What We Learn From Novell’s Patents

Referencing: http://techrights.org/2011/09/05/novell-swpats

Roy goes on one of his rants against patents again. As I have noted, I largely agree with him that the current patent situation is a mess and the system is out of control. Here are some of the things Roy says:

Software patents are without exception a bad thing, including all of IBM’s, Google’s, and Red Hat’s.

Good to see Roy finally mention Google in his list here. I do not recall seeing him mention Google’s massive patent purchase as a bad thing until now. Frankly I do not blame Google – they are having to play the game just like the rest.

Roy then speaks about the system some more – but as he gets more harsh in his words he suddenly forgets to mention Google’s game playing:

The issue here is not just Microsoft or even Apple; it is the law that they are exploiting and exploring in an attempt to ban or tax the competition, to the point where they can win not based on merit but based on market distortion. Rather than good programmers competing against one another, the competition is being passed to parasitical patent lawyers and lobbyists. No wonder the economy is doing so poorly with high unemployment rates and monopolistic billionaires who grow richer than ever before (they use patent monopolies).

Why leave Google out of this? And why vilify Apple and Microsoft without evidence of wrong doing? But Roy continues with a quote I largely agree with:

Instead of producing 600 pages of so-called “prior art” (a cause of nature), one could just produce 60,000 lines of good code that actually achieves something. Too much money is being drained in courtrooms, feeding a meta-industry that serves almost nobody except itself. Politicians too are basically being trained in the art of arguing and as long as they manage to engage with a dialogue against another side — no matter if they win the argument or not — they bill someone at the sidelines. Sadly, almost all politicians are lawyers or former businessmen. Is this the vision and future that we want?

Yes: the system is absurd and the fact most politicians, at least in the USA, are lawyers does not help. Again, though, Roy flips into his need to vilify those he loathes:

How about defanging them in all cases? Ensuring that Apple and Microsoft cannot abuse the patent system as they do to harm Linux?

Roy: if you could be honest and non-biased you actually might be able to work against the completely absurd patent system. As it is you just show yourself to be so biased as to not be worthy of taking seriously.

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