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Software Patents Stopped in India

samzenpus posted more than 9 years ago | from the no-means-no dept.

Patents 300

piyushranjan writes "Indian parliament deleted the section from the patents bill regrading the software patents as left parties prevailed over the Government on the issue. This may be a major victory for free software foundation(fsf) which has been lobbying hard against the bill."

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w00t (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12300255)

fp

Re:w00t (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300300)

Moderation response time: 8 minutes.

Re:w00t (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300322)

Round 2 - Moderation response time: 3 minutes.

Re:w00t (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300335)

Round 3 - Moderator response time: 1 minute.

Study complete.

Re:w00t (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300355)

This is either insightful, interesting, or offtopic, i'm not sure.

I'm so torn! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12300257)

I hate software patents, but I'm also hate the fact that my job was outsourced to India!

Should I move to India? It seems like the only logical option.

Re:I'm so torn! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300396)

Well obviously the wages are very low there, I don't think it would be easy for a US or EU citizen (I'm Dutch myself) to just move there and assume you'll survive (economically), but if the EU government decides to adopt the patent laws, I'm pretty sure the Indian software market will flourish even more than it does now, making the outsourcing of development even more interesting... Also they have the best food in the world (/me *loves* massalas, dal and breads!!), so I do feel some temptation too... ;)

Of course they did... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12300260)

India doesn't want to lose that outsourcing revenue stream :)

Re:Of course they did... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300339)

Don't forget to pay your 699 rupee licensing fee, you curry smoking teabaggers.

Re:Of course they did... (0)

dos_dude (521098) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300528)

Rated funny and offtopic?

If I had any moderation points, I'd rate this one insightful.

Re:Of course they did... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300644)

... not to say that software patents aren't the work of the anti-jeebus, because they are.

Indian food, culture, programming skills, and now, software patent busting initiatives - all rock!

Good for india. Good for US.

Hmm...on another note, I hope this decision doesn't somehow affect the availability of 'Deep' brand Jumbo Samosas. That would be a tragedy worth fighting for & doing something about.

wow, I guess we'll... (5, Funny)

^me^ (129402) | more than 9 years ago | (#12300261)

all move^Woutsource ourselves to india now!

Re:wow, I guess we'll... (5, Funny)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300321)

One of these days they're going to invent something, and they'll call it a backspace key. It will allow computer users to delete what they've already typed, without having to type ^W or ^H

Re:wow, I guess we'll... (4, Funny)

Soko (17987) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300369)

One of these days they're going to invent something, and they'll call it a backspace key. It will allow computer users to delete what they've already typed, without having to type ^W or ^H

Yeah, but it'll be patented in the USA, so posts like the trol^Wgrandparent won't be going away for a while.

Unless, of course, you're posting from India. ;-)

Soko

Not only the FSF (4, Interesting)

carlmenezes (204187) | more than 9 years ago | (#12300266)

But also our president has openly suggested to our schools, universities, defence and government organizations to switch to open source. He's one president I really admire. A very learned and very humble man.

Re:Not only the FSF (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12300279)

Have you seen what he eats for breakfast? Lunch? Dinner? Have you seen the car he drives?! He wipes his ass with crisp linen handed to him by a loin-clothed manservant for Vishnu's sake.

Humility is not in this man's word-book.

Above is a Troll posting AC (5, Informative)

carlmenezes (204187) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300351)

Mod the parent DOWN.
It only shows he knows nothing of the Indian President. Here are some facts so people can see for themselves:

Some of his speeches [indianembassy.org]

A description of a personal encounter [tcs.co.in]

His own website describing his aspirations [abdulkalam.com]

A few of his accomplishments [indiainfo.com]

Finally, for those REALLY interested, here's his auto-biography [amazon.com]

Re:Above is a Troll posting AC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300646)

Easy dude, that post was meant to be funny.

Re:Not only the FSF (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300299)

Clearly a godless communist, regardless of what they say. It's time for a pre-emptive strike to bring True Freedom (American Version) to their country.

Re:Not only the FSF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300365)

Never mind that that they will nuke the shit out of NY, LA and rest of the other cities. But hey, that's fine as long as they nuke Washington, too, right..

Re:Not only the FSF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300312)

Thats really great!

Thanks Govt.

Re:Not only the FSF (0)

sriram_2001 (670877) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300380)

No he didn't say that. See http://dotnetjunkies.com/WebLog/sriram/archive/200 5/04/07/62728.aspx

More jobs to go (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12300269)

Can companies move their bussiness their to avoid patents in the own country?

Re:More jobs to go (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300346)

No. An American company selling in India is not subject to software patents in respect of the products sold in India because India has no software patents. An Indian company selling in America is subject to software patents in respect of the products sold in America because America does have software patents.

An Indian company can apply for software patents in America which will be valid in America, just like anyone else. Those patents won't be valid in India regardless of where you company is based.

Re:More jobs to go (2, Insightful)

DeepHurtn! (773713) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300470)

Well, sure, but their tech will still be subject to the patents in any country that recognises software patents.

Re:More jobs to go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300495)

1) Move company to India
2) ???
3) Profit!

Let me be the first to say (-1, Offtopic)

koreaman (835838) | more than 9 years ago | (#12300275)

w00t

Re:Let me be the first to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300286)

Unfortunately not...
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=14 6817&cid =12300255

Attention U.S. Citizens! (5, Funny)

Thumpnugget (142707) | more than 9 years ago | (#12300278)

We have begun the process of outsourcing your freedom! The stormtroopers will be by shortly to collect any remaining freedoms, so we can send them to a foreign country where it will be cheaper to maintain them. In the meantime, sit tight, don't go anywhere, and please refrain from speaking with other citizens or posting to the Interweb with those blog thingies. Don't like it? Maybe you should have spoken up before the process began, like they did in India. Have a nice day.

Thanks,
The Government

Re:Attention U.S. Citizens! (3, Funny)

Nadsat (652200) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300360)

This Just In: USA to Transfer Statue of Liberty to India

Re:Attention U.S. Citizens! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300499)

posting to the Interweb with those blog thingies

I think you mean "the internets".

Re:Attention U.S. Citizens! (5, Interesting)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300524)

You actually have a good point though.

What India has over the United States is that they not only have our technical jobs but they also have no legal restrictions on taking any technology learned during that "cultural" exchange.

Technology is what keeps a superpower on top. The Masons knew it, that is why they exist(ed). (Technological) Secrets make a nation thrive and the fact that the United States and Europe will restrict software developers with draconian laws makes our chances nill. If we continue to lead the way in innovations they will be copied at will overseas making *only* our citizens the ones to pay the price for intellectual property. Where will that leave us?

Our patents won't mean a thing when India and China make up most of the computer/internet users and developers. I'm afraid that we will be trying to play fair while others won't - reminds me of the game show "Friend or Foe", everyone must agree or everyone loses. I'm drunk, but look more into China and Russia's copying of CDMA technology to learn more about how we can lose...

Re:Attention U.S. Citizens! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300599)

They also got HOT BITCHES

Re:Attention U.S. Citizens! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300573)

There's no point in acting all surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display in your local planning department on Alpha Centauri for fifty of your Earth years, so you've had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it's far too late to start making a fuss about it now.

I want to move! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12300280)

I've spoken with government official in my country (New Zealand) about software patents and they just don't care! They just fold to the big companys.

I want to move to India! I love Indian food and culture already, and now they get to be free of software patents! Not fair.

When will governments in the western world start doing what the people want, and not what only the rich and powerful want!

Re:I want to move! (1)

Urusai (865560) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300349)

You love Indian food? That and the climate are the big reasons I wouldn't move in a million years.

Re:I want to move! (1)

BigDog1942 (874324) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300519)

But there are no S/W patent laws in NZ yet - are there?. Not that it really matters, NZ is so small that a few could get elected in on that ticket and reverse any damage the goverment of the day does. You just have to love proportional representation. -OR- Make it Jim Andertons pet hate of the week and bing, with a few weeks software patents will be as gone as nos balloons

Seems like a smart move. (4, Insightful)

Future Man 3000 (706329) | more than 9 years ago | (#12300284)

Most patents are in the U.S., most (current) innovation and technology growth is in India.

They have nothing to gain from adopting software patents.

Re:Seems like a smart move. (4, Insightful)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300367)

most (current) innovation and technology growth is in India

Growing yes, innovating hardly. Little innovation means you dont actually have a lot to protect making patents a moot point anyway.

Re:Seems like a smart move. (5, Insightful)

TuxPaper (531914) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300467)

Growing yes, innovating hardly. Little innovation means you dont actually have a lot to protect making patents a moot point anyway.

Isn't one of the arguments against software patents that most of the software patents aren't innovations at all, but mere logical steps forward? So, whose to say they aren't 'innovating' according to the US software patent system?

Re:Seems like a smart move. (4, Insightful)

CatGrep (707480) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300456)

most (current) innovation and technology growth is in India.

Well, I don't think most current innovation is in India _yet_. However this kind of move will certainly help India since they will be free to develop software without having to have to worry about lawsuits.

The ironic thing about software patents is that while their proponents suggest they will help foster innovation, in fact they have the opposite effect and end up only helping to employ IP lawyers instead of engineers.

Re:Seems like a smart move. (1)

xtraub (867392) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300458)

Does this mean, that we should pay much higher taxes ?

Do we have a legitimate article? (0, Troll)

goneutt (694223) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300289)

Okay, so the two references are to a Marxist org and a FSF site. Too much "spin" for me to see straight.

That doesn't stop me from voicing an opinion. Patents are a pain, and software patents doubly so. But since there are so many "old" ideas getting patented, maybe a few pushes are in order.

For once they got it right (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300292)

I'm an Indian.

As much as I hate these left parties (they're real dumbasses), for once they have done the right thing here.

Left parties doing something actually GOOD for economy. Who knew...

One nice reason to live in India !!!!!! (2, Interesting)

loveguru (833262) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300297)

Hi Well,atleast in this sense,India is far better than EU.We got it done without much hassles. :))) ....... And spare some time to go thru http://fsf.org.in/ [fsf.org.in] piyush chaapis........

Uh-Oh (4, Insightful)

Rightcoast (807751) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300303)

Like it or not as an American coder, the code coming from India is getting better. Sorry, but that's what happens with practice fellas....

Couple that with healty dose of the encouragement of innovation, and we just took one right on the chin.

Re:There's quite a bit more to it (2, Insightful)

symbolic (11752) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300476)

I don't think the issue with India was ever the quality of the code per se, but with all of the obstacles that might (and do) crop up when handing your information infrastructure over to a country halfway across the world. These things will happen despite any code quality issues. There was a recent post by someone responding to another article, that mentioned the ROI issues with respect to projects that are outsourced. Assuming it was accurate, it suggests that outsourcing isn't a cure-all, and the ROI is a long-term proposition.

Still - India did the right thing. It will be interesting to see how their anti-patent ethos meshes with the "patent every stray thought" mentality of the US. I wonder if the US could "help" India change its mind by threatening to withhold business if it doesn't comply.

Re:Uh-Oh (4, Insightful)

MartinG (52587) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300627)

Well. Why don't you try to level the playing field again by campaining for the abolision of software patents in America?

here they come... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300308)

The idiot jokes about off-shoring. Bloody hell take it like the americans we know, not pussy-ass whiners!. Innovate, work hard, and show 'em that american coders are better. But please stop the offshoring jokes...

Re:here they come... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300626)

We are not allowed to code.. :(

DMCA, etc..

What wonderful news! (1, Redundant)

Phidoux (705500) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300311)

Let's hope that this sets an example that many others will follow.

In two minds (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300313)

Being part of a software startup whose value creation is closely tied to software that we create, this creates some anxiety. But I believe, in the long term this is a good precedent to have.

Hooray!! India supports innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300314)

It's about time that a major country abolished software patents. Hopefully this will set precedence for the same action in the EU and the US.

LOL (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300316)

Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)

Dirty Indian hippies.

Economic impact of this? (5, Interesting)

xiaomonkey (872442) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300317)

If software patents aren't legal in India, would a company over there be able to fearlessly provide web services/applications that infringe on US patents?

e.g. could a company over there build a search engine using Google's patented page rank algorithm with out having to pay an licensing fee?

If so, it would seem that India would be an ideal place for most such companies, as they can operate over there with out fear of patent litigation. Also, hopefully something like this would put pressure on the US to reform our current system in order for local companies to be more competitive.

Re:Economic impact of this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300343)

India is not about to fool around with US patent laws unless they want to see Pakistan get more high tech military equipment. We just gave Pakistan permission to buy F16's

Re:Economic impact of this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300378)

Yes, the US is going to sell bombers to Pakistan because Indian companies are infringing US patents that aren't valid in India, that makes a whole lot of sense.....you dumb f***

Re:Economic impact of this? (2, Informative)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300371)

Stanford owns pagerank.

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1= PT O1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=/netahtml/srchnum.htm &r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6,285,999.WKU.&OS=PN/6,285,999&RS =PN/6,285,999

Re:Economic impact of this? (2, Informative)

xiaomonkey (872442) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300393)

Yeah, but, Google has an exclusive license to it from Stanford until 2011. So, no other American companies can use it until then....

of course, if you're in a country that doesn't have software patents, then you might not have that problem.

Re:Economic impact of this? (1)

Phidoux (705500) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300392)

Of course the Indian government would have considered the economic impact too and I'm sure that for their part, the impact will be a positive one.

Re:Economic impact of this? (4, Informative)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300453)

If software patents aren't legal in India, would a company over there be able to fearlessly provide web services/applications that infringe on US patents?
You know, the thing about US patents is that they only apply in the US, if you're not in the US and don't sell your products there, you're not supposed to give a flying fuck about US patents, wether your country has any kind of software patents or not.

On the other hand, Copyright Laws are international and know no bounds (but the chinese borders maybe), and they apply fully to software creation (copyright is what backs the GPL-like licenses).

The very point is that software patents aren't needed and are unnecessary, because not only they'd be redundant if they were always used well, but they're dangerous (for innovation, what they're supposed to protect mind you) when misused.

Re:Economic impact of this? (1)

gonaddespammed.com (550312) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300487)

Copyright.

Re:Economic impact of this? (4, Informative)

JoeBuck (7947) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300535)

Google hasn't just patented their page rank algorithm. They've patented the idea of giving weight to the links that point to a page. (The competitors seem to be infringing that claim, probably because they are confident that the claim would be tossed by a court, but who knows?).

We could probably live with patents that protect precisely what the inventor invented, but no patent lawyer would settle for that. Instead, the claims generalize to the point of trying to block any conceivable competition, even with wholly new algorithms.

Re:Economic impact of this? (2, Informative)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300557)

it would seem that India would be an ideal place for most such companies, as they can operate over there with out fear of patent litigation.

But as we have seen - countries can boycott those who don't fall into line. If India doesn't do what Europe and America is doing then they will have to survive a economic stand-off. If they can then they will change things. However I suspect if they don't adopt our view or accept our patents as protected ideas then our governments will put pressure on those who do business with them. Who knows, I'm really drunk. It isn't good news for those of us who still wish to enter the IT market in America.

Mplayer should migrate to India (3, Interesting)

Fossilet (735452) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300330)

Where open source software are not threatened by patent laws. Right?

Re:Mplayer should migrate to India (1)

DrMorris (156226) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300441)

Just FYI: these problems are mostly solved. An official(!) Debian package [debian.org] is underway.

Re:Mplayer should migrate to India (2, Interesting)

xiando (770382) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300464)

The users of the software will still have the same problems regardless of where in the world the download page for the software is located. The Russia/MP3 issues comes to mind: the sites who sell music for giveaway prices from .ru are perfectly legal, but the users who buy from such sites are breaking local laws (there is really no difference for US users if they download from peer to peer networks or such sites, and the same applies to software programs).

Re:Mplayer should migrate to India (4, Interesting)

shaitand (626655) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300628)

Yes but usage is not really under the juristiction of copyright, distribution does. So long as your copy was legally distributed (and it is) there is nothing illegal about using it in ways that do not fall under the jurisdiction of the limited privs granted by copyright law to content providers.

Do not mistake the terms in EULAs for laws. Copyright does not grant the content provider the right to the restrictions they require in EULAs, that is why they need you to sign them over in a contract. For it to be a legal contract they must give you something of value in turn (purchasing gave you the right to use the material however you please without a contract), Microsoft gives you $5 worth of data loss protection IF you can successfully sue them for it. Aren't they swell?

The situation in India is... (5, Informative)

rsidd (6328) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300345)

the government is sort of centre-left, but supported by far-left (ie, communist) parties who must be kept happy.

The government was required by the WTO to adopt a new patent regime in the pharmaceutical sector. There was plenty of opposition to this, mainly from the left, though leaving the WTO is simply not an option and everyone realises that.

So what the government does is have a temporary ordinance, not ratified by the parliament, that's somewhat more draconian that it needs to be. I think the software patents thing was one of those items that the government was always willing to chop. There were also lots of safeguards in the pharma sector itself (regarding making of generic drugs in the national interest), allowed by the WTO, that the government omitted from the ordinance. Even the New York Times had a strong editorial criticising the Indian Government for its unnecessarily restrictive ordinance.

When the time comes to pass it through parliament, voila, the government "accommodates" the left parties by introducing these safeguards and removing things like software patents. The left, in return, supports the bill. And everyone's happy.

Re:The situation in India is... (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300565)

why is leaving the WTO not an option??? If enough countries got off their butts and walked out, that would leave the WTO in a bit of a pickle...

Re:The situation in India is... (1)

rsidd (6328) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300592)

If enough people within the WTO speak up, the WTO's own rules can be changed. Recent trade rounds have seen the emergence of a group of developing nations (India, Brazil, South Africa and others) aggressively pushing their concerns. The WTO has on the whole been very good for developing countries in trade disputes with the developed world, frequently ruling against the US and other powerful countries. For example, every WTO country is required to give "most favoured nation" status to every other WTO country; discriminatory tariffs are not allowed. A country outside the WTO has to negotiate separate bilateral trade agreements with every other country it wants to trade with and has no recourse against discriminatory trade barriers. The cited article suggests that even India's hidebound lefties now realise how bad that would be.

Outsourcing? I'd be more worried if I were a (3, Funny)

Neuropol (665537) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300359)

camel jockey who's been replaced by a robot [cnn.com] !

Excellent Chairman Mao^c^c^c Smithers (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300364)

....... if you want free software associated with communists. pd.cpim.org is the People's Democracy - Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

Way to go folks, let the communists with that wonderfully successful system of the past, adopt the FSF. Ah well, the communists are going to be taking every tech job in the western world into India and China anyway, so I guess its good that they can rob and steal our intellectual property as well.

remember that when your drawing down welfare cheques because you get a tech job cause they are all outsourced to either communist or socialist countries. Your layoff will come with a guide to Bangalore.

Mod me down but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300377)

....Free/OS evangelists will be labeled as communists more than ever now.

Commies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300398)

Cool, so were all commies.

Submitters, please be slightly careful (1, Funny)

mshawatmit (825042) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300411)

Indian parliament deleted the section from the patents bill regrading the software patents as left parties prevailed over the Government on the issue.

When submitting articles, is spell-check too much to ask for?

Re:Submitters, please be slightly careful (1)

piyushranjan (772406) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300571)

oops! my bad. Extremely sorry for this goof up

Re:Submitters, please be slightly careful (2, Funny)

Electroly (708000) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300585)

Spellchecking submissions? You must be new here.

Re:Submitters, please be slightly careful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300610)

.. but regrading is a word so a spell-check won't help. In fact the sentence is even gramatically correct although it doesn't make a lot of sense!

Not Good for Indian companies (1, Informative)

dotslashdot (694478) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300417)

This is a terrible detriment to Indian companies because they will not get to patent their software while other competing countries will (like the US, etc.) The other countries' companies can then enforce the patent against Indian companies, effectively blocking them out of developing software. Because of the lack of patents, Indian companies won't be able to cross license deals with other companies and will be left out in the cold, unable to write certain code. Software patents suck, but like nuclear bombs, once someone gets one, everyone needs one.

Re:Not Good for Indian companies (3, Insightful)

freek254 (613417) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300460)

They can still patent it anywhere else where software patents are allowed. Protecting an innovation usually amounts to patenting it on major markets, not just your domestic market.

Re:Not Good for Indian companies (-1, Troll)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300484)

Oh nos, indian companies won't be able to sell their softwares in the US, oh my gawds

Pffft (2, Insightful)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300512)

What a load of horse shit!

They can still patent things in America (and other such countries) if they want and can still cross licence (or pony up licence fees just like everyone else) if they want to distribute in such countries.

All it means is that for their local market, and other similar markets, they don't have to worry about these artificially created monopolies. Their market is freer and they can spend more of their resources actually being productive and making things and less resources overcoming artificially created hurdles.

Re:Not Good for Indian companies (4, Informative)

shaitand (626655) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300642)

You have it backwards. This means software patents granted in other nations are NOT enforceable in India. It does not mean software developed in India can not be patented and enforced in nations where software patents are legal.

Re:Not Good for Indian companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300656)

You loon! You've got it wrong. Each country enforces their own patents, as an island. Other nation's patents are not enforceable in India right now anyway. What it does is prevent other countries from obtaining patents in India, so India can go about using other externally-patented technologies all they like without limit. And since the US is shipping all of it's software development to India, it's even better, because the Indian companies can get US patents and prevent anyone in the US from building that software.

India wins big time, the US loses. It does mean, that at some point, India will need to re-instate patents when they own enough IP that it warrants protecting or prohibits growth.

I had an orgy with some Indians once... (0, Troll)

hardcorebuttsecks (871562) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300426)

They give good head.

Are Patent's Good? (5, Insightful)

shirai (42309) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300446)

Here's the interesting thing about patents and, if you are a patent expert, I realize you already know this, but I think most people don't see the true irony of patents.

The irony is: they were designed to protect the small guy from the big guy. That's right. I shall repeat. They were designed to protect the small guy from the big guy.

They did this to encourage innovation.

You see, some guy in his garage could invent the television, a big company could come along and copy it, and make billions because he has a bigger operating budget. With patents, the guy could protect his invention, and the big guys couldn't steal his idea. All of a sudden, people want to invent because they can protect their ideas.

But now the patent system has turned on its head. It essentially protects the big guys from the small guys. Probably if we looked at patents in their stricted sense, a kid in their garage could write a text editor and infringe on hundreds of patents. I realize this doesn't usually result in a lawsuit, but the system is so convoluted that the only way to understand it is to hire expensive lawyers, which small guys tend not to be able to afford. So in many cases, the small guy gives up when faced with serious opposition (think RIAA).

Okay, I will freely admit that this post is a little inflamatory and that usually lawsuits are not launched even when a patent is owned for things like using key-combinations on a keyboard. But that's not the point.

The point is this: The patent system no longer does what it was supposed to do which is encourage the creation of new ideas. If a system no longer does what it was designed to do, THAT is the definition of broken.

Re:Are Patent's Good? (1)

Zonnald (182951) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300498)

Is it really broke.
The way you discribe it, the problem seems to be that the little guy has to be a little more innovative then before, because making minor changes to existing ideas just doesn't cut it.
So when Rajiv Six-Pack comes up with a really brillant idea, nothing - nothing is stopping the "Microsofts" of the world taking his idea and making millions from it.
Or do I really misunderstand the benefits of No Software Patents.

Re:Are Patent's Good? (3, Insightful)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300525)

The way you discribe it, the problem seems to be that the little guy has to be a little more innovative then before, because making minor changes to existing ideas just doesn't cut it.
No, the problem is that even if you have an awesomely original idea, every attempt at actually using it (like... create a software implementing the aforementioned idea) will infridge on a few hundred US software patents unless you have cross-license agreements (which you don't have unless you're a multi-millions company).

And what *could* stop the "Microsofts" from stealing Rajiv's brilliant idea would be copyright.

Re:Are Patent's Good? (1)

jmv (93421) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300532)

Actually, I would say that there are types of organizations that can benefit from patents:
1) Big guy, as you mentioned, using patents to crush the innovative small guy; or
2) Small guy, as long as he doesn't produce anything useful. The example of this would companies like Eolas and many others that sue over stupid patents. The fact that they don't produce anything is important here, since it's the only way not to get countersued over patents by the big company you're suing.

Re:Are Patent's Good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300647)

The irony is: they were designed to protect the small guy from the big guy. That's right. I shall repeat. They were designed to protect the small guy from the big guy.


The same could be said of the US government. It used to be "by the people, for the people". Lately it is anything but. The "big guys" not only own the patents but also dictate the very laws we have to live by. And all in the name of profit.

Re:Are Patent's Good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300654)

well put.

Fantastic! (4, Interesting)

LarsWestergren (9033) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300463)

Great news, I needed a bit cheering up. Just yesterday I read that Ericsson [nyteknik.se] has started to threaten the Swedish government that research and development will be moved out of Europe to countries that "respect software patents" (the spokesman mentions Japan and the US).

Re:Fantastic! (4, Insightful)

xiando (770382) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300582)

I read the article with great interest and I also was disappointed. Not in the facts, but in the journalist that fell for Ericssons tactical play. What the article fails to mention (because the journalist failed to realize it) is that any company with world headquarters in Sweden can patent what ever software they feel like in the US and in Japan regardless of their ability to do it locally. This is just a tactical play, it would make no difference what so ever to their ability to patent software abroad if they move out or not. The patent situation in Sweden is the same as it is in the rest of EU, and it is the EU rules they want to change. They see an opening for doing so by playing the local Swedish government, they know that if Sweden changes then it may have an impact on the rest of the EU. I really hope the Swedish government does not fall for this tactical play, I hope they see through it and see it for what it is: A simple tactical empty threat.

Re:Fantastic! (4, Insightful)

Flyboy Connor (741764) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300601)

Just yesterday I read that Ericsson has started to threaten the Swedish government that research and development will be moved out of Europe to countries that "respect software patents"

This sounds like pure bullying. Ericsson has NOTHING to gain in the area of protecting their software by moving to the US or Japan. You have to apply for patents in countries where you wish to RELEASE your product, not where you DEVELOP your products. So if Ericsson wishes to release products in both the US and Sweden, they have to apply for patents in both places, whether they have their factory located in the US or in Sweden. Actually, they run a higher risk in the US, because in the US a competitor might attempt to close them down because they are (alledgedly) infringing on one of the competitor's patents, while, without software patents in Sweden, in Sweden they wouldn't run any risk at all. That is aside the fact that rebuilding a factory and rehiring personnel in a very expensive country like the US would probably not be profitable. So, methinks this is a lot of hot air from Ericsson.

Re:Fantastic! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300614)

I'd caution against being too happy about this. Remember, the issue was knocked down in Europe a number of times too... and the monied interests still managed to find a way to reinsert the relevant clauses and push the whole thing forward, no matter how blatantly anti-democratic.

Money talks and politicians listen... and voters don't give a shit about software patents.

Rejecting patents is not a real solution.. (1)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300564)

I know everybody here on slashdot is overjoyed at this decision but I'm very skeptical. This is only one particular government responding to a sentiment that may only last 5 years. Maybe in a decade Indians will be rabid capitalists foaming at the mouth looking for ways to monopolize the world around them.

What's needed is an amendment to their constitution that clearly states "Patent protection in computer software will not be afforded in this country now, tomorrow or ever, so the great Hindu god said !"

This would be the ideal solution imho, as it creates an uphill struggle for selfishly greedy capitalists to overturn a constitutional amendment. Far more difficult than just bribing a few politicians to get their way, which can happen tomorrow... in that case, this article is pointless.

Come to think of it, shouldn't we do something like this in our own nations ? Look at what's happening in europe, they just keep reintroducing the same tired legislation every 6 months.. Eventually they will win.

Re:Rejecting patents is not a real solution.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300643)

What's going to happen is that India will use the lack of patents to borrow technology from everywhere in the world, until they are selling to everyone. Then they will bring software patents back to further spur the incentives to become their own innovation site.

It's really very clever. Open the doors to suck in all of the available technology, then close them shut and grow your own.

This is why competition is a good thing (5, Insightful)

travler (88311) | more than 8 years ago | (#12300577)


I think there are a lot of people who for one reason or another think that competition from other countries is a bad thing.

They seem to think that it is somehow 'unfair' that people in other contries can make product X cheaper. I don't know how many times I've heard the 'rush to the bottom' argument from people who obviously have no grasp of basic economics.

If you are one of those people please read this:
http://www.amosweb.com/cgi-bin/pdg.pl?fcd=dsp&term =The+Wide,+Wide+World+Of+FOREIGN+TRADE [amosweb.com]

The reason competition is good in this particular case is because the US government is clearly not acting in its citizens best interest in regards to software patents.

The contries that have a more rational intelectual property policy will obviously benefit. This will do one of two things:

1. Businesses and citizens who create software will be forced to move to these 'enlightened' contries if they aren't there already. Basically the US will find itself locking itself out of the software market because producing software in the US will become too expensive or in some instances maybe even impossible.

2. Because of pressure from 1. the US will be forced to adopt better laws.

Basically if you can squash competition by making everyone obey your rules then you can force through productivity and creativity limiting laws such as software patents.

However in a free marketplace countries that have chosen not to incorporate such laws will naturally do better than countries that have. I'm assuming here of course that software patents stifle creativity and productivity but I think this is a pretty safe assumtption.

If you don't understand why software patents are bad please read this:

http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/en/m/intro/index. html [nosoftwarepatents.com]

In short this is good for everyone because it will garantee that consumers of software will continue to benefit from the explosion of creativity and productivity in the software industry. Also for those of us who produce software this helps by putting real pressure on our government to change its tune in regards to software patents.

Re:This is why competition is a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12300640)

If you are one of those people please read this:


This article backs up the notion that we should be exporting, rather than giving our IT industry to India and then paying to import all the software we would have been importing.

You also forgot to mention how "free" software does anything but reduce the amount a given country can export and reduce the number of options in the market place as businesses go under trying to compete with $0.

Your evidence really says we should be restricting free software and exporting more of our own software to the rest of the world.

Maybe Sun, Microsoft and Intel have been doing us a big favor?
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