people here that truly believe that America doesn't need all those dirty machines and factories go to Hell in their own way. Ignorance is not bliss: it's the way to misery and poverty, and America is on that road.

One of our Founders, Thomas Jefferson, early in his career believed that America would best be served by remaining a largely agrarian culture, with the few manufactured goods we needed being purchased abroad. He eventually realized that that was a mistake, that we needed industry in order to maintain our ideals, indeed to maintain our freedom. He always maintained a distrust of the corporate sector (very wise in retrospect) but ultimately understood that freedom was based upon independence, and that we could not be dependent upon other nations' good will if we wished to be free.

Re:Well, if you can't compete... (4, Interesting)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30871064)

The only way our labor will become competitive is after a collapse resets labor AND commodity costs.

Americans cannot afford to work for Chinese wages unless we reset to conditions like those of China.
Some things will have to go, and that means a willful and deliberate rollback of the benefits workers are used to having, a destruction of entitlements, and social conditions that coerce people to work for prevailing wages instead of getting government handouts.

Competition means competing, it is required by inevitable and natural market forces, so position YOURSELF as best you can and Cthulhu take the hindmost. The post-WWII boom is over, the world learned how to make stuff, and America can't boast its way or shoot its way to the top of the heap. Americans are going to have to suck it up and get an old school work ethic, including willingness to suffer in return for money. Those old farts of the so-called Greatest Generation were hardened by hard times. We don't have hard time yet by comparison (note that our poor are fat as hogs and if they were any lazier they'd stop breathing), but they are coming.

Re:Well, if you can't compete... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30871122)

Those old farts of the so-called Greatest Generation were hardened by hard times

Evolution in action, my friend, evolution in action. Great stuff if you're a fast-moving tree-climber with a high metabolic rate ... not so good if you're a cold-blooded behemoth. And when the giant economic asteroid finally hits, which one do you think we will most closely resemble?

Re:Well, if you can't compete... (3, Insightful)

Josh04 (1596071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872136)

You're just plain wrong if you think the poor are lazier than the rich in any meaningful way.

Re:Well, if you can't compete... (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30877562)

I don't think we need china like conditions and china like wages to compete. The British empire proved plenty competitive while they engaged in trade with what we would call third world nations today. What eventually took them down was the great war and the debt they incurred there; it was not the economics of their trade network.

Your argument assumes that a worker in china produces the same output as a working in the use. If it costs me $15 an hour in wages in other compensation for a US worker and $5 for a working in china its not problem at all to hire the US worker if (s)he is better than three times more productive.

Our problem is not one of workers and wages its one of management and tooling. We need management that lets workers use their minds. We have better educated workers we need to capitalize on that asset. If workers can improve process, or product they need to be listened to, mangement needs to not be so pretentious and drop the not invented here crap and the workers are just wage slave mentality. We also need to recognize that short term profit is not always long term gains. Companies need to stop being so focused on next quarter and start looking at next year maybe next decade, and reinvest. They need to build and buy better tooling than China has and do the research and develop technology that sets us apart again.

Re:Well, if you can't compete... (1)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 4 years ago | (#30871104)

I somewhat agree with you, except I'd consider the pivotal event to be WWII, the effects just didn't start showing up until the the sixties. My guess is that the great collapse is in progress already. I don't think it's going to be a single cataclysmic event, it'll be more like Charlie Chaplin falling off of a cliff and hitting every rock on the way down.

Currently though, we're still the world's largest manufacturer, although China is on target to surpass us within the next couple of years.

I agree with you about the island. Perhaps this would be a good time for a Nockian Remnant [americanthinker.com] to consider a consortium to start buying some up.

Also I note your position regarding Jefferson's belief that the country must be self-sufficient. There's a new political party you might be interested in that agrees with you. [american3p.org]

Re:Well, if you can't compete... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30871584)

I somewhat agree with you, except I'd consider the pivotal event to be WWII

Well, the trends were in place even before that, but World War II offered the justification for a massive increase in Federal power and authority. Power which was not relinquished when the war was over. So yes, in that I will certainly agree with you. However, I was referring to the trend towards decreasing manufacturing productivity and overall standard of living (which had been steadily rising since the end of WWII.)

Re:Well, if you can't compete... (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 4 years ago | (#30871520)

Prophetic? I disagree. I think he's only stating what's already happened to us.

Hmm, not to be pedantic, but the sense of foretelling the future is not the only definition of prophesy. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, most of what was considered prophesy in the Biblical sense actually concerned stuff that was happening in the present. The extent to which the future was predicted tended to just be in terms of extrapolation from the past, with an obvious emphasis on fitting this into some divine teaching or instruction. Since the extrapolation was generally based on religious principles, the extrapolation often would include stuff like "if you don't shape up, some army will come along and exact divine punishment on us."

So, trolls and teenagers posting on Slashdot about how bad tech policy will destroy the US is actually well in keeping with the traditional definition of prophesy. :)

Re:Well, if you can't compete... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30871630)

Hmm, not to be pedantic, but the sense of foretelling the future is not the only definition of prophesy

Well, you are (being pedantic that is) but it's okay since this is Slashdot and I'm used to it, and your post was informative as well. Nor am I disagreeing with you, but in the context of this thread I think foretelling the future was a reasonable interpretation.

Re:Well, if you can't compete... (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 4 years ago | (#30871962)

Hmm - when I say "not to be pedantic" it doesn't mean that I'm not being pedantic, but rather that the purpose of my post is not to be pedantic. That is, I'm not being pedantic for the sake of being pedantic.

That applied to my last post. This one is posted purely for the sake of being pedantic. :) Well, and maybe a bit of humor as well...

Re:Well, if you can't compete... (2, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872258)

The US has wasted the last decades on not development but trying to protect and conserve what is. A shitload of money going into the work of lawyers while R&D is cutting costs.

It's like racing - either you try to block the competition or you try to drive as fast as possible. Using lawyers and litigations is just trying to block the competition - but when you are in fourth row that only means that the leaders are leaving you behind.

Re:Well, if you can't compete... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872394)

The US has wasted the last decades on not development but trying to protect and conserve what is. A shitload of money going into the work of lawyers while R&D is cutting costs.

It's like racing - either you try to block the competition or you try to drive as fast as possible. Using lawyers and litigations is just trying to block the competition - but when you are in fourth row that only means that the leaders are leaving you behind.

That's a pretty apt analogy, actually.

Re:Well, if you can't compete... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30880986)

Meh. That's kind of like the slashdot posts, every day in every thread, that say something like "why are you all...", as if the entire slashdot were one monolithic hivemind with a single opinion on each issue. Every country has both innovators and patent trolls, and a consideration of past decades doesn't expose much change in the proportions in the US or others. When you see one company doing both, it's usually part of the same old cycle; it's a strategic stalling tactic before the new product line hits the shelves, and that approach has been used by and against US companies for at least a century now. (And that's only if I limit it to "modern-like" tech, but tariffs as an economic weapon have existed since centuries before the US existed.)

Now in this particular example, if Motorola had become an empty husk of a company with only a skeleton crew of lawyers remaining, then, yeah, that'd be total stagnation and three years later they still wouldn't have a new product out. But both RIM and Motorola still employ a bunch of engineers designing the next cool new thing, so really, this is just the same healthy competition as before, with the ugly oily slick of the same stupid lawyering as before.

Re:Well, if you can't compete... (1)

rdnetto (955205) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874942)

Someone mod this 'prophetic'.

Prophetic? I disagree. I think he's only stating what's already happened to us.

So, redundant then?

Re:Well, if you can't compete... (1)

BESTouff (531293) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870820)

Arrrgh .. no mod points !

Re:Well, if you can't compete... (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872062)

Once upon a time, the "service economy" was portrayed as flipping each other's burgers. Now that it's getting closer, it seems indeed to be about suing each other's asses off.

I'm wondering which is less greasy ?

Re:Well, if you can't compete... (2, Insightful)

brainfsck (1078697) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872216)

The United States continues to lead in nobel prizes [photius.com] and university-level education and research [wikipedia.org] as well as these measures of innovation [nationmaster.com] and technological achievement [nationmaster.com] .

I'm curious which metrics you used to come to your conclusion that "[a]ll innovation will take place elsewhere, as it largely is already."

Re:Well, if you can't compete... (1)

coolgeek (140561) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872354)

Let's not forget that Nokia started this little game of ring around the rosies. Motorola just sort of woke up and went "oh, me too me too"

If you aren't cool, you don't have IP? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30873130)

Funny is, people started to act like this. If Motorola can't make an iPhone to race with RIM, they must have no patents and they should be evilly suing RIM as result. It is same deal on Nokia stories.

Once upon a time (5-10 years back), Motorola was releasing unmatchable technological breakthroughs, perhaps in that good management period, they actually invented things and patented them? Same goes for Nokia.

Re:If you aren't cool, you don't have IP? (1)

coolgeek (140561) | more than 4 years ago | (#30883504)

Yea, they are all grasping at straws, IMO, driven by the fear that they cannot match the iPhone and the 25 or so years that are invested in that technology.

Two issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872756)

(1) RIM is Canadian, not particularly foreign, plus they're heavily oriented towards the American business market. Business people abroad prefer Nokia phones running Symbian. Motorola is actually American but heavily oriented toward the Asian market. So we're not exactly seeing "American tech giant squashes upstart foreign competitor." I'll grant you that mobile phone innovation generally occurs abroad though; well we know Finland's Nokia has been responsible for most innovation in the mobile phone world.

(2) WTO treaties permit countries to demand balanced trade when facing internal economic strife. If the president and congress agree trade balances are necessary, then imports from seriously protectionist countries like China would simply halt.

Re:Well, if you can't compete... (1)

Big Smirk (692056) | more than 4 years ago | (#30871324)

This is just a patent battle. RIM fired the first shot by accusing Motorola of violating its patents. Motorola is countering by saying "Oh, yeah, not only are you violating our patents, but you shouldn't be allowed to import your stuff until all this gets resolved".

Bottom line, they are both just posturing. In the end they will sign some sort of cross licensing agreement that will allow each other to user each other's patents and more importantly, cut everyone else out (its the startups that aren't part of this that will loose in the end).

All this over patents that are probably little more than: "A phone, that can display information on a screen".

http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/motorola-vs.-rim-patent-war-begins/2008-02-19 [fiercewireless.com]

BTW, Last time I used 'Good Technologies" push software it totally screwed up my phone. If an email came through while you were on the phone, you got disconnected. Yes, they are fighting over that piece of crap.

Re:Well, if you can't compete... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30876280)

2nd post!

Bribe Your Congressman (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30870582)

Freshly stacked with Republicans, the Supreme Court has just legalized bribery.

As you can see from our patent system, bribery has been corrupting our elected officials for a long time.

So bribe your congressman. What? You can't afford to?!?

Then go fuck yourself. America is for soulless corporations tearing through the world like a real life Sky-Net.

Re:Bribe Your Congressman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30873182)

Haha! You mean the AIPAC money [prometheism.net] that has typically bought our politicians now will have some competition? That's the best news I've heard all day!

Re:Bribe Your Congressman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30874270)

As much as I hate the damn corporate lobbying pushing citizen's representation into oblivion (or so it really seems, especially with some of the shit that gets passed in legislation here), we have a problem.

You see, one day I decided to bitch about the lobbying in public, and say that I wish we could/would just outlaw the damn lobbying from the corporate sector. All was great, until I realized I was bitching to someone who knew their history damn well. Fact of the matter is, a good amount of our forefathers had the equivalent of corporate interests in mind during the creation of this country. I worry it'll screw us over in the end, in one way or another, but it's been there from the beginning and I'm more likely to believe anyone in our government will only support it continuing to at least some degree. Some kind of limits would be great, but our country has always had some of corporate interest in mind. I'd say it's most likely that such bullshit will continue forever.

In my arrogant opinion, people of the US need to get together and make lobbying groups with the whole thought of lobbying for the peoples' interests instead of corporate interests. Though, people are behind corporations, and so you're gonna be fighting other people using the weight of their corporations to push their corporate interests back. I don't think that's all bad, though. What's bad is that we don't have any real balance left between corporate and everyone else, so everyone else just gets screwed left and right. Hence, we need a lobbying group that pushes that balance.

As if that'll ever happen...

And the service provided too? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870590)

YAY! Kill off every annoying bb in the country in one swoop.. Ill kick in 10 bucks to help!

All kidding aside, so a huge corporation is suing another huge corporation and wants to get an injunction.. and we get to pay the bill.. nothing new here..

This is going patently insane. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30870700)

I welcome all these litigations, these are the last tremors of a dying patent industry.

Completely Obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30870728)

RIM accused Motorola of charging exorbitant fees to license patents that are essential to implementing standard technologies.

So, Motorola has patented the only way to do it. They have a monopoly on the most logical (and only) way to solve a problem. If there is only one way to solve the problem, how can it NOT be obvious?

Although, I haven't seen any of the patents, because the article doesn't mention which ones are in question. Not like it matters - patents are written in a language that can't be understood by most experts in the field of the patent.

Americans. explain how this is 'free market'. (4, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870782)

doesnt monopolizing entire national market through usage of patents and copyrights or cartel practice kinda defy the point of having one ?

Re:Americans. explain how this is 'free market'. (5, Insightful)

zwede (1478355) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870828)

I've long had the theory that raw, uncontrolled, capitalism and communism end up the same: with a monopoly, no competition and no innovation. Only difference is with communism the state controls the monopoly, with raw capitalism the monopoly controls the state. Both rely on a submissive citizenry that can not be bothered to defend their freedom.

Re:Americans. explain how this is 'free market'. (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870858)

From what I seen and read, all governments drift to similar tyrannies; the major differences being the level of brutality of the people running things.

Re:Americans. explain how this is 'free market'. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#30916772)

despite the hard conservative/liberitarian twist you are trying to put in to this, the most brutal governments that did those deeds were controlled by monopoly companies. nazis were a product of german industry, heavily backed by them to political power and afterwards. it also explains why nazi government didnt brutally and fascistically nationalize all private corporations and used them properly for war effort, and instead kept somewhat market economy, crippling german industrial production due to unused capacity.

and on another sidenote, it was american companies that started branding people with rfid chips in their arms for 'employee security' 1.5 years ago. until cal. senate kicked in and banned it, they were going all out with it.

Re:Americans. explain how this is 'free market'. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30870992)

Your theory is correct with respect to current U.S. policy. However, read Ayn Rand's "Capitalism, the Unknown Ideal" to understand why what we have in the U.S. is not "capitalism" nor a free market.

In a truly capitalist society, the government stays out of business except for enforcing contracts and copyrights. When set up correctly, business has no reason to lobby the state for favors - the state has no power to grant them. In true capitalism, business compete based on their ability to create and deliver products and services, not their ability to lobby for state-enforced monopolies.

http://www.amazon.com/Capitalism-Ideal-Ayn-Rand/dp/0451147952/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264270394&sr=8-1

Re:Americans. explain how this is 'free market'. (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30871132)

If the state has no power to grant favors, it has no power to enforce contracts and copyrights; and pretty much no power at all.

Re:Americans. explain how this is 'free market'. (1)

masmullin (1479239) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872480)

umm except for the power of incarceration and asset seizure. I guess not throwing people in jail and stealing all their shit until they do something wrong is kind of a favour though... I guess....

Re:Americans. explain how this is 'free market'. (1)

Urkki (668283) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872102)

In true capitalism, business compete based on their ability to create and deliver products and services, not their ability to lobby for state-enforced monopolies.

No, capitalism is about capital. The capital tries to increase itself on businesses growing maximally in the short term, and then moving to other businesses when the long term problems catch up. There's no long term growth for a single company in pure capitalism, unless that company achieves monopoly status. At it's core, capitalism is about getting maximal grown of your own capital, while staying legally safe, while still screwing others over at every opportunity. I mean, just think about all the Enron-like cases. Most of the people who profited from those got to keep their profits.

I mean, what is the mechanism of personal responsibility in capitalism? Apart from provably (very hard if there's intentional coverup from the start) conspiring to break the law (which there wouldn't be that much of anyway, in pure capitalism), it's just the capital that is "punished", and if you're an insider, you know to move your capital away from the company that is about to be punished, so it's capital of other people that gets punished for your wrongdoings.

Re:Americans. explain how this is 'free market'. (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30877600)

Well that is a sadly distorted view that unfortunately many of those in government and running our corporations share. Capitalism was supposed to be about individuals using their resources according to rational self interest. If companies were say run but their actual owners or even CEOs who planned to be around longer than 18mo it would be perfectly clear that not alienating the government, their customers, their workers and re-investing in product development and tooling for the future is the best path. Instead you're type of thinking has lead to the current how much can I milk it this quarter thinking.

Re:Americans. explain how this is 'free market'. (1)

Urkki (668283) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886912)

Capitalism was supposed to be about individuals using their resources according to rational self interest. If companies were say run but their actual owners or even CEOs who planned to be around longer than 18mo it would be perfectly clear that not alienating the government, their customers, their workers and re-investing in product development and tooling for the future is the best path.

That's the theory. It's almost as far removed from real life, as eg. communism is.

What you describe may be the best path for the people in power. For current owners, CEO etc, there often is an exit date (it may be unknown, but they know they'll exit at some point). So it's logical to optimize capital value for that date, ignoring whatever may come after that. Also, the others in similar position have the same opportunity to profit and exit, so it becomes a choice between taking the consequences while those others take the profit, or playing the dirty game and getting a share of the profits.

Note, that the same applies to for example theft vs. buying from a store. The crucial difference is the total likelihood of getting caught, and the consequences of getting caught. There's no difference in people doing it, there's only difference in consequences for others (stealing from a shop vs. destroying future of a business for immediate personal gain).

Of course sometimes owners, board and/or management are illogical and un-capitalistic, and really strive for what is best for the business in the long run, instead of what's best for them personally in immediate future. But any economic system relying on people to try to do their best, instead of trying to profit personally, is doomed to fail. There needs to be personal accountability, and pure capitalism lacks that.

Re:Americans. explain how this is 'free market'. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872436)

I dispute your assertion that contracts and copyrights belong in a truly capitalist society. Contracts and copyrights are *legally* derived priveleges. Who enforces the law? The government. It's defacto intervention. A truly free market is one that is not effected by government intervention at all. This is why no nation on earth has pure capitalism.

Re:Americans. explain how this is 'free market'. (0, Troll)

sadler121 (735320) | more than 4 years ago | (#30871040)

With raw, uncontrolled capitalism, there would be no patents or copyrights, which means there would be no way for corporations to get the government to be there thugs and stifle competitive efforts.

Re:Americans. explain how this is 'free market'. (0, Troll)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30871174)

Yeah, and in raw, uncontrolled communism there would be no way for self-appointed elite to get the government (of the people!!!) to be their thugs...

Or the elite themselves would simply be thugs (but certainly not corporations in raw capitalism, no way...)

Re:Americans. explain how this is 'free market'. (1)

zwede (1478355) | more than 4 years ago | (#30871246)

You're confusing raw capitalism with anarchy. Patents and copyright are definitely a part of a raw capitalist society as it is a tool for the corporation to avoid competition. My point is that none of the extremes work. Capitalism is great, best thing since sliced bread, but it needs to be moderated by the people through government. Once you let corporations influence government via lobbying and campaign contributions you get problems. And before I'm accused of being a leftist, the same is true for unions.

Re:Americans. explain how this is 'free market'. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30871322)

"monopolizing . . . through the usage of patents" is exactly the point of patents. Patents ARE a government license to a brief monopoly. That IS the point, it doesn't defy it.

'Free market' is political advertising. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872378)

The US economic system isn't purely a free market, and neither is the US political system purely a democracy (some call it a representative democracy). Of course, there isn't a nation on the planet that has a 'free market' in the purest sense (or pure democracy). Patents are a part of law intended to reward inventors and inovators - it grants a TEMPORARY monopoly so that the patent holder has time to capitalize his/her creation. Patents have been historically useful in promoting research, because PEOPLE WANT TO GET PAID FOR THEIR RESEARCH EFFORTS (in capitalistic society, money is the defacto compensation for work - not a measure of how benevolent you are).

One person who received substantial reward for patented research is Thomas Edison. The foundational science for what he made was mostly created in other parts of the world (mainly Europe), however, he was successful because he fabricated the actual components necessary to build real infrastructure. He created techniques for manufacturing light bulbs, wires, power distribution, power generation, etc. He was awarded many patents for his effort, and made a lot of money doing it. What if Edison did not have patents? In that case, the competition would be allowed to use Edison's research and creations for THEIR gain, not Edison's. Is that fair? No. Patents in the US are basically a type of temporary ownership, which is supposed to be an instrument for enriching the lives of EVERYBODY by encouraging smart people to make ingenious stuff. When the patent expires, the monopoly is supposed to be extinguished; but today's USPTO is a whore for patent fees - they repeatedly grant patents for re-inventions and brain farts. This is why so many patent fights / lawsuits break out.

Re:'Free market' is political advertising. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#30916906)

back in early feudal times, lands allotted to military men for service were not inheritable. they were allocated not for even a lifetime, but a period.

then, the 'rights owners' started to lobby for lifetime usage rights. after a time, they were granted.

then, the 'rights owners' started to lobby for inheritable rights. after a time, they were granted.

and europe remained in clutches of a created aristocracy for close to 1500 years.

your libertarian viewpoint, just like alan greenspan's vies, lacks a very important aspect of human social behavior set - those who have privileges and profit from them, try to increase and continue those privileges indefinitely. so, instead of original copyright periods we have back when these laws were created in 19th century, we are having increasing copyright periods through laws granting them.

this does not stop. this cannot be stopped at a certain point. if you fix the privilege periods at X years with a law, due to sound rationalization at a point, some private group will come up and argue at a later date that due to this and that, that rationalization does not hold anymore, and therefore it should be extended 'to meet the demands of modern times'. there is no solution to that.

back in history, land was the basis of economy. if you controlled land, you controlled everything in the economy, and therefore, country itself.

today information is power. its not only the most important economic value, but also something that transcends all kinds of economic values and fields. if you patent a logic approach, then the patent would affect all uses of that, because, what's patented is a logic statement. from manufacturing to publishing to space research, it will be applicable wherever that logic or anything resembling it is ever used. it is happening as such in america, where the distorted, beyond sane patent system allows even simple logical constructs to be patented. if that is allowed, it will create a situation in which a group of people can lay claim to anything on the world through accumulated patent fiefs.

there is no freedom in that. there is no fairness in that.

Re:Americans. explain how this is 'free market'. (0, Flamebait)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30876214)

Actually, this is a good example of the definition of “free market”.

Complete freedom is essentially the law of the jungle. Or no laws for the strongest one, and the laws of the strongest one, for everybody else.
Which
1. is exactly what this is.
2. is the opposite of democracy and a fair society.

Yeah, conservatives:
a) free market
b) democracy
CHOOSE ONE! ;)

why the parent is modded flamebait ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#30916944)

since when something that is contrary to some crowd's beliefs and views, but containing traces or amounts of truth, can be called flamebait and modded down ?

it may be true that the guy didnt provide any loooong explanations for any dimwits who may have missed on history classes, however what he says is just the butt end of a logic rationalization sequence.

there can be no democracy in a place where ideas and economic values are controlled by minority through patent systems and legitimized ownership. such an environment is a feudal aristocracy, with a democracy as the storefront.

Re:Americans. explain how this is 'free market'. (1)

mahadiga (1346169) | more than 4 years ago | (#30876612)

Socialism is preventing race to the bottom.
Capitalism is promoting race to the top.
We need both (implicitly or indirectly) to build and sustain a Great Nation.

Cellphone Tournament? (4, Funny)

smd75 (1551583) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870842)

Winner of Apple V Nokia faces the winner of Motorola V RIM. Winner takes all.

Re:Cellphone Tournament? (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870982)

So Microsoft V Sony in the title match? Maybe Google could! go! all! the! waaaaaaaaaaay!

Re:Cellphone Tournament? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30871042)

And with all imports banned there will be no mobile phones in US at all. Take care of your current phone because you won't get new one.

The logical result of all the IP madness (0, Troll)

imarsman (305818) | more than 4 years ago | (#30870854)

Instead of spurring new ideas and having them spread around and serve the public good the skewed IP landscape has moved us in the opposite direction towards protectionism.

Re:The logical result of all the IP madness (1)

Urkki (668283) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872172)

Instead of spurring new ideas and having them spread around and serve the public good the skewed IP landscape has moved us in the opposite direction towards protectionism.

Well, in this case the question is, would those ideas have been developed as early as they were, if the developing company didn't know they could patent it? Just think how much resources companies spend on research that doesn't give any usable results.

It's quite possible that nobody would have those patented technologies RIM is using, if it weren't for the ability to patent them.

Ie. the ideas already got spurred and spread around thanks to patents, but RIM just doesn't want to chip in and actually pay for the technologies it's using.

Re:The logical result of all the IP madness (0, Troll)

Calinous (985536) | more than 4 years ago | (#30889226)

The parent isn't troll (except that it's not explicit protectionism by the government, but implicit based on the IP rights)

Red-Blooded American Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30871184)

First, let me say I'm probably the most jingoistic dyed in the wool American you will ever come across. I'm so bad, I get a surge of adrenalin when I see a Canadian plate on one of the highways I pay taxes to help fund.

That having been said, please, I beg you, deliver us from the clutches of our abusive monopolistic companies before it's too late. Using patent litigation to lock down a market is doing nothing but damage to what little is left of the great legacy of innovation we once had.

If I haven't been clear, allow me to offer a suggestion. What this world seriously needs is a real competitor to Windows. ChromeOS isn't it. Personally, I think Linux is up to the job (I'm typing this on Ubuntu). But, somebody has to put the marketing and polish dollars behind it to really make it happen. You have to make it work in a corporate environment, that means Active Directory, Exchange, Office has to have functional counterparts. RedHat, an American company if there ever was one, has given up on the desktop.

Seriously people, I am not mad at you, but you have to do better. Apple, Microsoft, RedHat, Google, Oracle, Sun, IBM, Novell, all American companies. The only European OS vendors I can think of are Nokia and Canonical. Canonical doesn't have the money even with Shuttleworth's billions. And Nokia isn't known for its Operating Systems for good reason. Neither Maemo nor Symbian are going to dethrone MS. Seriously, I'm rambling but, I'll just pull out all of the stops here, are you really happy that your personal and governmental software dollars are going straight into the coffers of us Yankee imperialists? I thought not. Get mad. Do us all a favor. We're counting on you.

Re:Red-Blooded American Here (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 4 years ago | (#30871488)

First, let me say I'm probably the most jingoistic dyed in the wool American you will ever come across. I'm so bad, I get a surge of adrenalin when I see a Canadian plate on one of the highways I pay taxes to help fund.

You do realize don't you that Canadians pump a lot of money into the American economy through free trade and tourism don't you? Directly or indirectly, those taxes you pay come from money earned because of tourism or cross border trade. If your job is not directly related to tourism or cross border trade, it is indirectly affected by it.

You should consider those highways, especially ones going north to south as capital investments which facilitate the movement of people and capital not only between states but between Canada and the US.

Re:Red-Blooded American Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872418)

You do realize don't you that Canadians pump a lot of money into the American economy through free trade and tourism don't you?

Really? Is it really that much? You yourself do realize that the entire Canadian economy is smaller than California. That's one US state. And even California only represents about 13% of the US GDP.

I realize its the cool hip thing to do to not speak up for facts in the face of the self-important pompousness espoused by denizens of, how shall I say, "less important" economies. But, really, the miniscule impact of Canadian tourists, free trade with Canada or whatever other BS you want to trot out is the last thing I'm worried about when it comes to funding the roads I drive on.

Re:Red-Blooded American Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30876822)

We are also by far the largest provider of crude oil, natural gas, and fresh water to you :)
Thanks to NAFTA, you guys get these stuff very cheap, such a mistake on our government's part...

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30871308)

maybe they can investigate Motorola for human rights violations too..

http://adalahny.org/index.php/boycott-divestment-a-sanction/consumer-boycotts-against-israel

documenting it on http://en.swpat.org (1, Troll)

H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) | more than 4 years ago | (#30871478)

Since patents aren't specific to any company, this means Motorola thinks all imports incorporating "Wi-Fi access, application management, user interface, or power management" should be subject to a veto by them.

    This demonstrates again why patents don't work with software:

There's no page yet on swpat.org [swpat.org] for Motorola or for RIM or for their litigation(s). If someone could start pages for any of those, that would be welcome.

This is totally MAD (Mutually assured destruction) (1)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | more than 4 years ago | (#30871778)

Motorolla sues RIM
Nokia sues Apple
Apple Sues Nokia

Soon, RIM will countersue Motorolla.
All asking to have their competitiors import of new phones banned.
All we need is for Sony/Erricson, HTC & Google to start participating in this legal suitfest.

Very soon, the price of phones in the US will rocket due to limited supply.
Then after a while, all the companies concerned stop selling phones due to rocketing legal costs. The US mobile phone system starts to inwardly implode under the weight of the collective law suits.
The only winners here will be (As usual) the lawyers.

 

hmmm (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 4 years ago | (#30871992)

Can we just ban Blackberry users? Because that's who we really want to get rid of.

Re:hmmm (1)

kurt555gs (309278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872082)

I also find Blackberry users to generally be annoying uppity assholes.

Re:hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872112)

That would be banning everyone with standards.

Posted via BlackBerry on AT&T.

Re:hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872344)

, BTW.

Motorola, please just give it up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30873168)

Well of COURSE Motorola wants RIM to be forced to stop selling BlackBerry phones in the US! BlackBerry's actually WORK, unlike, oh, the Moto Q9 series? Or almost any other Motorola phone that tries to be "smart".

Motorola really should just give up. RIM, HTC, and a myriad of other companies have been producing far greater quality phones for years now.

Another once great American company (1)

jhylkema (545853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30931312)

has been reduced to a shadow of its former self.

HP used to be a great innovator, doubly so with subsidiary Agilent Technologies. Now it's reduced to selling printer ink that, mL for mL, costs more than vintage Dom.

Worse, Motorola has gone from tech innovator to maker of consumer cell handsets. Now, well behind Apple, Blackberry and even Nokia, it has been reduced to a patent troll.

It's sad. It really is.

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