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526 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 35


  Reply # 677887 27-Aug-2012 23:03 Send private message

Kiwipixter: Understand your argument on patenting vs copyright/Fair trading practices, but I disagree on inventive vs the obvious when it comes to human-computer interactions.  Give an Android, iPhone, iPad, Windows Phone, a Mac, a Windows or Linux computer to a 10 year old and chances are they will know or learn how to use it without any help.  Give it to their grandparents and you'll be spending a lot of time teaching them how do even the basics like turning it on.  Human-computer interactions are not obvious and companies like Apple spends of lot of time and money developing this and so they should be able to patent/copyright protect it.

The problem is the broken patent system in the US. Here are just a few of the flaws:
  • Most patent judges and experts are former patent attorneys, creating a system that favours more patents (and therefore more patent attorney billable hours).
  • Patented inventions are not supposed to be "obvious to someone skilled in the art", but the examiners are laypeople and normally don't have any relvant industry knowledge.
  • There is a huge backlog of patent applications, and many are being rushed in order to stop the queue getting worse.
  • With so many patents, it has become incredibly hard for examiners to check for prior art. Examiners are just about relying on the patent filer to do the job, and there are plenty of reasons for the filer not to look that hard.
  • Once a patent is granted, it's incredibly hard to get it invalidated.
If the system was working more like it should, the USPTO would have UI interaction designers as examiners for all UI interaction patents. They are the people who can say if something is obvious to someone in their industry, not some clerk in a filing office.

2622 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 90

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Spark NZ

  Reply # 677891 27-Aug-2012 23:11 Send private message

blair003: 

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?


Very general question, but a good one. To start with, pinch to zoom. I see others on here saying thats obvious to a user, so no patent. I think that is a new and great feature. Yes, standard, but new and innovative.

Re competition, , thats worked well to now. Devices include patents, and not just from one creator. It costs to innovate, R+D. Why waste that when you can use someone elses for free?  No need to innovate, just copy. If you can create new things, patent them, you can use them. Others can too, they need to pay, which I think is fair enough. If you innovate well, your devices will contain more of your ideas, so you pay less for the others ideas. Its worth it to be creative, as you can recoup R+D if you create a new idea, maybe make a buck. Healthy

I did read an article saying that Samsung will need to re design its products, be easier to do that where they can, and pay patent fees for what else they want, thats what others do.

I'd like to see patents revisited, they need to be simplified, so that reasons are clear, the ability to argue for and against is clear and timely, and in IT, with annual refreshes, patents needs to have a limited life. Maybe 3 years.    

2622 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 90

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Spark NZ

  Reply # 677892 27-Aug-2012 23:13 Send private message

nzgeek:
The problem is the broken patent system in the US. Here are just a few of the flaws:
  • Most patent judges and experts are former patent attorneys, creating a system that favours more patents (and therefore more patent attorney billable hours).
  • Patented inventions are not supposed to be "obvious to someone skilled in the art", but the examiners are laypeople and normally don't have any relvant industry knowledge.
  • There is a huge backlog of patent applications, and many are being rushed in order to stop the queue getting worse.
  • With so many patents, it has become incredibly hard for examiners to check for prior art. Examiners are just about relying on the patent filer to do the job, and there are plenty of reasons for the filer not to look that hard.
  • Once a patent is granted, it's incredibly hard to get it invalidated.
If the system was working more like it should, the USPTO would have UI interaction designers as examiners for all UI interaction patents. They are the people who can say if something is obvious to someone in their industry, not some clerk in a filing office.


+1 

384 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 4

Subscriber

  Reply # 677900 27-Aug-2012 23:51 Send private message

tdgeek, I don't see how you can +1 nzgeek's post given your position on this subject.

Half of the post is saying the problem with patents is that there are too many patents. Why do we have too many patents? Logically it is because too many things have been deemed to be patentable and are given patents. Or put another way, the only way to fix the problem of too many patents is to limit the scope on what can be granted a patent.

We seem to agree on this if you are +1'ing that post, or am I misreading?

3540 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 405

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  Reply # 677910 28-Aug-2012 06:04 Send private message


2622 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 90

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Spark NZ

  Reply # 677919 28-Aug-2012 07:26 Send private message

blair003: tdgeek, I don't see how you can +1 nzgeek's post given your position on this subject.

Half of the post is saying the problem with patents is that there are too many patents. Why do we have too many patents? Logically it is because too many things have been deemed to be patentable and are given patents. Or put another way, the only way to fix the problem of too many patents is to limit the scope on what can be granted a patent.

We seem to agree on this if you are +1'ing that post, or am I misreading?


Hi Blair

My posiiton is that I favour patents. But, the patent process is too complex, too detailed, and it makes it unwieldy. There are probably too many, but thats more due to patents having a long lifespan. Smart devices are such that a patent needs not have a life of 20 years, more like 3 years or so. That rewards trhe innovator in terms of a 6 month head start on competitors and licensing for a 2  to 3 seasons after that. Make a not so long list of rules, simplify the process to lay a patent and to define it, that will make it much more black and white than what we have now.  

198 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 15

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  Reply # 677944 28-Aug-2012 08:44 Send private message

tdgeek:
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.


Correct they are not but Apple were granted a Patent anyway hence I come back to what I said in my very first post on this topic.  The Patent system is broken.  I agree (and have said so already) that if Samsung have copied the Apple design then there should be separate copyright/passing off remedies if they are guilty but as I understand it, that was not argued.  The real problem to me is that with a Patent Apple are effrectively claiming they invented rounded corners and therefore can stop anyone else using rounded corners.  In a copyright case (assuming you can claim originality) you look at the design as a whole and see if the "look and feel" is the same.  That does not stop someone else have a rounded unit as long as it does not look or feel like an Apple phone.      

411 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 677945 28-Aug-2012 08:47 Send private message

I am still surprised someone at the patent office allowed the rounded corners to be registered as a design patent..

I totally agree with your statement... "the patent system is broken"

3540 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 405

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  Reply # 677947 28-Aug-2012 08:49 Send private message

ibuksh: I am still surprised someone at the patent office allowed the rounded corners to be registered as a design patent..

I totally agree with your statement... "the patent system is broken"


Well maybe the US patent system at least.

411 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 677948 28-Aug-2012 08:49 Send private message

kiwitrc:
ibuksh: I am still surprised someone at the patent office allowed the rounded corners to be registered as a design patent..

I totally agree with your statement... "the patent system is broken"


Well maybe the US patent system at least.


Yup.. especially the US patent system..

198 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 15

Subscriber

  Reply # 677958 28-Aug-2012 08:58 Send private message

ibuksh:
kiwitrc:
ibuksh: I am still surprised someone at the patent office allowed the rounded corners to be registered as a design patent..

I totally agree with your statement... "the patent system is broken"


Well maybe the US patent system at least.


Yup.. especially the US patent system..


Which unfortunately affects us since it is such a big marketplace.  If a manufacturer cannot sell its products there or has to substanially modify them then that restricts what we will get here.  

411 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 677961 28-Aug-2012 09:00 Send private message

Samsung is big enough to work its way around stuff..

I guess its a wait and watch game now..

384 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 4

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  Reply # 677968 28-Aug-2012 09:09 Send private message



My posiiton is that I favour patents. But, the patent process is too complex, too detailed, and it makes it unwieldy.

There are probably too many, but thats more due to patents having a long lifespan. Smart devices are such that a patent needs not have a life of 20 years, more like 3 years or so. That rewards trhe innovator in terms of a 6 month head start on competitors and licensing for a 2  to 3 seasons after that. Make a not so long list of rules, simplify the process to lay a patent and to define it, that will make it much more black and white than what we have now.  


We will have to agree to disagree. I think that smart devices need patents just as much as anything if the patent deserve to be awarded in the first place. The problem is with things that should not be patentable in the first place been given patents.

When you can patent how a device looks or how a user interacts with a device or the fact that a search function searches local sources as well as remote sources, I don't think it's a realistic goal to reduce the number of patents by simplifying the process or further defining the patent to make it much more black and white.

2622 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 90

Trusted
Spark NZ

  Reply # 677970 28-Aug-2012 09:10 Send private message

Giggs:
ibuksh:
kiwitrc:
ibuksh: I am still surprised someone at the patent office allowed the rounded corners to be registered as a design patent..

I totally agree with your statement... "the patent system is broken"


Well maybe the US patent system at least.


Yup.. especially the US patent system..


Which unfortunately affects us since it is such a big marketplace.  If a manufacturer cannot sell its products there or has to substanially modify them then that restricts what we will get here.  


They will deal with it, they have a reputation for being fast to react. Check the patents they were found to have used without authority, modify the deign/parts, and/or pay a licence fee where that is a better option.

411 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 677974 28-Aug-2012 09:14 Send private message

tdgeek:
Giggs:
ibuksh:
kiwitrc:
ibuksh: I am still surprised someone at the patent office allowed the rounded corners to be registered as a design patent..

I totally agree with your statement... "the patent system is broken"


Well maybe the US patent system at least.


Yup.. especially the US patent system..


Which unfortunately affects us since it is such a big marketplace.  If a manufacturer cannot sell its products there or has to substanially modify them then that restricts what we will get here.  


They will deal with it, they have a reputation for being fast to react. Check the patents they were found to have used without authority, modify the deign/parts, and/or pay a licence fee where that is a better option.


Yup.. just like they did when the galaxy tab sales was halted in Australia.. they changed the design slightly to make it look different and they got back in the market.. its no biggie for them.. they probably already have teams working on contingency plans for a long time already..

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