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Old_Grey_Wolf
April 22nd, 2011, 01:29 AM
I was surprised that this wasn't already posted in the Community Cafe. If it has, please merge the threads.

"Google Linux servers hit with $5M patent infringement verdict." Link to article. (http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2011/04/21/texas_jury_says_google_infringed_linux_patent/)

Personally, I think the USA patent system really needs to be fixed or neutered :(.

lisati
April 22nd, 2011, 01:32 AM
Sued for using linked lists? Duh!

Old_Grey_Wolf
April 22nd, 2011, 01:51 AM
According to the article, the patent was filed in 1997.

The patent describes "a method and apparatus for performing storage and retrieval...that uses the hashing technique with the external chaining method for collision resolution", and the accusation is that companies infringed by using various versions of the Linux kernel on their servers.

I thought that the use of hashing and collision resolution described in the patent was in use before 1997.

Let me look; however, I think Microsoft is even fighting for patent reform in the Supreme Court of the USA.

Edit: I found the article about Microsoft wanting a reform of the USA patent system. Linked here. (http://www.internetevolution.com/author.asp?section_id=852&doc_id=205855&f_src=internetevolution_gnews)

Sporkman
April 22nd, 2011, 02:41 AM
Being a patent troll outfit, counter-suing them with patent violations of their own won't work...

Sporkman
April 22nd, 2011, 02:43 AM
BTW, this seems pretty big, you should have used a more descriptive thread title. :)

Something like:

"US Court Rules Linux Violates Patents"

or thereabouts.

Lightstar
April 22nd, 2011, 05:32 AM
All of that is really childish games for immature rich people.

jerenept
April 22nd, 2011, 06:05 AM
All of that is really childish games for immature rich people.

+infinity

doperative
April 22nd, 2011, 12:38 PM
A jury has found that in using Linux on its back-end servers, Google has infringed a patent held by a small Texas-based company and must pay $5m in damages.

In 2006, Bedrock Computer Technologies sued Google and several other outfits including Yahoo!, Amazon.com, PayPal, and AOL claiming they infringed on a patent filed in January 1997. The patent describes

"a method and apparatus for performing storage and retrieval...that uses the hashing technique with the external chaining method for collision resolution", and the accusation is that companies infringed by using various versions of the Linux kernel on their servers.

link (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/04/21/texas_jury_says_google_infringed_linux_patent/)

danbuter
April 22nd, 2011, 12:44 PM
Patent trolls should all be thrown in jail. And that's what this case is about, some lawyer with a patent who has NO IDEA how to program but he wrote up some description of the process and patented it.

Elfy
April 22nd, 2011, 12:45 PM
Threads merged

ErikNJ
April 22nd, 2011, 01:41 PM
The first step is to see that there are some courts in Texas that need to be ignored (nothing against Texas outside of the district in question).

gnomeuser
April 22nd, 2011, 02:09 PM
The first step is to see that there are some courts in Texas that need to be ignored (nothing against Texas outside of the district in question).

Rather than ignoring the bad apples, perhaps we should focus on highlighting the good ones. Latin America, especially Brazil has excellent legal underpinnnings for IT sanity (for the most part).

Give the ignorant, legal, masses some role models to live up to.

ErikNJ
April 22nd, 2011, 02:29 PM
Rather than ignoring the bad apples, perhaps we should focus on highlighting the good ones. Latin America, especially Brazil has excellent legal underpinnnings for IT sanity (for the most part).

Give the ignorant, legal, masses some role models to live up to.

That's a good point. Even in the US, there are many courts that throw that garbage right out. That particular district in Texas is a well-known haven for patent trolls.

Frankly, the fact that a basic process can even be patented in the first place is ridiculous. I'd like to see a moratorium on all software patents in the US until the US patent office can be modernized to meet the post-industrial needs of the rest of the modern world.

forrestcupp
April 22nd, 2011, 02:56 PM
Let me look; however, I think Microsoft is even fighting for patent reform in the Supreme Court of the USA.
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I think MS has probably been sued for patent infringement more than they have sued others.

Simian Man
April 22nd, 2011, 03:06 PM
According to the article, the patent was filed in 1997.

The patent describes "a method and apparatus for performing storage and retrieval...that uses the hashing technique with the external chaining method for collision resolution", and the accusation is that companies infringed by using various versions of the Linux kernel on their servers.

I thought that the use of hashing and collision resolution described in the patent was in use before 1997.

Uh, yeah definitley. According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hash_table#History), it was in use at least by 1953.

These things are ridiculous, but it will be appealed by a higher court ie. a court with a modicum of sense. The real shame is the lawyers and judges who make a living with this BS.

walt.smith1960
April 22nd, 2011, 03:15 PM
Uh, yeah definitley. According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hash_table#History), it was in use at least by 1953.

These things are ridiculous, but it will be appealed by a higher court ie. a court with a modicum of sense. The real shame is the lawyers and judges who make a living with this BS.

What's sad about this crap is it uses resources-time & money- that could be used more productively elsewhere. Of course the "professionals" in question would reply that this is very productive for their bank statements. The rest of us can suck it. Remember where Blackberry had to pay a patent/law firm $600 M to stay in business? Blackberry may have prevailed eventually if they had the resources but settling was the only viable option for them. I would have called that extortion dressed up in a nice suit but it was done within the legal system so I guess not.

Zorgoth
April 22nd, 2011, 03:46 PM
Another patent case against open source software, targeted at the Linux kernel itself, which is of course clearly an obvious invention and moreover is filed by a company that does nothing but file patent lawsuits:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-13168296

No doubt this will be overturned on appeal, but the fact that it made it this far goes to show just how broken our patent system is.

Software patents, as most of you no doubt already know, are legal in the US and illegal in Europe. They provide no boost to innovation and waste millions of dollars in pointless legal battles, and make it difficult for small companies to write code without the fear of a lawsuit, as they have no ridiculous patents of their own to defend themselves with.

I urge any and all Americans reading this post to join me in writing your congressman and your senators a concise, direct, and polite letter conveying your opposition to these ridiculous and useless software patents that stifle innovation.

doas777
April 22nd, 2011, 05:12 PM
Uh, yeah definitley. According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hash_table#History), it was in use at least by 1953.

These things are ridiculous, but it will be appealed by a higher court ie. a court with a modicum of sense. The real shame is the lawyers and judges who make a living with this BS.
unfourtunatly, at present, Prior Art cannot be used to invalidate a granted patent. the EFF is gathering support for passing the Patent Reform Act of 2011, which would make it easier for third parties to challenge patents, in part by allowing evidence of prior art to be submitted.
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/02/could-2011-be-year-look-patent-reform-act

US folks, write your congress critters, and support the EFF if possible.

gnomeuser
April 22nd, 2011, 06:03 PM
I think MS has probably been sued for patent infringement more than they have sued others.

The number of times Microsoft has sued over patent infringement in the history of the company can be counted on one hand. The number of times they have been sued over the such claims would I suspect now a days requires a database.

The notion that Microsoft goes around suing people left and right for patent infringement is simply not true... but that never does seem to stop people making the claim :(

aysiu
April 22nd, 2011, 06:06 PM
Just looking at the title, I'm trying to think of how many patent lawsuits have not gone too far. I can't think of any off the top of my head.

There are probably some legitimate patents, but every patent lawsuit I've seen related to software has been ludicrous--stuff like "Clicking on an icon launches an application" or "There is a button on the side of the device."

I don't think ideas should be patentable, only executions of ideas--just as ideas for books aren't copyrightable, only actually written words. "Original" ideas are a dime a dozen. I could come up with an original idea right now. Doesn't mean I have the right to go and sue every major technology corporation in existence.

koenn
April 22nd, 2011, 06:14 PM
The notion that Microsoft goes around suing people left and right for patent infringement is simply not true... but that never does seem to stop people making the claim :(
They do, however, often claim that their competitors infringe on their patents - and they know very well that in the market place they'll often benefit more from having a rumour going around and than from an actual court ruling.
And occasionally, they collect some pocket money in out-of-court settlements.

gnomeuser
April 22nd, 2011, 06:57 PM
They do, however, often claim that their competitors infringe on their patents - and they know very well that in the market place they'll often benefit more from having a rumour going around and than from an actual court ruling.
And occasionally, they collect some pocket money in out-of-court settlements.

That is true, and the only reason they get away with such things is that it is far to expensive to defend oneself and with the poor IT literacy in the legal system the odds of losing are high even if right is on your side.

I would argue this is more a problem with the legal system. For some time I have wondered if one could take entities that engage in this behavior to task under something like the RICO act. It is basically the same as a protection racket. Much like the way Big Content are gaming the system by threatening to sue people for copyright infringement, even noting that it is to expensive to defend oneself and encouraging a settlement.

Throne777
April 22nd, 2011, 07:06 PM
I plan on patenting biological processes. My idea is to 'house biological computers in calcium enriched shells to protect against external damage'.
Now, who do I aim my lawsuit at for stealing my idea of the skull?

ErikNJ
April 22nd, 2011, 07:08 PM
This is a classic patent: http://www.google.com/patents?id=hhYJAAAAEBAJ&printsec=abstract&zoom=4&source=gbs_overview_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

aysiu
April 22nd, 2011, 07:14 PM
I plan on patenting biological processes. My idea is to 'house biological computers in calcium enriched shells to protect against external damage'.
Now, who do I aim my lawsuit at for stealing my idea of the skull?
I know you're joking, but they have already starting issuing patents for genes.

Dustin2128
April 22nd, 2011, 09:31 PM
Would anyone mind explaining to me what the deal is with "east texas" and patent cases?

doas777
April 22nd, 2011, 09:35 PM
Would anyone mind explaining to me what the deal is with "east texas" and patent cases?
that is where the US textbook industry is based, so they are extra strict on copyright stuff. the7y've been steadily accumulating companies that produce nothing but imaginary property for years now. not bad enough that they are basically taking evolution out of biology books....

Dustin2128
April 22nd, 2011, 11:13 PM
that is where the US textbook industry is based, so they are extra strict on copyright stuff. they've been steadily accumulating companies that produce nothing but imaginary property for years now. not bad enough that they are basically taking evolution out of biology books....
Ah, thank you. That explains it, been wondering for quite a while.