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304 comments

I sue George Bush for stupidity infringment!! (-1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8405423)

n/t

Re:I sue George Bush for stupidity infringment!! (2, Funny)

good(k)night (754537) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405434)

I sue firefox for using fire...
so they will have to change the name again.

haha! the world is mine!

Re:I sue George Bush for stupidity infringment!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8405618)

Fucking typical bleeding liberal democrat. You probably think John Kerry is good looking enough to show up on the cover of G.Q.

Re:I sue George Bush for stupidity infringment!! (5, Funny)

dukeisgod (739214) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405693)

I know I shouldn't be feeding the troll, but does that mean you're saying that you were stupid first?

MOD PARENT UP +1 PRETTY DAMN FUNNY (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8405731)

wish i had modpoints right now.

amazon sucks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8405424)

weeee

Luckily... (5, Funny)

Doktor Memory (237313) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405425)

...Amazon has aleady patented the use of Irony...on the internet!

Re:Luckily... (5, Funny)

Xeth (614132) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405451)

And they'll be serving them up with their patented One-Click Countersuit tool.

~! TROLLTALK XP !~ (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8405469)

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The Renaissance

The Enlightenment

Mel Gibson's The Passion

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Better than 20721.
Better than fags-r-us.
Much, much better than adequacy.
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Not Another One! (5, Insightful)

Wiser87 (742455) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405435)

Is it just me, or are more and more companies trying hard to find every single person/company and sue the crap out of them?

Re:Not Another One! (5, Insightful)

smr2x (266420) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405454)

More like every company trying to find every single thing that isn't patented.. then patent and sue! What is this world coming to?

It would be nice to actually have a _few_ good companies out there, but all these patent lawsuits are proving that companies just don't care. They're in search of profit and will do anything it takes to get there.

Re:Not Another One! (2, Funny)

Wiser87 (742455) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405468)

Hmm... I wonder if anyone's patented the art of Slshdotting a website? ;)

Re:Not Another One! (5, Funny)

smr2x (266420) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405486)

Who would dare take on Slashdot in a lawsuit?! Can you imagine how many geeks would find you, surround your building, and make you suffer!?

Besides the enormous Slashdotting you would receive in return...

Re:Not Another One! (0, Funny)

FluxCapacitator (664284) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405579)

The stench and glare from the pale, bespectacled, unwashed slashdot masses is definetely something to fear!

Re:Not Another One! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8405767)

SCO more or less did take on Slashdot in a lawsuit.

Re:Not Another One! (4, Interesting)

gid13 (620803) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405474)

Evolution, my friend.

The only way to stop it is to change the conditions the companies live under. To make it impossible or disadvantageous to patent and litigate. My personal suggestion is (and has been for some time) to completely abandon patents and copyright. All they are to me is children whining "I thought of it first".

Re:Not Another One! (5, Insightful)

Mr. Troll (202208) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405521)

You know what would be a great idea? X. Too bad it would cost a bunch of money to develop X into something usefull...if only there were some way to help try to ensure that I could recover the money I spend developing it...

Re:Not Another One! (4, Insightful)

gid13 (620803) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405558)

Don't think I haven't considered that. Yes, it kinda sucks, but let's contrast this with the current situation.

Take software patents and open source, a particularly relevant case to Slashdot. I want to develop code for myself and others to use and enjoy. If only I was allowed to do it instead of being legally required to not use my expertise because someone thinks it's a good thing to own the rights to an idea.

Re:Not Another One! (5, Insightful)

PianoComp81 (589011) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405692)

Maybe software patents should be done away with, but I can't believe that you'd really agree with getting rid of all patents.

Take drug patents: it costs a lot of time and money to just come up with a drug worth patenting. Drug patents give incentives to corporations to create medicines to help people because they know they'll be able to regain a lot of the money they put into coming up with the medicine.

Taking an all-or-nothing stance is ignorant.

Re:Not Another One! (4, Insightful)

gid13 (620803) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405769)

Believe it! :)

I, on the other hand, can't believe you'd hold up drug corporations as a shining example of the good of patents.

Number one, patents in the drug arena encourage popular things to be invented long before important things. For instance, we have a boner pill (Viagra) and a baldness pill (Rogaine I think), but no AIDS pill (at least that I'm aware of).

Number two, providing corporations with financial benefits for pills encourages them to come up with fake ailments and prescribe their medications for them. Take antidepressants... I read a story recently that explained how one of the big pharmaceutical companies (I think it was Pfizer, I'm not sure anymore) made a massive "awareness" (advertising) campaign about some generically named stress syndrome that had been described as very rare by psychiatrists. Coincidentally, their drug was used to treat it, and some medical professional on their payroll was quoted as saying something like 10% of people had this syndrome.

And that's just off the top of my head.

Re:Not Another One! (4, Insightful)

Lochin Rabbar (577821) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405608)

No, no! What you do is you patent the idea of X with some trivial idea of something that would be needed to implement it (say Y). Then you wait for someone with the smarts to implement the difficult bits and sue them for stealing Y. Until patents require you to produce i) a working implementation, and ii) are required to be assessed by experts in the field for being non-obvious, they will never again satisfy the purpose of protecting inventors from exploitation. Reducing their cost so that they are affordable to ordinary individuals would also help.

Reducing the cost won't help (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8405784)

That would just encourage preemptive patents.

The whole purpose of patents is to protect the commercially viable ideas of small companies or individuals - i.e., so they can benefit from their innovation.

The best way would be to incentivize the US Patent office to make sure prior art is actually researched.

Maybe, say, make patents more expensive, use the money to fund the patent office, but then make the patent office refund twice the money if any granted patent is overturned on prior art grounds. Commercially viable ideas will still get patented - trivial ones will not.

Yes, this would result in some folks losing the benefits of ideas that, when conceived have no useful benefits but then develop them later for some reason. But the tradeoff would be an end to today's wars over trivial and obvious patents, all of which have mounds of prior art.

Re:Not Another One! (5, Insightful)

jmv (93421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405722)

Let me see, the guys who invented Ethernet, IP, DNS, HTTP, ... don't get a dime (from patents at least), but the guy who said "hey, I think eventually someone will use that to sell stuff" gets all the money. Sounds fair?

Re:Not Another One! (3, Insightful)

prockcore (543967) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405726)

You know what would be a great idea? X. Too bad it would cost a bunch of money to develop X into something usefull...if only there were some way to help try to ensure that I could recover the money I spend developing it...

You know what be an even greater idea? If you could make money off X without developing it.. if only there were some way to let another company develop X and then sue them because you thought of it first.

Re:Not Another One! (yet more reality checks) (4, Insightful)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405732)

Your point is all great in theory - And what do you suppose we should do about companies who do nothing but come up with ideas to patent so that they can sue the pants off companies trying to make a buck bu innovating?

I mean specifically companies who file patents (or just 'acquire' them) with less than zero intention of themselves turning the 'idea' into a marketable product, and less than zero intention of licensing said 'ideas' to companies who would LOVE to turn them into products.

Every third day there's Yet Another LawSuit filed by "Jim Bobs Tech Patent Company" which has ZERO business (let alone INCOME) other than lawsuits they've filed "protecting" their patents.

Is THIS the state of affairs your previous "patent system" is supposed to encourage?

Re:Not Another One! (1)

BillyBlaze (746775) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405808)

if only there were some way to help try to ensure that I could recover the money I spend developing it...

In the software industry, that way is copyrights.

In software, ideas are a dime a dozen. The actual investment is the time spent writing code. Copyright is the perfect tool to protect this investment. Patents are not.

Re:Not Another One! (4, Insightful)

bluprint (557000) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405817)

only there were some way to help try to ensure that I could recover the money I spend developing it

There is a way, it's called a "trade secret", just don't tell anyone else how you did it. And, if you have to tell other people, protect your idea through contractual agreements.

There is no reason in the world why people should have to pay (via taxes) to replace you having to go to the trouble of protecting your own ideas.

Re:Not Another One! (0, Troll)

C10H14N2 (640033) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405585)

While we're at it, why don't we just abolish property rights entirely. You know, just because you occupied that house first shouldn't stand in the way of me moving in, locking you out and cashing out all the equity, leaving you to pay off the principal now that you're living on the street.

Seriously, people, these devices were put in place for very well-founded reasons. Just because a thing can be abused does not mean it is worthless. To its logical conclusion, this argument would abrogate the entirety of civilization in favor of complete anarchy.

Re:Not Another One! (1)

gid13 (620803) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405782)

Property rights are vastly different because we can't copy land; we can't take it from someone while leaving them in the same situation they were in before.

So no, the logical conclusion of this argument has nothing to do with property rights and wouldn't abrogate civilization at all.

Re:Not Another One! (5, Insightful)

scooby111 (714417) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405662)

I don't think that the problem lies in the patent or the copyright itself. The problem lies in the process.

The US patent office simply provides a patent for nearly all applications. If you can afford the fee, you can get a patent. You are responsible to enforece your own patent. Thus other patent holders are also responsible to prove that there was prior art that nullifies your patent. The US patent office should simply deny all patents of ideas and processes. An applicant should be required to show a working product or design that can at least be modeled. Ideas and processes are simply to brad to enforce.

Re:Not Another One! (1)

packeteer (566398) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405586)

The problem is that company's used to use their lawyers to sue when they had been wronged or to defend themselves. Now many large companies see their armies of lawyers as a potential source of revenue. If they hire a bunch of lawyers who sue the crap out of everyone and the lawyers make more then they spend they jsut become another department of the company maknig money. The difference is that they provide no goods or services and are really similar to theives in my opinion.

Re:Not Another One! (3, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405598)

The economy sucks right now. Just look around you. Lack of jobs, piss-poor wages, no innovation for new products, terrorism by Islamic fanatics...umm did I miss any?

Anyways, the next method of revenue is JACKPOT JUSTICE. Basically, the waters are getting bare and the sharks are hungry. So expect the feeding frenzy among corps to get more intense with the litigation wars.

Re:Not Another One! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8405713)

No it is just you.

I feel sorry for them... (4, Funny)

opusman (33143) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405441)

Filing patent infringement lawsuits is hard work.

Someone needs to come up with a "One Click(tm) Patent Infringement Lawsuit" system. And then patent it...

Re:I feel sorry for them... (4, Funny)

mat catastrophe (105256) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405461)

Fuck, bro. All you need to do is send this post to the patent office. Apparently, they'll stamp damn near anything.

And remember, I told you this, so cut me in on the cash, alright?

Thank God for all these lawsuits... (4, Funny)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405444)

Without 'em, after the SCO mess gets cleared up, we'd have no reason to visit Groklaw!

Re:Thank God for all these lawsuits... (2, Interesting)

bruce_the_moose (621423) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405805)

That said, Groklaw pretty much solely exists because of the SCO mess (PJ Interview [groklaw.net]). But groklaw is perhpas is the best thing to come out of said mess. We should perhaps start a thread for suggestions for what courtroom drama PJ should follow next.

WHOA WHOOP DE DOO (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8405448)

FLOPPING MY COCK AROUND

!@#$ TROLLTALK XP $#@! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8405449)

The Pyramids

The Golden Age of Athens

Rome, 117 AD

The Renaissance

The Enlightenment

Mel Gibson's The Passion

and now,

Trolltalk XP [golala.com]

Better than Gay5.
Better than 20721.
Better than fags-r-us.
Much, much better than adequacy.
A new hope. A new community. A new place for trolls to share their craft.

Trolltalk XP [golala.com]

Better than any trolltalk. EVAR

Join founder Amsterdam Vallon in what is surely to be the most vibrant and creative community endeavor of the 21st century.

you are a liar (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8405465)

that shit is wack
shut the fuck up
ianal

Sue everyone? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8405452)

I'm gonna sue McDonalds for making me fat...wait already happened...

Re:Sue everyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8405467)

"I'm gonna sue McDonalds for making me fat...wait already happened..."
  • Yeah, you are already fat, aren't you?

Re:Sue everyone? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8405541)

I'm gonna sue Einstein for time dilation problems.

Come On (5, Insightful)

use_compress (627082) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405478)

5,715,314 is ultra-general. One could use this patent to sue every site on the 'net that uses secure E-commerce. I suspect the judge will bend over backwards for Amazon. If Amazon looses, it will be one of the most destructive legal precedents in US history.

Re:Come On (4, Insightful)

colmore (56499) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405525)

Agreed.

As much as it makes me smile to see Amazon getting a taste of their own medicine, this really won't be good for anyone if it actually works.

The Real Reason for Patents (3, Insightful)

teledyne (325332) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405489)

I have no idea why everyone complains about patenting their products, as its the same thing as our right to free speech.

Free speech was meant to protect unfavorable or unpopular speech, such as telling Bush to go sit and spin on a nuclear warhead. The first amendment prevents the government from hacking off my head for showing disapproval for the dimwitted President.

This is exactly the same for patents. It protects smaller businesses from having their ideas stolen by huge corporations.

Of course, free speech and patents are applicable to everyone. If the government were to abolish the patent system, it would be just as bad as abolishing free speech. Without small businesses, the world's economy will always be controlled by huge corporations who have no respect for the little person, like you and I. Of course, at this current time the world is pretty much run by huge corporations who lobby with millions of dollars to politicians, but soon in the future, laws will be passed, and that problem will be gone.

Re:The Real Reason for Patents (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8405513)

fine i patent free speech.

is that okay with you?

+5 Funny (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8405519)

Come on, are you for real?

Re:The Real Reason for Patents (4, Funny)

protohiro1 (590732) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405561)

"but soon in the future, laws will be passed, and that problem will be gone"

Fantastic! And we can celibrate this new era of equality in our flying cars.

Re:The Real Reason for Patents (4, Interesting)

G-funk (22712) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405607)

Of course, at this current time the world is pretty much run by huge corporations who lobby with millions of dollars to politicians, but soon in the future, laws will be passed, and that problem will be gone.

Unfortunately, this part is pure fantasy. If you want to get in power, you need money. To get money, you need to promise favours/sell out to the people with money. With shitloads of money, enough to spare some on politicians. Thus effectively, the people with shitloads of money are the ones who make policy. The interests of people with [shitloads of money|power] and those of the common man will never coincide. The only way to keep shitloads of money/power and have it mean something, is to make sure the average man has a lot less than you.

Of course thes problems all go away if the people revolt and make sure that the ones who want power never have it.

</rant>

Re:The Real Reason for Patents (5, Interesting)

LightningBolt! (664763) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405652)

See this little bit of history of patents. [thomsonderwent.com]

Regarding the first patent ever granted anywhere, "In return for his monopoly, John of Utynam was required to teach his process to native Englishmen."

Later, when the U.S. came up with its patent laws, it went like this: "The Congress shall have power . . . to promote the progress of science and useful arts by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writing and discoveries."

Nothing really about protecting small businesses. It has always been about sharing knowledge with the public in exchange for a limited-term monopoly. In practice, this rarely has the effect of protecting small businesses, most of which make their money off of actually doing stuff, not litigating.

Personally, I think patents are a bad idea in the general sense. Ideas are worthless in real business, it's always the implementation that counts.

However, in the present reality, patents aren't going away any time soon. It seems to me that if one must extend the patent concept to software, the only real way to get the public benefit demanded by the patent system is to require working source code to be published with the patent.

Re:The Real Reason for Patents (1)

Camel Pilot (78781) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405704)

Umm Darl is that you? because the twisted non-sequitur logic sounds very familar.

Patents take time and money to obtain. Large corporation acquire them by the gross where as patents are often outside the realm of an individuals or small companies.

Re:The Real Reason for Patents (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8405743)

That's what COPYRIGHTS are for.

Software is speech, and speech cannot be patented.

You are spinning a circular argument. When you accept software as expression, you are excluding it being an invention.

Hardware patents are just fine by me. If you want to invent a better mousetrap, go ahead and patent it - thats why we have a patent office.

But if you patent a "mouse trapping system", with nothing more than a vague description, expect both the scorn and ridicule, as well as the eventual first place against the wall when the revolution comes.

Re:The Real Reason for Patents (2, Insightful)

mbirk (38167) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405801)

Patents are not "the same thing" as free speech rights. Since patents are used to restrict what you and I can do, they are more akin to certain prohibitions of free speech, such as obscenity laws or the proverbial shouting "fire" in a crowded theater.

Huge corporations such as IBM and Microsoft hold thousands of patents. The costs of searching, writing, and filing patents are non-trivial, so patents are not really available to everyone. I think it is fair to say that, in today's world, patents protect huge corporations from having "their" ideas "stolen".

In my opinion abolishing patents is going too far. We need to reform the system by enforcing the rules that are already in place -- do not assign patents when the technique is obvious to a reasonably skilled person in the field or when there is prior art! The patent office isn't performing its duty of vetting the patent applications. It is essentially rubber-stamping them and letting the courts sort it out, which is an extremely costly and high-stakes process.

Also, because of the quickening progress of technological change, I support shortening a patent's duration.

Your last line about "soon in the future, laws will be passed, and that problem [corporate lobbying of politicians] will be gone" is so laughable, I wonder if I have been trolled.

Re:The Real Reason for Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8405822)

Except that until recently all the software didn't need a patent system, and that didn't prevent small companies with great ideas from growing fast.

With patents, that is becoming very hard, except for lawyer-powered "technology" companies...

All your ideas are belong etc... (4, Interesting)

nmoog (701216) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405490)

They basically announced that they now own the Internet market

Couple this patent with the Eolas [slashdot.org] patent and you pretty much own the whole shebang.

Re:All your ideas are belong etc... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8405595)

All your patents and markets are belong to us!

is it really this easy? (3, Funny)

Sean Clifford (322444) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405491)

IANAL, but is it really this easy?

[click to type company name] hereby sues [click to type deep pockets] for patent infringement for [click to enter $amount].

CTRL P

Choose Fax Printer.

[click to choose Clerk of Court]

Roll three dice. If you roll a 4 or less, even the most ridiculous case wins.

Re:is it really this easy? (1, Funny)

Galuvian (755742) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405555)

Now you just need to write it up as a business process and patent it!

It's Official (5, Interesting)

MooseByte (751829) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405497)


It's official - software development is now a relic of the Old Economy where companies actually create products. So passe'. The New Economy is all about data mining for litigation.

And then while we're too busy in the courtrooms to notice, and our production skills so atrophied from lack of use, the aliens will land and take over.

"It's a cookbook!!!"

By Aliens (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8405707)

By Aliens I assume you mean sophisticated Indian and Chinese technicians, scientists, programmers and perhaps even sociologists.

Actually it's not that unlikely...

A hella lot more likely than UFOs landing with green bugeyed monsters, I can tell you that ;)

That's it... (0, Funny)

Kid Zero (4866) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405503)

I'm patenting the internet. Pay up, Suckers!

Re:That's it... (1)

photonX (743718) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405735)

Yeah, that's the spirit! Come to think of it, I wonder if the U.S. Patent Office has a patent on the patent process? Could be the whole system is buggered.

They have it coming... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8405504)

Come on.. Amazon's patent of cookies (which they didn't invent) and web browsing (which they didn't invent) and the Internet (which Al Gore invented) aka One Click Shopping, makes them a deserving target for another stupid USPTO case.

Can somebody tell me which government agency is actually run by sane, competent people?

government ageny & sane people (3, Funny)

Sean Clifford (322444) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405651)

Can somebody tell me which government agency is actually run by sane, competent people?

Pffft! That's easy!

The Department of Education.

Oh, wait. [cnn.com]

Nevermind.

Re:They have it coming... (3, Insightful)

ottffssent (18387) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405780)

> Can somebody tell me which government agency is actually run by sane, competent people?

Yup. The Supreme Court. That is one group of people deserving of an enormous amount of respect. Both the majority opinions and the dissents are well-reasoned and well-argued. The Court chooses its own schedule and cases and is consistently willing to put in the time and effort to give each one the attention it deserves. While I don't agree with everything the Court produces, those are people who really think before they talk. That's very refreshing, and it's comforting to know they're there to calm the Legislative's and the Executive's volatility.

HA! (3, Interesting)

GoMMiX (748510) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405524)

It's about time. I'm sure this is redundant by the time I make this post - but my God, Amazon deserves this. They've been patenting (as you all know) EVERYTHING they could POSSIBLY come up with. Sure sucks when you get kicked in the arse with your own boot, eh! Seriously, though - Amazon gets a patent for 1-click purchases - that's a dumb as the Aussie who re-patented the wheel. BTW, if this post is modded troll - I blame it on the beer. Which BTW is Bud Light - gotta support BudNet!

Re:HA! (5, Informative)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405745)

that's a dumb as the Aussie who re-patented the wheel

As an Aussie I would like to point out that said patent was filed with the specific intention of how mindless and overly general patents will be approved even though there's a bazillion trillion reasons why they should be thrown out with much hilarity.

Patent Lawsuits out of hand (4, Interesting)

Monty845 (739787) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405528)

I don't know much about the patent laws but it seems to me that companies that use concepts that someone patented, and who implemented them with no knowledge of the patent shouldn't be able to be sued. I shouldn't be expected to research to determine if the solution I came up with on my own is patented. The burden of proof should require that the infringment was wilful. As a pratical matter someone who didn't wilfully infringe in the first place would have to be able to coninue using what ever was patented... Maybe I just don't see the big picture...

Re:Patent Lawsuits out of hand (2, Interesting)

photonX (743718) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405665)

>>"I don't know much about the patent laws but it seems to me that companies that use concepts that someone patented, and who implemented them with no knowledge of the patent shouldn't be able to be sued."

Well...if I take my maching gun and fire it blindly about the neighborhood one night, should I not be responsible for harm if I didn't willfully intend to kill a particular person? Of course not. Not quite the same thing, true, and I have to agree with you that litigation as a whole is getting out of hand.

Patents are a matter of public record (which is the whole idea, after all), and if a manufacturer is using a process that he doesn't know is patented or not, then I wouldn't think much of his business acumen, since he should either be protecting his process by patenting it himself, or, with the same research, discovering that it is already patented.

I have to admit, though, that many of these intellectual properties patents, such as the Amazon 'one-click' process cited in other posts, certainly muddies the water for me. I always thought of a patent being for something you can hold in your hand (figuratively if not literally).

Patent 5,715,314 Claims (5, Informative)

Greenisus (262784) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405537)

1. A network-based sales system, comprising:
at least one buyer computer for operation by a user desiring to buy a product;
at least one merchant computer; and at least one payment computer;


How could they possibly know that Amazon has exactly this setup?

2. A network-based sales system in accordance with claim 1, wherein said payment message and said access message each comprises a universal resource locator.

This sounds exactly like one-click [gnu.org] to me.

Amazon's one-click patent was filed September 12, 1997; whereas this was filed October 24, 1994. How could the one-click patent be filed if it was alreay there? ...and don't say "you must be new here" :)

4. A network-based sales system in accordance with claim 1, wherein said access message comprises a buyer network address.
5. A network-based sales system in accordance with claim 4, wherein:
said product can be transmitted from one computer to another; and
said merchant computer causes said product to be sent to said user by transmitting said product to said buyer network address only.


What?!? Said product is transferred to the buyer network address only? I never shipped any of those books I bought from Amazon to an IP address!

15. A network-based sales system in accordance with claim 14, wherein:
said payment message comprises a payment amount; and
said payment computer is programmed to ensure that said user account has sufficient funds or credit to cover said payment amount.


Surely this already existed. I doubt every time someone swiped an American Express card before October 24, 1994, a human being was called to look up an account balance in a paper ledger.

39. A method of operating a shopping cart computer in a computer network comprising at least one buyer computer for operation by a user desiring to buy products, at least one shopping cart computer, and a shopping cart database connected to said shopping cart computer

Funny, I figured you just needed a program [sourceforge.net] to do a shopping cart, instead of a whole computer! Here we have a buyer computer, merchant computer, payment computer, and a shopping cart computer. Wow.

I'd look at the other patents, but I'm getting dizzy....

Re:Patent 5,715,314 Claims (1)

black mariah (654971) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405719)

The merchant computer, payment computer, and shopping cart computer can conceivably be the same computer.

Re:Patent 5,715,314 Claims (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8405794)

No they cannot. The abstract states: A network-based sales system includes at least one buyer computer for operation by a user desiring to buy a product, at least one merchant computer, and at least one payment computer. The buyer computer, the merchant computer, and the payment computer are interconnected by a computer network.

Re:Patent 5,715,314 Claims (1)

sam1am (753369) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405776)

What?!? Said product is transferred to the buyer network address only? I never shipped any of those books I bought from Amazon to an IP address!
Well, you can buy certain new releases and "Hear it now" (get an electronic delivery of music [amazon.com]. You can also get E-Books and E-Documents [amazon.com] from Amazon.... This will be interesting in how it affects the various online music-for-download stores..

Re:Patent 5,715,314 Claims (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8405807)

Some claims may be tossed out on claim construction. Consider from claim 1


said buyer computer being programmed to receive a user request for purchasing a product, and to cause a payment message to be sent to said payment computer that comprises a product identifier identifying said product;


The part of "sent to said payment computer that comprises a product identifer indentifying said product" would indicate the computer comprises a product identifier identifying said message, and not that the payment message comprises a product identifer identifying said product.

Hiding in my bunker (5, Interesting)

teetam (584150) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405639)

I am going to be hiding in some bunker in a fetal position (unless that is patented too) because very soon, individuals like us won't be able to do anything without law enforcement arresting us. FBI (and RIAA) monitors my internet activity waiting to catch an illegal thought (or illegal byte). Corporate lawyers are watching everything every small biz does, to see if we violated any patents or copyrights, so that they can sue our savings out of us. Where is the freedom that we constantly preach to others?

Re:Hiding in my bunker (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8405663)

THIS SI TEH HOLY SHIT !!11!!!!!!!!!!!

the masons have teamed up with the illuminati!!11! pretty soon we'll be living under the new world order, with the united $nakes of Amerikkka subordinated to the united nation$.

In Soviet Russia... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8405648)

her taco commands YOU

Too many lawyers (3, Funny)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405657)

Is it me or is the demand for lawyer increasing forever. Everyone sues every company, and vice versa.

At this rate, some day someone will make up some legit reason to sue the entire Internet altogether.

Re:Too many lawyers (4, Insightful)

athakur999 (44340) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405763)

In the not too distant future, lawyers will prowl around hospital delivery rooms delivering preemptive lawsuits to newborns.

To those still amazed (5, Interesting)

Ray Ling (752737) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405698)

Are all of you forgetting that only a few years ago, some laywers were actually thinking of applying for patents on specific stylized basketball moves, so players could "protect" their "style"? And famous boxing ring announcer Michael Buffer(sic) has the phrase "Let's Get Ready to Rumble!" trademarked. If you tried to use that phrase as an announcer on a sports show, he could sue you for trademark infringement. -rl

Re:To those still amazed (4, Interesting)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405760)

TradeMark is actually quite sane and legitimate (in this specific example). This was his catchphrase, so naturally HE should be the one to use it. Just as if it were a logo or a product name, in market-speak it identifies his "brand".

Why you think this has anything to do with braindead overly broad patents is beyond me.

Suggestion for Amazon (-1, Redundant)

YAJoe (740850) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405730)

Amazon should have patented animals in the rainforest and used the royalties to pay for these open market patents.

This is starting to get ridiculous (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8405759)

when will the govertment shut the patent office down and sue all their employees for idiocy. And at the same time give up the "patent" software and non-technical things?!
------
While at the same time its good, because in USA anything can happen, and USA is getting weaker so they have less and less rotten influence of the wolrd, and being ridiculed by cuba and other minor nations. So maybe its good you fight over shit...

Software is over protected by IP law (5, Interesting)

Facekhan (445017) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405777)

Every other form of invention or creative work is protected by either copyright or Patent. Not both. Software should only be copyrightable not patentable because it is an expression of an idea. This allows other entities to emulate, imitate, and make competing versions of the idea. Patents protect an idea or invention. Copyrights protect a particular expression of an idea. Copyright terms need to be shortened for certain but software patents are extremely disruptive because they do not require that the actual code even be written. In addition patents are far more expensive to obtain than copyrights and they benefit mainly those with big pockets and those who think they are gonna use the patents to sue big pockets.

The other big problem with software patents is that the Patent office is totally out of touch and is essentially selling patents, not reviewing them.

Business models and methods should also not be patentable

New business model? (3, Insightful)

jobbleberry (608883) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405791)

Is it just me or are companies starting to use Law Suits as a business model.

For example the Music Industry has got it down to a fine art. Find a consumer, sue them for millions, they can't afford legal costs so they settle for around 3 - 5 grand, move onto the next.

They could potentially make more money this way out of indiduals then by having them buy CD's.

Just my thoughts anyway.

The JOYS of the USPTO (4, Insightful)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405799)

Clearly the USPTO cares little to not-at-all as to the actual content of a patent request, as long as what it describes hasn't been patented already.

They're quite happy to rubber-stamp "First Post" on almost any document no matter how trivial, irrelevant, or land-grabbing the actual verbiage and let the courts fight it out amongst themselves.

I guess someone way-back decided that Lawyers in the US didn't have enough work to justify their existence (not to mention their hourly rates)

These days there's a virtual plague of lawyers, we'd be feeding them RAT POISON if someone hadn't made it illegal already.

Inspired! (5, Interesting)

Abraxis (180472) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405826)

Wow, I'm inspired. What better way to make a living than to let somebody make a fortune through doing business, and then extract that fortune from them by using lawyers and a piece of paper that says "I thought of it first" that they hand out at the patent office like candy.

I'm going to run to the patent office tomorrow with my new patent idea:
A method of extracting capital from another party by patenting a method that the aforementioned other party has already successfully used to earn revenue.

No, wait... I think that's a little too specific for the patent office. Patent plan B:
A method by which a party, called the 'seller' receives monetary compensation in exchange for providing goods and/or services to a second party, called the 'buyer'.

I'm rich!

Has anyone patented suing as a business model? (4, Funny)

aauu (46157) | more than 10 years ago | (#8405833)

Replace all your hordes of workers with a handful of lawyers. Pay them % of the profits. Sue anyone listed in the phone book. (pat pend.)
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