[JDEV] Slashdot article on IM Bots patent

Mark Wilcox mark at mjwilcox.com
Sat Aug 17 09:42:07 CDT 2002

Exactly, the point of having patents in many ways is now simply as tools of
corporate warfare.

What I think is worse than corporations who may hold patents & then stomp on
the little guys for inventing new stuff, is those who don't even do any
work, but manage to get patents anyway, just so that they can sue for

The real problem is that in many cases the patents probably are wrong,
either there is prior-art and/or too generic, but nobody can do anything
because nobody has the $ to fight them long-term.

So people settle.

The only effective change is to use our political power -- to elect people
who'll change policy . But as Lawrence Lessing has pointed out, for a fairly
intellegent bunch, we're often radically apathetic in our political beliefs.

I really like congress.org to communicate with my represenatives. Besides
makeing it easy to lookup my reps, they also make it easy to send letters to
them -- in particular, they will even hand deliver paper print outs (which
I've done on a few occasions, & have gotten replies back from my rep, which
is a sign that their office read my note. Doesn't mean my rep did anything
about them, but I made myself heard).

Don't e-mail your reps, they don't pay too much attention to that (for the
most part, a few, very few, do). Use physical forms -- paper letters, faxes
or phone calls.

Sorry to go off on a tangent like that, but if you don't like software
patents, don't (just) complain here, go do something about it -- via the
very process that got us here in the first place.

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Waite" <mass at akuma.org>
To: <jdev at jabber.org>
Sent: Saturday, August 17, 2002 9:18 AM
Subject: Re: [JDEV] Slashdot article on IM Bots patent

> That is not how patents work, unfortunately. You must develop it
> independantly _and_ develop it first. AFAIK, the only way to resolve
> disputes is to wait for the patent holder to take you to court, at which
> time they may ask for sale of your product to be blocked while the
> courts decide.
> It was a system to help independant inventors and protect their work
> from just being taken and mass-produced, but now IMHO does the exact
> opposite - even if you are an independant inventor with a cool idea, the
> concepts your invention is based on will be covered by patents help by
> the large corporate companies which swoop in wanting to produce it,
> meaning that you _must_ let them do so, or you cannot sell your own
> invention either. Even if the patents brought to you by these third
> parties are pointless, the burden will be on you to prove you are not
> infringing or that the patents are invalid.
> -David Waite
> Jeremy Lunn wrote:
> >On Thu, Aug 15, 2002 at 03:00:44PM -0600, Ben Schumacher wrote:
> >
> >
> >>Yes, but this patent is specifically directed towards instant messaging
> >>bots. I guess it just a question of how you define instant messaging.
> >>
> >>
> >
> >Doesn't something have to be specifically developed from the Patent
> >anyway?  So if you develop something independent to any information
> >about the Patent then there's nothing they could do about it.  Though
> >could be a hell of a job to proove except for something that is *that*
> >logical.
> >
> >
> >
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