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Author Topic: Patent trolling or not?  (Read 5789 times)


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Patent trolling or not?
« on: November 24, 2008, 08:13 AM »
The most people say they have a problem with software patents, so did I ... till now. It changed after some experiences I made during my observation of other products. They would stop the progress and new inventions and often are used only to get money without working with the help of lawyers. Now I´m affected by this problem myself and want to know what others are thinking. To understand it I´d tell you about the things that happend to me.

I´ve seen remarkable inventions that were working quite good a while till some "customers" recognized that they could patent the features and forbid the real makers to work with their own invention. Often it resulted in damages that costed the inventors in addition a lot of money. They´ve gone bankrupt and had a very big debts from then on. Now I made a very special software invention that effects other software/processes/systems/physical devices and don´t want to make the same faults. The development of the product completed for about 1 year and has been tested at some selected customers with very big success and a heavy request for it. A patent is not existing in any way till now and there´s no program from others that have a similar feature/effect. So I decided to apply a patent next year. While searching for additional fitting ideas I was designing a new program. Now I found out that some firm has made exactly the same invention. I talked a little bit with the inventors and so remarked that they don´t have patented their best and biggest idea and they had a lot of financial problems during the last year. The firm hast now (this month) gone bankrupt and closed the doors. They sold their complete software bulk to a new firm last week. So I think about including their invention as a part of mine and develop my own perfect product line. This would mean I could forbid others to use the software without any personal permission or licences.

Ok, I know it´s not a very kind way to earn money this way, but don´t forget: The biggest and newest part of the invention will come from myself. The other part is only a rather small piece from the software-bulk (only one product of five or more) that has been bought by the other firm that is very very big in business. I had the same ideas without knowing from the other product. So I decided to make the other´s invention part of my patent. A lot of firms make software-patents and earn a lot of money with it even without having an own product containing their patent only by sueing others for damages. I have a ready for starting product that I want to use on my own or later on several assistants as a service. I don´t plan in the near future to give away the software directly to customers by licence because of some heavy special problems that could appear with false usage and I don´t want to be taken to court because of others´ faults. I have a small family that has to be regarded and a lot of firms have earned a lot of money with my very special work during the last 10 years. I want to stop that and do things on my own from now on. Now money is getting more important for me than my conscience relating to scriples in software-patents.

I arrived at a decision. Now I´d like to know what you think about my plan to include the other patent in mine. If you´d have the same thaughts about money and your future, would you decided the same way or not ... and why? Please only answer with a comprehensible and logical declaration that leads to your decision. Perhaps you have some hints or tips what I should do or not do because of any unregarded reasons. I´m thankful for any following helping answer and opinion.


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Re: Patent trolling or not?
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2008, 11:34 AM »
If the idea is truly novel and non-obvious to an expert in your field, then I would support a patent, even if it is a software patent. I think the problem with some software patents granted are that they are not novel and not non-obvious to someone working in computer programming. It doesn't make sense to patent every single way that you can solve a problem but if it is indeed some method that is not known or could be developed easily by someone else working on the same problem, then I say go for it.

I think the key question to ask is if you gave the problem you solved to a large group of programmers, would someone come up with a similar idea when solving your problem. If no, then I say you can patent it. If you think that there is a good possibility that someone else would think of it, then I say that it is not patentable.

However, patent offices have some weird ideas about what can be patented and what can not. I think we should start a topic in General Discussion about software patents and what should be patentable and what cannot as well as list some real life examples.
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