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SONICblue Sues TiVo for Patent Infringement

chrisd posted more than 12 years ago | from the guess-we-saw-this-coming dept.

Patents 159

SVDave writes "Yesterday, Slashdot reported that SONICblue was going to start negotiating patent licensing with TiVo. It appears that SONICblue has switched strategies: today they've decided to sue TiVo for patent infringement. Given TiVo's patents on PVR technology, I would expect a quick countersuit, though SONICblue claims that ReplayTV does not infringe on any of TiVo's patents."

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159 comments

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First Post? (-1, Troll)

BlueHands (142945) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698064)

I think I just got my first,first post! Can I panet this experence??

Re:First Post? (-1, Offtopic)

BlueHands (142945) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698093)

I was WAY to excited. Couldn't even spell patent correctly. *sigh* I broke my cherry and just like most people,I rushed it. I can never have that back. I feel dirty now.

On topic however, where does this [slashdot.org] come in? Does this mean 2 companies are sueing Tivo now and that Tivo may now turn around and sue SonicBlue? Will Pause Technology expand to include SonicBlue in their current(?) lawsuit against Tivo?

What about Microsoft's PVR product? Is MS just too scary for anybody to even consider sueing??Or just too unimportant?

Re:YOU NEED TO TAKE AN ISANITY TEST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2698153)

http://iqx.ionichost.com/other/instest.html

first Mod (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2698066)

i got mod points 2day!.. :-)

FURST POAST (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2698067)

Yeah, mother fucker. Who do you love? Yeah, mother fucker.

Howard Stern RULES!

Awright!! (2, Funny)

dweezle (200818) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698070)

And the sound of lawyers laughter echos throughout the land.

Re:raw trollmaster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2698365)

At first glance, appears to be incoherent. However, given further thought, one can see the true insight behind an otherwise unintelligible . It could be an analogy to the arcane structure imposed by ; surely my head felt the same way after reading it as it does trying to . Is there a deeper meaning behind , or is it simply a troll short on his medication? We may never know.

Gee, this is cute. (3, Funny)

x136 (513282) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698072)

So basically, competition is pretty much grounds for a lawsuit these days. Nice.

Re:Gee, this is cute. (0)

crayz (1056) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698177)

Yeah, isn't capitalism great?

Re:Gee, this is cute. (5, Funny)

Safety Cap (253500) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698202)

To review:
  • Those who can, create.
  • Those who can't, sue.
  • Those who can't create or sue (successfully) end up on fscked company [fuckedcompany.com]

Re:Gee, this is cute. (1)

Destoo (530123) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698355)

slight correction...

Those who can, patent.

Re:Gee, this is cute. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2698369)

another correction...

Those who can't, patent and then sue.

Re:Gee, this is cute. (2)

KarmaBlackballed (222917) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698305)

So basically, competition is pretty much grounds for a lawsuit these days

Our patent laws require companies to enforce their granted intellectual monopoly rights. Anything else is fiscally irresponsible and subjects the company executives to charges of mismanagement by investors.

Honest businesses will do what the laws allow to make a profit. If the laws are cr@p, businesses will use those laws to cr@p on the competition.

The real losers here are everybody everywhere.

Re:Gee, this is cute. (4, Informative)

haruharaharu (443975) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698510)

Our patent laws require companies to enforce their granted intellectual monopoly rights. Anything else is fiscally irresponsible and subjects the company executives to charges of mismanagement by investors

Not true. Our Trademark laws require that the Trademark be defended or else lost (if sufficiently diluted). Patent laws require no such thing. This is why Unisys was able to show up after several years and say 'Hi, we own the patent for some underlying technology in the GIF format. Pay up!'.

Finally, I'm not sure why investors are so bloodthirsty, but given that companies like Enron can basically mismanage a multinational giant into the ground, not exploiting a possible advantage when it is considered unethical should be doable without calling the wrath of the stockholders.

Re:Gee, this is cute. (2)

KarmaBlackballed (222917) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698543)

Our patent laws [require] companies to enforce their granted intellectual monopoly rights

Because the laws are there it would be negligent for an executive not to enforce their intellectual monopoly rights for company profit. The requirement that they do so is driven by threat of investor suit against the executives.

Your point is well taken that trademark laws literally require enforcement for claims to stay enforceable and patent laws do not. The pragmatics of the situation, however, give us the same result.

I'm not sure why investors are so bloodthirsty

It is called making money. We all want it. Law abiding people will work within the laws, no matter how screwed up, to get and keep it.

Re:Gee, this is cute. (1, Troll)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698383)

  • competition is pretty much grounds for a lawsuit these days

Breathing is pretty much grounds for a lawsuit these days.

Our entire retail and service sector economy is based on giving half of our money to lawyers, and letting them decide where to spend it.

I'm not exaggerating for effect. More lawyers than gas pumps, more law students than practicing lawyers, 50% of Congress and Senate are members of the American Bar Association, as was President Clinton and her husband, as were the people who chose Bush as President over the other candidate, what's-his-name, the one who'd been to law school.

Is it any wonder that we're so screwed? Separation of powers my huge hairy ass. The USPTO is just one of the more visible aspects of having Government that is By the Lawyers, Of the Lawyers and For the Lawyers.

Re:Gee, this is cute. (4, Insightful)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698489)

Face it, the system fell apart as soon as there was the concept of the 'professional politician.' What there needs to be is a clause that nobody can spend more than ten years in (elected/appointed? Still need civil servants, possibly) gov't service, and must have a recognized public sector trade or job. That would guarentee 'citizen legislators.' Or, as Douglas Adams (more or less) puts it, 'by definition, anybody who actually wants to be President is automatically the person least suited for it.'

Repurposing of common PC kit (2)

Aztech (240868) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698073)

Hrm... lets see, I have an anologue Hauppauge controller, PC, and DivX encoder and Hauppauge DVB-s card that can pipe the MPEG2 transport stream to disk, the software [linuxtv.org] to tie it all together, will they be suing me next?

Let's face it, it's just rudimentary off the shelf hardware put in a different box, if someone decides to make a PC that looks like a funky box will be get sued too? Based on the hardware the patent seems unsubstantiated, looking at the software it looks unsubstantiated, I bet TiVO even use the Video For Linux API.

Re:Repurposing of common PC kit (2, Insightful)

dago (25724) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698088)

Patents gives the patenter the right to make a commercial use of the claims of the patents.

repeat after me : commercial

As long as you're not selling/renting/... it, you're perfectly authorised to do it.

Re:Repurposing of common PC kit (5, Insightful)

Aztech (240868) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698094)

Not necessarily so, they are a blunt tool, if I'm working on an Open Source PVR project, whether it's commercial or not they could wield their patents against me. We've seen it before in terms of MP3 licensing groups on behalf of Fraunhofer, Unisys with LZW licensing for GIF, Dolby threatening an AC3 decoder developer (just the decoder, not encoder), then there's all the Apple TrueType patents hanging over Freetype, non of the above projects are commercial yet they are threatened.

Re:Repurposing of common PC kit (2)

KarmaBlackballed (222917) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698334)

if someone decides to make a PC that looks like a funky box will be get sued too?

Yes. But more likely, you will be threatened with a lawsuit. The threat is enough. (You= regular person with little or some money getting legal advice on slashdot / Them= multi-million$ company with team of lawyers wearing suits and drinking martinis) That is a fight you and most people will cower away from and that is what they know and that is why they would sue.

If it got to court would they win if you were not selling product? That is moot because you cannot afford the court battle.

Re:Repurposing of common PC kit (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698405)

Sometimes the threat isn't enough. (Me = regular person with excellent credit and a crack-addict banker drinking tequila / Them = mult-million$ company with team of overpaid circus freaks drinking Shirley Temples)

But seriously, we need to create a legal weapon of mass retribution to right all these wrongs. The way things are going, in a few years you'll be carrying around a lawyer for your xmas shopping, writing waivers and debating loopholes just so you can safely buy that 125$ VCR at Mallwart's.

The businesses don't realize it, but by suing their competitors out of business, they're alienating the potential customers that they're actually trying to steal.

Re:Repurposing of common PC kit (1)

justinstreufert (459931) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698697)

They don't use the Video for Linux API. They have an IBM MPEG chip on board and have written custom software to feed the data streams to it. Quite nice, really.

Justin

page widening post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2698077)

I can type more than this for my comment.

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Re:page widening post! (-1)

The WIPO Troll (267426) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698085)

You are a God!

Once again the Power of Open Source reveals itself.
(Or did you sit there for hours testing out different
URLs seeing what would break?)

Re:page widening post! (-1)

Sarcasm_Orgasm (535390) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698135)

anybody can make it wide...

I
t
'
s

L
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n
g
t
h

T
h
a
t

M
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t
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r
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!

Slashcode is dying, news at eleven (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2698320)

I think it might be time to bin the Bender/Fry/Bebop/Laim/whatever code and start redevelopment in a real programming language. Look at wonko or k5, both similar ideas, but coded from scratch and considerably more robust than this mess is.

Not that much of a change... (1)

boopus (100890) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698083)

They just seem to be uping the ante here by filing a lawsuit. It's a fairly common tactic to use durring/preceding negotiations for companies to get the upper hand in negotiations. We all know that if you sue someone they're guilty, right?

...and, of course, the next step is... (4, Interesting)

werdna (39029) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698698)

to negotiate the cross license and stipulate to a consent judgment as to validity of each other's patents. Then, armed with the consent decree, they can use the vehicle to support preliminary injunctive relief as against third parties.

Relax, this is just how the game is played. Its the birth of a new enterprise and industry, with a pretty cool and different product that changes the way people enjoy consumer electronics. This is going to set the framework for development, and indeed, will assure at least a pair of effective and worthy competitors poised to beat up on Microsoft when they try to come to play.

At least until Microsoft buys one of them . . .

Shame... (4, Insightful)

ctar (211926) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698084)

Its a shame these companies will end up spending time, money, and energy on minor technological differences in the way perform a very simple task...Digitizing and manipulating video from live television.

These companies should save their energy, and possibly share resources for the real battle they have yet to face, which is against the networks.

This technology has the potential of becoming as significant and controversial as Napster...

Re:Shame... (3, Informative)

tswinzig (210999) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698777)

These companies should save their energy, and possibly share resources for the real battle they have yet to face, which is against the networks.

TiVo has CBS and NBC as equity partners, so I don't know how much fighting is going to occur.

Re:Shame... (1)

beme (85862) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698786)

I remember reading/hearing something about the networks and the pvr companies back when the pvr stuff first came out. Some network guy said they (networks) were very concerned about the pvr stuff, but they weren't sure what they could do about it, and they figured it was bound to happen eventually, so they invested in the companies developing the pvr stuff. Guy made it sound like the network's hadn't decided if they'd fight or join the pvr folks, so they hedged. Interesting to imagine what would've happened to napster if the RIAA invested instead of calling out the lawyers right away...

Even wider page post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2698086)

Goat.

<a href=For.years.now,.the.common.American.penis.bird .has.been.a.staple.of.every.American's.daily.diet. .Whether.it.be.penis.bird.sandwiches,.fried.penis. bird,.or.perhaps.penis.bird.under.glass.for.the.ri ch,.we.all.have.penis.bird.at.least.once.a.day..Ma ny.Americans.have.no.clue.how.the.penis.bird.becam e.so.important.in.the.pyramid.of.a.balanced.diet,. so.in.this.article.I.will.attempt.to.explain.its.h istory.and.why.it.is.so.useful..In.the.early.1870s ,.Francis.Zefran.became.the.first.penis.bird.breed er.in.North.America..He.started.his.famous.Penis.B ird.Ranch.in.Canton,.OH..At.the.time,.not.much.was .known.of.the.penis.bird's.nutritional.value,.but. the.Penis.Bird.Ranch.changed.all.of.that..Not.only .did.Francis.Zefran.raise.penis.birds.to.sell.thei r.colorful.plumes.a.VERY.lucrative.business,.he.al so.set.up.the.world's.first.research.lab.dedicated .solely.to.the.study.of.the.penis.bird.The.lab.fou nd.many.interesting.things..First,.it.was.discover ed.that.thepenis.bird.was.actually.semisentient..S econd,.the.scientists.found.that.the.meat.of.the.p enis.bird.was.high.in.protein,.vitamin.A,.vitamin. B,.and.calcium,.while.low.in.fat,.cholestorol,.and .sodium..Never.before.had.such.a.nutritious.meal.b een.had.without.supplement.or.fortification..The.s cientists.of.the.lab.recommended.immediately.that. the.penis.bird.become.a.part.of.every.American's.d aily.diet..When.the.news.of.the.penis.bird's.usefu lness.reached.president.Rutherford.B..Hayes,.he.wa s.absolutely.ecstatic..You.see,.President.Hayes.ow ed.a.number.of.favors.to.Francis.Zefran.because.as .I.said.earlier,.the.penis.bird.plume.trade.was.an .extremely.lucrative.business.and.Mr..Zefran.was.i mportant.in.getting.RBH.elected.through.a.number.o f.monetary.gifts..President.Hayes.immediately.aske d.Congress.to.pass.what.we.all.know.today.as.the.H ayes/Zefran.Penis.Bird.Consumption.Act..The.act.di d.a.number.of.things.to.make.the.penis.bird.a.dail y.meal,.most.important.of.which.was.the.requiremen t.that.for.every.four.people.in.a.household,.one.p enis.bird.must.consumed.every.day..Another.thing.t he.act.did.was.create.an.artificial.monopoly.for.F rancis.Zefran's.Penis.Bird.Industries..The.act.sta ted.that.the.only.supplier.of.penis.bird.meat.in.t he.US.would.be.PBI..As.one.would.imagine,.this.qui ckly.made.Francis.Zefran.into.the.richest.man.in.t he.world..He.was.soon.a.multibillionaire.quadrilli onaire.with.today's.inflation..Never.before.had.a. single.man.seen.such.wealth..Many.challenges.were. made.to.the.Hayes/Zefran.Penis.Bird.Consumption.Ac t,.and.several.even.made.it.the.Supreme.Court..It. was.argued.that.the.act.was.unconstitutional.and.w ent.against.liberty.itself,.but.once.the.detractor s.tasted.delicious.penis.bird.meat.for.the.first.t ime,.they.immediately.dropped.their.cases.and.foll owed.the.law.to.the.letter..We.all.know.today.that .penis.bird.is.the.most.delicious.meat.man.has.eve r.known,.but.at.that.time,.the.only.meats.people.a te.were.pork.and.beef..In.the.early.1970s,.though, .challenges.to.the.act.began.again..Many.argued.th at.the.monopoly.given.to.Penis.Bird.Industries.by. the.act.was.in.all.ways.unamerican..The.Supreme.Co urt.finally.agreed,.and.in.1974,.Section.II.of.the .act.was.struck.down..This.in.effect.opened.the.ma rket.to.competition.for.all..Today,.Penis.Bird.Ind ustries.is.almost.no.more..Today.we.have.the.marke t.leader.Penis.Bird.Meat.International.facing.agai nst.Penissoft,.a.recent.startup..Where.will.the.fu ture.lead.the.penis.bird.market?.Only.time.will.te ll.us,.but.one.thing.is.certain:.penis.birds.are.h ere.to.stay!></A>

Re:Even wider page post (-1)

The WIPO Troll (267426) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698089)

I would take the time to paste the entire
Taco-snotting FAQ in as an extrans-ified
dot-delimited URL (if I actually cared to)
but instead I shall merely sit back and
stare in awe at your Slash-breaking
ability.

Whoa. My comment's way over there!
*points*

Re:Even wider page post (-1)

Yr0 (224662) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698229)

Bing! you now have extra bonus points for fucking up slashdot. Rah, hip hip hooray!

Re:Even wider page post (-1)

JonKatz on (535285) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698244)

You da man, I want to bow down and lick you in the most dirtiest of areas!

Re:Even wider page post (-1)

Fucky the troll (528068) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698374)

This post is fucking amazing. Absolutely fucking amazing.

Nice lock-out of open source PVRs... (5, Insightful)

AtariDatacenter (31657) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698087)

Unfortunately, with all these patents flying around for very basic methods of PVR operation, it really makes creating an open source PVR project an absolute MINEFIELD. Heck, it almost seems like a strategy that is worthy of Microsoft. (Hey! Why isn't anyone suing THEM?)

PVRs are going to become more and more important years down the road. And they're going to mix (or are mixing) with VOD functionality. And Microsoft looks like it wants to make the PVR part of a television/home entertainment hub.

But how the heck can a serious open source PVR project be started in this minefield of a legal environment?

Re:Nice lock-out of open source PVRs... (1)

dago (25724) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698090)

(IANAL)

By not making any commercial use of these patents.

Any individual can make a *private* use of these patents (if I remember well)

Re:Nice lock-out of open source PVRs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2698099)

You're naive, just look at the alleged infringement stories you see on /. on a weekly basis, they are usually brought against small groups of OSS developers.

Re:Nice lock-out of open source PVRs... (1)

dago (25724) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698331)

Are there any judgments made about that ?

Or only threatening letters ?

Cease-and-desist letters (1)

yerricde (125198) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698675)

Are there any judgments made about that? Or only threatening letters?

If you get a cease-and-desist letter, and you don't have enough money to pay an attorney to fight it, you effectively have a judgment.

Re:Nice lock-out of open source PVRs... (2)

theCoder (23772) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698773)

That's not true. Patents are a way of forcing other people not to use your patented ideas for anything. It doesn't matter if your going to try to sell it or not -- the patent means you have to talk to the patent holder.

IANAL, but I heard this from one.

Wide? (-1)

The WIPO Troll (267426) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698092)

Is this wide? WIPO wants to play!!

<a href=For.years.now,.the.common.American.penis.bird .has.been.a.staple.of.every.American's.daily.diet. .Whether.it.be.penis.bird.sandwiches,.fried.penis. bird,.or.perhaps.penis.bird.under.glass.for.the.ri ch,.we.all.have.penis.bird.at.least.once.a.day..Ma ny.Americans.have.no.clue.how.the.penis.bird.becam e.so.important.in.the.pyramid.of.a.balanced.diet,. so.in.this.article.I.will.attempt.to.explain.its.h istory.and.why.it.is.so.useful..In.the.early.1870s ,.Francis.Zefran.became.the.first.penis.bird.breed er.in.North.America..He.started.his.famous.Penis.B ird.Ranch.in.Canton,.OH..At.the.time,.not.much.was .known.of.the.penis.bird's.nutritional.value,.but. the.Penis.Bird.Ranch.changed.all.of.that..Not.only .did.Francis.Zefran.raise.penis.birds.to.sell.thei r.colorful.plumes.a.VERY.lucrative.business,.he.al so.set.up.the.world's.first.research.lab.dedicated .solely.to.the.study.of.the.penis.bird.The.lab.fou nd.many.interesting.things..First,.it.was.discover ed.that.thepenis.bird.was.actually.semisentient..S econd,.the.scientists.found.that.the.meat.of.the.p enis.bird.was.high.in.protein,.vitamin.A,.vitamin. B,.and.calcium,.while.low.in.fat,.cholestorol,.and .sodium..Never.before.had.such.a.nutritious.meal.b een.had.without.supplement.or.fortification..The.s cientists.of.the.lab.recommended.immediately.that. the.penis.bird.become.a.part.of.every.American's.d aily.diet..When.the.news.of.the.penis.bird's.usefu lness.reached.president.Rutherford.B..Hayes,.he.wa s.absolutely.ecstatic..You.see,.President.Hayes.ow ed.a.number.of.favors.to.Francis.Zefran.because.as .I.said.earlier,.the.penis.bird.plume.trade.was.an .extremely.lucrative.business.and.Mr..Zefran.was.i mportant.in.getting.RBH.elected.through.a.number.o f.monetary.gifts..President.Hayes.immediately.aske d.Congress.to.pass.what.we.all.know.today.as.the.H ayes/Zefran.Penis.Bird.Consumption.Act..The.act.di d.a.number.of.things.to.make.the.penis.bird.a.dail y.meal,.most.important.of.which.was.the.requiremen t.that.for.every.four.people.in.a.household,.one.p enis.bird.must.consumed.every.day..Another.thing.t he.act.did.was.create.an.artificial.monopoly.for.F rancis.Zefran's.Penis.Bird.Industries..The.act.sta ted.that.the.only.supplier.of.penis.bird.meat.in.t he.US.would.be.PBI..As.one.would.imagine,.this.qui ckly.made.Francis.Zefran.into.the.richest.man.in.t he.world..He.was.soon.a.multibillionaire.quadrilli onaire.with.today's.inflation..Never.before.had.a. single.man.seen.such.wealth..Many.challenges.were. made.to.the.Hayes/Zefran.Penis.Bird.Consumption.Ac t,.and.several.even.made.it.the.Supreme.Court..It. was.argued.that.the.act.was.unconstitutional.and.w ent.against.liberty.itself,.but.once.the.detractor s.tasted.delicious.penis.bird.meat.for.the.first.t ime,.they.immediately.dropped.their.cases.and.foll owed.the.law.to.the.letter..We.all.know.today.that .penis.bird.is.the.most.delicious.meat.man.has.eve r.known,.but.at.that.time,.the.only.meats.people.a te.were.pork.and.beef..In.the.early.1970s,.though, .challenges.to.the.act.began.again..Many.argued.th at.the.monopoly.given.to.Penis.Bird.Industries.by. the.act.was.in.all.ways.unamerican..The.Supreme.Co urt.finally.agreed,.and.in.1974,.Section.II.of.the .act.was.struck.down..This.in.effect.opened.the.ma rket.to.competition.for.all..Today,.Penis.Bird.Ind ustries.is.almost.no.more..Today.we.have.the.marke t.leader.Penis.Bird.Meat.International.facing.agai nst.Penissoft,.a.recent.startup..Where.will.the.fu ture.lead.the.penis.bird.market?.Only.time.will.te ll.us,.but.one.thing.is.certain:.penis.birds.are.h ere.to.stay!></A>

Can't get much wider now (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2698095)

Goat

<a href=For.years.now,.the.common.American.penis.bird .has.been.a.staple.of.every.American's.daily.diet. .Whether.it.be.penis.bird.sandwiches,.fried.penis. bird,.or.perhaps.penis.bird.under.glass..for.the.r ich.,.we.all.have.penis.bird.at.least.once.a.day.. Many.Americans.have.no.clue.how.the.penis.bird.bec ame.so.important.in.the.pyramid.of.a.balanced.diet ,.so.in.this.article.I.will.attempt.to.explain.its .history.and.why.it.is.so.useful..In.the.early.187 0s,.Francis.Zefran.became.the.first.penis.bird.bre eder.in.North.America..He.started.his.famous.Penis .Bird.Ranch.in.Canton,.OH..At.the.time,.not.much.w as.known.of.the.penis.bird's.nutritional.value,.bu t.the.Penis.Bird.Ranch.changed.all.of.that..Not.on ly.did.Francis.Zefran.raise.penis.birds.to.sell.th eir.colorful.plumes..a.VERY.lucrative.business.,.h e.also.set.up.the.world's.first.research.lab.dedic ated.solely.to.the.study.of.the.penis.bird.The.lab .found.many.interesting.things..First,.it.was.disc overed.that.thepenis.bird.was.actually.semi.sentie nt..Second,.the.scientists.found.that.the.meat.of. the.penis.bird.was.high.in.protein,.vitamin.A,.vit amin.B,.and.calcium,.while.low.in.fat,.cholestorol ,.and.sodium..Never.before.had.such.a.nutritious.m eal.been.had.without.supplement.or.fortification.. The.scientists.of.the.lab.recommended.immediately. that.the.penis.bird.become.a.part.of.every.America n's.daily.diet..When.the.news.of.the.penis.bird's. usefulness.reached.president.Rutherford.B..Hayes,. he.was.absolutely.ecstatic..You.see,.President.Hay es.owed.a.number.of.favors.to.Francis.Zefran.becau se.as.I.said.earlier,.the.penis.bird.plume.trade.w as.an.extremely.lucrative.business.and.Mr..Zefran. was.important.in.getting.RBH.elected.through.a.num ber.of.monetary.gifts..President.Hayes.immediately .asked.Congress.to.pass.what.we.all.know.today.as. the.Hayes/Zefran.Penis.Bird.Consumption.Act..The.a ct.did.a.number.of.things.to.make.the.penis.bird.a .daily.meal,.most.important.of.which.was.the.requi rement.that.for.every.four.people.in.a.household,. one.penis.bird.must.consumed.every.day..Another.th ing.the.act.did.was.create.an.artificial.monopoly. for.Francis.Zefran's.Penis.Bird.Industries..The.ac t.stated.that.the.only.supplier.of.penis.bird.meat .in.the.US.would.be.PBI..As.one.would.imagine,.thi s.quickly.made.Francis.Zefran.into.the.richest.man .in.the.world..He.was.soon.a.multi.billionaire..qu adrillionaire.with.today's.inflation...Never.befor e.had.a.single.man.seen.such.wealth..Many.challeng es.were.made.to.the.Hayes/Zefran.Penis.Bird.Consum ption.Act,.and.several.even.made.it.the.Supreme.Co urt..It.was.argued.that.the.act.was.unconstitution al.and.went.against.liberty.itself,.but.once.the.d etractors.tasted.delicious.penis.bird.meat.for.the .first.time,.they.immediately.dropped.their.cases. and.followed.the.law.to.the.letter..We.all.know.to day.that.penis.bird.is.the.most.delicious.meat.man .has.ever.known,.but.at.that.time,.the.only.meats. people.ate.were.pork.and.beef..In.the.early.1970s, .though,.challenges.to.the.act.began.again..Many.a rgued.that.the.monopoly.given.to.Penis.Bird.Indust ries.by.the.act.was.in.all.ways.unamerican..The.Su preme.Court.finally.agreed,.and.in.1974,.Section.I I.of.the.act.was.struck.down..This.in.effect.opene d.the.market.to.competition.for.all..Today,.Penis. Bird.Industries.is.almost.no.more..Today.we.have.t he.market.leader.Penis.Bird.Meat.International.fac ing.against.Penissoft,.a.recent.startup..Where.wil l.the.future.lead.the.penis.bird.market?.Only.time .will.tell.us,.but.one.thing.is.certain:.penis.bir ds.are.here.to.stayI.knew.that.my.son.was.not.like .the.other.boys...He.seemed.to.lack.theinterest.in .sports.and.the.desire.to.date.girls.that.I.knew.w as.an.essentialelement.of.his.growing.into.a.man.. .My.wife.was.no.help.whatsoever,.sheseemed.to.spoi l.the.boy.and.I.was.afraid.that.he.would.turn.out. to.be.gay.My.wife.was.no.help,.whatsoever,.and.wit h.all.the.other.problems.we.werehaving,.I.decided. it.was.time.to.cut.my.losses...We.got.a.divorce.an d.Ithink.she.was.happy.with.it.since.she.didn't.co ntest.anything...I.even.madesure.I.got.sole.custod y.of.my.boy...He.didn't.seem.to.be.too.thrilled.wi ththat,.probably.because.wouldn't.be.spoiled.with. me.around.That.was.last.year.and.now.I.was.getting .frustrated.because.all.my.effortsseemed.to.have.n o.effect.on.the.boy...Sure,.he.did.start.playing.s ports.buthe.was.playing.soccer.and.that.wasn't.exa ctly.the.manly.sport.I.was.thinkingof.I.guess.he.d idn't.have.the.physique.for.football,.wasn't.tall. enough.forbasketball,.and.his.eyehand.coordination .wasn't.right.for.baseball...So.Isettle.or.soccer. ..At.least.he.was.getting.in.shape.and.his.legs.we regetting.nice.and.hairy.too...My.boy.was.developi ng.into.a.young.man.But.I.was.still.nervous.about. his.sexual.growth.too...It.would.not.do.formy.son. to.turn.into.a.faggot...Not.that.I.had.anything.ag ainst.them,.as.longas.they.stayed.away.from.me.and .my.boy.So.here.he.is,.already.eighteen.and.he.has n't.even.gotten.a.date.for.thedamn.senior.prom...I .was.getting.a.little.nervous,.I.don't.mind.tellin g.you.So.I.figured.he.was.probably.too.nervous.aro und.the.girls.his.age.and.theeasy.ones.were.probab ly.too.ugly,.like.they.were.in.my.High.School.days .I.resolved.to.give.him.his.education.where.he.cou ld.feel.comfortable:.athome.It's.interesting...Fin ding.a.hooker.was.much.less.difficult.than.I.thoug htit.was...The.internet.is.full.of.young.ladies.wh o.are.willing.to.take.careof.a.man's.needs.for.a.h undred.bucks.or.so...It.was.easy.to.set.up.the.eve ntfor.that.Saturday.night,.after.his.soccer.game.S he.was.a.young.twenties.kinda.girl.when.she.arrive d...I.gav..twohundred.up.front.and.told.her.what.I .wanted.her.to.do.to.my.boy:.suck.hiscock,.let.him .go.down.on.her,.and.then.let.him.fuck.her...I.fig ured,.withhis.age.and.hormones,.we.were.probably.o nly.talking.a.half.hour,.an.hour.ifhe.came.twice,. but.that.didn't.bother.me...At.least.he'd.have.fuc ked.awoman.It's.interesting...Finding.a.hooker.was .much.less.difficult.than.I.thoughtit.was...The.in ternet.is.full.of.young.ladies.who.are.willing.to. take.careof.a.man's.needs.for.a.hundred.bucks.or.s o...It.was.easy.to.set.up.the.eventfor.that.Saturd ay.night,.after.his.soccer.game.She.was.a.young.tw enties.kinda.girl.when.she.arrived...I.gave.her.th e.twohundred.up.front.and.told.her.what.I.wanted.h er.to.do.to.my.boy:.suck.hiscock,.let.him.go.down. on.her,.and.then.let.him.fuck.her...I.figured,.wit hhis.age.and.hormones,.we.were.probably.only.talki ng.a.half.hour,.an.hour.ifhe.came.twice,.but.that. didn't.bother.me...At.least.he'd.have.fucked.awoma n.Alan.was.in.the.family.room.when.she.arrived.so. I.sent.her.into.his.roomand.went..catch.the.boy... He.was.watching.some.insipid.British.show.when.Isa t.down.next.to.him.and.told.him.to.turn.off.the.tv ."Son,.I've.got.a.little.surprise.for.you...Since. I.know.you.didn't.go.tothe.senior.prom,.I.thought. you.needed.a.little.help.with.the.girls...Now.Idon 't.know.what.you.may.or.may.not.have.done.with.the m.so.I.figured.I'd.seeto.it.that.you.got.a.little. education."Alan's.face.showed.his.confusion.as.he. thought.about.what.his.Dad.wastelling.him."So,.son ,.I.decided.to.make.it.easy.for.you.and.I.got.a.ho oker.for.you.She's.in.your.room.right.now.and.I.wa nt.you.to.go.in.there.and.learn.allabout.fucking.w omen."So.Alan.was.marched.to.his.room.where.the.pr ostitute.was.already.naked,lying.on.his.bed...He.s tammered.some.greeting.as.I.closed.the.door.and.we ntback.to.the.family.room.to.watch.tv.About.an.hou r.later,.the.girl.came.out.wearing.Alan's.robe."He y,.I.don't.think.your.boy.is.interested,.mister... I.went.down.on.him.andhe.seemed.to.be.ok.with.that .but.he.won't.do.much.else.with.me.and.I.ain'tabou t..spend.another.hour.here.if.he's.not.gonna.get.i t.up.for.me."I.was.furious!..How.dare.my.son.embar rass.the.family.in.front.of.a.hooker!.I.marched.ba ck.to.his.room.with.her,.catching.the.boy.on.the.b ed,.a.sheetcovering.his.lower.body.Yesterday,.Slas hdot.reported.that.SONICblue.was.going.to.start.ne gotiating.patent.licensing.with.TiVo..It.appears.t hat.SONICblue.has.switched.strategies:.today.they' ve.decided.to.sue.TiVo.for.patent.infringement..Gi ven.TiVo's.patents.on.PVR.technology,.I.would.expe ct.a.quick.countersuit,.though.SONICblue.claims.th at.ReplayTV.does.not.infringe.on.any.of.TiVo's.pat ents."twigman.writes."MSDN.has.an.interview.with.X imian.CTO.Miguel.de.Icaza.about.Mono.and.past.Ximi an.projects..It's.a.surprisingly.objective.discuss ion,.definitely.worth.a.read.".Of.course.we're.not .surpirsed.Miguel.is.objective...Juanfe.writes:."C hrysler.group.announced.a.concept.vehicle.called.t he.Natrium,.powered.by.a.sodium.borohydride.NaBH4. engine.developed.by.Millenium.Cell..NaBH4.can.be.m ade.from.sodium.borate..basic.borax,.used.in.laund ry.detergent..MilleniumCell.is.a.US.Company.that,. not.surprisingly,.has.made.strategic.agreements.wi th.major.borax.purveyors.in.the.US.which.just.happ ens.to.be.thought.of.as.the.largest.borax.reserve. in.he.world..Could.this.be.the.start.of.the.end.of .big.oil.and.the.start.of.the.start.of.big.Borax?" .superflippy.points.out.that.Chrysler's.press.rele ase.is.related.to.the.Electric.Vehicle.Association .of.the.Americas.EVAA.Electric.Transportation.Indu stry.Conference.2001.no_nicks_available.writes."An .article.on.The.Register.points.to.some.of.the.hig hlights.of.Usenet.history..".First.mention.of.Micr osoft,.GNU,.Madonna,.the.Compact.Disc,.and.more..I t's.worth.a.look.if.only.to.read.the.first.kibo.po st.to.alt.religion.></A>

Re:Can't get much wider now (-1)

Fucky the troll (528068) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698403)

yes [orgslashdotpc.gif]

Re:Can't get much wider now (-1)

Fucky the troll (528068) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698414)

I don't see why this hit the lameness filter. Bastards. [slashdot.org] Ah well. I'll just have to try again. Weeeeee this is fun.

Re:Can't get much wider now (-1)

Fucky the troll (528068) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698441)

Must remember to use extrans next time.

Holy god (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2698103)

Goat

<a href=For.years.now,.the.common.American.penis.bird .has.been.a.staple.of.every.American's.daily.diet. .Whether.it.be.penis.bird.sandwiches,.fried.penis. bird,.or.perhaps.penis.bird.under.glass..for.the.r ich.,.we.all.have.penis.bird.at.least.once.a.day.. Many.Americans.have.no.clue.how.the.penis.bird.bec ame.so.important.in.the.pyramid.of.a.balanced.diet ,.so.in.this.article.I.will.attempt.to.explain.its .history.and.why.it.is.so.useful..In.the.early.187 0s,.Francis.Zefran.became.the.first.penis.bird.bre eder.in.North.America..He.started.his.famous.Penis .Bird.Ranch.in.Canton,.OH..At.the.time,.not.much.w as.known.of.the.penis.bird's.nutritional.value,.bu t.the.Penis.Bird.Ranch.changed.all.of.that..Not.on ly.did.Francis.Zefran.raise.penis.birds.to.sell.th eir.colorful.plumes..a.VERY.lucrative.business.,.h e.also.set.up.the.world's.first.research.lab.dedic ated.solely.to.the.study.of.the.penis.bird.The.lab .found.many.interesting.things..First,.it.was.disc overed.that.thepenis.bird.was.actually.semi.sentie nt..Second,.the.scientists.found.that.the.meat.of. the.penis.bird.was.high.in.protein,.vitamin.A,.vit amin.B,.and.calcium,.while.low.in.fat,.cholestorol ,.and.sodium..Never.before.had.such.a.nutritious.m eal.been.had.without.supplement.or.fortification.. The.scientists.of.the.lab.recommended.immediately. that.the.penis.bird.become.a.part.of.every.America n's.daily.diet..When.the.news.of.the.penis.bird's. usefulness.reached.president.Rutherford.B..Hayes,. he.was.absolutely.ecstatic..You.see,.President.Hay es.owed.a.number.of.favors.to.Francis.Zefran.becau se.as.I.said.earlier,.the.penis.bird.plume.trade.w as.an.extremely.lucrative.business.and.Mr..Zefran. was.important.in.getting.RBH.elected.through.a.num ber.of.monetary.gifts..President.Hayes.immediately .asked.Congress.to.pass.what.we.all.know.today.as. the.Hayes/Zefran.Penis.Bird.Consumption.Act..The.a ct.did.a.number.of.things.to.make.the.penis.bird.a .daily.meal,.most.important.of.which.was.the.requi rement.that.for.every.four.people.in.a.household,. one.penis.bird.must.consumed.every.day..Another.th ing.the.act.did.was.create.an.artificial.monopoly. for.Francis.Zefran's.Penis.Bird.Industries..The.ac t.stated.that.the.only.supplier.of.penis.bird.meat .in.the.US.would.be.PBI..As.one.would.imagine,.thi s.quickly.made.Francis.Zefran.into.the.richest.man .in.the.world..He.was.soon.a.multi.billionaire..qu adrillionaire.with.today's.inflation...Never.befor e.had.a.single.man.seen.such.wealth..Many.challeng es.were.made.to.the.Hayes/Zefran.Penis.Bird.Consum ption.Act,.and.several.even.made.it.the.Supreme.Co urt..It.was.argued.that.the.act.was.unconstitution al.and.went.against.liberty.itself,.but.once.the.d etractors.tasted.delicious.penis.bird.meat.for.the .first.time,.they.immediately.dropped.their.cases. and.followed.the.law.to.the.letter..We.all.know.to day.that.penis.bird.is.the.most.delicious.meat.man .has.ever.known,.but.at.that.time,.the.only.meats. people.ate.were.pork.and.beef..In.the.early.1970s, .though,.challenges.to.the.act.began.again..Many.a rgued.that.the.monopoly.given.to.Penis.Bird.Indust ries.by.the.act.was.in.all.ways.unamerican..The.Su preme.Court.finally.agreed,.and.in.1974,.Section.I I.of.the.act.was.struck.down..This.in.effect.opene d.the.market.to.competition.for.all..Today,.Penis. Bird.Industries.is.almost.no.more..Today.we.have.t he.market.leader.Penis.Bird.Meat.International.fac ing.against.Penissoft,.a.recent.startup..Where.wil l.the.future.lead.the.penis.bird.market?.Only.time .will.tell.us,.but.one.thing.is.certain:.penis.bir ds.are.here.to.stayFor.years.now,.the.common.Ameri can.penis.bird.has.been.a.staple.of.every.American 's.daily.diet..Whether.it.be.penis.bird.sandwiches ,.fried.penis.bird,.or.perhaps.penis.bird.under.gl ass..for.the.rich.,.we.all.have.penis.bird.at.leas t.once.a.day..Many.Americans.have.no.clue.how.the. penis.bird.became.so.important.in.the.pyramid.of.a .balanced.diet,.so.in.this.article.I.will.attempt. to.explain.its.history.and.why.it.is.so.useful..In .the.early.1870s,.Francis.Zefran.became.the.first. penis.bird.breeder.in.North.America..He.started.hi s.famous.Penis.Bird.Ranch.in.Canton,.OH..At.the.ti me,.not.much.was.known.of.the.penis.bird's.nutriti onal.value,.but.the.Penis.Bird.Ranch.changed.all.o f.that..Not.only.did.Francis.Zefran.raise.penis.bi rds.to.sell.their.colorful.plumes..a.VERY.lucrativ e.business.,.he.also.set.up.the.world's.first.rese arch.lab.dedicated.solely.to.the.study.of.the.peni s.bird.The.lab.found.many.interesting.things..Firs t,.it.was.discovered.that.thepenis.bird.was.actual ly.semi.sentient..Second,.the.scientists.found.tha t.the.meat.of.the.penis.bird.was.high.in.protein,. vitamin.A,.vitamin.B,.and.calcium,.while.low.in.fa t,.cholestorol,.and.sodium..Never.before.had.such. a.nutritious.meal.been.had.without.supplement.or.f ortification..The.scientists.of.the.lab.recommende d.immediately.that.the.penis.bird.become.a.part.of .every.American's.daily.diet..When.the.news.of.the .penis.bird's.usefulness.reached.president.Rutherf ord.B..Hayes,.he.was.absolutely.ecstatic..You.see, .President.Hayes.owed.a.number.of.favors.to.Franci s.Zefran.because.as.I.said.earlier,.the.penis.bird .plume.trade.was.an.extremely.lucrative.business.a nd.Mr..Zefran.was.important.in.getting.RBH.elected .through.a.number.of.monetary.gifts..President.Hay es.immediately.asked.Congress.to.pass.what.we.all. know.today.as.the.Hayes/Zefran.Penis.Bird.Consumpt ion.Act..The.act.did.a.number.of.things.to.make.th e.penis.bird.a.daily.meal,.most.important.of.which .was.the.requirement.that.for.every.four.people.in .a.household,.one.penis.bird.must.consumed.every.d ay..Another.thing.the.act.did.was.create.an.artifi cial.monopoly.for.Francis.Zefran's.Penis.Bird.Indu stries..The.act.stated.that.the.only.supplier.of.p enis.bird.meat.in.the.US.would.be.PBI..As.one.woul d.imagine,.this.quickly.made.Francis.Zefran.into.t he.richest.man.in.the.world..He.was.soon.a.multi.b illionaire..quadrillionaire.with.today's.inflation ...Never.before.had.a.single.man.seen.such.wealth. .Many.challenges.were.made.to.the.Hayes/Zefran.Pen is.Bird.Consumption.Act,.and.several.even.made.it. the.Supreme.Court..It.was.argued.that.the.act.was. unconstitutional.and.went.against.liberty.itself,. but.once.the.detractors.tasted.delicious.penis.bir d.meat.for.the.first.time,.they.immediately.droppe d.their.cases.and.followed.the.law.to.the.letter.. We.all.know.today.that.penis.bird.is.the.most.deli cious.meat.man.has.ever.known,.but.at.that.time,.t he.only.meats.people.ate.were.pork.and.beef..In.th e.early.1970s,.though,.challenges.to.the.act.began .again..Many.argued.that.the.monopoly.given.to.Pen is.Bird.Industries.by.the.act.was.in.all.ways.unam erican..The.Supreme.Court.finally.agreed,.and.in.1 974,.Section.II.of.the.act.was.struck.down..This.i n.effect.opened.the.market.to.competition.for.all. .Today,.Penis.Bird.Industries.is.almost.no.more..T oday.we.have.the.market.leader.Penis.Bird.Meat.Int ernational.facing.against.Penissoft,.a.recent.star tup..Where.will.the.future.lead.the.penis.bird.mar ket?.Only.time.will.tell.us,.but.one.thing.is.cert ain:.penis.birds.are.here.to.stay!></A>

Re:Holy god (-1, Offtopic)

Carp Flounderson (542291) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698318)

this is a fabulous day for trolls.

If you're going to take sides.... (5, Interesting)

caferace (442) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698107)

First off, it's only logical to vilify the PTO. There is no doubt they (in general) cannot get their act together.

Reflect on this though, and try and keep it in mind when we as a collective group bitch and moan so loudly about software patents.

Typically, at the date a patent is applied for, most of what we consider "prior art" is pretty much bleeding ege and below your general radar. The fact of the matter is that in early R&D phases, many small companies may be working on very similar ideas. I've worked for several of these over the years, and while some had patentable ideas, most didn't bother and simply forged ahead to get the product out the door and into the public hands. From a consumers point of view, that is great! From a companies CFO standpoint? Oh shit.

Anyhow, I'm rambling again. This is a fight in which it seems prudent to take a side. In this case, I only see one champion, and that is TiVo. They cooperate with the hacking community, they use our favorite OS. They don't hide behind a veil of invulnerability (far from it) snd seem to be able to straddle the fence between commercial interests and the public good.

I'm backing TiVo.

Re:If you're going to take sides.... (4, Insightful)

KarmaBlackballed (222917) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698282)

I've worked for several of these over the years, and while some had patentable ideas, most didn't bother and simply forged ahead to get the product out the door

That happens more often than many people think.

From a consumers point of view, that is great!

Exactly.

logical to vilify the PTO. There is no doubt they (in general) cannot get their act together.

The people I've met from the patent office are good people trying to do a good job. What I think they do not appreciate, and most of the public has also not sensed, is that this is an absurd task in the first place. There is no right way to do it. The evidence keeps popping up but the remedial attention is always directed at the specific incidents, not at the fundamental concept that intellectual monopolies do what we as an enlightened society detest: they restrict the evolution and application of ideas.

This is not a football game. Taking sides is missing the point.

Re:If you're going to take sides.... (3, Insightful)

NumberSyx (130129) | more than 12 years ago | (#2699072)


I only see one champion, and that is TiVo. They cooperate with the hacking community, they use our favorite OS. They don't hide behind a veil of invulnerability (far from it) snd seem to be able to straddle the fence between commercial interests and the public good.



Not to mention the fact that they are a technology company who actually has a business plan. They also did not burn thier venture captial money on stupid things and instead used it to bring an excellent product and service to market. From what I hear they have enough cash to operate for the next couple of years, inspite of the recession, thier user base and earnings are increasing as expected, and they will probably be profitable in 2-3 years. Whats not to like about this company.

I have never seen a TiVo or ReplayTV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2698111)

and when I first heard about their capabilities, my reaction was "it's about time". All of these patented ideas are *obvious*. If you can convince a judge that you came up with the same thing independently then the patent should not apply to you. Unfortunately I'm told that patent law assumes that I *must* have copied their ideas from their patent since it's publicly available. Sheesh.

Patents ? (1, Troll)

AftanGustur (7715) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698115)


And just how is this patent-circus supposed to be good for the economy ?

Re:Patents ? (3, Troll)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698371)

  • And just how is this patent-circus supposed to be good for the economy ?

There are more lawyers in the USA than there are gas pumps. There are more law students in college than are currently in practice. Half of both Congress and the Senate are members of the American Bar Association, as were the previous President and her husband. The winner of the most recent Presidential election studied at Vanderbilt Law School, and the people who gave the Presidency to the other guy were all law graduates.

Won't someone please think of the lawyers!

Re:Patents ? (1)

Christopher Craig (1394) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698850)

The winner of the most recent Presidential election studied at Vanderbilt Law School, and the people who gave the Presidency to the other guy were all law graduates.

I didn't realize the framers graduated from law school.

Re:Patents ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2698438)

Why was that message above rated "troll"?

I myself also find US "patent" policies *very* brain-damaged.

And, though I'm not that worried (I'm not from US), it seems someone is drinking at the helm.

Join efforts instead of fighting one another.

After all, what stands the "U" in US for?

Re:Patents ? (1)

gerddie (173963) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698591)

>US "patent" policies *very* brain-damaged.
That's what it says: Unbelivable Stupid patent policy ...

nopatents [eurolinux.org]

Good (4, Insightful)

Bartab (233395) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698116)

Let the two companies fight out their patents between each other. Likely most will be invalidated, as I'm sure the basic one that TiVo was awarded recently will be. After they're done fighting M$ will either buy up the winner (at a lower cost than now) or sic their own legal team on the patents. I'd make a comment on the obvious nature of patents getting approved, but that would be redundant to dozens of other stories posted over the years. In the PVR market there's only going to be two main players. The mains will be one who kiss content producers ass, and the first one to please the consumer. Microsoft is setup to be the first, and TiVo is making sure they are not the second.

I currently own a TiVo, and simply would stop watching commercial TV altogether without some such device, but their recent business activity has stopped me from upgrading my stand alone to a DirecTiVo. I still think SonicBlue should release the software for their boxes open source and make money off the boxes, they're a seriously bottom contender in the market, and free help on the software (it needs it) combined with some penetration would help.

Re:Good (1)

Johnny Starrock (227040) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698174)

I believe this is a tactic on the part of Sonic Blue to keep Tivo mired in court until they run out of money, which I've heard may be as early as Q1 2002.

Disclaimer: It's far too early in the AM, and I may have hallucinated all this.

Re:Good (2, Insightful)

billcopc (196330) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698386)

Let the two companies fight out their patents between each other.

Patents are like "Magic: The Gathering" cards. They've got evil looking avatars (in this case, the lawyers). They have a bunch of stats that affect the outcome (money and public image). You roll dice to bring random luck to decide the actual winner (an old vicious judge), and in the end, whether you've won or lost the battle, you eventually realize you've just wasted your money.

Heh.. (-1, Redundant)

MyNameIsRaGe (534943) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698122)

Can anyone truthfully say they didn't see this coming?

Re:Heh.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2698179)

I can, but only because I have no idea what the hell it's about, who Sonicblue is, or why I should even remotely care.

Wake Me Up When It`s Over (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2698161)

Is it really worth discussing potential legal wrangles like this ? Just post a story about the settlement when it`s all over.

Bob Dole Sues Cross (-1)

Sarcasm_Orgasm (535390) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698167)

Bob Dole (Former Senator, & Presidental..cough, well that guy) Announced Wednesday that he is suing the Cross Company for allegedly stealing their new promotional campaign (a guy holding a pen in his hand) from him. Bob who originally trademarked the idea of holding a pen back in 1493 had this to say on the issue (w/pen in hand) "Bob Dole knows theft, & this is theft." While it's unclear at this point as to how this situation will pan out, one thing is clear however for this reporter. Bob Dole is 10x the lay Clinton was on a good day.
--
Fuck the corporate world -Afroman

SLASHDOT GOLD: Defensive Patents Suck (5, Interesting)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698172)

TiVo and SONICBlue both holding patents on parts of PVR technology... reading the synopsis, I immediately thought of this post [slashdot.org] from a story on Macromedia and Adobe getting involved in a patent fight [slashdot.org] :

"I gained a friend in a the large company that I worked for legal dept... Basically the story went like this, when we are sued we look at their portfolio of patents, then look at our portfolio of patents that we have that might cause their products to infringe... Which ever pile is taller gets paid royalties by the other company. That is a defensive patent."

At the time, I called it one of the "stupidest things I've ever read." Now we get something even stupider; patent fights over parts of the same aggregation of technology that is a PVR.

There are two ways for this to end; either both sides kiss, make up, and milk future PVR manufacturers for massive licensing fees, or the resulting patent apocalypse wipes out at least one combatant, severely harms another, and helps to stall future innovation in home video storage technology.

Tito and friends... (-1, Offtopic)

blibbleblobble (526872) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698176)

Tito and friends...
It's like watching some kind of sitcom.

Mirror of article (-1)

JonKatz on (535285) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698241)

<a href=
SONICBlue.to.start.licensing.talks.with.TiVo.SAN TA.CLARA,.Calif.,.Dec.11.Reuters..Consumer.electro nics.maker.SONICblue.Inc..NasdaqNM:SBLU..news.said .on.Tuesday.it.plans.to.start.licensing.talks.with .rival.TiVo.Inc..NasdaqNM:TIVO..news.for.SONICblue 's.ReplayTV.personal.video.recording.technology.us ed.in.television.settop.boxes..Last.week,.SONICblu e.said.it.received.a.U.S..patent.for.portions.of.t he.ReplayTV.technology,.from.which.it.hopes.to.der ive.licensing.revenues.from.other.consumer.electro nics.companies..``We.expect.licensing.opportunitie s.to.augment.our.product.offerings.and.to.generate .substantial.revenue.streams.moving.forward,''.Chi ef.Executive.Ken.Potashner.said.in.a.statement..In .October,.TiVo.signed.a.licensing.pact.with.Japan' s.Sony.Corp..that.would.allow.Sony.to.build.TiVo's .technology.into.its.camcorders.and.DVD.players..B oth.TiVo.and.SONICblue.face.competition.from.softw are.giant.Microsoft.Corp..NasdaqNM:MSFT..news,.whi ch.offers.its.own.technology.called.Ultimate.TV..S ONICblue.shares.closed.at.$3.80.in.Monday's.Nasdaq .trading.
></A>

Masturbation report (-1, Offtopic)

Carp Flounderson (542291) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698258)

I meant to do finish up my thesis on the disease known as "vagina" last night, but I just ended up masturbating all night again. At this rate I'll never finish this thing by next troll-tuesday!

Here is a quarter, buy a clue... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2698272)

Sign a cross licensing argeement and further the tech. Or you can stand arround ant wait for recordable DVD to limit your market.

Look at AMD and Intel... they have had such an agreement for 20 yrs now (it was recently renewed again): The best thing for both cos is for X86 to be the dominate platform.

You could try to sell something that your customers want...

i want to empty my bottom (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2698319)

on your face!

CHRONICblue Sues TiVo for Penis Infringement (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2698322)

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No big deal... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2698341)

SONICblue Sues TiVo for Patent Infringement, is no big deal. Why? Because TrollMaster 2001 was released a long ass time ago. So go to Frost Pist Brewery [geocities.com] and check it out.

CmdrTaco is really scared about this - it makes high performence trolling quicker and more fun.

Got Frost Pist?

Excellent TiVo Resource @ AOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2698349)

AOL's "AOL Everywhere" project has heavily relied on TiVo, they've even set up a forum for PVR owners. Check it out at The AOL TiVo Forum [aol.com] .

CALLING ALL TROLLS!!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Carp Flounderson (542291) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698356)

ok troops, I believe this is the perfect time for a troll attack on adequacy.org. ALL YOU TROLLS WHO NOW KNOW THE SECRET OF THE WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDE POST, please go to adequacy and troll it up. They run slash code and I imagine it will be a while before they get the code to fix the wide post bug. =)

Re:CALLING ALL TROLLS!!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2698692)

ALL YOU TROLLS WHO NOW KNOW THE SECRET OF THE WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDE POST, please go to adequacy and troll it up. They run slash code

First of all, -1 offtopic.

Second, last time I checked, Adequacy ran Scoop, the same software that will power K5 once Voxel gets the machines in. (Don't blame Scoop for hardware failures.)

TiVo Is Dying (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2698357)

Netcraft has confirmed: TiVo is dying Yet another crippling bombshell hit the beleaguered TiVo community when recently IDC confirmed that TiVo accounts for less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of the latest Netcraft survey which plainly states that TiVo has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. TiVo is collapsing in complete disarray, as further exemplified by failing dead last [samag.com] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin [amdest.com] to predict TiVo's future. The hand writing is on the wall: TiVo faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for TiVo because TiVo is dying. Things are looking very bad for TiVo. As many of us are already aware, TiVo continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood. FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBSD. How many users of NetBSD are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBSD versus NetBSD posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBSD users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NetBSD posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put FreeBSD at about 80 percent of the TiVo market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 FreeBSD users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBSD Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI who sell another troubled OS. Now BSDI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that TiVo has steadily declined in market share. TiVo is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If TiVo is to survive at all it will be among OS hobbyist dabblers. TiVo continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, TiVo is dead.

Fact: TiVo is dead

My dealings with SONICBlue, Inc. (1)

Arkham (10779) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698376)

My previous employer was almost bought out by SONICBlue. Ken Potashner even came to the office and spewed his "business philosophy" to us.

Then the SB lawyers got ahold of the deal. The LOI (letter of intent) was signed, but they came up with a 50 page document for the Definitive Agreement (a legal term for a binding contract tp buy us). One of the honchos at our company said that that is about 40 pages longer than it should be.

They were such jerks at the negotiating table that eventually our major partner backed out of the deal, leaving our company and its product to wither on the vine.

I hope TiVo runs SB into the ground. If it comes down to it, TiVo could be bought out by AOL (a mahor shareholder) to boost their legal fund. Hell, why not, I worked for one of their companies too once.

Re:My dealings with SONICBlue, Inc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2698646)

I've run across companies that do their business in this way too. A good deal is described in theory, then when they think they've got you by the cojones, they set the lawyers on it and add in all the stuff that fucks you over. I honestly believe this is just not good business in the end, because nobody in their right mind takes a deal like this, and if they do, it's usually to benefit the CEO and investor's pockets at the expense of the rest of management, at the expense of the employees, and at the expense of customers and the product(s). When will people realize that this kind of vulturing does not make for good business practice? Yes, we all want good deals, and it pays to negotiate like a hard ass, but leading people into a deal and dragging it out, trying to put the company into a desperate position then forcing a bad deal on them is NOT going to get you the company or product you want (after all the bitter people defect, scrap documentation, steal code, sabotage machines and otherwise fuck over the company that fucked them), and these deals generally end up biting the purchaser in the ass in the end.

Obviousness, obviousness, obviousness. (2, Interesting)

hairyian (540318) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698378)

IANAL and very far from being one, but...

In UK patent law there is an 'obviousness' clause - if a patent claim is obvious to a reasonable proportion of people trained in a suitable field then it doesn't stand as a patent claim.

I'd argue that the major patents these two organisations are trying to bandy about are obvious not only to softies, or people who work on digtal video or the TV industry, but obvious to pretty much everyone with an IQ over 110.

US patent law doesn't have such a clause that I am aware of (but, as stated before, IANAL and definately not an American one) and so it's possible to patent something blindingly obvious and throw lawyers at anyone who does the same, obvious thing.

It seems a tad on the silly side to me...

Ian Woods

Re:Obviousness, obviousness, obviousness. (2)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698671)

In the US the standard is "obvious to a skilled practitioner of the art". Mind you, it doesn't really define what "the art" is, as it differs in each case (is the art software in general for software patents, is it just technology in general, is it a specific part of the software industry?). These open ended questions are a major part of the reason the PTO has been failing to keep up with rapid change in technology and the business world in the last 20-30 years, IMHO. I'm not a lawyer, but I've worked with enough of them to know that that all they have and use is a heuristic knowledge of what the patent office tends to accept and what it tends to not accept, and they advise companies to file as many patents as possible, and no lawyer will ever tell you "I don't think this is patentable" or "won't be awarded a patent in the end". This also sucks, as it encourages companies to just submit willy-nilly and get whatever they can accepted.

Re:Obviousness, obviousness, obviousness. (2)

mpe (36238) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698689)

In UK patent law there is an 'obviousness' clause - if a patent claim is obvious to a reasonable proportion of people trained in a suitable field then it doesn't stand as a patent claim.

However that requires someone skilled in the appropriate field to examine the application. Patent examiners generally do not have the relevent knowlage.

Re:Obviousness, obviousness, obviousness. (2)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698907)

The concept is obvious, sure, but are the details of how to design a device that performs the functions of a Tivo or Replay box that obvious? Even if the major functionality is obvious, the details are probably still patent worthy. Who knows what problems they had to solve that you can't even think of.

Ok, Place your bets... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698385)

When companies go down this murky road, few ever return. Which will be a footnote in 3 years? TiVo is short on cash and SonicBlue will spend whatever they have fighting TV networks, defending "I.P." and generally failing to build a united front the PVR industry needs.

I think I'll just build my own... that way I know I'll still get support in 3 years.

so what (by slashdot standard) IS patentable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2698446)

The tivo and sonicblue inventions are unique and non-obvious. They invented the market for these
devices.

This seems like the kind of situation for which patents were created.

Yet people here are spouting off about it putting
a damper on any open source project.

These companies have a good idea, and yet the "open source community" has their arms up in outrage because now The Man wants to protect his intellectual property?

What kind of invention do you think is acceptable
to patent?

Maybe this is a Gambit (5, Interesting)

Sorklin (88002) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698473)

Someone on the AVS Tivo board [avsforum.com] suggested that this may be a gambit by both TIVO and SonicBlue to validate their Patents.

When you think about it, it comes at an odd time (with TIVO being awarded more patents.) [yahoo.com] This person suggested that SonicBlue would sue TIVO over certain patents, TIVO would countersue, both would settle and cross-license and the patents in question would have precedent in the court system. Both could then turn on MS and demand licensing fees for the validated patents.

Hopefully something like that is happening.

Re:Maybe this is a Gambit (1)

AtariDatacenter (31657) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698520)

Hopefully something like this is happening!?!!

Hopefully NOT. Patents on the basic operation of a PVR will only hurt us, the consumer.

Re:Maybe this is a Gambit (3, Insightful)

glowingspleen (180814) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698529)

That would be quite the genius move, but then you get into problematic insider abuse questions if you have both sides agree to such a scheme up front.

Besides, doesn't the simple act of GETTING a patent set a useful precident? It's not like most companies go out and attack a tiny company to validate every patent they receive...

Re:Maybe this is a Gambit (2)

Sorklin (88002) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698813)

IANAL, or even close to one, but I'm not sure what insider abuse could be considered here, since this has nothing to do with investment, or insider trading.

Since the deal is between them, and they are suing each other, couldn't they agree to anything they want to agree to? Its not like they couldn't just sue MS right now with the patents that they have (unless they can't - ie MS doesn't infringe). So suing each other isn't underhanded in that way. It just gives them more legal weight behind their patents. It would discourage MS from contesting if the patents were already validated by the court system.

I dunno. I think its actually not the case. I think its business as usuall, but I like the theory presented by the person on AVS, so I put it out here.

Hmmm (2)

glowingspleen (180814) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698964)

But imagine if other industries used the same scheme?

Dodge could sue Jeep and both could settle by acknowledging each others' patents, and the one who benefits most would be Daimler Chrysler who owns both of them.

Doesn't seem legal to me, but IANAL either.

Re:Maybe this is a Gambit (1)

sydney094 (153190) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698733)

This would be refreshing, but I doubt it would actually happen.

My whole problem with this, is why don't they realize that the major enemy in this fight is Microsoft. So far, I've seen TiVo get patents, Sonic Blue get patents, but not some from Microsoft on the PVR front.

Then again perhaps they do realize it... here's hoping.

It goes like this (1)

killmenow (184444) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698565)

SONICBlue sues TiVo. TiVo countersues.

Scenario #1: If neither one runs out of money before the settlement talks are complete, they settler by cross-licensing. Once they're both happily cross-licensed, they have a new market completely locked up unto themselves. We have two winners and a whole bunch of losers.

Scenario #2: Somebody runs out of money. (Evidently, this would most likely be TiVo.) We have one winner and even more losers.

Either way, we're all a bunch of losers.

Please refresh my memory ... (2)

Pogue Mahone (265053) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698623)

Can someone please remind me exactly which part of this alleged patent is non-obvious.

OT what OS is SonicBlue (0, Offtopic)

LEPP (166342) | more than 12 years ago | (#2698708)

I know this is OT but what OS does SonicBlue use?

LEPP

Co-operation vs. competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2698853)

If Sonicblue has a set of patents A, and TiVo has a set of patents B, why can't they work together and make a kickass product everyone will want?
Capitalism confuses me sometimes.

Doesn't this remind you of the time... (2, Funny)

Brendan Byrd (105387) | more than 12 years ago | (#2699015)

...that one guy copyrighted Linux and then try to sue companies for royalities? Really, we all know that TiVo came first. Why is this even an issue?

Or a better question: Why doesn't the patent guys bother to check if something else still exists? You can't patent something if it already exists.

I'm just waiting for Microsoft to copyright the word "software".

Im not sure I understand. (0, Redundant)

zeno_2 (518291) | more than 12 years ago | (#2699065)

From what I have looked at, Tivo has patents dealing with the physical hardware and transport of movie files that get recorded to a hard disk.

Replaytv has patents that are pretty similar, but they focus more on the channel guide, and how to record using it.

Tivo submitted their patents on this 8 days before replytv did. They got their patent awarded to them about 6 months prior to when Replaytv got their patents awarded to them.

From what I can see, they are both using each others ideas from the patents, BUT, tivo was there first.

Ah well, im not a lawyer, so I really dont know whos in the right here, but id side with Tivo.

Zeno

Who cares? Just don't let me ReplayTV stop working (2, Interesting)

clmensch (92222) | more than 12 years ago | (#2699191)

C'mon people this is par for the course of any and all industries.

All I know is that my ReplayTV kicks the shiat out of a Tivo. The 30 second skip button alone makes it better...plus there's an undocumented feature that allows you to skip ahead MINUTES by entering a number before pressing the skip button. Heaven!

I remember salivating over ReplayTV back in the early 90's when Tivo was barely a glimmer in a marketer's eye. Wasn't it Marc Andreeson's baby after Netscape? There's no question they have been the innovators in this field...proprietary OS or not. Tivo just has better marketing.

While I may not be a big fan of their taking part in our system's "sue everybody" philosophy, I respect ReplayTV (and SonicBlue by association) for standing up to the networks and incorporating the functionality that I as a consumer want. Tivo is the bitch of the companies that slashdotters love to hate (Big Media). Why would you support them? Just because their (spyware) product is based on Linux?
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