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Software Patents Not So Abstract When the Lawsuits Hit Home

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the complaints-department dept.

Patents 180

no_such_user writes "It's easy to ignore the controversy surrounding software patents, especially if you don't have the passion for technology which Slashdot readers do. But as Dana Nieder discovered, it's not all about major corporations and obscure patent trolls. Her daughter uses a comparatively inexpensive assistive communication app on their iPad, which is being threatened by the makers of a multi-thousand-dollar hardware device."

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Bad! (0, Redundant)

Mikkeles (698461) | about 2 years ago | (#39468177)

Send the flying monkeys after her (and her little dog too!).

Bit more info (5, Informative)

maxdread (1769548) | about 2 years ago | (#39468209)

A link to the actual complaint for anyone to read over (legal speak makes my head hurt so don't count on me to read it).

http://news.priorsmart.com/semantic-compaction-systems-v-speak-for-yourself-l5vv/ [priorsmart.com]

Re:Bit more info (5, Informative)

Svartalf (2997) | about 2 years ago | (#39468375)

They're suing over a dynamic interface keyboard that's on-screen or otherwise.

That's what they're suing them over.

They have prior art that they've not contemplated here. This [assistiveware.com] program existed in it's earliest form in 1996. Which was a dynamic interface keyboard for assistive purposes.

I tire of this bullshit. What was done to "reform" patents did nothing of the sort.

Re:Bit more info (5, Informative)

kanweg (771128) | about 2 years ago | (#39468445)

That is not Novelty destroying, I think. The first claim says that they keys contain polysemous symbols. Not being a native speaker, I had to look that word up. This is what Wikipedia says:

A polyseme is a word or phrase with different, but related senses. Since the test for polysemy is the vague concept of relatedness, judgments of polysemy can be difficult to make. Because applying pre-existing words to new situations is a natural process of language change, looking at words' etymology is helpful in determining polysemy but not the only solution; as words become lost in etymology, what once was a useful distinction of meaning may no longer be so. Some apparently unrelated words share a common historical origin, however, so etymology is not an infallible test for polysemy, and dictionary writers also often defer to speakers' intuitions to judge polysemy in cases where it contradicts etymology. English has many words which are polysemous. For example the verb "to get" can mean "procure" (I'll get the drinks), "become" (she got scared), "have" (I've got three dollars), "understand" (I get it) etc.

The program you linked to only shows letters on the keys.

Bert

Re:Bit more info (3, Informative)

Svartalf (2997) | about 2 years ago | (#39468533)

Ah, but the distinction is insufficient for a utility patent on the implementation. Apple's actions anticipate the other that you mention. It IS Novelty Destroying.

Re:Bit more info (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | about 2 years ago | (#39469897)

Ah, but the distinction is insufficient for a utility patent on the implementation. Apple's actions anticipate the other that you mention. It IS Novelty Destroying.

Not so... For a reference to be novelty destroying, it has to disclose each and every element of the claimed invention. If there's a distinction of any sort, then it's not novelty destroying. It could still be obvious, but you have to show that that distinction is obvious.

Call it mere semantics, if you want, but I call it due process - you need evidence to invalidate a patent, not just a gut feeling.

Re:Bit more info (2)

hackwrench (573697) | about 2 years ago | (#39468963)

Most native speakers would have to look polysemous up.

Re:Bit more info (2)

Paul Slocum (598127) | about 2 years ago | (#39469421)

here's the keyboard [evernote.com] in the patent.

Re:Bit more info (4, Informative)

Svartalf (2997) | about 2 years ago | (#39468471)

And...we won't get into the fact that Apple patented the base concept in 1992 [google.com]

Re:Bit more info (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#39469599)

Having a base patent does not preclude someone else from adding something "innovative" on top of that and patenting the result. It's just that they, or anyone they'd license the tech to, would have to also obtain Apple's patent to make anything useful. Who's to say Apple doesn't license theirs?

Re:Bit more info (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | about 2 years ago | (#39469911)

And...we won't get into the fact that Apple patented the base concept in 1992 [google.com]

Doesn't matter... If I get a base patent on a seating device with at least three legs (a stool), you can still get a patent on a seating device with at least three legs and an upright back connected to the base (a chair). My patent may block you from implementing yours, but the fact that I invented a stool doesn't give me ownership over any possible future improvement.

Re:Bit more info (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39468665)

I'm suing you for useless apostrophe placement. Judging by the people here, I'll be a trillionaire by sunset. Seriously, is it *THAT* hard to understand that it's means it is?

Re:Bit more info (2)

NotSanguine (1917456) | about 2 years ago | (#39469417)

I'm suing you for useless apostrophe placement. Judging by the people here, I'll be a trillionaire by sunset. Seriously, is it *THAT* hard to understand that it's means it is?

Just so no one is confused:
It's is not, it isn't ain't, and it's it's, not its, if you mean it is. If you don't, it's its. Then too, it's hers. It isn't her's. It isn't our's either. It's ours, and likewise yours and theirs.
-- Oxford University Press, "Edpress News"

Re:Bit more info (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39470027)

English - The PHP of natural languages.

Re:Bit more info (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39469135)

1. A collection of touch-screen active areas doesn't seem to meet the patent's description of a keyboard.

2. Use the patent's over-broad use of the word "symbols" to claim any visible keyboard with an illustrated shift key action is prior art. Try typing tutor software, you might find some in that stack of 8-inch floppies.

3. Put up a fuss about whether merely showing visual feedback for the context-change makes the patent legally distinct from a common shift key.

Re:Bit more info (1)

chrismcb (983081) | about 2 years ago | (#39469515)

This program existed in it's earliest form in 1996.

So your "prior" art came into being a year after the patent was filed?

Re:Bit more info (1)

jeverz (2603099) | about 2 years ago | (#39469863)

I tire of this bullshit. What was done to "reform" patents did nothing of the sort.

The USA is becoming the world police. Being from Australia I can honestly say that there isn't enough people here who understand what software patents are let alone the problems they cause to change it. I'd like to create the petition [whitehouse.gov] to abolish the creation of new software patents at the source, but I'm not a citizen. It seems the world is ruled by corporations. Shouldn't it be time to start limiting end eventually outlawing these entities? I think the world would be a better place without them.

Money wins (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39468235)

In our (North American at least) justice system, it is money that wins the day. If you cannot afford to do legal battle, you lose. Very sad, but until we change it, it is the way things are.

My only suggestion is if you need the app, make sure you have it and a backup on your ipad. The company may stop producing and supporting it, but if you already have it and it is working, then keep it. (ps. Don't screw around with that ipad, in case you corrupt something and lose the 'irreplacebale' app.

Re:Money wins (1)

couchslug (175151) | about 2 years ago | (#39469775)

How is that a Troll?

The backup advice was appropriate too.

Patent links (5, Informative)

CapitalR (2478488) | about 2 years ago | (#39468245)

Re:Patent links (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 2 years ago | (#39468271)

anybody that speaks "patent" know if they have a decent patent or can "we" rip these patents apart like Mouse Dresden does to Vampires??

(just for "fun" lets see if we can come up with prior art and such)

Re:Patent links (5, Informative)

timholman (71886) | about 2 years ago | (#39468371)

anybody that speaks "patent" know if they have a decent patent or can "we" rip these patents apart like Mouse Dresden does to Vampires??

(just for "fun" lets see if we can come up with prior art and such)

You're wasting your time. Prior art can be found for the great majority of patents. (I do this part-time as a consultant.)

But prior art is irrelevant unless you can afford a couple of good attorneys who bill at $500 / hour, and are willing to devote months if not years of your life to a legal battle. Is it worth $100,000, or even $1,000,000, to invalidate the plaintiff's patent? You can win the battle but lose the war when your small business goes bankrupt from the legal costs.

Re:Patent links (3, Interesting)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 2 years ago | (#39468509)

the trick is to put the evidence out there and then when groklaw/eff get wind of this they can bring their lawyers in to the fight. (this is the whistle hard to attract a WOLF/Tibetan Mastif trick)

Re:Patent links (5, Insightful)

Svartalf (2997) | about 2 years ago | (#39468525)

Most of the litigators I know that're good in this space happen to bill at $350/hr. The only bunch I know of that charge $500/hr are people from places like Cravath. Most of the companies that hire those sorts of lawyers don't bother with idiot lawsuits like this one.

As for months of a legal battle, it depends on the "big company" as to whether or not they're willing to piss $100k-1mil on the floor and lose the patent that they spent some $20-50k on getting, along with possibly losing a countersuit if one's filed.

In this case, though, there's a dead-on, you lose piece of prior art involved- Apple patented the base concept in 1992 [google.com] . This isn't some almost item. It's the same concept/implementation- all that's differing is the verbiage in the patent copy for what they're doing and why. I'd put up a fight and counter-sue for damages due to this BS for bringing a frivolous lawsuit (Because it is...).

Re:Patent links (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39468947)

I'd guess the path of least resistance on this is a carefully worded response, bounced off a lawyer at a fraction of their hourly rate.

Perhaps something that indicates what you said, that prior art exists and they'd likely have their patent invalidated altogether (not to mention footing the bill), but it might be possible to come to some other, more reasonable, mutually-beneficial agreement.

I wouldn't be surprised if the larger company is hoping for a push-over response, where the small dev pulls the app without question. Show a little bit of spine without being combative and they may prefer an alternative resolution too.

Court generally sucks for everyone involved, except the lawyers.

Re:Patent links (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | about 2 years ago | (#39469945)

Most of the litigators I know that're good in this space happen to bill at $350/hr. The only bunch I know of that charge $500/hr are people from places like Cravath.

... that you know a couple of 5th year associates from Cravath may not be relevant. The partners are probably around $800/hr.

In this case, though, there's a dead-on, you lose piece of prior art involved- Apple patented the base concept in 1992 [google.com] . This isn't some almost item. It's the same concept/implementation- all that's differing is the verbiage in the patent copy for what they're doing and why. I'd put up a fight and counter-sue for damages due to this BS for bringing a frivolous lawsuit (Because it is...).

Apple patenting the "base concept" is also irrelevant. The wheel is a "base concept" for a Tesla Roadster. That doesn't mean that Neanderthal Ug, Genius Inventor, anticipated electric cars.

Re:Patent links (4, Informative)

Grond (15515) | about 2 years ago | (#39469371)

But prior art is irrelevant unless you can afford a couple of good attorneys who bill at $500 / hour, and are willing to devote months if not years of your life to a legal battle.

Patent attorneys, even good ones, do not universally bill $500/hour. There are perfectly competent patent attorneys who bill half or even a quarter of that. But moreover, litigation is not the only route to invalidating a patent. If appropriate prior art is found (e.g. patents and printed publications), reexamination at the Patent Office costs far less than litigation, often results in invalidation or substantial narrowing of the patent, and any co-pending litigation is typically stayed during reexamination.

Is it worth $100,000, or even $1,000,000, to invalidate the plaintiff's patent? You can win the battle but lose the war when your small business goes bankrupt from the legal costs.

That's one reason I favor greater use of fee-shifting in patent cases (i.e. patentee pays the other side's attorney's fees if the patent is invalidated). But who's to say that the patentee would get an injunction in this case? Since they don't make an iPad app it's quite possible that the court would only award a reasonable royalty or perhaps lost profits. That means the app will have to be more expensive but it doesn't mean it would be removed from the market. Similarly, the defendant many be able to settle for a reasonable royalty without incurring significant litigation costs. The author of the article assumes that the result will be the end of the app, but this is not necessarily true.

Re:Patent links (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39469657)

I find that good patent attorneys don't even bill hourly except at trial.... the ones that I've dealt with successfully have standard fees for things like filing applications and re-exams. And if you're really dealing with a patent troll, whose patents were preceded by unexamined prior art, a re-exam is pretty much what you need to get them off your back. The price for an ex-parte reexam tops out at the high 4-figures / low 5-figures, not anywhere near 6-figure sums that a drawn out trial might cost.

Re:Patent links (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 2 years ago | (#39470077)

What about threaten to send in the prior art to the patent office to cut a better deal with the plaintiff? In other words, "Here's all the prior art we dug up. we'll send this in to the patent office and request a re-examination unless you reduce your royalty request (or give us a better deal). You will risk losing the entire patent. Do you really want to take that risk?"

Re:Patent links (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39469581)

I have gotten broad claims cancelled in patents that a troll was asserting against my product. The cost was $4k in legal fees and something like $4k in fees to the patent office. That included the attorney visiting the archives in D.C. and finding the prior art in a drawer.

Re:Patent links (3, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#39469721)

The problem is our entire system is designed to let the rich "run out the clock" as it were, letting them drag shit out for years and years because they know that while they can afford to have their own legal team on retainer the people they are crushing simply can't. I got to see this first hand when a friend of mine that was running a little ISP got crushed thanks to a big teleco making sure nobody would sell him backbone access and told him "Yeah just try to sue us". His lawyer said "Oh there is zero doubt you'll win, its as open and shut as it can be, but I hope you have about a mil five and a decade to spare as they will bury you in bullshit motions and appeals until they break you".

That is why I have said for years we need to take the advantage of money OUT of the system, by forcing both sides to pay into a pool from which BOTH sides lawyers are paid. in this way if a rich corp or individual tried to crush the other under "dream team" lawyers they would be forced to put an equal amount at the disposal of the opposing side, thus negating their advantage. I believe this would work for criminal as well, where prosecutors can pile on experts while the defendant runs out of cash.

Re:Patent links (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | about 2 years ago | (#39469927)

Prior art can be found for the great majority of patents. (I do this part-time as a consultant.)

Not to doubt your credibility, but if you are a prior art searcher, even part time as a consultant, you'd know that prior art can be found for every patent, since prior art is just any disclosure in the relevant industry (i.e. art) that was available to the public prior to the date of invention (i.e. prior). TCP is prior art for 802.11n. The wheel is prior art for the Tesla Roadster. Fire is prior art for nuclear fusion. What you meant to say was anticipatory prior art, but the fact that you don't know that makes me question your consulting cred.

Patents in question (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39468249)

The patents in question, from USPTO website.

#5748177 Dynamic keyboard and method for dynamically redefining keys on a keyboard

A dynamic keyboard includes a plurality of keys, each with an associated symbol, which are dynamically redefinable to provide access to higher level keyboards. Based on sequenced symbols of keys sequentially activated, certain dynamic categories and subcategories can be accessed and keys corresponding thereto dynamically redefined. Dynamically redefined keys can include embellished symbols and/or newly displayed symbols. These dyanmically redefined keys can then provide the user with the ability to easily access both core and fringe vocabulary words in a speech synthesis system.

#5920303 Dynamic keyboard and method for dynamically redefining keys on a keyboard

pe1 A dynamic keyboard includes a plurality of keys, each with an associated symbol, which are dynamically redefinable to provide access to higher level keyboards. Based on sequenced symbols of keys sequentially activated, certain dynamic categories and subcategories can be accessed and keys corresponding thereto dynamically redefined. Dynamically redefined keys can include embellished symbols and/or newly displayed symbols. These dynamically redefined keys can then provide the user with the ability to easily access both core and fringe vocabulary words in a speech synthesis system.

---
Seems a bit broad IMO, allowing such dynamic functionality across key redefining, and then pasting on 'as it applies' to "a speech synthesis system".

For what it's worth, seeing as a few hundred dollar iPad app is allowing a little girl to speak vs. a $9000 piece of hardware from the suing company, I hope this goes viral to the point that the Semantic Corporation (plaintiff) is forced to drop the lawsuit just to save PR face.

Re:Patents in question (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 years ago | (#39468299)

Drop a lawsuit to save PR face?

Muahahahahahahah... oh boy. Sorry, but this was just ... you really are one funny guy. The days when companies cared what people thought about them are over and gone. Ever since they noticed that the average consumer has the memory of a gold fish and any dip in sales due to bad press is at best temporary. If the consumer notices at all.

For reference, see Sony.

Re:Patents in question (4, Informative)

Svartalf (2997) | about 2 years ago | (#39468415)

Actually...it'd be more than PR they'd save. Apple patented the base concept in 1992 [google.com]

Re:Patents in question (3, Informative)

lennier1 (264730) | about 2 years ago | (#39468483)

Get rid of a patent threat by involving an even worse one?

Re:Patents in question (4, Interesting)

Svartalf (2997) | about 2 years ago | (#39468557)

No... That patent's no longer enforceable. This is 2012. 1992 + 17 = 2009. It expired as a concern several years ago. It also makes anything close to this that doesn't come up with a truly new, patentable twist (the subject patents aren't...) unpatentable. :-D

Re:Patents in question (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39468319)

From my limited understanding of this stuff the summaries are meaningless, legally it is the "claims" that are the meat of the argument. Unfortunately there are 144 "claims" in the first and 124 "claims" in the second and while several are "dependent" where they rely on the enforceability of a previous claim, sorting through all of them and working out which apply legally looks like a mammoth task.

(you might want to check grocklaw later as they may do an analysis of this and they actually have qualifications)

Re:Patents in question (0)

Svartalf (2997) | about 2 years ago | (#39468411)

Already started. Doesn't need patents to invalidate. All you need is public knowledge of something roughly analogous that anticipates it to invalidate.

AssistiveWare's KeyStrokes was first published and sold to the world in 1996.

But...heh... Here's a patent (and an owner) that would be "entertaining" for this bunch: Apple patented the base concept in 1992 [google.com] .

Common sense? (1)

wmbetts (1306001) | about 2 years ago | (#39468259)

I really don't see how you could patent something as obvious as "push / type a word and have a voice say it". I can see patenting special hardware for it, but not the actual text to voice translation. I know 0 about patents, but shouldn't that fall under some dead obvious clause?

Re:Common sense? (5, Insightful)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 2 years ago | (#39468327)

The dead obvious clause "readily apparent to one skilled in the art" or somesuch, has been ignored for about 20 years now...

Re:Common sense? (0)

Svartalf (2997) | about 2 years ago | (#39468427)

Ah, but not full, dead-on prior art. Apple patented the base concept in 1992 [google.com] .

Re:Common sense? (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 2 years ago | (#39468577)

Ah, but not full, dead-on prior art. Apple patented the base concept in 1992 [google.com] .

Now you're doing lawyer work (researching prior art)... I think the patent office has been intentionally feeding the lawyers since the early 1990s.

Re:Common sense? (3, Informative)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 years ago | (#39468345)

If patents were actually reviewed by people who have at least a minuscle idea about just WHAT gets patented there, that's what might happen. Since patent clerks are on one hand overworked due to the flood of trivial, ludicrous patents being pushed at them, patent applications being deliberately vague and convoluted and the average clerk not being an expert in the field at hand, things like this can happen.

Like, say, patenting the wheel [newscientist.com] . Sure, that patent was retracted nearly instantly, but it gives you an idea just what kind of idiocy goes on in the patent offices of this world. And as long as nobody challenges a patent (and what average person or small company has the means to?), a patent stands.

Re:Common sense? (2)

Theaetetus (590071) | about 2 years ago | (#39469983)

\Like, say, patenting the wheel [newscientist.com] . Sure, that patent was retracted nearly instantly, but it gives you an idea just what kind of idiocy goes on in the patent offices of this world.

Not so much. From your link:

He says that innovation patents are not examined in detail by the Australian patent office. ... The Australian office controlling patents, IP Australia, said that Keogh's innovation patent would not stand if tested in court. However, some still suggest that the innovation patent may be misleading. "Calling it an innovation patent merely serves to confuse the issue," says Geoff Sargent, assistant director of the UK Patent Office. "It's not a patent as would be understood in most countries."

Unlike utility patents, such as the ones at issue in this Slashdot story, that was an "innovation patent". Innovation patents are a registration-only system (Hong Kong has a similar system). There's no examination - you pay your fee, you get your patent... but, unlike real patents that undergo examination, there's no presumption of validity. You sue someone, first you have to prove that your patent is actually novel and innovative, before they even need to respond. Basically, rather than paying $20-25k to get a patent that the defendant needs to defend against, you pay $100 and get a piece of paper saying "you filed an application this day, but no one has looked at it and no defendant needs to defend against it until you prove it's valid".

Re:Common sense? (3, Interesting)

blippo (158203) | about 2 years ago | (#39468359)

I agree, this seems to be an obvious solutions to a simple problem.

There is something about the mix of legalese and techobabble in the patent applications, that renders the most trivial thing
an air of importance.

I once worked for a company, where we discovered that we couldn't let a system redirect an incoming call to another system,
if the customer wan't in the first systems database, since that violated a patent. The digital equivalence of looking in the next
drawer when you are looking for a matching sock. Pretty far from http://www.google.com/patents?vid=1781541 [google.com]

If patent applications were required to include a car-analogy in the summary, the patent system would less annoying.

Re:Common sense? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#39469645)

I really don't see how you could patent something as obvious as "push / type a word and have a voice say it". I can see patenting special hardware for it

"A computer, ..."

Re:Common sense? (1)

wmbetts (1306001) | about 2 years ago | (#39469749)

Yes, a computer could be used for it and I'm not really sure how else they'd be able to do it. If they did some how come up with something that wasn't a computer to do it then I wouldn't have a problem with them patenting it. Even a specialized computer should be able to be patented provided it's not using standard commodity hardware. If they come up with some specialized components why shouldn't they be able to patent it?

The patent system is completely broken (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39468303)

But so is our political system, so don't expect anyone to do anything about it. That Citizens United ruling is just going to make things worse, those with huge amounts of money to throw around will get their way even more.

open source? (1)

rcamans (252182) | about 2 years ago | (#39468329)

If Speak for Yourself posts the source code under an open license, and make no money from it, then they are safe, right?
And since when does a hardware patent apply to software?
And doesn't prior tech void the patent?

Re:open source? (3, Informative)

ODBOL (197239) | about 2 years ago | (#39468365)

If Speak for Yourself posts the source code under an open license, and make no money from it, then they are safe, right? And since when does a hardware patent apply to software? And doesn't prior tech void the patent?

Alas, they are not safe. Patent infringement applies to all use, whether profitable or no. Current patent policy applies to software, and even business process, as well as hardware. Whether there is legal infringement depends on the details of the claims, which are very hard to evaluate. If there is prior art, that may invalidate the patent. But the relevance of prior art to the specific claims is a fuzzy issue. Also, once a patent has been registered, the burden of proof is on the alleged infringer regarding prior art. OK, IANAL, and I'm writing from memory, so this should all be checked, but I'm pretty sure I've memorized these points correctly.

Re:open source? (0)

Svartalf (2997) | about 2 years ago | (#39468453)

Actually, patent infringement applies to someone selling or distributing the protected work. If you implement it yourself, there's no infringement whatsoever.

Not overly helpful. But...there's a vicious piece of prior art that very probably invalidates their claims and makes it safe for anyone because it's outside the limits for patents: Apple patented the base concept in 1992 [google.com]

Re:open source? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#39468505)

Actually, patent infringement applies to someone selling or distributing the protected work. If you implement it yourself, there's no infringement whatsoever.

Or in the case of software patents, distributing certain descriptions of the covered work i.e. those which can be compiled. Hence the danger to open source projects that violate patents.

I find it amusing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39468331)

How the old guard and supposed "experts" in the given field don't embrace new technology and options. Instead they cling to their old ways of doing things and sue where they can.

I have no idea what legal footing either side has. But it sure would be nice to be in a world where the old company decided instead to perhaps go with a low cost iPad option instead of suing someone who did.

Seriously? (4, Interesting)

ledow (319597) | about 2 years ago | (#39468341)

Hunt down an online programmer in another country.

Pay them a few hundred.

They will knock up an app that's better, works on everything, and can be extended and customised later and you'll have the source too.

The problem here is not the app or some "big bad company", but that the legalities mean that your app will always be at risk and specialist support apps are INCREDIBLY expensive and crap (ask Stephen Hawking).

Whether the patent is valid or not, you'll never know. They could really have a legitimate legal claim and the app-maker could have deliberately infringed their patents in order to make a quick buck. You don't know and can't guarantee anything.

I've worked in schools that have paid thousands for a simple flashcard app for hearing-impaired children. It was literally a VB4 app that I could replicate in an afternoon if I sat down with a licensed clipart library. But if I made one, I wouldn't be able to sell it because schools would only ever buy from established, recognised institutions, etc.

Get yourself a programmer. In fact, turn the blog post into a plea for someone to create the programme for you. If they create it in a country that doesn't recognise software patents, there is NOTHING they can do about it and the author can put it on their website and charge what they like and you can tell all your friends to buy it from him. Plus, you'll get EXACTLY what you want.

Don't fight the patents - you don't have the money or inclination, just a single sob-story that has zero real weight. Sidestep the patents instead, and also hit that company where it hurts at the same time. And as your child grows, make the app grow with her and fix the problems she experiences.

If something is crap, expensive, liable to infringement / removal, etc. then you get around this by using SOMETHING ELSE.

Re:Seriously? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39468381)

Hunt down an online programmer in another country.

Pay them a few hundred.

They will knock up an app that's better, works on everything, and can be extended and customised later and you'll have the source too.

Except they're using an iPad, so that's not an option. And because it's Apple that will ultimately remotely disable the app that their child uses to speak, I think they should also note the dangers of using Apple products.

If they used an Android tablet, they could just side-load the forbidden app and their daughter would never have to worry about losing it. Instead they went with shiny, and now they may have to pay the price.

Hopefully they'll think more carefully about using a product that forces them into a closed garden in the future.

Re:Seriously? (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#39468513)

And because it's Apple that will ultimately remotely disable the app that their child uses to speak, I think they should also note the dangers of using Apple products.

Please give some specific examples of this happening. In my experience, apps that I've purchased that later get pulled from the App Store continue to be available to me.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Svartalf (2997) | about 2 years ago | (#39468439)

Already done, really. Several FOSS projects exist for iOS, Android, or Java right now that're in progress or bankrolled by Nations that wouldn't give a shit about their patents (which have prior art: Apple patented the base concept in 1992 [google.com] ).

Re:Seriously? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#39468793)

So how do you install the FOSS project for iOS without getting it approved by Apple, a company subject to U.S. patent law? Or are you going to go ahead and claim that $1,395 for a MacBook Air plus a four-year iOS developer license is still cheaper than what the patent holders are charging?

Re:Seriously? (2)

hendrikboom (1001110) | about 2 years ago | (#39469831)

Well, an Android tablet can be had for much less. And mightn't there be a similar app in progress there?

There is a third way, and solution (2)

NuclearCat (899738) | about 2 years ago | (#39468353)

I hope someone can do it for android, publish on independent website as .APK, in Europe, so your daughter can continue using this technology
At least for now Europe are holding the pressure.
Any android developers?
P.S.Crowdfunding should help too.

It's emotional testimonies that make terrible laws (5, Insightful)

sco08y (615665) | about 2 years ago | (#39468393)

We already know that patent laws are fucked up.

We don't need more emotional testimony dumped into our political and legal processes. It's already fucked up enough from this nonsense. "My cute wonderful 3 year old sweetie who is disabled and just found a way to speak and now a company wants to take that away for profit!"

The moment someone says that such and such a law has "hit home" is the moment we need to tune them out.

Because they're now useless as an even remotely objective source of information. Our worst laws are, by and large, the most popular, usually mandates that accomplish the opposite of what they're intended to do or simply fail miserably with terrible side effects. Which then stirs up another emotional mob that tries to fix the new problem!

We think there are cigar smoking villains in back rooms writing our laws when in fact the real authors are nitwit staffers transcribing the rantings of mobs of emotional idiots. We think that rich villains buy politicians, when, by the numbers, it's almost entirely a case of politicians purchasing voters.

We seriously need to take a deep fucking breath, rip out about 90% of our laws, and start over.

Re:It's emotional testimonies that make terrible l (4, Insightful)

jpapon (1877296) | about 2 years ago | (#39468721)

We think there are cigar smoking villains in back rooms writing our laws when in fact the real authors are nitwit staffers transcribing the rantings of mobs of emotional idiots. We think that rich villains buy politicians, when, by the numbers, it's almost entirely a case of politicians purchasing voters.

An interesting thought, but one that seems to go against most of modern history, in which the rich have almost all of the power.

Re:It's emotional testimonies that make terrible l (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#39469697)

Love it or hate it, most people are driven by emotion, not reason. And they all vote. You can try to change that by improving education etc (though I still remain skeptical that you can change this on a scale large enough to make a difference), but even in the best case you're looking at decades of work. In the meantime, we have to play by the rules that are here to get anything useful done - and this means appeal to emotion, especially "think of the children". You can denounce that as unethical, shy away, and languish in obscurity; or you can learn to spin it to provide emotional support for reasonable things.

The trick is to avoid falling into the same trap yourself, and fully understand the real rationale of things you're arguing for at all times.

Re:It's emotional testimonies that make terrible l (1)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#39469727)

WE know they're fucked up, but that's not enough. If it's ever going to become a political hot button (preferably one where further siding with patent holders becomes a career limiting move) we need the general population to equate the people suing for patents as mustache twirling villains who steal candy (or voices) from babies just because they can.

Re:It's emotional testimonies that make terrible l (1)

greg_barton (5551) | about 2 years ago | (#39470001)

We think there are cigar smoking villains in back rooms writing our laws when in fact the real authors are nitwit staffers transcribing the rantings of mobs of emotional idiots.

Methinks you're letting hatred of emotion cloud your judgement.

Smith Corona model (4, Interesting)

Dr. Tom (23206) | about 2 years ago | (#39468417)

When the IBM PC killed the typewriter dead, did Smith Corona sue? No, they adapted, and now sell printer supplies and specialty paper. Before they made typewriters, they made guns. That is one adaptable company. All companies could learn a lesson here. Be flexible. Adapt. The market changes, that's just a fact of life. Litigation to save a dead product is ultimately just pissing money away. Make something new, better, different. Especially in this climate where a claim like this will get you fried in the hot, boiling oil of public opinion.

Re:Smith Corona model (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#39468517)

Why adapt or die, when you could just manipulate the law to keep innovation from affecting you?

Prior Art Possibilities (1)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | about 2 years ago | (#39468423)

A little digging has shown that the plaintiff has a claim on re-definable keyboards, as they relate to assistive technology. However, the idea of remapping keyboards definitely pre-dates their 1995 patent claim (which said nothing about speech synthesis, BTW). Two possibilities that spring to mind are HP calculators, which would have differing keyboard layouts depending on the mode that was set. Thus, multiple symbols could be applied to the same key. This covers the "providing access to higher-level keyboards" part. Another possibility is a synthesizer. Once again, setting modes could change the functions of many keys on the device. Come to think of it, even a pipe organ could fall into this category. Depending on the stops pulled (which could be labelled with a symbol), the organ could take on different voices. Arguably, each voice could be considered a different higher-level keyboard.

Is the patent dead obvious? I suppose not. I hope some better researchers are able to come up with a more concrete example to be used against the plaintiff. I'd hate to see such a useful app die over money. I think the key here is to find prior art on the first patent. The second patent is simply the first patent "as it applies" to speech synthesis.

Re:Prior Art Possibilities (1)

mSparks43 (757109) | about 2 years ago | (#39468547)

I still don't get why they don't just relocate to countries that don't have software patents and sell them from there?

Re:Prior Art Possibilities (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#39468809)

Because they still have to sell all iOS apps through Apple, which is headquartered in a country that has software patents.

Re:Prior Art Possibilities (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#39468585)

It isn't the first case of a patent covering an already commonplace idea used in a new setting. A lot of software patents are simply for doing something old 'on a computer.' The general rule for patent-driven companies is to just grab every possible patent they can, without a thought to how valid the patent may be - there's no penalty for having a patent denied, and the US patent office is basically a rubber-stamp engine anyway. Once the patents are granted by the thousand, then they start looking through to see if they got anything good.

Pharmacuticals sometimes runs a similar model. They discover a new interesting compound, and patent it right away - and only then try to work out exactly what it does or might be good for. If they waited to figure that out before fileing, a competitor might beat them to it.

Re:Prior Art Possibilities (1)

hendrikboom (1001110) | about 2 years ago | (#39469857)

I believe MIT had redefinable keyboards a lot earlier than that in some research lab . And I seem to have heard of translucent keyboards with slide projectors under them long ago.

Yes this is horrible but... (3, Insightful)

OliWarner (1529079) | about 2 years ago | (#39468433)

How is different from people who need and can't afford (or just can't get) certain drugs? TFA's daughter can't talk but millions die because they can't get a $1 vaccine or super-expensive healthcare and cancer treatments.

Any for-profit company delivering healthcare, drugs and and assistive devices is pitting what they think the market will support against their bottom line. The parent in TFA is losing out because they can't find a device that follows the required IP structure that works for them in the market but why is their need [for parent reform] greater than somebody dying because certain drugs aren't available because they'd never be commercially viable? In both cases people lose out and it's morally atrocious that something as transitory and meaningless as money is hindering quality of life.

I'll be honest, I don't know the solution. Nuking all patents from space sounds great if you're allergic to showers and buy into the Occupy Everything movements people in the real world realise that RND costs are real. Destroying patents would have a significant and fairly unpredictable effect on the world.

And you can be sure, whatever the real solution is, whenever it comes along, the companies that own all this IP aren't going to let their patents go without a fight.

Re:Yes this is horrible but... (2)

jpapon (1877296) | about 2 years ago | (#39468785)

This is exactly what I was thinking... just because it is software it is somehow different? Aren't all medical patents just as bad?

Re:Yes this is horrible but... (5, Interesting)

GPierce (123599) | about 2 years ago | (#39468905)

This isn't a solution, but it is something to think about. (It's not totally accurate, but it's a reasonably close description - and there were actually several enclosure acts, not just one.) It could be argued that the enclosure acts were the beginning of our modern concept of "property".

In the 18th century, our then Lords and Masters took over by passing the Enclosure Acts which ran the peasants off of the commons - producing three generations of property-less rabble. They also passed rules regarding privately held land. If you wanted to establish title to the ground that your family had "owned" for several hundred years, you had to enclose your property with a fence or a hedge. The catch was that the cost of the enclosure was ten times the value of the land.

The smart peasants sold their land for a few bucks, got on a boat and came to the "new world". Their goal was to get a chunk of land, draw a circle around it and not have any one screw with them again. The Native Americans never had a chance.

Just as the European nobility "invented" property, our current nobility has invented "intellectual property" and is in the process of producing new generations of property-less rabble.

 

Re:Yes this is horrible but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39469847)

R&D costs seem to be much lower for the iPad app than for the bulky, dedicated custom hardware that does the same. And this is due to Apple's hardware (yet they aren't suing Apple).
TFA should be asking for funding to help the company defend. If this gets huge publicity, even Apple might be involved - e.g. they could acquire the startup and then it's another game. But then the hardware company could also acquire the same startup and kill the product (probably their lawyer fees will end up around same).

Re:Yes this is horrible but... (2)

slowLearner (2498468) | about 2 years ago | (#39469921)

If only I still had moderator points I would mod this up.
Speaking from the point of view of having a spouse with a chronic degenerative medical condition, I feel the situations are analogous. We would love to be able to afford the medication that may help her but they have to be able to make their "reasonable" returns on their investments.
I could really start a huge rant here but I will keep my powder dry as it is a bit off topic.

I find it odd that Doctors, Nurses and Mental Health workers are supposed to be in the healing profession because it is a "calling" whereas drug companies are all cold hard profit and no-one seems to find it an outrageous double standard.

Horrible Article (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39468443)

I am against obvious patents, and therefore think that the current system needs reform. I think peer review and shorter time periods are the best solution. But this is a stupid emotional article:

I’m not going to get into debates about the legal merits of the case, because that’s a conversation in which I would quickly drown...
Here’s what matters: It’s a very logical assumption (confirmed by the AAC professionals that I’ve spoken with) that if SCS/PRC win this lawsuit, they will eliminate Speak for Yourself, the app that my 3 year old is working her damnedest to learn.

If the original patents were truly novel, and no app like the one the author's daughter uses would ever have been invented if not for the invention of the original patent, then the author would have no cause for complaint. It is the obviousness of the patents (if that is the case), that is the real question.

I believe that in order to achieve real patent reform, it is important to stay on topic and avoid emotional, illogical arguments. The key point is that we need a system which rewards people for real inventions that would be unlikely to be developed within a certain amount of time, without the original invention. The length of the patent should reflect how long it would take for that idea to become obvious without the original patent. This is just a rough idea of the real logic that patents should follow but it gives the general idea. This framework doesn't rule out eliminating software patents altogether, but it does require that doing so be based on some kind of cost-benefit analysis, including the incentive to invent new things, not just emotional sob stories.

Yet another shining example (0)

JustNiz (692889) | about 2 years ago | (#39468449)

Yet another shining example of someone who doesn't care or even spot that the actual problem is that Apple control 'your' device and everything on it, not you.

Re:Yet another shining example (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#39468583)

the actual problem

You say this as if there could only be one thing wrong with this situation. Software patents are bad, and locked down devices are bad too.

Load App & Disconnect Updates (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 2 years ago | (#39468475)

Load up your special software on at least 2 iPads and then make sure you don't allow updates if the software company loses the suit or caves in.

Find a hacker to jailbreak your iPad to make sure you can transfer the software if and when your iPad goes poof.

Sooner or later dedicated hardware is going to disappear, just like so many devices already have done and just like newspapers are quickly disappearing. The world has moved on. If the hardware maker is smart they will may a low cost App before they lose a patent suit.

Re:Load App & Disconnect Updates (2)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 2 years ago | (#39468671)

Sooner or later dedicated hardware is going to disappear, just like so many devices already have done and just like newspapers are quickly disappearing. The world has moved on. If the hardware maker is smart they will may a low cost App before they lose a patent suit.

The 'dedicated hardware' that you predict disappearing gets replaced by other dedicated hardware that does the same job as well as 3 or 5 other jobs. For instance, the Palm Pilot is just as good as extinct, replaced by iPhones/Androids/Blackberries/etc, which also make phone calls and do all kinds of other things once you install the appropriate app.

Re:Load App & Disconnect Updates (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#39468883)

The 'dedicated hardware' that you predict disappearing gets replaced by other dedicated hardware that does the same job as well as 3 or 5 other jobs.

Health insurance, for some reason, has an easier time paying for a dedicated device. Copyright owners also have an easier time licensing their works for a dedicated device. For example, publishers of nondramatic literary works are required by law to license their works for use in "talking books" that fit in special players (17 USC 121 [cornell.edu] ), but these players apparently have to be dedicated devices so that Big Copyright can verify that the players are given only to blind people.

The Mom misses the point altogether. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39468539)

The Mom is using her typical, irrational, emotional Mom-response to address the issue at hand, which she seems to think that a "big evil corporation" is threatening her ability to have an emotional bond with her child. That is far on the periphery of this issue, but unsurprisingly what is being used to attempt to create emotional backlash among the Internetting public.

The real issue here is how that patent system bridges the divide between hardware and software patents. They created the "idea" patent, so instead of an "apparatus" (hardware) patent or a "method" software patent, they just created this patent paradigm where it makes no difference how it is implemented - the mere thought of the problem's solution is infringing.

There have been hundreds of text-to-speech implementations in software for literally decades. Text to speech is an obvious solution to an obvious problem, that is neither innovative, clever, or ground-breaking. It is the natural progression of technology, with a simple solution to a common problem - just like a light switch is the obvious solution to the need to be able to turn on and off a light (although I'll bet that light switches were patented at the time, and as broad as "any device used to interrupt the flow of current to a light bulb is infringing).

Now mere "ideas" are "owned" and can be "infringed" upon, which is a travesty.

Somewhat misleading? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39468563)

The blog implies that PRC does not offer a similarly priced iPad app, and only offers a very expensive dedicated device. To the contrary, TouchChat (http://www.silver-kite.com/touchChat) offers this type of AAC app, and their website indicates they are sponsored by PRC (my daughter uses TouchChat). Also, there's another AAC app called Proloquo2Go (http://www.proloquo2go.com/), which presumably hasn't been sued by SCS & PRC, so it appears there are lower cost alternatives.

some thoughts for a practical approach (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39468605)

1) short-term strategy: ensure your current solution keeps working. Disconnect that iPad from ALL connections, disable updates, don't install anything else on it. If you can, make a full backup. I would also buy a second - or third - iPad and install the same application (Speak for Yourself) now that you can, just in case the first one breaks, falls, or whatever can happen in the hands of a four-years-old child.

2) medium-term strategy: get more visibility for your problem. Slashdot and blogs are a first step already. If you cannot be in the news by yourself, find others with the same problem: contacting the authors of "Speak for Yourself" as well as other people using it, to have a bigger voice.

3) long-term strategy: get some "big" player willing to help, for example some organization like Electronic Frontier Foundation might be helpful: this kind of problem COULD be within their mission. The more, the better :) And don't forget, sooner or later lawyers may be necessary... having at least one available from the beginning can help tremendously to KNOW what you can do and what you shouldn't.

4) prepare a backup plan. At the moment, Speak for Yourself is critical for the daughter and, unluckily, it's written by US people and distributed through Apple (US company). A non-US software, for example one written and distributed by European citizens, would avoid a LOT of this troubles. Making Speak for Yourself open source could be a solution technically, since it will be almost impossible to "recall" it, but the people behind it may not want such a move... and in any case iPad is not a good choice from the freedom point of view: Apple CAN and WILL remove Speak for Yourself from iTunes store if legal troubles (injunction, DMCA...) start.

I suggest searching for other programs, or, since I guess the search was done already with no results, start to collect money together with other people using Speak for Yourself (maybe even with the authors help - and don't forget to accept online donations) to pay for a new version, made and distributed outside US and for a tablet DIFFERENT from iPad (I'd say something based on Android, for example), where you are NOT forced to buy programs from a single centralized store.

Mere firstness quality of implementation (4, Insightful)

aeschenkarnos (517917) | about 2 years ago | (#39468629)

Patent and copyright are both broken in that they reward mere firstness infinitely more than quality of implementation. They get the whole concept ass-backwards. Ideas are a dime a dozen. It's implementation and marketing where the real work lies. Any fool can have a brilliant idea, indeed we all have them every time we discover something that doesn't work as well as we would like, and in fact I had three yesterday. Probably all three have already been solved in one way or another by other people, but the fact that I don't have, or even know about, a solution implies that the solution isn't good enough or hasn't been marketed well enough. There may be plenty of possible better solutions than mine already thiught of, that the patent system is making non viable because some asshole got there *first* with their half-assed device.

The patent system is even worse than that. At least in the story in the article, the plaintiff has actually implemented *some* kind of solution, however ridiculously expensive. The current US patent system rewards trolling: *not* implementing *anything*, just sitting on the patent until some poor bastard actually bothers to think up a viable solution and produces it, then springing out to snatch a share of *their* work.

And this is the system the US is frantically, despertely attempting to foist onto the rest of the world.

FSF taught us about this years ago...again. (2)

jbn-o (555068) | about 2 years ago | (#39468657)

Just as with the IBM patent story on /. a couple of days ago [slashdot.org] , the FSF and its friends have taught us about the dangers of software patents years ago.

The heart of that IBM story IBM told us about in a story in their promotional magazine called "Think" magazine from 1990 [progfree.org] and Richard Stallman taught us about the consequences of this problem in his talk "The Danger of Software Patents" (which you can find in the FSF audio [gnu.org] and video [gnu.org] archives).

The heart of the danger for computer users (regardless of what you use a computer to do) was addressed by Stallman in a portion of his talk concerning Paul Heckel's patents [gnu.org] :

Even the patent holders often can't recognize just what their patents mean. For instance, there's somebody named Paul Heckel who released a program for displaying a lot of data on a small screen, and based on a couple of the ideas in that program he got a couple of patents.

I once tried to find a simple way to describe what claim 1 of one of those patents covered. I found that I couldn't find any simpler way of saying it than what was in the patent itself; and that sentence, I couldn't manage to keep it all in my mind at once, no matter how hard I tried.

And Heckel couldn't follow it either, because when he saw HyperCard, all he noticed was it was nothing like his program. It didn't occur to him that the way his patent was written it might prohibit HyperCard; but his lawyer had that idea, so he threatened Apple. And then he threatened Apple's customers, and eventually Apple made a settlement with him which is secret, so we don't know who really won. And this is just an illustration of how hard it is for anybody to understand what a patent does or doesn't prohibit.

In fact, I once gave this speech and Heckel was in the audience. And at this point he jumped up and said, "That's not true, I just didn't know the scope of my protection." And I said, "Yeah, that's what I said," at which point he sat down and that was the end of my experience being heckled by Heckel. If I had said no, he probably would have found a way to argue with me.

Re:FSF taught us about this years ago...again. (1)

chrismcb (983081) | about 2 years ago | (#39469633)

What? Patents are broken because the average person doesn't understand the patent? Perhaps we shouldn't have lawyers writing patents, as apparently only lawyers can understand them. But that doesn't mean patent's are broken.
Patents are broken because they given out for obvious concepts. One problem with software patents, is the implementation is patentable, not the final result.

Patents vs Copyright (1)

alienzed (732782) | about 2 years ago | (#39468677)

Let's be honest with ourselves, Copyrights are there to protect reputation, brand and the public good. They prevent people from benefitting from the hard work of others. Patents on the other hand only serve to attempt to enrich someone, not for coming up with a new great idea, no, but for registering a patent for what the patent office, a place full of people who obviously barely understand the concepts to begin with, deems is novel. What does this actually achieve? Well recently it's been shown to enrich some lawyers, some companies that don't actually produce anything and in general just massive legal fights between large corporations that are essentially acting like 4 year olds yelling:"It's MINE, I don't want to share it." So, copyright I get, and I support (for a while anyway). I mean Walt's been dead for a long time, that aspect is starting to get ridiculous. Patents, I dispise. It's greed. It's anti-innovation and it's the part of capitalism I hate the most. Any sort of reform should reduce patent durations to something like 5 years, max. If you can't make enough money off you idea in that time, then you don't deserve to have exclusivity. Rewarding people for innovating once and then milking it is in very bad taste. Why not give them incentive to actually continue innovating?

"uses AN comparatively" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39468697)

WFT?

What is it with you Americans, always putting 'an' instead of 'a'? Fucking idiots.

Re:"uses AN comparatively" (1)

yotto (590067) | about 2 years ago | (#39468869)

WTMFingF?

What's with you always putting 'WFT' instead of 'WTF'?

Instead of assuming you and everybody from your country are idiots, I'll instead assume it was a typo.

But, but ... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#39468713)

... the iPad app creator should be able to apply the same defense that every crappy software patent uses. The 'do something' (where something is already patented or in the public domain) and append 'on the Internet'. And end up with a brand new patent. Except here, its 'on an iPad'. So its not on some proprietary hardware platform.

Yeah, I know that's wrong. But that's what the USPTO has been doing for years with software. As long as someone can come up with a trivial or obvious modification, they reset the clock to zero with another patent.

Since when was law not abstract? (2)

3seas (184403) | about 2 years ago | (#39468875)

Abstract are many things including law, government, religion, language and most certainly money... and of course software.

Software patents are pure acts of fraud.... its provable but neither Proprietary or Free Open Source Software developers want to admit it. be it reasons of money or ego...

Re:Since when was law not abstract? (1)

chrismcb (983081) | about 2 years ago | (#39469649)

Software patents are pure acts of fraud.... its provable

Ok, so just how are software patents pure acts of fraud?

mod Up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39468977)

[gay-sex-access.com]? is wiped off and dabblers. In truth,

Open Source the app (1)

Coward Anonymous (110649) | about 2 years ago | (#39469019)

If this is an open and closed case of the app being yanked, the app authors should open source it as a big F. U. Turn it into Mutually Assured Destruction.

Good (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#39469915)

The more these things aggravate the average consumer, the better the chances of something being done about it.

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