Beware! Patent-pending technology.

When I browsed through the resources of the IDE today, I ran into this:

[code]// ScrollBar/framework.js
//
// Minor wrapper for separators
//
// © 2013 Xojo Inc. – All Rights Reserved
// This code contains patent-pending technology.

function separator (target, events)
{
separator.baseConstructor.call(this,target,events);
}

frameworkSubclass(separator, frameworkObject);[/code]

I am impressed. Patent-pending. This code. That shall show the world the value of Xojo!

Dude. You just made me look at patented code. If I now use anything even remotely like it, I will be guilty of willful infringement.
I best forget I ever saw this :slight_smile:
Anyone willing to wipe my memory, so I can feature in the next Total Recall?

Except for New Zealand where they just recently passed a law banning software patents.

Software patents banned

In Europe we rejected Software patents in 2005
The “Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the patentability of computer-implemented inventions” was rejected on 6 July 2005 by the European Parliament by an overwhelming majority of 648 to 14 votes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proposed_directive_on_the_patentability_of_computer-implemented_inventions

Patents are not copyrights. If you use copyrighted code, the author would have to show that you actually copied it. If you could prove you never saw the original, you’re off the hook.

With patents, it doesn’t matter if you saw the original code or not. It’s the technique that’s patented, and even if you stumble on the same technique all by yourself, you are infringing.

“Independant Discovery” or “Independant Invention” is not a defense for Patent Infringment… but it IS a legal defense for WILLFUL Patent Infringment… there being a huge legal and penalty differences in the US between the two.

[quote=30380:@Kem Tekinay]Patents are not copyrights. If you use copyrighted code, the author would have to show that you actually copied it. If you could prove you never saw the original, you’re off the hook.

With patents, it doesn’t matter if you saw the original code or not. It’s the technique that’s patented, and even if you stumble on the same technique all by yourself, you are infringing.[/quote]

From what I have heard by a friend that work in a big American company. If they infringing the patented code they will be fined but if they are aware of the patented code the fine is twice as high. So the Company asked the software developer not to read any open source code.

Willful Infringment is TREBLE damages…

Imagine the world today if some caveman had a Patent on the Wheel… or fire…

In my opinion it is a very stupid idea to patent code. Will make Xojo useless because where does Xojo inc put the border? What if they patent For … next, while… wend and so on? How are we gonna code our applcations then?

Luckily for us, the EU and Botswana will not recognise those software patents. So we do not have to respect them if we do not want to.

We bought a pro license legally, we do not make illegal copies and we respect the license. I think that is more than enough. Otherwise Xojo will be useless for us.

@Chris V… I don’t think that the patent is aimed to protect Xojo against you, the licenced user of the product. it is more a protection against competitive products.

As a licenced user, you are allowed to use the product and compile your code made with the product, and sell your compiled code. What else do you need? And what difference does it make that there is a patent preventing a competitor of Xojo’s from creating whatever feature covered by the patent?

Seems to me this is a non issue.

A bit hyperbolic, but perhaps you are unaware of business reasons to hold obtain patents that are unrelated to litigation. Investors like them mostly because they signify completion of a well understood and fairly difficult process. Corporate attorney’s like them because they are arrows in a quiver that can prevent all-out corporate war. M&A people like them because they help establish fair valuations.

That’s not to say that the world would be better if the US didn’t issue software patents or that unbounded state granted monopolies are a noble thing. But applying for and obtaining a legally legitimate patent is anything but stupid.

Its not if you are right or wring. Its the cost of the argument. I know many software companies that have been hit with very trivial patent suits.

You want to really get angry with the system: Read/listen to the Carbonite suit.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/496/transcript

Carbonite… isn’t that the stuff they froze Hans Solo in???

U.S. patent law is completely broken when it comes to software. One of the problems is that the patent office basically rubber stamps applications. They don’t have the resources to perform adequate searches for prior art. A lot of the nuisance patents out there are clearly invalid due to prior art, but once the patent is granted you have to wade through the mud of the court system to prove that and get the patent revoked.

Given the performance of our government in other areas, I have no high hopes this will ever be fixed.

I lean towards either having a very high bar for acquiring a software patent, or no patents for software at all. Patents make some sense for industrial processes that are difficult to develop and construct but easy to copy. I’m not sure they have any place in software.

[quote=30391:@Dave S]Willful Infringment is TREBLE damages…

Imagine the world today if some caveman had a Patent on the Wheel… or fire…[/quote]

It would be pretty much the same, patent would’ve expired 20 years after :smiley:

It would be pretty much the same, patent would’ve expired 20 years after :smiley:

Indeed, the name of the company is based on that. It’s an online backup company.

EDIT: Blasted forum. Not only repeat post but I can’t delete the duplicate. Sorry.

Like them or hate them the reality is that a CEO of ANY company HAS to avail themselves of all legal means to protect & preserve a companies value and that includes it IP.

Heck ask Geoff - I know how he feels about software patents and I’m sure he’d cheer loudly if they were abolished.
But in the mean time we HAVE to copyright & patent what we can as the software we produce forms a big part of the assets of the company.

Like them or not really isn’t the question.
It’s “is it something that as the CEO of a company I need to use to make sure I protect the assets & value of the company”
And - where available by law - you use them because you mostly have to.

It is very reasonable and fair to say that a CEO has the responsibility to protect the company and its investors.

Although I think patents do sometimes leaves a bitter taste in the software world, when established companies with bad products prevents small upcoming companies with good products from entering the market competitively. Competition is a great stimulant for progress, and with progress everyone wins… even companies.

I’m a big supporter of Paul Graham’s patent pledge. He’s not saying don’t have him, he’s just saying… give the little guy a chance as well.

The Patent Pledge

Look at the Sony Bono stuff in music or Walt Disney years of protections…

20 years ? If only !

BTW: it is 50 years in music, so anyone can sold any music from 1963-08-31 and forward…

[quote=30462:@Emile Schwarz]20 years ? If only !

BTW: it is 50 years in music, so anyone can sell any music from 1963-08-31 and forward…[/quote]

That is copyright law. Not patent law. Patents in the U.S. expire 20 years after issuing:
http://www.uspto.gov/main/faq/p120013.htm

In the UK, to give another example, after the 4th year renewal fees are required to extend up to 20 years:
http://www.businessandpatents.org/content/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=50

Patents in their original idealistic way were designed to grant temporary monopoly to inventors, giving them a leg up against wealthier or more powerful but less-imaginative potential competitors. By giving monopoly rights over an invention you’d have up to 20 years to take advantage of having invented it, from there onwards it would be available to anyone to adopt or improve upon (and patent the improvements).

The original patent law referred to physical inventions but the bastardization of patenting software and then just ideas is what’s broken the whole thing up. Patent law needs to be modified so monopoly over an invention requires a real implementation and not just the idea, and also should require that the invention is being actively developed/marketed for the patent to be maintained. I also think the 20 years thing should be revised, as nowadays going from idea to manufacturing is a much easier and accesible process and protection can be shortened significantly in this new reality. Ideas and software implementations should NOT be patentable, by any means.