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PanIP May Be Standing On Shaky Ground

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the port-in-a-storm dept.

Patents 261

GoatEnigma writes "You may remember the name PanIP, the company trying to hold e-commerce hostage with their patents. Well, according to this update on the PanIP Defendants site, it might not be as easy as they thought. Apparently a little bit of successful legal opposition has slowed down their nefarious scheme. Tim claims to have found evidence to undermine their patents, although the article is very short on details as to what this evidence might be..."

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GNAA Announces acquisition of SCO (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800140)

GNAA Announces acquisition of SCO
By Tim Copperfield
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GNAA today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the intellectual property and technology assets of The SCO Group, a leading provider of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, based in Lindon, Utah. GNAA's acquisition of SCO technology will help GNAA sign up more members worldwide. In addition to developing new solutions, GNAA will use SCO engineering expertise and technology to enhance the GNAA member services.

"I'd love to see these GNAA types slowly consumed by millions of swarming microbes and converted into harmless and useful biochemicals." said an anonymous slashdot poster, blinded by the GNAA success in achieving first post on a popular geek news website, slashdot.org [slashdot.org] .

"This GNAA shit is getting out of hand. Slashdot needs troll filters. Or better yet a crap flood mod that I can exclude from my browsing. Seriously, a good troll is art, what you dumb fucks are doing is just plain stupid." said spacecowboy420.

macewan, on linuxquestions [linuxquestions.org] said "Thanks for that link to the SCO quotes page. My guess is that they want to be bought out. Hrm, think they want GNAA to buy them??"

After careful consideration and debate, GNAA board of directors agreed to purchase 6,426,600 preferred shares and 113,102 common shares (the equivalent of 150,803 ADSs) of SCO, for an aggregate consideration of approximately US$26.9 million and approximately $40 million for gay niggers that were working in Lindon, Utah offices of The SCO Group.

If all goes well, the final decision is to be expected shortly, followed by transfer of most SCO niggers from their Lindon, UT offices to the GNAA Headquarters in New York.

About GNAA
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About SCO
The SCO Group [SCOX [yahoo.com] ] helps millions of gay niggers in more than 82 countries around the world grow their penises everyday. Headquartered in Lindon, Utah, SCO has a network of more than 11,000 nigger resellers and 8,000 developers. SCO Global Services provides reliable nigger support and services to prospective members and customers.
SCO and the associated SCO logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of The SCO Group, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. UNIX and UnixWare are registered trademarks of The Open Group in the United States and other countries. All other brand or product names are or may be trademarks of their respective owners.

This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements. These statements are based on management's current expectations and are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Actual results may vary materially from the expectations contained herein. The forward-looking statements contained herein include statements about the consummation of the transaction with SCO and benefits of the pending transaction with SCO. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described herein include the inability to obtain regulatory approvals and the inability to successfully integrate the SCO business. GNAA is under no obligation to (and expressly disclaims any such obligation to) update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


If you have mod points and would like to support GNAA, please moderate this post up.

________________________________________________
| ______________________________________._a,____ |
| _______a_._______a_______aj#0s_____aWY!400.___ |
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| _"#ga#9!01___"#01__40,_"4Lj#!_4#g_________"01_ |
| ________"#,___*@`__-N#____`___-!^_____________ |
| _________#1__________?________________________ |
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| ____a,___jk_GAY_NIGGER_ASSOCIATION_OF_AMERICA_ |
| ____!4yaa#l___________________________________ |
| ______-"!^____________________________________ |
` _______________________________________________'

second (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800150)

i call second! second post that is!!! HAHAHA

For a copy of our evidence... (-1, Offtopic)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800155)

Please send $699 to our licensing department in Utah. Thanks for your support!

Donated even though I don't do ecommerce. (-1, Troll)

Thinkit3 (671998) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800157)

I just want the abolishment of all "intellectual property" laws. If these court cases help with that, then it's a good thing. I'm sure most slashdotters want all "intellectual property" laws abolished. And they will be.

Re:Donated even though I don't do ecommerce. (2, Insightful)

Meat Blaster (578650) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800179)

Yes, most of us think the economy needs a good kick while its down. Particularly our hardest hit segment of it, which has a greater reliance on intellectual property than any other field.

Re:Donated even though I don't do ecommerce. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800305)

Ignore the grandparent, he's just unemployed, so he wants everything free. Unfortunately, he's too stupid to find warez.

What the patents are for (5, Insightful)

OneIsNotPrime (609963) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800500)

The patents, No. 5,576,951 and No. 6,289,319, cover, respectively, an "automated sales and services system," and an "automatic business and financial transaction-processing system."

So next they'll be suing ATM's and cash registers.

Wonder if this covers a toaster.

Re:Donated even though I don't do ecommerce. (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800447)

And what makes you think the economy will do better with IP laws than without?

Re:Donated even though I don't do ecommerce. (1)

winkydink (650484) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800183)

What becomes one's motivation for creating new intellectual property if one cannot expect monetary reward?

Neither the bank that holds my mortgage nor the grocery store where I shop give me anything based on how clever I am (or not).

Re:Donated even though I don't do ecommerce. (3, Interesting)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800256)

Invention for invention's sake. You have forgotten that the world does not run on money alone, despite what "they" claim. It's like the starving artist; he could persue money like everyone else, but he does not, because he knows what he produces is, in the long run, much more valuable.

Or so I believe. All I know for certain is this: I certainly hope that when it comes time for me to make a career choice, potential benefit to society, and not money, drives me.

Do you support abolishment of IP laws? (1)

Thinkit3 (671998) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800322)

Complete abolishment of "intellectual property" laws, that is.

Re:Do you support abolishment of IP laws? (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800607)

Ideally, yes.

Realistically, no.

***WARNING! PIPE DREAM ALERT!***
One way (as I see it) to successfully cast off all IP laws is to guarantee levels of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs [valdosta.edu] up to the level of knowledge, thus eliminating the need for money altogether. That way, there won't be any need for greed, theft, etc...

In other words, until we can feed, house, support, and encourage everyone, someone will want money. And as long as someone wants money, there will be IP laws, and what a great source of money they are!

Wow, I actually said all that without vehemently ranting (almost)! Party on my box tonight!

Re:Donated even though I don't do ecommerce. (3, Insightful)

Forgotten (225254) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800297)

Maybe that's because cleverness is highly overrated. You're not paid for it because it's not worth anything, and only the legal bubble created by centuries of lobbying makes anyone think otherwise.

It's been said over and over that good ideas are a dime a dozen (a fair wage, btw) - it's implementation that's hard. Without IP laws, companies would compete based on their ability to produce and serve. Doing that better naturally incorporates the development of new ideas. Frankly we're the sort of clever monkeys that can't *not* churn out ideas, so I have little fear that less IP law would stifle innovation. It might instead create a renewed interest in quality, which would be welcome.

Even the most breathtaking new idea isn't really new. Everything is based on the environment of ideas built from what came before. If even Isaac Newton (the egotistical snot) could admit that, surely the rest of us can take a step back from our hubris.

Re:Donated even though I don't do ecommerce. (2, Interesting)

spectecjr (31235) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800598)

Funny... you claim that ideas are a dime a dozen, and that it's implementation that's hard.... and then go for the complete revocation of IP.

Clue for you: IP is NOT ideas. It's the implementation of those ideas.

A book is not an "idea". It's the implementation of the idea.

Software is not an "idea" -- "some way of typing in text and having it editable" is much different to the implementation that is a wordprocessor.

Music is not an "idea" -- there's a big difference between having all of the notes, or having this great idea for a cool ballad, and actually putting one together.

A film is not an "idea" -- compare with a book. You might have an idea for a plot, but it's much different to the work involved in creating a finished product.

In other words, good ideas may be a dime a dozen. However, the difference between an idea and IP is the whole process of putting that idea to work. And that can be very long -- anything from weeks to months to years -- very tedious, and take a hell of a lot of work, creativity and energy to deliver on that.

But hey, I've got this great idea for a piece of mail software that ties everything in your addressbook to the time it arrives, and works out when you really should get around to emailing that person who you forgot to reply to.

Now... if this is an 'idea' 'based on the environment of ideas built from what came before', then please tell me where I can download my "idea" from, so I can make use of it?

I can't, you say? I'll have to write all the software behind it?

Then it's more than just an idea. It's a shitload of work.

Re:Donated even though I don't do ecommerce. (2, Insightful)

homer_ca (144738) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800524)

Patents are only supposed to be issued for inventions NOT OBVIOUS to a skilled practitioner in the arts. When this principle is as widely abused as it is today, patents become a disincentive for creating new intellectual property. The obvious building blocks of invention become a minefield of patents.

Re:Donated even though I don't do ecommerce. (2, Insightful)

Gherald (682277) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800184)

> I just want the abolishment of all "intellectual property" laws.

Do you have any idea how much money is invested in intellectual property? Either you have been living under a rock since about age five, or you are completely delusional.

Excesses like the DMCA may be corrected with future laws, but there is zero chance of ALL intellectual property laws being abolished.

Zero chance? (1)

Thinkit3 (671998) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800280)

If you just had mass chaos following world war/whatever, intellectual property would not be among the first laws hammered out in stone. Killing and taking of (physical) goods would.

Re:Zero chance? (1)

Gherald (682277) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800446)

Okay, so maybe I should have qualified it as "zero chance of ALL intellectual property laws being abolished under the current regime."

But I didn't realize we were considering mass chaos/anarchy. Would you like to start this "world war/whatever" for us?

That makes me think of Clancy's The Sum of all Fears in particular, though of course the "starting world war 3" motif can be found just about anywhere.

This just in (3, Funny)

ded_guy (698956) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800190)

All ideas supported by the /. community have just become law. Spammers have been sighted exploding in front of their computers. Every channel now runs porn 24/7.

Re:This just in (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800441)

This affects other aspects of business too:

In former SOVIET RUSSIAN countries, all verbal contract relationships must be reversed (and yes, this includes YOU).

The abrogation of IP law means that all trade practice between initial supply and PROFIT! must be kept secret (redacted with "???" in documentation if necessary).

You don't even want to know about the hot grits and penis bird ones.

And of course, then there's SCO. Your cheque is in the mail...

Re:Donated even though I don't do ecommerce. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800205)

troll troll troll

IP laws allow things like the GPL to preserve freedoms in software. Likewise for other OSS licensing.

open source fine without copyright (1)

Thinkit3 (671998) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800293)

You wouldn't need it, because nobody could lock up anything.

Your tired,your poor,your code yearning to be free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800386)

You ASSUME that there's only one way to "lock up" something. That is of course naive at best.

Re:Your tired,your poor,your code yearning to be f (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800458)

No, I call it trolling. Lets stop feeding them and if it hasn't happen already, lets give them karma and let them post at -1 like their fellow trolls.

Re:Donated even though I don't do ecommerce. (5, Insightful)

Chess_the_cat (653159) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800226)

I'm sure most slashdotters want all "intellectual property" laws abolished.

I'm sure they don't. Seems to me that the people who want all intellectual property laws abolished are the ones who have no intellectual property of their own. Why should authors, programmers, musicians, architects, graphic designers, inventors have to give up their creations into the public domain without any compensation? I agree that sometimes these lawsuits go too far and I'd also like to see copyright terms shortened instead of extended but advocating "the abolishment of all intellectual property laws" is just silly, childish, and nonsensical. That wouldn't even work in a Communist country. What is the incentive for people to create if they can't expect compensation?

Re:Donated even though I don't do ecommerce. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800252)

I for one would rather have no IP laws than the current IP laws. And my career depends on IP. You can always just keep stuff secret. Computer systems would likely be far more secure in an IP-less world, because proprietary software companies would have driven the widespread use of encryption and authentication.

Re:Donated even though I don't do ecommerce. (2, Insightful)

tmark (230091) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800455)

You can always just keep stuff secret.

Right, until one of your employees sells your secret code to your competitors. In a world without IP, it'd probably be pretty hard to even call this a crime.

Tyranny of the talentless. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800342)

"Seems to me that the people who want all intellectual property laws abolished are the ones who have no intellectual property of their own. "

The talentless see that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, and don't want to invest in seed, fertilizer, tools, or the work needed. But will sneak over the fence, during the middle of the night, and "borrow" the lawn.

"What is the incentive for people to create if they can't expect compensation?"

And yet no one sees a problem with "borrowing" movies, music and books.

Re:Tyranny of the talentless. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800565)

Since these "talentless" are presumably the ones shelling out in large numbers so you golden few can thrive on your boundless creativity, maybe you should suck it up.

Some stuff I think most people want ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800387)

And would agree are more realistic are; reasonable "intellectual property" laws, less obivous and abusive patents, and a short but reasonable time frame for copy-rights, ip, etc.

Re:Donated even though I don't do ecommerce. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800481)

you mean that the current communist countries held intellectual property laws at high regard?

and just for kicks: you can have (real)artists and research companies financed other ways than patent ransoming, it's done every day on contract and has much more sense than trying to guess where the industry is moving and patenting that. and they(research companies/artists) don't HAVE to do anything, they don't have to do research without getting paid or have to paint without getting paid(although some do, van gogh never sold one painting but it could be argued that he made a living out of it anyways), they can figure out a way for someone to pay them, they don't need to publish things either if they don't want to(the patent system is _supposed_ to encourage them to publish them for public to use, to license, but alas it doesn't quite work that way now). you think architechts design buildings 'just in case' and then publish them in newspapers instead of being contracted to do spesific design(the way most artists get paid too)? it could maybe be more accurate to say though that most slashdot readers would like to see laws regarding ip(copyright&patents, nothing else, it's just silly that it's my ip to make movies with fast cars) from last 100 years to be abolished.

and hey, it would work in a communist country if you could find one that was a real working communism(massive quarreling about that somebody should get resources to produce something even though his not the most efficient at producing it would have little point)! besides, staying in the not-so-good tries on communism.. you really think kalashnikov got fairly paid for his invention by western standards?

The Trouble With Having Rights (2, Interesting)

The Famous Brett Wat (12688) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800560)

Seems to me that the people who want all intellectual property laws abolished are the ones who have no intellectual property of their own. Why should authors, programmers, musicians, architects, graphic designers, inventors have to give up their creations into the public domain without any compensation?

I, for one, have been in a position where I would prefer not to have intellectual property rights, on the grounds that I've had to give them up to an employer without compensation. If the creations had been in the public domain at the outset, then I would have had as much right in them as anyone else, but when employment contracts dictate that all works created during the term of employment (including those created out of work hours, on your own equipment) belong to the company, then "intellectual property rights" become a rod for an author's back.

See the long version at The Trouble With Having Rights [nutters.org] , or the slightly briefer and less formal version of the same theme at The Intellectual Slave [nutters.org] .

Re:The Trouble With Having Rights (2, Informative)

Satan's Librarian (581495) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800697)

Quit bitching and hang your own shingle, learn to negotiate, or move to California.

If you want to hang your own shingle as a software programmer and make a decent living, you'd better support at least a short time-limited copyright if you want to create your own products. Sure, you can contract yourself out to other companies to produce their programs for them, but if you ever want to make your own software as a living there's got to be incentive there. Without copyright law, as soon as one person has it the cat's out of the bag - so either gorge your first customer for the $60k you needed to live while writing it, or starve.

If you want a steady easy paycheck, but want rights to the work you do outside of your employment, you should negotiate it when signing up to work for a company. In the U.S. at least, it's standard to have a list of exemptions in the employee contract - make use of it. If it isn't there, write one and require that they sign it before signing yours. Hire a lawyer to whip one up for you if you need.

If you want rights to what you do at work - try talking them into doing it as open source. If it's a piece of code that would be of benefit to others, but wouldn't harm their competitiveness with other companies, you can probably succeed if you can voice your reasoning well and defend it. Of course, if what you are working on is trade secret for the company and is the heart of their business - good luck. Remember, those paychecks have to come from somewhere - usually its customers buying something they couldn't get for free at an equally high quality elsewhere.

If you want the law on your side - get a visa and move to California. They have some of the most employee-friendly state laws regarding copyright, patents, and other IP that I've seen. In some cases they may override your employer's contract. Hire a lawyer.

Here's an interesting article on copyright law [findlaw.com] with some pointers. I don't know how similar Australia's laws are.

Sleeping Muses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800739)

Com-pen-... Oh ! You mean *money* !

Oh, sure.
Why *would* they ?
Can you think of any reason ?

Ah slashdot... (1)

Thinkit3 (671998) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800243)

This subscription to allow preview of the story is really paying off. Want attention? FP.

Re:Donated even though I don't do ecommerce. (4, Insightful)

fireboy1919 (257783) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800282)

Me and my friend are both posting this, so I'll give you both.

Me: What has intellectual property law ever done for us?

Friend: Well, there is the GPL. That's from intellectual property law.

Me: Well, obviously that. But BESIDES the GPL, what has it done?

Friend: Given artists a way to survive off of their art. I doubt we'd have as much if they had to work day jobs.

Me, Okay, well, besides GPL, and protection of artists, what has intellectual property ever done for us?

Friend: There's protection of useful inventions. Edison's lab pumped out tons of them that we still use today. That lab wouldn't have lasted if other people could have copied their ideas.

Me: Besides GPL, protection of artists, protection of useful inventions, what has IP law ever done?

Friend: Don't forget about the public access to patents that we use to make new innovations.

Me: So besides GPL, protection of artists, protection of useful inventions and public access to patents, what has IP law ever done for us?

Friend: ...I can't think of anything else.

Me: IP LAW GO HOME!
IP LAW GO HOME!
IP LAW GO HOME!
(And on, and on, a few hundred times. Hopefully I got the conjugation right)

Ooh, Me too! (1)

iSwitched (609716) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800310)

'cause I'm just itching to steal all the great GPL'd code I play with in my off-hours, pack it into closed source commercial products and sell, sell, sell!

Which, of course, would be 100% legal if there were no intellectual property laws.

Old Chinese proverb: "be careful what you wish for, you just might get it."

think about it (1)

Thinkit3 (671998) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800345)

Would there even be closed source commerical products? There are no copyright laws, so all protection would have to be in technology. And why should you care if the code is in something locked up--it's still available for open source projects.

Re:Ooh, Me too! (1)

Prior Restraint (179698) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800362)

That's fine. I'll just download it from a 0-day warez site, because that will be 100% legal, too.

Most /.ers haven't noticed THBT.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800418)

Does anyone ever read the parents history, or think that maybe the troll paid to get FPs and karma whore?

As a side note, are there any slashdot suscribers that have negitive karma?

Re:Donated even though I don't do ecommerce. (1)

TheScottishGuy (701141) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800702)

y'know what, you're so right, i mean ownership is theft, man, tear down that system! ~ahem, excuse my sarcasm, i despise stupid people, ~ ~this country needs two things; a law against being bloody stupid, and a law agains frivolous lawsuits~

Dont abolish - polish (1)

quinkin (601839) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800730)

Sure we could abolish all IP (I hate that phrase) laws.

Personally I would just prefer that a modicum of common sense is applied to the process (especially in the tech market).

The current PanIP style patents are a complete farce. It is the tech version of patenting slicing bread with a knife (sorry "a new method for parallel segmentation of baked goods using small angle steel alloy implements").

Q.

If there is an easy answer, you asked the wrong question...

Obviously... (4, Funny)

oGMo (379) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800162)

Tim claims to have found evidence to undermine their patents, although the article is very short on details as to what this evidence might be...

Duh. Obviously, they found it had been copied from SCO source.

Re:Obviously... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800320)

It seems every new overused slashdot joke gets old faster than the last.

Re:Obviously... (1)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800353)

In Soviet Russia, old jokes wear out YOU!

Sorry about that. (I'm not really that sorry)

Re:Obviously... (1)

miu (626917) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800395)

It seems every new overused slashdot joke gets old faster than the last.

So true. It's like we are approaching some sort of bad joke singularity, the cliches are moving so fast they start to blur together.

Re:Obviously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800408)

Bad joke singularity?

It's a trap!

Patents are wrong (3, Interesting)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800166)

Ideas should be Free.

The holding hostage of ideas is completely contrary to the basic natural rights that ideas have. The GPL is one way of fighting for the rights of software, but there really isn't a way to fight for the freedom of ideas.

In this century, the war to free ideas from patents will be waged as long and hard as the war a century ago against slavery. Information slavery is still slavery.

Ideas have rights.

Re:Patents are wrong (5, Insightful)

winkydink (650484) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800213)

So tell me? What did Stallman do to pay the rent and eat before he became a MacArthur fellow?

If somebody wants to give me $50k/yr for the next 10 years, I'll be happy to expound upon how wonderful it would be to not have to earn a living

until year 11 that is...

Re:Patents are wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800358)

here's a thought.. wait for it..

get paid to WORK.

like doctors, taxi drivers, and pretty much everybody else.

I write software for a living. none of my software has ever sold more than one copy. I use almost entirely Free software.

see what I'm getting at?

Re:Patents are wrong (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800363)

What did Stallman do to pay the rent and eat before he became a MacArthur fellow?

Well, everyone knows that he didn't pay rent, because he lived in an office in the MIT AI lab.

For food, I imagine he scavenged leftovers from the office fridge.

Re:Patents are wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800313)

Excuse me? Ideas have rights? I say bullshit.
Humans have rights, some people say that animals have rights, but inanimate, nay, abstract things like ideas? Not a bloody chance.

Re:Patents are wrong (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800323)

Ideas dont have rights. Ideas themselves are useless, they need to have some sort of implementation. Anyone can come up with an idea, its getting the idea to work that is the difficult part.

Because it is so difficult, and so much time needs to be spent in getting the idea to work, the person developing it needs to be able to make money off it once it finally does work.

If I spend ten years working on making an idea work and finally bring it to market only to have someone rip the idea and implementation off, then where is the incentive for me to try to create a new invention? Or for anyone to invest their time innovating?

However, software patents are incredibly over used. The PTO should have denied 90% of them because they don't represent true innovation.

Re:Patents are wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800376)

ideas have rights?

What's next, women?

Excuse me while I hurl (4, Insightful)

DaveAtFraud (460127) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800483)

The concept of intellectual property was created so that people and companies who invest in the creation of new "things" could re-coup their development investment. This is true for writers, artists, inventors, R&D departments, etc. Some, such as trademark laws, were created to protect consumers from unscupulous people providing fraudulent imitations of recognized products (i.e., they are *VERY GOOD* for consumers).

Patents and copyrights were intended to provide an incentive for people to create new things. As an example, if I am an author, what is my incentive to continue to write if my works can be freely copied? Likewise, why should a pharmaceutical comapany work to discover, refine and test a new medecine if the moment it comes out anyone else can make their own copy of it without incurring the development costs?

Intellectual property laws are a necessity for modern society. Sadly, some people like SCO and PanIP have subverted those laws to try to gain from works they had nothing to do with. Luckily for the open source community, the ambulance chasers at SCO were stupid enough to go after somebody big instead of being bottom feeders like PanIP and just hitting little guys for licensing fees.

Re:Excuse me while I hurl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800629)

You are making lots of unqualified assumptions. You are assuming that without such strong protections, there would be incentive to make inventions.

Since you mentioned authors specifically, are you aware that there are lots of great authors that did write books, compose songs and, yes, invent new things without any protection, or even the misguided concept of "intellectual property". Shakespeare would have been surprised to hear he had no incentive (gee, he was writing plays for a theater to play), or Mozart (he was sponsored by various parties). They in fact were fairly comfortable with the fact their works were widely circulated (people singing pieces from the Magic Flute etc).

Thing is, there are plenty of reasons (including monetary ones!) for creating new things, even without existence of laws protecting "IP". It's just that CORPORATIONS are uncomfortable in taking risks that come with territory of inventing or authoring new things. They'd rather there was an automata that shelled them their "hard earned cash" for being such noble beings, creating all these fabulous new inventions like one-click shopping.

Re:Excuse me while I hurl (4, Insightful)

Rasta Prefect (250915) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800734)

The concept of intellectual property was created so that people and companies who invest in the creation of new "things" could re-coup their development investment. This is true for writers, artists, inventors, R&D departments, etc. Some, such as trademark laws, were created to protect consumers from unscupulous people providing fraudulent imitations of recognized products (i.e., they are *VERY GOOD* for consumers).

Close, but not quite. These laws were created so that people would create new things - and that after they'ed recouped cost + some profit, those things would flow into the public domain.

Re:Excuse me while I hurl (2, Interesting)

Saeger (456549) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800771)

if I am an author, what is my incentive to continue to write if my works can be freely copied?

I think your incentive to create would depend on two factors:

  1. Are you close to starving and being homeless?
  2. Are you excessively greedy?
If starving, then of course you have a disincentive to write fulltime given the knowledge that no one will trade you money/food for your work; a dayjob would suck up much of your time. If on the other hand you're already well off, then only excessive greed would be the disincentive to create, since most true artists in either situation would still create for the sheer joy of it (and for the "whuffie" reputation, like in scientific communities).

Oh, and thanks for your Fair and Balanced post differentiating the three types of "IP" that usually get conflated as ... IP. :)

if you can have a generic e-commerce patent (3, Insightful)

SHEENmaster (581283) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800176)

then why not a generic commerce patent? Should the person that first started selling water be able to patent that? Should I be able to patent overclocking graphing calculators as a business?

Whatever happened to the 20% different dealy, whereby eBay isn't affected because its code (the way it works) is 20%(100%?) different from the subject of the patent? This is why software patents are so moronic, any re-implimentation works differently, or falls under the original copyright.

SCO's gone, let's all DoS the patent office next!

GTK also being ported to Commodore 64 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800181)

I am currently working on porting GTK to the Commordore 64. It even runs gnom. Once I've finished the port, I will release it, but for now, enjoy some screen shots.

Screen shot 1 [stilemedia.com]
Screenshot 2 [stilemedia.com]
Screenshot 3 [stilemedia.com] .

Maybe what we need to get the.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800202)

U.S. government to wake up is a mass exodus of technical people from the United States to another country. The U.S.'s top statistic is income per capita, however that's hardly an indicator of a decent life. Already the U.S. lags behind Canada, Germany, France, Sweden, Norway, Ireland, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Japan, to name a few countries whose citizens enjoy longer lifespans than the average American. Granted lifespan isn't any better an indicator of a good life, but I'd thought I'd just throw that out. Any ideas which country to move to?

Re:Maybe what we need to get the.. (-1, Offtopic)

winkydink (650484) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800232)

Granted lifespan isn't any better an indicator of a good life

Hold that thought.

There's a huge difference between correlation and causality.

Re:Maybe what we need to get the.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800254)

I don't care where you go, just get the hell out of here

Re:Maybe what we need to get the.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800284)

Longer lifespan is probably the result of a better diet. Any country where food is expensive would have a big advantage over the US. Toss in heavily taxed cigarettes and a socialized medical system for added effect.


Life on the Canadian plan

Hamburger at McDonalds....$17.95
Pack of Marlboros..$12.50
Taxes to pay for socialized medicine...$33,005
Living longer with a lower standard of living...Priceless

Re:Maybe what we need to get the.. (-1, Offtopic)

Jerk City Troll (661616) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800627)

Living longer with a lower standard of living...Priceless

Eh?

How do you figure Canada has a lower standard of living? Try less crime, less poverty, and the health care system is really no where near as bad as most would have you believe. Anyone else wanna back me up?

Re:Maybe what we need to get the.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800764)

Yes, but we don't have many celebrities. And so few of them drive Hummers. It really pains me even to talk about it.

Do you realise for just 80 cents per day we could buy drugs, SUVs, and the finest legal representation for an entire new generation of tanned celebrities, just like the US? It wouldn't even require a tax increase - the funds would be gradually siphoned off from things like advertising. Won't you reach into your heart and wallet, so we can be more like the US?

Re:Maybe what we need to get the.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800653)

C0CKS... $FREE$
D1CKS... $FREE$
EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN... $FREE$
MAKING A DAILY C0MMIC AB00T IT... PRICELESS

For everything else, there's Jerk City [jerkcity.com] .

Re:Maybe what we need to get the.. (-1, Offtopic)

rokzy (687636) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800289)

I'd expect the average lifespan of a USAmerican to be the lowest of all "developed" nations, and many others, mostly because of crappy diets and the fact you kill each other too easily.

US literacy rates aren't too great either.

I suggest moving to Cuba. seriously.

Re:Maybe what we need to get the.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800339)

Damn you Americans. Other countries start to pass you by and the next thing you're calling for mass executions of their technical pe...

Never mind.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800221)

first post

Reexamination usually doesn't invalidate patents (4, Informative)

Thagg (9904) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800224)

What usually happens with reexamination is that the patent office works with the party who received the patent, to narrow the scope of the claims. This unfortunately usually doesn't let one off the hook, as the claims can be narrowed, but still be focused on the infringement in question.

The other problem with reexamination is what happens to all the documentation submitted to the PTO to cause the reexamination to happen. If the patent is allowed to stand but the scope of the claims is narrowed, the new documents are added to the list of 'known prior art' in the patent. These documents can no longer be used to try to invalidate the patent once the reexamination process is complete -- as the PTO has in effect 'blessed' those documents, asserting that the patent is valid in spite of them.

So, reexamination is a double edged sword. You may end up with stronger patent, and all of your best ammunition voided.

IANAL, but I have fought a couple of patents. Won one and lost one.

thad

Re:Reexamination usually doesn't invalidate patent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800364)

Sounds more like those documents become "cursed" to me...

Re:Reexamination usually doesn't invalidate patent (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800366)

The patent outlines a system defined by gibberish that probably wouldn't be possible to build back in what - 1987 - and seems to be a typical attempt at obfuscating what the system actually does. As far as I can tell, it's a patent for the business process of selling something using a computer. In theory a cash register is prior art, but I get your double-edged sword point... ;o)

Personally, I think it should just be made an offence to reap money from patents if it's your only source of revenue - AFAIK, there's no way that any of these companies have in any way inflicted monetary losses on a company that came up with a neat idea and never implemented it. Too bad that others got there before you. Heck, do these guys expect everyone to read the patent office library before we start coding?

Also, there should also be issues regarding how you go after people who 'break' patent laws. They should be forced to start with the companies that chronologically broke the patent laws first. It should be all or nothing, you can't just selectively pick who you're going to go after, that just isn't right.

And why the delay? Surely some kind of explanation is in order. Patents from 16 years ago and a company from 5 years ago look awfully fishy.

Maybe someone should patent making money off patents by sueing people who break patents you never used and who are oblivious to your patent existing.

Good job guys (3, Informative)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800229)

Thanks for standing up to the playgound bullies. It's good to hear someone from my hometown puting up a fight. It is also slightly refreshing to hear that the system is actually starting to work the way it should.

If anyone here is looking for an excellent source for fine chocolate, check out Tim Beere's "patent infringing" website, Debrand Fine Chocolate [debrand.com] .

Brazen (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800240)

When you think about it, calling a company created solely to milk patents "PanIP" is pretty up-front in a sick kind of way. I probably would have gone with "Screw You Patents Inc." but perhaps that's taken. Maybe "Bendover Patents". Hmm.

PanIP and SCO (1)

myklgrant (529062) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800262)

I wish we would get a similar result soon with SCO. Eventually the truth wins out (doesn't it?).

Re:PanIP and SCO (1)

mlk (18543) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800731)

No, Truth is determed by the the winner.

Prior art? (3, Insightful)

woodsnick (628525) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800332)

I'm guessing that someone out there might know. Were there any BBS's in the late 80's early 90's that were conducting some sort of business through their systems that might invalidate some of these remote electronic commerce claims? I'll admit to not reading the patent claims, but I'd guess someone must have conducted some remote electronic business transactions before these guys came along. Anyone have any more info?

Re:Prior art? (1)

the_archivist (686965) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800399)

Airline ticket systems from the sixty's ?

Re:Prior art? (1)

HBI (604924) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800546)

How about Prodigy and Compuserve back when (89 or so)

I had the joy of working on one of the initial Prodigy stores. A big black notebook of data definitions and a guided tour of IBM headquarters in Armonk. Then I went back to my cube in Jersey and wrote some HLL CUA text interface shit.

Fun times. IT was a great business back then.

Re:Prior art? (1)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800773)

I have a Compuserve pamphlet from the mid-1980s touting the ability to buy all sorts of merchandise from them.

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800425)

fIrSt pOsT, bIaTcH

Put your money where your mouth is. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800475)

Just wrote $100 check out of the petty cash account.

I'm sure there are other small business owners there who can help out...

Defense fund donations? (2, Insightful)

m0rphm0nkey (616729) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800503)

I noticed on their page that they...

a.)Had gotten a judgement for 19000 against PanIP.

b.)Wanted donations to cover their expenses.

So these some 15 or 20 companies didn't feel like they benifited sufficiently from their investment? Granted a judgement does not a payment make and I'd be interested in donating (in spite of my poverty) but...... I think they'd see a lot of nickels and dimes (mine included )if there was more detailed info on whats been done (the court action and created jurisprudence if any) and whats going to be done (are they going to pursue the judgement and if so how?) with the PanIP defense fund.

Re:Defense fund donations? (1)

Soko (17987) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800603)

You seem to be accusing the respondents of profiteering from thier misfortune. I have a hard time accepting that.

It just might be that they can't release the info you want due to the advise of thier counsel, or perhaps even a court order. Most businessmen are ethical, honest and forthright, it's only when the figures get too large that we end up with the Darly McBrides of the world. As well, they seem to have good counsel - which I'm sure will cost them in excess of $19K.

Give them that nickel or dime, dude - if nothing else to show them that they've doen us all a service by smacking down a predator like PanIP.

Soko

bunghole (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800508)

gnaa reccomends anuses cheeses

My planned patents (1)

OneIsNotPrime (609963) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800552)

I can no longer ignore the obvious success of patent barratry as a business model. In the tradition of PanIP, Amazon, and countless others, I plan to patent all of the following:
  • The use of a series of manueverable surfaces, each marked with a linguistic symbol, to communicate with an electronic device.
  • The use of an electronic forum to mock or belittle the forum itself, or those associated with its creation/upkeep.
  • The phrase "noun verbs you!" used in conjuction with the phrase "In Soviet Russia".
  • The use of a virtual or digital reality to provide oneself with an artificial sense of fulfillment.

I think that covers everyone.... oh yeah

  • Spelling a word incorrectly, or using language in a manner inconsistent with that taught by linguistic authorities.
Licensing of these technologies will be $17.99 per offense, or however much it costs me to buy a remodeled Delorean with a Viper engine. Please make checks out to oneisnotprime.

Re:My planned patents (1)

the_archivist (686965) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800646)

Sorry but you will need to liscense my patent " a string of copper atoms strong together in a line to enable "The use of a series of manueverable surfaces, each marked with a linguistic symbol, to communicate with an electronic device." the therefore and aforesed computing device
(LEO) nee SCO
That will be $699
(cream cakes! and a cup of tea)

Re:My planned patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800713)

Who need copper? Silver is a much better conductor (lower resistance) or even aluminum, as long as it isn't connected to another metal like copper.

Re:My planned patents (2)

rokzy (687636) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800664)

your patenting method is very inefficient in that it requires you to write new things.

I suggest simply writing a perl script to print off every previous patent with the footer "utilizing the internet" added.

Re:My planned patents (1)

Rhone (220519) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800760)

No one will have any money left over to pay your licensing fees after paying Despair, Inc. [despair.com] to use their trademarked Frownies(tm) [despair.com] . :-(

(Oh crap, I owe another $5 now! :-( $10, d'oh!)

Someone patented Bartering? (3, Insightful)

Bruha (412869) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800577)

"No. 5,794,207, for Priceline.com's buyer-driven, name-your-price E-commerce system"

Now IANAL but how do you patent the bartering system. Are you saying that the consumer has to pay royalties for neogeoating a better price with a company?

Someone needs to reign in the USPTO very quickly before this all begins to get out of hand. What are we to do when your legal system is overwhelmed with lawsuits that real crimes such as theft and murder begin to take a back seat to big business lawsuits making the lawyers millions of dollars.

Or what if it becomes so lucrative (Probably has already happened) that lawyers wont represent the defendants and instead concentrate on convincing companies with patents that other companies are violating their IP and that sueing is something they should do.

This all falls back to SCO (Just an Example) instead of producing a workable product they've relied on litigation to sustain the company. It's beyond me why any worker at SCO (Other than our current economic situation) would stay with a company that could find itself on the wrong end of a lawsuit. It's like the Enron situation has not driven it home to them yet.

But again I ask people to write their congressmen and women and all their other elected officials and point out the problems inherent with patenting many things the way it goes on.

Business is just that business. I can understand patenting a process to make a 5 dollar diamond processor and a special chemical forumlae that cures cancer it's in their interest to make money after investing millions in developing these products. But patenting things such as door to door salesmanship or basic E Commerce systems is just damaging to the E-Economy.

If anyone deserved any patents it's the designers of the coding systems such as Basic, C, C++, C#, PHP and myraid of other languages. Of which none were expressly written with 2 billion ways to write code that would say yes or no. If we continue this madness then someone might as well patent the 0 and the 1 while they're at it.

Re:Someone patented Bartering? (1)

theycallmeB (606963) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800700)

Someone needs to reign in the USPTO very quickly before this all begins to get out of hand.
Why couldn't you have told us this about a decade ago?

Probably cause I was 15 (1)

Bruha (412869) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800735)

And didnt realy care or yet know about these things.

School tends to focus on the past and not our present so children are not prepared for the current world they're still thinking of cowboys and indians, Russian Czars and French Revolutions.

Annoying trend? (2, Funny)

Jerk City Troll (661616) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800582)

Tim claims to have found evidence to undermine their patents, although the article is very short on details as to what this evidence might be...

A lot of that going around these days, isn't there?

I'm wondering what implications all this top-secret evidence non-sense will have in the long run. Are we soon going to see court cases where all of the evidence is secret? "Releasing that evidence to the court would violate our IP rights. You will just have to take our word for it that things look bad for the defense with this evidence."

Should I be worried or will such a day never dawn? Lawyers care to comment?

Yay!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800660)

PanIP and SCO...

they just sound alike for some reason...

Now, the Future. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800704)

Salt used to be necessary to human life away from the seashore. Whence, the venerably antique salt-tax. Pay up, or get no salt and get ill (and die as a result of the consequences). It used to be "the" (western) Royal tax. Oil tax took its place, more recently. And the idea of "idea tax" is nipping at the world's heels.

The old Confucian ideal of Royalty as those that best administer, and towards whom, as a result, all turn to for their quality expertise - is somewhat deprecated, at present. A particularly vicious breed of Legalists (historical term) seems to have taken the field. This usually happens because a) the situation favours them, and b) the majority let them.

What a grand time for immense, obtrusive, enigmatic, byzantine, ponderous legal systems - not just for lawyers. The unending legions of those who make a living off it rejoice in the certainty of their permanence.

Substitution by A.I.s would eventualy just lead to a "legal - SKYNET" situation. No one cares about jury duty - let alone about practicing more troublesome duties. A "distributed internet judgement system" would end up as a non-stop virtual lynch mob in cyberspace. A civil-service draft-like system might ensure nothing but cowardly apathy, backbiting and more burocracy.

The system needs better checks. Updating. And obvious improvement.

The answer might have something to do with employing some form of the above alternatives, not to substitute the present legal system, but to enhance it. And, mainly, to force it to comply to open supervision by everyone. Really everyone.

GTK+ is dying (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800712)

It is official; Linux Magazine has now confirmed: GTK+ is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered GTK+ community when IDC confirmed that GTK+ market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all desktops. Coming on the heels of a recent Linux Journal survey which plainly states that GTK+ has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. GTK+ is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent comprehensive programming test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin [amazingkreskin.com] to predict GTK+'s future. The hand writing is on the wall: GTK+ faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for GTK+ because GTK+ is dying. Things are looking very bad for GTK+. As many of us are already aware, GTK+ continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

GNOME is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time GNOME developers Havoc Pennington and Owen Taylor only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: GNOME is dying.

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

XFCE leader Olivier Fourdan states that there are 7000 users of XFCE. How many users of ROX are there? Let's see. The number of XFCE versus ROX posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 ROX users. Nautilus posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of XFCE posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of Nautilus. A recent article put GNOME at about 80 percent of the GTK+ market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 GTK+ users. This is consistent with the number of GNOME Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Sun, abysmal sales and so on, Eazel went out of business and was taken over by Ximian who sell another troubled Toolkit. Now Ximian is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

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

Fact: GTK+ is dying

Re:GTK+ is dying (0, Offtopic)

borgheron (172546) | more than 11 years ago | (#6800758)

The first few times I saw this form filled posting it was funny. The second and third time it was amusing, the 10000th time it's not funny anymore, just f*cking annoying.

Please take this offtopic stuff somewhere else.

GJC

small fry first, big fish later (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6800751)

once they sue all the little guys into non-existance, they will start with the big dogs..i hope this PanIP place gets counter-sued out of existance shortly.
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