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384 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 677730 27-Aug-2012 17:59 Send private message



Sorry perhaps I wasn't clear.  To get a patent (in NZ anyway) the invention you are trying to patent has to be new, and have an inventive step i.e. it can't be obvious.  Obviousness means it has to be something which would not have immediately occurred to a person who is knowledgeable about the subject matter.

I don't see how a button on a phone or say curved edges are therefore patentable as they would be obvious to anyone developing a phone therefore they can hardly be considered inventive.  Its not a question of what a consumer perceives.

   


I'm pretty sure the rule is the same in the USA. But the people reviewing patents are not qualified to make the judgements that are required (not could they be expected to be given the variety of patents they must deal with and the time frames they must operate within), so everything tends to get registered.

Then it goes to court, where more people who are not qualified (jurors) are required to make a judgement. Jurors are people, we are essentially lazy and we have lives to live. We don't want to read dozens of pages of instructions on how we should go about making a decision, so we take shortcuts.

And then precedents are set (or actually then you go through the appeals process, and eventually precedents are set).

The reason I'm personally anti this judgement is because I think if this type of precedent stifles competition. It basically means that in order to compete in the smart phone industry you have to have a big enough war chest to be able to deal with patent litigation.

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  Reply # 677732 27-Aug-2012 18:14 Send private message

Its called a patent in the us but the nz equivilant is a design registration. Look it up on iponz and you can see many for things like the anchor milkbottle etc.




Richard rich.ms

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  Reply # 677761 27-Aug-2012 19:05 Send private message

blair003:
The reason I'm personally anti this judgement is because I think if this type of precedent stifles competition. It basically means that in order to compete in the smart phone industry you have to have a big enough war chest to be able to deal with patent litigation.


No. The war chest is to design new things, features, ways. Fine if these new things are patented. Normal also for others to use the new things and pay a licence fee.

Apple has 9000 patents, how many has Samsung got???

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  Reply # 677762 27-Aug-2012 19:09 Send private message

The answer is 65000. No doubt not all for phones, but a patent hog. But, patents are fine. Apart from them being too complex, too slow to argue against them in court. The IT industry is rife with patents, so its time to rationalise this.

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  Reply # 677783 27-Aug-2012 20:00 Send private message

tdgeek: The answer is 65000. No doubt not all for phones, but a patent hog. But, patents are fine. Apart from them being too complex, too slow to argue against them in court. The IT industry is rife with patents, so its time to rationalise this.

Not sure about the patent hog comment.
Apple make how many products?
Samsung make how many products?


Edit: spelling

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  Reply # 677785 27-Aug-2012 20:04 Send private message

oxnsox:
tdgeek: The answer is 65000. No doubt not all for phones, but a patent hog. But, patents are fine. Apart from them being too complex, too slow to argue against them in court. The IT industry is rife with patents, so its time to rationalise this.

Not sure about the patent hog comment.
Apple make how many products?
Samsung make how many products?


Edit: spelling


Your right. My bad. But it does show that patents are everywhere, the trick is to use them for what they are, and pay the dues, as is common to use others creations.

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  Reply # 677807 27-Aug-2012 20:52 Send private message

tdgeek: But, patents are fine. Apart from them being too complex, too slow to argue against them in court.


So which is it?  Surely if they're "too complex, too slow to argue against" then they're not "fine" and that's the whole point...

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 677808 27-Aug-2012 20:52 Send private message

richms: Its called a patent in the us but the nz equivilant is a design registration. Look it up on iponz and you can see many for things like the anchor milkbottle etc.


Yeah I had a look and in the US you have utility patents and design patents, the former covers new inventions, the latter covers ornamental design of functional items.  However in both cases it needs to be new and not obvious so again I don't see how design patents can be granted for things like rounded corners or a button on a phone.

Its been a while since I was last involved with it but it used to be that the NZ registered design system was not used that often as you basically got the same rights under our copyright laws but without the cost.  I don't know if that is still the case now.  

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  Reply # 677811 27-Aug-2012 20:55 Send private message

sidefx:
tdgeek: But, patents are fine. Apart from them being too complex, too slow to argue against them in court.


So which is it?  Surely if they're "too complex, too slow to argue against" then they're not "fine" and that's the whole point...


No, thats not the point. The points I see here are complaints that most things should not be patented, that patents destroy competiton and innovation. They don't.

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  Reply # 677813 27-Aug-2012 20:59 Send private message

Giggs:
richms: Its called a patent in the us but the nz equivilant is a design registration. Look it up on iponz and you can see many for things like the anchor milkbottle etc.


Yeah I had a look and in the US you have utility patents and design patents, the former covers new inventions, the latter covers ornamental design of functional items.  However in both cases it needs to be new and not obvious so again I don't see how design patents can be granted for things like rounded corners or a button on a phone.

Its been a while since I was last involved with it but it used to be that the NZ registered design system was not used that often as you basically got the same rights under our copyright laws but without the cost.  I don't know if that is still the case now.  


I agree, rounded corners are not an invention or a new creation. They do however imitate the Apple case design. Samsungs lawyers even stated they could not tell the difference. There are lots of ways to design the case, the issue is not that a rectangle case is patented, the issue is that the case design was closely copied.

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  Reply # 677824 27-Aug-2012 21:08 Send private message

tdgeek:

The points I see here are complaints that most things should not be patented, that patents destroy competiton and innovation. They don't.


So Apple weren't using their patents against their competition in this course case?

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  Reply # 677826 27-Aug-2012 21:09 Send private message

Rounded corners are an OHS requirement aren't they? ;-)

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 677881 27-Aug-2012 22:51 Send private message

 No, thats not the point. The points I see here are complaints that most things should not be patented, that patents destroy competiton and innovation. They don't.


I meant specifically these (or certain) types of patents I did not agree with, not all of them.

But you are right in that I think "most things" should not be patentable. I include particular types of shapes or colours in the list. I also include software in my list.

For example, I don't see how you can get a patent on 1-click shopping. I think when we start to patent software or variations on shapes or colours we are getting quite far away from the original purpose of a patent was.

We obviously disagree on what should be patentable and how it affects competition, that's fine. Where is the line for you? Can you cite any examples of anything you think should _not_ be patentable?

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  Reply # 677885 27-Aug-2012 22:59 Send private message

sidefx:
tdgeek:

The points I see here are complaints that most things should not be patented, that patents destroy competiton and innovation. They don't.


So Apple weren't using their patents against their competition in this course case?


Court case, not course case.

Using their patents against the competition in this case? Sorry, sidefx but makes no sense. Samsung allegedly used parts of their devices design using Apple's patents. Obviously Apple took legal action to protect its patents that Samsung had breached.

Maybe you feel that Apples patents are there to stop others using those ideas and designs? If so, your question does make sense. No. Apple has 9000 patents over its phones, tablets, ATV, iPods, accessories, etc. Samsung has 65000 over its wider range of products. Patents are the norm for intellectual property. Trademark, copyright, are other forms of IP measures. Normally, companies who want to use anothers ideas, pay for it. Royalties, patent fees, an agreement. Like Apple and Microsoft did recently. US$24 per phone was the figure offered to Samsung to licence Apples patents. Samsung declined. Court case followed.

A lot of money changes hands between the IT giants.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 677886 27-Aug-2012 23:01 Send private message

Patents aren't evil.

You have to remember that if you hold a patent you are still obligated to offer licensing under the "Fair, Reasonable, and non-discriminatory use" terms set out in the USA and the EU. You can't just patent something and sit on it, or extort outrageous license fees without getting into trouble with the courts.

As the dust starts to settle on this one, it really looks like Samsung's ego got in the way and lead to some horribad business decision making.

Anyone following the case closely could tell you that it was going terribly for Samsung and that it would have been a surprise if the verdict didn't favour Apple. They could/should have settled at anytime.

As it stands now, the $545 million in license fees that Apple offered and Samsung rejected looks like a freaking bargain!

Instead, they have $1b in damages that could be raised by up to 3x that amount in post-trial motions, a potential ban on sales/imports of Galaxy phones and Tablets in the USA as we head towards the Christmas shopping season, and some *very* serious brand damage.

Oh, yeah, and their stock just dropped by 7.45% in today's trading wiping out $12b of their market cap.

Ouch!


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