Patent pains

Rambus wins patent claim

Saw today that
Rambus won in a courtcase over a memory maker called Hynix
, the jury in case case said that all of Rambus 10 patents in question were valid. My first thought that if all 10 patents where found valid the jury probably looked more at the nationality of the companies involved and one being an ‘evil chinese’ company taking american jobs and the other being a ‘good american’ company defendings its intelectual property it was a clear cut case.

Become more and more sceptical of the jury system over the last years, from having started out as a strong supporter of it. I think in a lot of cases the jury doesn’t have the competence to judge a case and also they are more likely to be swayed by non-legal things, ranging from how charming the parties involved in the case are and local political considerations. Reminds me of how Jonathan Schwartz was saying that they didn’t want to have to take the Kodak patent case in front oa jury in Kodak’s home state as the jury would be to predisposed towards Kodak. I think this is also something SCO is trying to bank on in their ongoing case with IBM, that a local Utah jury will be more favourable to their plight as a small local company and not able to fully understand the technical questions involved and thus give them a favourable judgement.

On the other side, the recent patent case between RIM and NTP, shows that even professional judges are not as good as one could hope. With the judge trying to force a settlement even in the light of the patent office seemingly about to invalidate most of the patents in question.
Once again you had the situation of a foreign company vs a local one,
but I think the major problem here was the judge seemingly thinking forcing a settlement would give a result that was a ‘fair compromise’.

Of course that in many of these cases todays victim was yesterday’s troll doesn’t make things easier, especially in the court of public opinion.

Allergy pains

So it seems there is something in the air this year in Barcelona that is causing me grief. My eyeballs hurt, I have a constant headache and a general feeling of about to become seasick.

I do tend to be a little busted during spring, but I don’t think I was even close to this last year, so I guess there is more of whatever is causing it this year.

4 thoughts on “Patent pains”

  1. Murray I didn’t think they where Chinese (as in the People’s Republic), my guess was that they where from Taiwan. I used ‘evil chinese’ to symbolify the ignorance/attitude of the jury. Of course if they had been from Taiwan one could argue that they should be called ‘chinese’ anyway, although personally I would define them then as Taiwanese then :)

  2. I think the solution is to spread the word that software patents are plain BS. The fact that the average juror doesn’t understand this is a sign that the FOSS community has done a poor job educating people about the evils of software patents. That’s why I think initiatives like NoSoftwarePatents.com are crucial.

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