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If you didn't have patents, no one would bother to spend money on research and development. But with patents, if someone has a good idea and a competitor can't copy it, then that competitor will have to think of their own way of doing it. So then, instead of just one innovator, you have two or three people trying to do something in a new way.
Making money from enforcing patents is no more wrong than investing in preferred stock.
Patents are being used to wage war in the digital world, and as a result, patents have become a toll gate on the road of innovation.
If people don't get paid for their inventions, that's not a good thing. In the case of many patents, there are people who aren't in a position to take them to the next level. If you don't enforce your rights, no one is going to enforce them for you.
I think software patents are a bad idea. Many patents are given for trivial inventions.
People equate patents with secrecy, that secrecy is what patents were designed to overcome. That's why the formula for Coca-Cola was never patented. They kept it as a trade secret, and they've outlasted patent laws by 80 years or more.
Our strategy in dealing with patents in Mono is the same strategy that any other software developer would take. In the event of a patent claim, we will try to find prior art to the claim of the patent.
Miguel de Icaza
I decry the current tendency to seek patents on algorithms. There are better ways to earn a living than to prevent other people from making use of one's contributions to computer science.
If you look at the world's top 50 drugs being sold today, they are being marketed and sold by companies that did not invent them. I respect patents. I'll pay a royalty. But I shouldn't be denied the right to produce drugs for poor people at reasonable prices.
Patents are like fertilizer. Applied wisely and sparingly, they can increase growth. But if you apply too many chemicals, or make patents too strong, then you can leach the land, making growth more difficult.
Like patents - which also seek to protect the little guy - unions were started for all the right reasons. But like patents, they can be twisted into something that hurts innovation, competition, and ultimately consumers and the country as a whole.
The quality of American patents has been deteriorating for years; they are increasingly issued for products and processes that are not truly innovative - things like the queuing system for Netflix, which was patented in 2003. Yes, it makes renting movies a snap, but was it really a breakthrough deserving patent protection?
In the early days of the software industry, people cared about copyright and didn't give a damn about patents - they copied each other willy-nilly.
Software patents, in particular, are very ripe for abuse. The whole system encourages big corporations getting thousands and thousands of patents. Individuals almost never get them.
If you're a large corporation, you can afford to pay the money to register patents, but if you're an individual like me, you can't.
Did you know that Kodak actually invented the digital camera that ultimately put it out of business? Kodak had the patents and a head start, but ignored all that.
Fighting patents one by one will never eliminate the danger of software patents, any more than swatting mosquitoes will eliminate malaria.
It's very hard for individual inventors to get paid. For the same reason that private equity is valuable - broadly, that's a good thing - in the case of patents, many that own them aren't in a good position to take the next step.
Software patents are dangerous to software developers because they impose monopolies on software ideas.
Patents have long served as a fundamental cog in the American machine, cherished in our national soul.
With the rise of software patents, engineers coding new stuff - whether within a large software company or as kids writing smartphone apps - are exposed to a claim that somewhere a prior patent is being infringed.
I had to learn everything about manufacturing, patents and how to run a business, and eventually I came up with an prototype that worked.
Sure, President Bush can say that the U.S. government won't fund stem cell research, but believe me, Japan is applauding. Because they will just do it first and get all the patents.
Kevin J. Anderson
The software patent problem is not limited to Mono. Software patents affect everyone writing software today.
Miguel de Icaza
We have more patents on pigmented inks than anybody else.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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