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AU Optronics Asks For US Ban On LG LCD Sales

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the alphabet-soup dept.

Displays 155

eldavojohn writes "After a lengthy patent case, complete with countersuits, AU Optronics has asked for an injunction against all LCD products made by LG. While this may not sound serious, LG is the number one manufacturer of LCDs used in LCD TVs, laptop PCs and desktop monitors. A quarter of global LCDs shipped in March were LG brand. The bizarre part of the story is that LG Display struck first against AU Optronics way back in 2006 with a patent suit to the tune of $690 million, and in 2009, when the case finally went to court, AUO filed counter-claims of patent infringement that are now coming to fruition. So before you call AUO a patent troll, keep in mind that LGD shot first."

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155 comments

Tired of all the litigations.. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32064656)

It seems the 'tech' companies have shifted their focus on making money by suing others rather than selling things.

And of course - when litigious bastards like Apple are hailed as Jesus Christ, you wonder if we have moved into a different era now.

Re:Tired of all the litigations.. (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065142)

Hitachi/Fujitsu sued LG [techshout.com] back in 2007. LG have always been ruthless in not caring about patents.

Re:Tired of all the litigations.. (2, Interesting)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065384)

Hitachi/Fujitsu sued LG back in 2007. LG have always been ruthless in not caring about patents.

ROTFL. The linked article notes that LG sued Hitachi, not the other way around. And of course LG (and AUO and Hitachi and Samsung and all the rest) don't care about the other guy's patents; they don't even know about them. They're all working on similar products from the technological base, with engineers and researchers with similar education and experience; it would be a great surprise if there wasn't a lot of overlap. Particularly since their patent lawyers write the patents as broadly as possible (and often in obfuscating language) while still getting past the various patent offices (not a high bar!). No one is going around reading anyone else's patent filings for ideas.

Re:Tired of all the litigations.. (1, Flamebait)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065162)

It seems the 'tech' companies have shifted their focus on making money by suing others rather than selling things.

Either way, tech companies are no longer making things anymore. Nowadays, that's all done by ultra-capitalists in China who don't give two fiddlers about Imaginary Property rights.

Eliminate Patents. (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#32064658)

Quite honestly, it is time to eliminate patents. As we've seen from countries with lax IP enforcement (AKA China), if you have a quality product, the knock-offs can't compete. The entire point of patents is to add to public knowledge, but that isn't happening. So really, we need shorter patent protection times, or just eliminate it all together.

Re:Eliminate Patents. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32064750)

Considering AUO is a chinese company, maybe we should ignore their patents until they stop ignoring everybody else's.

And, the government backed industrial espionage while we are at it.

Re:Eliminate Patents. (2, Insightful)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065334)

Considering AUO is a chinese company, maybe we should ignore their patents until they stop ignoring everybody else's.

Well, perhaps that's just a little hypocritical. The USA has been running around the world getting everyone to follow their patents. You have to "set an example" if you want to be convincing. China is, in a real way, just following your lead from the times when you used to ignore European imaginary property. Maybe after a hundred years or so of you showing your respect for their property, they'll show the appropriate respect for yours. More hopefully, maybe you'll realise that most of the idea is stupid in the first place.

And, the government backed industrial espionage while we are at it.

Perhaps ignoring the "government backed industrial espionage" isn't the best way to counteract it. Maybe you could begin by asking the CIA to stop spying on European (and other foreign civilian) firms and handing that information on to US based companies. Once that's done, maybe some general international agreements for everyone to stop and penalties for those that continue, combined with arresting CEOs and CTOs of companies that fail to implement effective security measures would help.

Re:Eliminate Patents. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32066590)

by rtfa-troll (1340807)

Ah. A self proclaimed troll. That explains it. I'll respond anyways.

I'll say this once, right up front. I ought to repeat it frequently, but I won't.

Citation needed!

A few of your claims are outlandish, and others are "common knowledge"-- meaning things that people think might be true, but nobody has a reliable source for. The CIA, for example, could use a good bashing now and again, but they're not guilty of half of what their accused of. (Conversely: they're probably only accused of a small fraction of what they actually get away with.)

Considering AUO is a chinese company, maybe we should ignore their patents until they stop ignoring everybody else's.

Well, perhaps that's just a little hypocritical. The USA has been running around the world getting everyone to follow their patents. You have to "set an example" if you want to be convincing. China is, in a real way, just following your lead from the times when you used to ignore European imaginary property.

When was that? My lifetime? No? Their lifetimes even? How is this even relevant?

Maybe after a hundred years or so of you showing your respect for their property, they'll show the appropriate respect for yours. More hopefully, maybe you'll realise that most of the idea is stupid in the first place.

Some of "the idea" is stupid. It's not as dumb, though, as believing that 100 years is going to magically make a difference.

And, the government backed industrial espionage while we are at it.

Perhaps ignoring the "government backed industrial espionage" isn't the best way to counteract it. Maybe you could begin by asking the CIA to stop spying on European (and other foreign civilian) firms and handing that information on to US based companies. Once that's done, maybe some general international agreements for everyone to stop and penalties for those that continue, combined with arresting CEOs and CTOs of companies that fail to implement effective security measures would help.

We should be locking up lots of C-level execs (usually for fraud or worker abuse). Do we really want to live in a society where ANY executive is exposed to litigation based on security? Bank execs? Sure. Those who hold and keep private data? Sure. Those who callously think that identity theft is not their problem? Sure. But how about those whose only mistake is hiring the wrong employee (who has all the right credentials and interviews well) to prepare a security plan and execute it? Don't think that it can't happen. And what about those companies who require (through contract) that personal information be retained for billing purposes? They don't actually create and enforce the varied security plans. And the fact that they are creating an environment where security breaches will occur? Not their problem. Do you propose we lock them up too, or leave them alone? This all feels very Witch-hunty to me. I support more accountability to those with power, but how do you propose to keep such laws from being abused (and stifling legitimate business, and hence the economy)?

Re:Eliminate Patents. (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 3 years ago | (#32064852)

...or just eliminate it all together.

The patent system was originally designed to protect the small inventor from a large business entity that could simply absorb the product into their existing product line and mass-produce it at a lower cost than the inventor ever could. This was done by creating a time-limited exclusive right and granting it to the small inventor specifically to prevent this -- thereby forcing the larger business to pay them for their invention (licensing) instead of simply copying the product and leaving the inventor with no return on his/her investment.

That need still exists today, and the principle behind it is still solid -- so solid in fact, that it's written into our Constitution as a specific right granted to the government. And you might recall, our founding fathers were quite stingy about giving the federal government much power at all even after the failure known as the Articles of Confederation. That speaks clearly to the need for patents and copyright.

The problem is that it's been mutated and corrupted into something businesses use to fight one another in endless litigation, and the patent office has been so poorly funded that there's no way for them to vet the process correctly. The only people who even know how to file a patent are lawyers and large corporations dedicated to the task. The patent office is so pathetic that they'll reject a patent if it's faxed in upside down. Imagine if Thomas Edison had the light bulb rejected because he put it in a brown envelope instead of a white one -- it's that kind of idiocy that needs fixing.

We don't need to eliminate patents and copyright; We need to restore them to their proper place and purpose, which is to protect individuals from corporations, not the other way around. And we need reasonable time limits -- and if you want to eliminate anything, start with that mother fucker Mickey Mouse and the corporation that owns it, because that's what started this whole trend towards a billion years plus the life of the author bullshit.

Re:Eliminate Patents. (1)

shalla (642644) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065016)

Gah. I hate when someone says what I'm trying to say much better than I say it while I'm off typing out a response. Nicely done.

Re:Eliminate Patents. (5, Insightful)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065230)

We need to restore them to their proper place and purpose, which is to protect individuals from corporations, not the other way around.

Sigh. No, their proper place and purpose is not to "protect individuals from corporations." It's

To promote [cornell.edu] the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.

All you have to ask about a given patent application is, "Is this going to promote the progress of anything but some lawyer's vacation-home equity?" If an engineer who's confronted with the same problem is likely to arrive at a similar solution, then the answer is "No," and the patent should not be granted.

If we could just make the USPTO understand that whatever solution is immediately grasped by the first person to confront a problem is not always worth a government-granted monopoly, we'd go a long way toward reforming the system. It has nothing to do with whatever anti-corporatist agenda you're pushing. The patent system is ridiculously broken, and I'm not sure it's possible to make it work equitably for all stakeholders from inventors to end users. But if it is, then that should be the goal.

Re:Eliminate Patents. (2, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065632)

Not quite.

Each individual patent does not need "to promote the progress of science and useful arts", just the system as a whole. Some bad patents that are balanced by good patents for a net gain is still a system promoting progress.

Re:Eliminate Patents. (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 3 years ago | (#32066432)

Eldred v Ashcroft says it is up to congress to decide whether or not it secures the progress of science and useful arts, and courts can't argue with them.

Re:Eliminate Patents. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32065350)

"The patent system was originally designed to protect the small inventor from a large business entity that could simply absorb the product into their existing product line and mass-produce it at a lower cost than the inventor ever could."

You're confusing the situation today with that two centuries ago when patent legislation originated in the USA. There was no mass production. Guns with interchangeable parts didn't appear until some decades later, and the assembly line not until later still. The patent system was not about small inventors vs. large businesses, the point was to prevent inventions from being lost because the inventor kept it secret from his competitors and then got kicked in the head by a horse one day without ever having passed on the knowledge.

Personally, I feel it is highly unlikely in today's world that any individual's invention is going to be so specialized that it could not be discovered independently by someone else in less time than it would take for a patent to expire. The patent system today is nothing more than "neener neener, I thought of it first!", welfare for lawyers, and a tool used by big business to shut out competition.

Re:Eliminate Patents. (2, Interesting)

coolsnowmen (695297) | more than 3 years ago | (#32066246)

Bah, spoken obviously as someone who doesn't actually try and make anything new and useful. Yes the consumer seems to lose out in the short run for patents, but that isn't the point. It is about the long run.

It wasn't about the lost of information due to unforeseen accidents. It is to prevent two eventualities of an America w/o patents.
Either the invention is impossible to reproduce and the inventor takes it to his grave, or someone sees the invention, which didn't exist until the inventor made it, and says hmm, that seem obvious how to do now, I think I'll copy him.

If it is a legit patent, then the fact is it didn't exist until the inventor thought of it, if it is illegitimate, then prove it and get it killed, don't just sit there and whine. There is nothing wrong with the idea of patents in modern society, only with people not making good decision on what is -- and is not-- new and Non-obvious.

Re:Eliminate Patents. (3, Interesting)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#32066498)

Bah, spoken obviously as someone who doesn't actually try and make anything new and useful.

Non-necessarily. Working in the EU as a computer programmer, my ideas and creations have never been protected by patents. Software patents are not-enforcable in the EU. That fact has never stopped me creating stuff, either as an employee or when doing my own thing. Nor has it stopped any of the rest of the European software industry.

Now, is there something fundamentally different about software patents, or is it that patents are unnecessary? That's the question.

Re:Eliminate Patents. (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 3 years ago | (#32066258)

The Industrial revolution was already kicking in the late 1700s. The assemble line was still a ways off, but British troops carried guns with (theoretically) interchangeable parts in the War of Independence. One of our many beefs with England at the time was, in fact, that they were denying industrial technologies to the colonies, enforcing a system where they bought raw materials from the Americas at a discount, then sold finished goods back to them at a steep mark up.

One of the other big issues, unfair taxation, was similar in many ways: the British government created various rates and exemptions to favor certain well-connected, semi-nationalized corporations and conglomerates. For example, the tea tax behind the Boston Tea Party was the result of English attempts to preserve the British East India Company's monopoly on importing tea to both the colonies and England proper (where smuggled Dutch tea hugely undercut the official channels).

Incentives to innovate (1)

sjbe (173966) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065386)

The patent system was originally designed to protect the small inventor from a large business entity...

That's a nice little piece of half truth there. The patent system was not designed with just that in mind. It protects ANY inventor from the free rider problem [wikipedia.org]. Size can be a factor but it is a second order effect. The patent system is designed to promote innovation - it wasn't designed to protect any individual or corporation regardless of size.

We don't need to eliminate patents and copyright; We need to restore them to their proper place and purpose, which is to protect individuals from corporations

Patents and copyright are not fundamentally about protecting either individuals OR corporations. It is about protecting incentives to innovate regardless of who is doing the innovating. I'll agree that the patent system needs a serious improvement but misplaced populism really doesn't help.

Re:Incentives to innovate (2, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#32066410)

The patent system is designed to promote innovation - it wasn't designed to protect any individual or corporation regardless of size.

That's a bit disingenuous. At the time the patent system was created, there was no notion of a corporation as we know it today with most of the same rights as an individual. As far as I've been able to determine, corporations didn't typically own patents until around a century after U.S. patent law came into being, though it's hard to say that with any degree of certainty.

More to the point, when the patent system was created, we didn't have works for hire. We didn't have work contracts that require employees to assign all patents to their employer. And so on. Those assignment agreements completely change the nature of patents from benefitting the inventor to benefitting someone else in exchange for continued employment for a while. Thus, the patent system is not at all operating as originally designed, dramatically diminishing the incentive to innovate. After all, if you have a job anyway, where is the added incentive to come up with these great ideas? A chance to maybe get a raise, maybe get a bonus, maybe get squat? It's hardly a good deal for the inventor, though it's a great deal for the leechers.

The real question is whether corporate-owned patents have produced more innovation. I would contend that the reverse is true. If corporations had to go back to explicitly negotiating a license for each patent from its inventors, individuals would have greater incentive to come up with innovative ideas because they would reap the benefits directly instead of indirectly through their salaries (which rarely reflect a reasonable price for the contribution of those patents).

Re:Eliminate Patents. (1)

clyde_cadiddlehopper (1052112) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065468)

The patent system was originally designed to protect the small inventor from a large business entity that could simply absorb the product into their existing product line and mass-produce it at a lower cost.

Wikipedia disagrees: [wikipedia.org] "The Florentine architect Filippo Brunelleschi received a three-year patent for a barge with hoisting gear, that carried marble along the Arno River in 1421. In 1449, King Henry VI granted the first patent with a license of 20 years to John of Utynam for introducing the making of colored glass to England." Mass production didn't arise until centuries later.

Re:Eliminate Patents. (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065550)

The problem is that they ONLY seem to reject patents due to trivial procedural problems. If you correctly fax the patent while rubbing your belly, patting your head and hopping on your right foot, they'll grant it no matter how trivial and obvious it is to anyone even vaguely in the field. OTOH, if you submit a patent that results from a truly stunning insight but you were rubbing your belly counter-clockwise, no patent for you.

Re:Eliminate Patents. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32065608)

The patent system was originally designed to encourage innovation and growth in industry. This was done by creating a time-limited incentive, granting it to the inventor specifically to accomplish this end.

That need still exists today, and the principle behind it is still solid, but it's been fucked over by corporate interests.
fix'd

Re:Eliminate Patents. (2, Informative)

Aldanga (1757414) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065616)

That need still exists today, and the principle behind it is still solid -- so solid in fact, that it's written into our Constitution as a specific right granted to the government. And you might recall, our founding fathers were quite stingy about giving the federal government much power at all even after the failure known as the Articles of Confederation. That speaks clearly to the need for patents and copyright.

Actually, not all the Founding Fathers were in fervent agreement about patents and copyright. In particular, Thomas Jefferson himself was very particular about giving any "dibs" on ideas. [uchicago.edu] He believed that ideas cannot be owned, and still stated that it is not the right of any man to own an idea as far as it is without himself. It's hard to tell precisely from his letter, but it seems like he was not greatly fond of the idea of patents in any form.

Just because something is written into the Constitution does not mean every one of the signers agreed wholly with it. The US Constitution is an imperfect document formed by many imperfect men of different beliefs and opinions.

Re:Eliminate Patents. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32066360)

...or just eliminate it all together.

The patent system was originally designed to protect the small inventor from a large business entity that could simply absorb the product into their existing product line and mass-produce it at a lower cost than the inventor ever could. This was done by creating a time-limited exclusive right and granting it to the small inventor specifically to prevent this -- thereby forcing the larger business to pay them for their invention (licensing) instead of simply copying the product and leaving the inventor with no return on his/her investment.

That need still exists today, and the principle behind it is still solid -- so solid in fact, that it's written into our Constitution as a specific right granted to the government. And you might recall, our founding fathers were quite stingy about giving the federal government much power at all even after the failure known as the Articles of Confederation. That speaks clearly to the need for patents and copyright.

The problem is that it's been mutated and corrupted into something businesses use to fight one another in endless litigation, and the patent office has been so poorly funded that there's no way for them to vet the process correctly. The only people who even know how to file a patent are lawyers and large corporations dedicated to the task. The patent office is so pathetic that they'll reject a patent if it's faxed in upside down. Imagine if Thomas Edison had the light bulb rejected because he put it in a brown envelope instead of a white one -- it's that kind of idiocy that needs fixing.

We don't need to eliminate patents and copyright; We need to restore them to their proper place and purpose, which is to protect individuals from corporations, not the other way around. And we need reasonable time limits -- and if you want to eliminate anything, start with that mother fucker Mickey Mouse and the corporation that owns it, because that's what started this whole trend towards a billion years plus the life of the author bullshit.

I think you have patents confused with copyright.

Re:Eliminate Patents. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32066392)

Feelgood bullshit. Instead of talking about how things should be, why don't you try to look at how things are and have been.

Patents are there "to promote the progress of science and the useful arts". After the first airplane flights in America, the American aircraft industry was being held back by competing patent claims from the Wright Brothers and Curtiss, whence new innovations came out of Europe until the government started needing war planes and stopped paying attention to patents.

Re:Eliminate Patents. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32064880)

The point of patents was to allow a company to recuperate R&D investments. So maybe we should let patents expire once R&D costs are covered (plus some percentage maybe to create an incentive) instead of a fixed period of time. Silly, obvious patents would then expire quickly. The current system is broken but that doesn't mean we should go to the extreme of abolishing it. The idea of patents is bad IMHO.

Re:Eliminate Patents. (1)

Plunky (929104) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065220)

So maybe we should let patents expire once R&D costs are covered (plus some percentage maybe to create an incentive) instead of a fixed period of time.

So yeah, these companies would never make a profit, just like hollywood movies [wikipedia.org] never seem to make a profit..

A fixed time period is the only way. I don't even want pay-to-extend that people suggest for extending copyrights. I think that the date of creation is the date of creation and if we (society) want to grant exclusive rights for a period of time, it should be up when its up so there can be no doubt.

US patents are already fixed period (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32065292)

Patents in the US last for 20 years from earliest filing date, or 17 years from date of issue, whichever is longer. Extension are granted, but only to allow for delays in granting patents, and only for the amount of the delay.

Which is still far too long, especially these days - 5-7 years should be about the limit.

Re:Eliminate Patents. (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065416)

maybe we should let patents expire once R&D costs are covered

That sounds fun. I can see lots and lots of parties^W complex development meetings in tech companies to ensure the costs are sufficient to never ever let the essential patents run out. I guess though the lawyers will get even more fun ensuring that you mostly pay copyright and trademark licenses whenever you want a new technology "IP" license so that nothing ever ever goes out of patent.

Re:Eliminate Patents. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32064954)

Do agree with you.

Re:Eliminate Patents. (1, Insightful)

shalla (642644) | more than 3 years ago | (#32064982)

"The entire point of patents is to add to public knowledge, but that isn't happening."

Only in the most roundabout way. The point of patents is to give the creator a period of time to profit off their invention before everyone can completely copy it for free. It's to give people a reason and reward for innovation--if you are the one who comes up with something and patents it, you are the one who has the right to decide who can use your patent and how (and for how much) for that 17 years or whatever. Without that protection, in theory, people have little incentive to innovate because as soon as they create something, someone else just copies it and they've lost their invention and any money they put into it. So yes, it adds to public knowledge in that it encourages innovation and publication, but it then protects those rights for a period. I do think the protection is important. One of the biggest problems with the patent system today is how corrupt it is, with the little guy getting shut out by corporations who claim to have invented things. I happen to think that little guy should be compensated for his time and effort.

So the problem is that the US patent system is corrupt, slow, designed for a 19th century national business arena and timetable (as opposed to 21st century international), and it bogs down in litigation. It certainly needs an overhaul. So does copyright. Frankly, though, so long as big business interests have the ear of Congress, neither of those will happen.

Re:Eliminate Patents. (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 3 years ago | (#32064990)

As we've seen from countries with lax IP enforcement (AKA China), if you have a quality product, the knock-offs can't compete.

The widespread Chinese counterfeit market would beg to differ.

Re:Eliminate Patents. (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065908)

Ok, put a Chinese iPhone and a genuine iPhone side by side and ask people which one they would prefer. Most people would choose the genuine iPhone because they got things right that the fake iPhones can't emulate.

About the only thing they can compete with is price and not much else. In the end it doesn't matter that the iPhone has all the patents or not it is the implementation that really counts.

Re:Eliminate Patents. (3, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 3 years ago | (#32064996)

if you have a quality product, the knock-offs can't compete.

In an ideal world, maybe. (depending on the market) The problem is not focused on competing in the sales market so much as it is in the R&D arena. R&D is outrageously expensive, and has a very high probability at any time of generating zero return for all the money you dump into it. The whole idea of patent is to allow you a chance to recoup your investments when your R&D pays off. If you eliminate patents, it stifles innovation because companies start spending more time doing "market research" (corporate espionage and trying to reproduce the competition's products) and it ends up in somewhat of a "Race to the Bottom [wikipedia.org] in terms of amount of R&D done because the profit margin for copying is much higher than innovating. In the end, everyone is watching everyone else like a hawk and nobody's making anything original.

Trademarks are somewhat involved with this because they help the innovators to reap additional benefits from their R&D by improving the value of their brand. Without trademarks and patents, brands lose their meaning. Just ask yourself how many things you buy based on brand. Not just technology... think even about the grocery store. Half of what you put in your cart is probably chosen by brand. How would you like to lose that choice? You wouldn't lose the choice, but you'd lose the meaning, as every brand of beans would taste the same.

The concept of patent and trademark itself is a very good idea, it's just implemented with laws made in a totally different world. (era) As with so much of today's laws, they are so screwed up from assumptions made 200 years ago that they are beyond fixing and just need to be thrown out and start from scratch with modern circumstances taken fully into account. People keep trying to "fix" them, but its like trying to fix a building with a bad foundation. If it's too broken you just have to knock the building down and put up a new one.

People that say "we need to get rid of patents!" only have it half right.

Re:Eliminate Patents. (1)

msclrhd (1211086) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065984)

Trademarks are there for identifying brands. This is so that someone cannot come along and create another product with the same name (be it software, hardware, fast food, shop name, shampoo or whatever). Protecting identity here is a good thing.

Copyright is about protecting the written text (be it a book or code or documentation), or audio or video. This is there so that people do not make copies of your work and sell them as their own. This protection is needed, but is currently too long. Maybe it should last the lifetime of the author(s). I don't know what benefit it has beyond that; maybe it should last an additional 5-10 years, after which, if no new material has been added by the inheritors it should go into the public domain, unless the author requests that it go into the public domain.

Patents are intended to provide a 5 or so year window for the inventor to have a lead in the market on something that is sufficiently novel and innovative. After that, others were allowed to produce similar products. Now, patents are a minefield and should be restored to what they were.

Re:Eliminate Patents. (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#32066428)

R&D is outrageously expensive, and has a very high probability at any time of generating zero return for all the money you dump into it. The whole idea of patent is to allow you a chance to recoup your investments when your R&D pays off.

If that's the idea, it's failing terribly. The patent office grants patents to ideas that can be thought up in a moment, are the most obvious solution to a problem, and/or have never had been implemented even in a prototype form by the claimant. When someone comes along who actually comes up with a real product so sell, they can be prevented from doing so by someone who came up with an idea in an afternoon, with no intention of creating a product themselves.

If you eliminate patents, it stifles innovation because companies start spending more time doing "market research" (corporate espionage and trying to reproduce the competition's products) and it ends up in somewhat of a "Race to the Bottom in terms of amount of R&D done because the profit margin for copying is much higher than innovating.

What you say is true of technology that takes a long time and is expensive to develop. But that accounts for a small fraction of what is patented. So some small fraction of patents are beneficial to creating innovative products. The majority are harmful to creating innovative products.

Without trademarks and patents, brands lose their meaning. Just ask yourself how many things you buy based on brand. Not just technology... think even about the grocery store. Half of what you put in your cart is probably chosen by brand. How would you like to lose that choice? You wouldn't lose the choice, but you'd lose the meaning, as every brand of beans would taste the same.

That's nonsense, as can be most obviously seen by your example. The world's most popular brand of baked beans has been make to taste the same way for far more years than any patent can possibly have lasted. There is no patent protection. Yet you still have brands, and different tastes of baked beans.

Technology patents are irrelevant to brands. All they need is to protect particular logos the look and feel of items. So called "Trade Dress", which is a different thing from technology patents. Take a Nike T-Shirt for example. They can charge more than the competition not because of anything that they can do differently - cotton fabric and stitching is available to all. But because of their logo and the unique look of the product.

What brands are fundamentally is a promise of quality to a customer. They'll pay more for that Nike T-Shirt, because they'll expect that it will still look good after it's been washed a few times. Where as that generic T-Shirt is likely to twist, and the color will fade.

As with so much of today's laws, they are so screwed up from assumptions made 200 years ago that they are beyond fixing and just need to be thrown out and start from scratch with modern circumstances taken fully into account. People keep trying to "fix" them, but its like trying to fix a building with a bad foundation. If it's too broken you just have to knock the building down and put up a new one.

Agreed. I'd suggest the first requirement of a new system is that the patent examiner inspects an actual working implementation (prototype) of the claim being made. And secondly that if the invention isn't incorporated in a real product, that genuinely sells in the market within a few years of the granting of the patent, then the patent should be made void. These two should cut down on patent trolls a lot.

Re:Eliminate Patents. (2, Funny)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065174)

You know, I keep hearing 'abolition patents' said over and over, but considering the current system, for all its problems, does actually function ... I've yet to hear any really compelling reason to abolish it.

Everytime a patent troll gets someone the company takes a hit, redesigns the product to not get hit by the patent and moves on. Patent trolls really do actually inspire invention just from trying to get away from the bastards.

Re:Eliminate Patents. (2, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065336)

You know, I keep hearing 'abolition patents' said over and over, but considering the current system, for all its problems, does actually function ... I've yet to hear any really compelling reason to abolish it.

Everytime a patent troll gets someone the company takes a hit, redesigns the product to not get hit by the patent and moves on. Patent trolls really do actually inspire invention just from trying to get away from the bastards.

Broken window fallacy. And you're ignoring all the companies where the company or product took a hit and burned to the waterline. And all the companies and products which were never brought past the concept stage for fear of infringement.

Re:Eliminate Patents. (1)

Solaris444 (884881) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065214)

I'd be inclined to agree, but all the western world produces these days is "Intellectual Property" so I seriously doubt that many politicians (well-informed or otherwise) would be willing to take such a step.

Free rider problem (2, Insightful)

sjbe (173966) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065444)

Quite honestly, it is time to eliminate patents.

No problem. Just come up with a solution to the free rider problem [wikipedia.org] and we won't need patents or copyright. A Nobel prize in economics awaits your brilliance.

As we've seen from countries with lax IP enforcement (AKA China), if you have a quality product, the knock-offs can't compete.

Knockoffs compete just fine. Ask any drug manufacturer if generics (a knock off even though a legal one) hurt their business.

The entire point of patents is to add to public knowledge, but that isn't happening. So really, we need shorter patent protection times, or just eliminate it all together.

Sure it is. The laws and patent system just have loop holes and faults that are creating unintended problems. The problem isn't with the idea of patents it's with the implementation.

Re:Free rider problem (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065578)

This isn't a free rider problem, unless you consider companies to own potential profits. In reality, knock-off products are produced with a person's own materials. The free-rider problem only exists when there is some scarce resource involved. The issue you're pointing to is that of the value of something affected by other things available in the market, similar to how the value of a supermarket is affected by its proximity to other supermarkets (which can change if new ones are built close by).

Re:Free rider problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32065876)

it is a free rider problem. the scarce resource isn't the raw materials needed to manufacture the end product, its the money needed for R&D. If there were no patents or copyrights, it would be beneficial to any given company to spend zero dollars and R&D and just steal the ideas of their competitors.

Re:Free rider problem (1)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 3 years ago | (#32066140)

GIven where a lot of the more lucrative knock-offs are coming from, it's a potentially wrong assumption that they're even paying for the materials. The real company might be paying for them while the factory operator spits out units on a second shift while telling them the materials were defective or the units produced with them were defective. The fake units then go out the back door and are sold for 50% off to people who think they're buying the real thing all without ever paying for R&D or marketing. The real company is doing that for them.

Re:Free rider problem (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065958)

No problem. Just come up with a solution to the free rider problem and we won't need patents or copyright. A Nobel prize in economics awaits your brilliance.

I see it this way: The situation with patents is starting to become unmanageable. Removing patents would make it a lot better. You demand that a replacement must be not just better, but absolutely perfect, and if it can't be then the broken system must be kept.

I think that the problem of free riders would be much less severe than what we have now, so that even leaving that entirely unsolved would be better than keeping things as they are.

Knockoffs compete just fine. Ask any drug manufacturer if generics (a knock off even though a legal one) hurt their business.

I call that "competition".

The thing I have in mind when I propose abolishing patents is not large companies making even more money. It's more companies entering the marketplace, driving prices down, and adding more variety and competition.

Sure it is. The laws and patent system just have loop holes and faults that are creating unintended problems. The problem isn't with the idea of patents it's with the implementation.

At this point, I think things would be better without any implementation at all, but let's hear your alternative.

Re:Eliminate Patents. (1)

rabtech (223758) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065780)

I have to say that I disagree completely; Patents are a good thing so long as patents are only granted for truly novel inventions. It seems to me that the majority of these patent battles would not be relevant if the patent office didn't approve so many business method, general, vague, or non-innovative patents. (I think there are also some reforms that would help protect small inventors against large corporations, without opening the floodgates to companies being pestered by individuals needlessly.)

The Supreme Court has been helping out a bit by setting some clearer standards for what constitutes a novel invention, but some of this broken stuff should have been fixed by Congress a long time ago. One of the biggest is the way the lower courts have distorted the concept of "willful" copying of patented technology, to the point that most companies have strict policies against employees doing any kind of patent searches if they think they have a patentable idea or if they want to attempt a workaround, because some courts have interpreted that as intentional and slapping triple damages on you. They would rather ignore the issue and not know than attempt to design around the patent, in which case the only real defense you have is to attempt to patent everything you can possibly think of to build up a defensive portfolio of patents, which of course doesn't protect against patent trolls.

If you think about that for a moment, isn't it exactly the opposite of the stated purpose of patents in the Constitution - to promote the progress of science and the useful arts?

Re:Eliminate Patents. (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065860)

As we've seen from countries with lax IP enforcement (AKA China), if you have a quality product, the knock-offs can't compete.

I disagree. If company X and company Y both manufacture product Z, which was developed by company x, then all things being equal company Y will always be able to undercut company X's prices because they don't have to spend the money on R&D.

Re:Eliminate Patents. (1)

brxndxn (461473) | more than 3 years ago | (#32066200)

The idea of eliminating patents and intellectual property rights seem better than the current alternative.. The RIAA/MPAA has proven that they can be such litigious assholes over a non-universal 'right' that is not even accepted in countries with 94% of the world's population (according to the recent US research) that eliminating them seems more beneficial to society as a whole. The current patent mess in the technology world is infuriating. You cannot develop anything new and useful - even completely innovative - without some bullshit company that should not even exist suing you for bullshit reasons. Patent laws exist so the little guy can compete with the big guys.. Instead, the current patent law in the US is being used so the big guys cannot compete with the bigger guys - and the little guy is completely shut out.

In the US, we keep getting told that every adaptation of any existing technology is 'stealing.' But, isn't it stealing from the rest of society if a technological innovation based on a logical conclusion is patented and strictly enforced?

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32064664)

A claim asked is not a claim received.

Re:Well... (1)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 3 years ago | (#32064816)

AU Optronics has asked for an injunction against all LCD products made by LG.

I asked for a pony! Film at 11

Doesn't Look Good For LG (5, Informative)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#32064682)

FTFA

"The court concludes that AUO has established by preponderance of the evidence that LGD literally infringes the patents asserted by AUO in this action, and that LGD has not established by clear and convincing evidence that the asserted patents are invalid," wrote Judge Joseph J. Farnan Jr., in a 77-page verdict.

If you're LG that is not what you want to hear.

What if I'm not LG...and not in the US... (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#32066090)

I wonder what could be the short term effect on prices of LG panels. Hey, if there would be more of them outside the US...

This could be good if LG takes it in the chin.... (5, Insightful)

Immostlyharmless (1311531) | more than 3 years ago | (#32064746)

Might make sure that people aren't drawing attention to themselves, if LG hadn't started the fight, perhaps AUoptics might not have stepped in to finish it. Perhaps this will have a bit of a chilling effect in 'throw the first punch' lawsuits where it's not entirely sure where their own patent portfolios stand.

Re:This could be good if LG takes it in the chin.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32065086)

History disagrees with you. There are a large number of lawsuits brought by small companies against existing products of larger companies. I see different flaws than most. Most think getting rid of patents solves the problem but it will make it harder to develop new products and make the investment very risky. The real problems are that a large number potentially involve reinventing the wheel. Two companies come up with the same thing. Company "A" comes up with it in the 90s but doesn't produce a product. Company "B" comes up with the same thing in 2001 and sells it for 10 years then gets sued by company "A". Often times they wait until the damages are enough to make it a big payday. The flaws in the scenario are the re-invention was not done in malice and there was no stealing of ideas and company "A" never intended to develop a product so the spirit of the law was not broken. Company "A: should not be able to sue company "B". The other issue is companies waiting for the fat payday. Letting company "B" sell products for 10 years then hit them with a 100 million dollar lawsuit is unfair to company "B" who was not aware of the patent. Like other lawsuits there needs to be a window. If they miss the window they can produce their own version since they have the rights. If they already had a product and wasn't aware of the competing product possibly they could halt the sale of the item but expecting 10 years of profits makes for abuse. We need sensible laws not no law.

Re:This could be good if LG takes it in the chin.. (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065532)

Or they knew it would happen and it was a preemptive strike?

Patent and copyright litigation (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 3 years ago | (#32064764)

They spend millions upon millions fighting in a broken system that for each side amounts to a crap shoot, endless appeals, and slowing down the entire production cycle with needless approvals and cross-checking to attempt to deflect or marginalize the risks, raising the cost of entry into the market, and do you know who pays for all of this?

You.

This isn't bad news for Optronics, or LG -- it's bad news for us. The consumers. Because regardless of who wins, there'll still be LCD displays being produced, and they'll be just that much more expensive now to cover the costs of the elephant mating going on between these two massive corporations. That's why the system needs reform -- not because arguments that are pro- or anti-intellectual property have any validity, but because the way it's setup now costs too damn much.

Re:Patent and copyright litigation (3, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#32064884)

Bingo. Lawyers are the new priests; worthless parasites who spout esoteric gibberish, and the cost of their tithe is built right into the economy.

Actually, I doubt there were ever as many priests per populace as we have lawyers now. As with the Reformation, the only real solution is to cut them out of the loop, and just ignore them. Just get on with business, shred any legal demands, and when Men With Guns do finally come to sieze your assets at the behest of their masters, fold the company. Hell, burn it to the ground rather than let them get their pound of flesh. They must be starved into finding real jobs.

Re:Patent and copyright litigation (2, Insightful)

rotide (1015173) | more than 3 years ago | (#32064948)

People _love_ to bash lawyers but the fact of the matter is that someone has to _hire_ the lawyer before they sue/defend/etc/etc. So get pissed at LG or AUO. The lawyers didn't start this fight.

Re:Patent and copyright litigation (3, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065020)

Well, if those lawyers were so crystal clear and professional, they should be able to see that LG case was weak...but that wouldn't result in charges related to trial.

Re:Patent and copyright litigation (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065134)

Yeah, but a lawyer should be able to say: "its silly to sue your neighbor over that avocado tree, have you tried talking to him?"

Re:Patent and copyright litigation (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065358)

And who wrote the law that allowed the person to hire the lawyer to sue? Hint; most politicians have law degrees. This is not a coincidence.

Re:Patent and copyright litigation (2, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065718)

The problem is wider than lawyers, but lawyers are the ones supposedly charged with the responsibility to not let their profession become a pox on society. When they fail, the judge is supposed to sanction them, but judges are just anointed lawyers and are also failing.

Truly, a few bad apples have given the other 1% a bad name.

Re:Patent and copyright litigation (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#32064956)

Hell, burn it to the ground rather than let them get their pound of flesh. They must be starved into finding real jobs.

I agree, and if those lawyers were working in that plant while you burned it to the ground, well ... let's just say it's a win-win situation.

Re:Patent and copyright litigation (2, Insightful)

dpilot (134227) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065830)

> Bingo. Lawyers are the new priests; worthless parasites

Isn't this a fun quandry.

The Law and Government are the evolution of what started in the 1200's with the Magna Carta. Prior to that we had Kings, and what the king said, was Law. (Not exact with all of this, but the general gist.) In essence, Law and Government are recognition that a society works better that enables and rewards more of its populace, not just a hereditary few. Absent Law and Government, we'd mostly be farming, sometimes having wars when egotistic kings got on each others' nerves, etc. They are what makes the society we have possible.

So who are today's underlying bogeymen?
Lawyers and Government.

Unfortunately, when corruption sets in, that's true. But WE have to understand that both institutions are there to serve us, have enabled us, and have enabled this thing we call human progress. WE have to recognize that the corruption is the problem, not the institutions.

Re:Patent and copyright litigation (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#32066072)

We also have to recognize that, ultimatelly, governments (especially in so called "western world"...though not nearly only there, it's not so simple) and generally public institutions and...company practicies are just a reflection of the society; also corruption in them and what you have there.

Or where do you think people in those structures come from?

Re:Patent and copyright litigation (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32066304)

Hahahah everyone loves to bash those darn lawyers and their evil-doing ways. Oh except those ones down at Legal Aid who protect battered wives. Or the ones in Law School Clinics who represent the poor against giant corporations. Or the ones at the ACLU arguing on behalf of the constitution. Or the ones at the EFF who fight for things we like. Or the government ones going after companies who pollute or exploit or violate or whatever else have you. Or that one who protected your interests in that road accident. Or the public defender who kept your innocent buddy out of jail. Or the public prosecutor who got that murderer put into jail. Or that one who went after the government for that thing it was doing wrong.

Yeah those guys are complete wastes of space.

Re:Patent and copyright litigation (2, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#32064932)

Well, the question is a bit more complicated than that. Yes, patents result in goods being more expensive due to the monopoly-or-royalties effect on prices. (The legal costs of "elephant mating" pale in comparison to the eventual elephantine damage awards or settlement that may result.) But the other question that must be asked is whether the economic incentive of patents is necessary (or even just helpful) in inducing companies to develop new products in the first place. Unfortunately, it's extremely hard to quantify this, in part because we've never had it any other way.

Similar arguments can be made concerning price controls on health care (particularly pharmaceuticals). If the US imposed nationwide price controls on medical procedures and drugs, the incentive for developing those procedures and drugs would be substantially reduced. Yes, most people would be able to afford cutting-edge treatments then, but the difference is that the cutting edge would be in a different (less advanced) place. Imagine if MRI had been delayed by 20 years or so, for instance.

Re:Patent and copyright litigation (1)

Imrik (148191) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065096)

It may not be necessary for companies, but it is necessary for individuals.

Re:Patent and copyright litigation (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065734)

Imagine if MRI had been delayed by 20 years or so, for instance.

That's what NSF grants are for. They would cost us all a LOT less.

Re:Patent and copyright litigation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32065316)

who pays for all of this? You. [...] they'll be just that much more expensive now to cover the costs

Yes, because as we all know, companies are completely immune from market forces and price elasticity of demand once they've lost a patent lawsuit.

"May not look serious" (2, Insightful)

RudeIota (1131331) | more than 3 years ago | (#32064774)

May not look serious? What the Hell does that mean? Why would this NOT sound serious? :-)

Personally, I think sales injunctions under *most* situations are merely a "dick" move to shut down competition. What company wouldn't jump at the chance to disable any portion of sales by their competitor?

I think a more sophisticated way to deal with this is levy royalties, retroactive if need be, and enjoy your opponent's success.

I normally hate patent trolls, but... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32064826)

if there's even an outside chance that they might bring back CRTs because of this because they can't sell LCDs, I'm all for it!

I can't even watch an LCD, period. Even the best, highest-quality ones seem to blur and tear with any motion, and they're all overly bright making colors look horrible.

Please bring back CRTs if you cannot fix these issues.

Posting anonymously because everyone's going to think this is a troll, even though it's the 100% honest truth.

Re:I normally hate patent trolls, but... (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#32064912)

It's not a troll, but some of us don't have the space or power to have CRTs the size we want on our desks or in our homes. Not to mention my back would hate me for picking up another 37+ inch CRT.

Re:I normally hate patent trolls, but... (2, Informative)

TerranFury (726743) | more than 3 years ago | (#32064918)

On the plus side, everybody else is just throwing out perfectly good (but bulky) CRTs, so you should be able to get nice big ones for cheap; just use craigslist.

I guess another option is to buy plasma. It's basically CRT, just with gas discharge instead of an electron gun. But it's still phosphors generating the colors. Granted, they only really sell plasma TVs and not computer monitors, and burn-in will also be a major problem.

LED may also do what you want; AFAIK those things react very quickly.

Re:I normally hate patent trolls, but... (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 3 years ago | (#32066522)

. Granted, they only really sell plasma TVs and not computer monitors,

That is not exactly true; you need to check manufacturers "industrial" display lines, not their computer monitor lines. Due to the incredibly heavy weight of plasma displays, they are not marketed as PC monitors for the desktop and workstation market, but they are indeed computer monitors. If you go plasma, make sure you have 1-2 people around to help you each time you move it.

Re:I normally hate patent trolls, but... (1)

colonelquesadilla (1693356) | more than 3 years ago | (#32064942)

Not going to happen, but I miss giant directview crts anyway, they went out of style because they are heavy and bulky, not because LCD produces better images.

Re:I normally hate patent trolls, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32065290)

There are no "issues" such as you describe with CRTs. It's all in your head. You're like those people that claim they can "always tell" when something has high fructose corn syrup in it, yet can't identify it in a blind test taste any more than random chance would expect (and yes, there is scientific literature on this).

Re:I normally hate patent trolls, but... (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 3 years ago | (#32066276)

The thing that says .....B R I G H T N E S S.....C O N T R O L..... Use it! Sheesh. Ever tried to watch a CRT with the brightness turned all the way up?

Blurring and tearing - can't help you there, since I agree completely.

Re:I normally hate patent trolls, but... (1)

16384 (21672) | more than 3 years ago | (#32066470)

The excessive brightness is only a small part of the problem. While in theory the picture in a LCD displays should be clearer and steadier than that of a CRT, in practice various problems (such as FRC - Frame rate control to make a 6 bit display look like it has more colors), backlight flicker, the backlight itself (in practice you are staring at a fluorescent light) end up making most LCD displays harder on your eyes than a CRT. If someone knows of a specific LCD or another PC display technology that doesn't have this problems please post about it.

Re:I normally hate patent trolls, but... (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 3 years ago | (#32066504)

First off, it isn't 1998, and none but the very cheapest off-brand screens exhibit those characteristics anymore.

Secondly, if the colors are overly saturated (the term isn't bright) you need to calibrate your screen (or graphics card drivers where applicable).

The ONLY thing I miss from CRTs is the vertical resolution; going to 1920x1200 was a large step backward for me, but now my primary machine is a laptop with an RGB-LED backlight and the color purity, clarity, brightness, and responsiveness are phenomenal. Gone are "ghosting" issues you get with CRTs when bright objects move on a dark background, gone are the "never focused" fuzzy screens (because CRTs don't really have a native resolution and the electron "beams" never really accurately hit the phospors), and regained is a TON of desk estate. On top of all that a good CRT is invariably very heavy. I HATE moving the 21" P815 monitors around but I have no problem at all moving or even hanging up 46" and 52" LCDs all by myself.

You can keep your CRTs. Until three or four years I'd have agreed with you regarding LCD monitors, but the technology has advanced SO MUCH I willingly abandoned my Viewsonic P815 monitors (and 2048x1536 or 1920x1440 resolution - the max resolution is NOT the oft-published 1880x1440).

so good (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32064862)

Sir David Murray insists "limited funds" are available for Rangers boss Walter Smith to purchase new players. The former chairman, soccer jerseys [new-jerseys.com] who controls 90% of Ibrox club, told BBC Scotland that directors are planning to help the club through its wait for a buyer.

Not patent troll in any case (5, Informative)

pem (1013437) | more than 3 years ago | (#32064902)

A "patent troll" is pejorative language for "non practicing entity" -- a company which doesn't actually build anything. As world's third-largest LCD panel maker, AUO couldn't possibly qualify as an NPE.

Lawsuit != patent trolling (1)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 3 years ago | (#32064926)

So before you call AUO a patent troll, keep in mind that LGD shot first

Who shot first doesn't matter. Patent trolling, in my opinion, concerns using patents to suppress other innovations, particularly when the plaintiff isn't using the patents for any product or active research at the time; the mere presence of an IP-based lawsuit isn't worthy of calling someone a troll.

Which company is actually using a smaller proportion of the patents they sued over, and which of them has the most patents at issue working in products and current research? The first one would be more of a troll, the second more like an ordinary company fighting for its legal rights. I know we on slashdot don't agree much with patents, but they're not 100% useless and not every single person or business who likes patents, holds patents, or uses them in litigation amounts to some hobgoblin suppressing innovation for the sole purpose of lining their pockets.

Re:Lawsuit != patent trolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32064962)

It's just one of those Pavlovian responces on slashdot. Patent + lawsuit = troll.

Re:Lawsuit != patent trolling (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 3 years ago | (#32066384)

Which company is actually using a smaller proportion of the patents they sued over, and which of them has the most patents at issue working in products and current research?

So if you patent something but cannot afford to begin using your patent because you don't have the funding to build large-scale manufacturing facilities, but mega-corporation "A" does have massive production facilities and pirates your patent and starts cranking out product, you lose?

I was wondering why TFA read like a Slashvert (4, Informative)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 3 years ago | (#32064936)

Until I read it to the end:

SOURCE AU Optronics Corp.

I'm not disputing the facts, but I'm damn sure a press release from AUO is not the best place to get an impartial view...

(And no, I'm not an LG sockpuppet).

Re:I was wondering why TFA read like a Slashvert (1)

chefmonkey (140671) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065494)

Yep. The "news" part of "PR Newswire" is an aesthetic, meaningless part of their name. The "PR" stands for "Public Relations." All it takes is some paperwork to get your account set up, a little dab of money, and they'll push any random drivel you want out to the news outlets -- regardless of veracity. Any time you see *anything* come from PR Newswire, you should treat it as coming from the website of someone who has an inherent bias regarding the topic.

Not Sure How to Remedy That (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065614)

Until I read it to the end:

SOURCE AU Optronics Corp.

I'm not disputing the facts, but I'm damn sure a press release from AUO is not the best place to get an impartial view...

Well, I submitted the article. I guess I don't know what to do about the second link. The first link is by IDG and should be unbiased. Every single article I could find about that ruling linked back to AOU's news service [auo.com]. Granted I didn't search the entire internet but everyone's spewing the same thing [yahoo.com]. I couldn't find anything about this on LG Display's site [lgdisplay.com]. I couldn't find any court records from the super awesome District of Delaware's web site [uscourts.gov] (holy sh*t, 1993 called and wants your site back).

I don't know what to say ... if you had offered a better link I wouldn't even be responding to this but I came up empty. I guess next time I submit a PR from a company I should put a disclaimer in the summary? It was meant to augment the first link, not be the focus. That was the only link where the patents were named. Any suggestions on how to make submissions better are welcomed. Suppose it's time I installed RECAP on all my home machines [slashdot.org].

(And no, I'm not an LG sockpuppet).

I also certainly hope I didn't come off as an AUO sockpuppet ... apologies if I did/do. They do hold 16-17% of the LCD display market so I think they may be justified in this patent and counter patent suit action. It's not like they're a non-practicing entity patent troll.

Re:Not Sure How to Remedy That (1)

Psicopatico (1005433) | more than 3 years ago | (#32066484)

What's wrong with the District of Delaware's website?
It brings the informations you may look for into your browser for you to read, so its purpose is fullfilled.

And as a bonus it doesn't hog your CPU down or fill your tubes.

USA Ban on LG LCD sales? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32065028)

Come buy your LCD displays in Canada, eh?

Communist America (3, Insightful)

Becausegodhasmademe (861067) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065148)

Every patent issued effectively blocks off a segment of a market to competitors, creating a micro-monopoly. We are rapidly approaching a time where, due to patent trading large corporations are coming close to total ownership of a particular market.

America is the major culprit in all this patent absurdity. Behind the friendly face of enterprise and free capitalism lies a very different reality. Corporations with vast resources and political lobbying power apply for patents shotgun-style to prevent any form of competition, so that they can profit by driving down production costs giving consumers overpriced, low-quality products.

From the abuse of patent law comes state-sanctioned monopolies, which is reminiscient of Soviet communist economic practice.

China, a formerly Communist nation is far more capitalist than America these days.

Posting from the UK.

What about other sizes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32065186)

Aren't most LCD displays bigger than LG these days, at least XLG or 2XLG? What does that work out to in inches or cm anyway?

Injunction won't be granted (2, Interesting)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065404)

I can't imagine any court would grant an injunction. The undue hardship upon OEMs and end-users makes it almost certain not to be granted. MS was sued a few years ago for violating a product activation patent, which I think was found to be an infringement, but the court refused to grant an injunction, as it would do great harm to the consumer. Although the court did seem a bit ignorant of technology, and utilized an argument that a months long total rewrite of Office was required, instead of just slipstreaming a minor update disabling product activation. The court could have given MS a reasonable amount of time to fix it, then granted an injunction. I think it ended up being a damages linked to royalties award.

And the point again? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#32065522)

What again is the point of patents? Regardless of the original intent for protection of the little guy, all it seems to have ever done is line the pockets of the attorneys, funded by higher product prices.

Horray (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32065708)

I'm hoping this will accelerate the already progresssing state of OLEDs.

http://www.oled-display.net/lg-display-invest-2257-million-dollars-to-triple-oled-capacity

right vs wrong (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32065738)

Who cares anymore? Fix the damn system before the system permanently fixes all of us!

Fix to patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32066378)

No-one or someone subservient to them can hold more than 3 active patents.

This would include all companies and companies owned by said companies.

As an inventor if you have 'better' ideas than your 3 current active ones, sign off to de-activate (release to the public) one of your old ideas and use your new one.

Problem solved, sure there will be some court cases saying roger is holding patent X for Paul,, etc etc.. but the huge corporate welfare that patents provide will be gone, and inventors will be able to patent their ideas without getting rick-rolled by large corporations into selling their idea for pennies because that idea is unworkable without also crossing one of their 500,000 patents you have never heard of until they sue you.

Any sane system like this would be good. K Thanks

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