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back to article Twitter poses patent non-aggression treaty to unblock industry

Twitter is trying a new tactic to slow or stop the increasing use of legal action over patents as a tactic in the technology industry. It has proposed an Innovator’s Patent Agreement (IPA), which states that its patents will only be used in legal cases as a defensive tactic, unless the employee who created the patent agrees …

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FAIL

BFD

"But with the IPA Twitter has said it wants to put control of patents back into the hands of people who dreamed them up..."

Yea, but Twitter will keep the money. BFD.

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Holmes

Re: BFD

What money? If Twitter will not sue people who infringe on a patent, how will it get any money for it?

Apart from that, I assume Twitter employees who write a patent already get a cash bonus, which is likely to be more than whatever the employee could get out of it otherwise.

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Still better than the current arrangement

This is a much better option than the current arrangement but ideally the whole patent reigeem is horribly out of date, it was written for a time when men were real men and rode penny farthings and had handlebar moustahes and always had a bully day.

Patent protection does need to exist but only in the context of protecting current products. A patent should become invalid when the inventor is no longer producing a physical product based on it. Biological or software patents shouldn't exist and if you are a company that just holds patents then you are unable to use them because you don't produce anything they are covering.

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Thumb Up

Re: Still better than the current arrangement

Nicely put. I agree with it all.

In the mean-time, Twitter's idea is at least an attempt to get some sense into things, so +1 to them.

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FAIL

Re: Still better than the current arrangement

It won't work unless the big hitters sign up, and I can't see Apple, MS, and all the others doing that as they can use their patent warchest to beat down new entrants and throw some toys out of their prams at eachother for a fairly limited cost (in relation to their profits/revenues, anyway).

It is a nice idea, though, but the extension of it is that there is no point in holding a patent if all the folks that do hold one can't be arsed to defend their right to a 20 year monopoly. Obviously some patents would get rigourously defended under this system, too, so any patent dispute will eventually escalate into using all weapons in the patent-cabinet.

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FAIL

Re: Still better than the current arrangement

Flawed.

"if you are a company that just holds patents then you are unable to use them because you don't produce anything they are covering."

So if my company invent perpetual motion and cold fusion but cannot afford to produce it, how does that work then?

What about everyones favourite company at the moment ARM? How may processsors do they make themselves?

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Re: Still better than the current arrangement

You develop cold fusion and you'll have people jumping over themselves to give you enough money...

As for ARM I think that licensing for production counts as production - actully even if that license isn't being taken up (sanity check required on license cost - must have previously sold at a comparable price)

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Re: Still better than the current arrangement

@Lost All Faith

ARM produce absolutely ZERO processors themselves. (In actual fact they probably do have access to a FAB to have experemental new designs fabricated and tested before becoming widely available to licensees.

The thing with your argument though is you need to look at ARM from a different perspective. They are a company in the business of selling processor and architecture designs. It's the design that is the product, not the processor itself. Thus, under my idea for a patent system, ARM is still entitled to patents on their design because they are actively undertaking R&D on new designs, qualifying those designs and selling them to their customers.

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Anonymous Coward

Idealistic

Maybe a little too naive and idealistic. The only way to stop patent is to dismantle the patent system, or at least, limit it's scope so it does not apply to software. This is already the case in the UK where software can only be patented essentially in conjunction with a hardware invention.

Thank god the UK is at least sane and sober on this issue.

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Re: Idealistic

I agree dismantling the patent system would be the way to go. Unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen any time soon, so they are going for the Next Best Thing (tm) instead.

The great thing about this is that they can easily implement it for their own patents and inspire others to do the same thing, without requiring a majority to agree to implement it.

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Re: Idealistic

"so they are going for the Next Best Thing (tm) instead."

I am Mary Devoir and I belive you have stolen our trademark "The Next Best Thing"

Please pay me one hundred gazillion dollars!

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Flame

I swear if I hear another American claim that they "reached out" to someone when they really mean that they sent them an email...

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Paris Hilton

So the patent creator can block a patent troll from using their patent agressively?

In other words, said patent troll merely needs to track down the originator and offer them a jumped-up cut of the possible takings in return for their agreement to using the patent in a pernicious lawsuit..?

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So if I'm understanding this correctly, the patent owner is effectively saying "feel free to use the idea I've patented, but you can't patent it yourself and charge me to use it". Is that right?

In which case isn't it simpler to publish the idea, thus establishing "prior art", without patenting it?

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Re: Prior Art

That doesn't seem to be a hindrance to getting and enforcing a patent nowadays...

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Bing!

You pass lawyering 01, which I would have expected at least one person at Twitter to have managed before sending out such a ludicrous memo.

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