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Job's vendetta to pull Galaxy S III from shelves?

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  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , Maddus Mattus wrote

    @evildictaitor: A free market, is free of coercion. And a patent is nothing more then a coercion.

    Free markets are not free of coercion, they are just free of regulation. You can still dump shares, create ponzi schemes, perform insider-trading, double-selling, market manipulations and construct monopolies in a "free" market (unless the market is infinitely big and has infinite liquidity, but in real life that doesn't happen).

    You are forcing others to pay for your idea, while they might have come up with the same idea by themselves.

    No - you are forcing them to pay for using your idea (with emphasis both on using and on your idea).

    The patent system discounts the possibility that someone else came up with the same idea because for an idea to be patentable it needs to be

    * A new idea (you can't claim permanent ownership - only temporary ownership of it)
    * That you invented (i.e. it can't be public domain)
    * Within certain restricted fields (e.g. you can't patent musical sequences)
    * An invention (you can't patent abstract concepts like minimalism)
    * Non-obvious to an expert in the field (which in practice is the experts brought out as witnesses by your competitors during trial - not patent office lawyers)
    * Stand up to scrutiny in a court of law.

    So since nobody else came up with the idea themselves, you are strictly only preventing people from taking your ideas and selling them without your permission.

    If you take away the patent, how much is the idea worth? Nothing.

    How much is a guy worth that comes up with ideas? He's priceless,.

    Without patents, he is a guy who comes up with lots of ideas which are worth nothing, as you just clearly pointed out. ie. he is worth nothing.

    Let me just put it like this.

    If I were head of Microsoft and the US decided that patents were illegal, I would immediately fire everyone in the research department and start up a big department of people to reverse engineer my competitor's products. Because research is expensive and without patents it's much easier for Microsoft to wait for small companies to come up with ideas, then quickly copy them, slap a Microsoft sticker on them and watch all of the small companies go bust because Microsoft's sales department already has contacts in all of the firms that matter, because Microsoft is a trusted brand, and because Microsoft is pretty good at printing CDs already.

    Or to put it another way, if patents were illegal, it would be much cheaper for Microsoft to be innovative by forcing small innovative companies out of business than by bothering to do research.

    And then what would happen is that all researchers and research companies would leave your country and go to a different country where they can make money from doing research. And very quickly Maddus Mattus, your wall in Berlin won't be able to keep the population of your country from fleeing your borders and ... oh wait, this has already happened somewhere before?

    How did that regime that thought ideas belonged to the people and that people shouldn't be rewarded for their talent or hard work turn out in the end?

  • User profile image
    GoddersUK

    , Maddus Mattus wrote

    @GoddersUK:

    Are you sure we are better off? Delaying the release of new drugs by decades? Drugs that can save lives today?

    Yes, unless you want all the babies to have birth defects, yes.

    Rejecting perfectly good drugs because they made a clerical error?

    When did that happen?

    Driving the costs of these drugs through the roof, just because there might be a few bad men? I hope you are sure, because I am not.

    "a few bad men" = a profit focussed industry that will try and get away with as much naughtiness as possible. And even if they're weren't naughty we'd need to do all the tests anyway in case they were accidently producing unsafe or ineffective drugs.

    I do not propose any form of protection.

    Yes you did.

    , Maddus Mattus wrote

    In light of this, government has to grant some form of protection.

    Like I've stated before, you can't copy everything, you only copy the succesfull ideas. And if these ideas are succesfull allready, fruits have allready been plucked. That's how you pay for R&D. Apple is a very good example, it made billions being innovative, it has stopped doing that and strated protecting it's marketshare. Would be interesting to see where they go from here.

    Companies A and B each have £1 billion. Company A spends that on research for a new product (estimated market £1 billion)(let's say they develop a new material that combats current leakage in transistors). Company B does nothing. At the end of the research Company A have £0 and Company B have £1 billion. Company A start to sell the product, company B copies it. Company B has £1 billion left for a massive marketting campaign and gains 90 % of the market share. Company B is left with lots of money, Company A goes bankrupt. You create a climate where innovating is not economically sensible.

    Regulation does not drive product safety, the market does. Market changed first, law followed.

    That's just not true.

    I agree with you on the concept of the patent, the idea is nice. The real world application not so, so I am against.

    I don't really see how you can seperate those...

     

  • User profile image
    Maddus Mattus

    , evildictait​or wrote

    Free markets are not free of coercion, they are just free of regulation.

    Let me correct it then, I want is Laissez Faire Capitalism.

    Without patents, he is a guy who comes up with lots of ideas which are worth nothing, as you just clearly pointed out. ie. he is worth nothing.

    No, he is priceless. Companies are always looking for creative people. What do you think the market value is of the guy that thought up the iPhone, or Kinect? Those people are priceless.

    *snip*

    I disagree. Microsoft would fire the lawyers and hire more inventors. Small companies would be able to compete, because the protection large companies have would go away.

    Everybody wins! Especially the consumer, who ends up paying for the circus.

     

  • User profile image
    Maddus Mattus

    Case from 1950, FDA was founded in 1906, so this is an argument against not for. Since the FDA was not able to do it's job.

    When did that happen?

    It happens all the time, you just don't hear about it.

    "a few bad men" = a profit focussed industry that will try and get away with as much naughtiness as possible. And even if they're weren't naughty we'd need to do all the tests anyway in case they were accidently producing unsafe or ineffective drugs.

    Nothing wrong with profit. And exploitation can only happen for so long, until people move away from that company. So if for instance Microsoft was exploiting it's customers, they would move to Apple. Microsoft would have to stop in order to survive.

    Yes you did.

    No, I said I can imagine you want protection from the same institution that is demanding from you to make a lot of costs.

    Companies A and B each have £1 billion. Company A spends that on research for a new product (estimated market £1 billion)(let's say they develop a new material that combats current leakage in transistors). Company B does nothing. At the end of the research Company A have £0 and Company B have £1 billion. Company A start to sell the product, company B copies it. Company B has £1 billion left for a massive marketting campaign and gains 90 % of the market share. Company B is left with lots of money, Company A goes bankrupt. You create a climate where innovating is not economically sensible.

    Then company A made a terrible investment decision, researching a product that could be copied so easily. And how would B know, that A's idea is worth copying? It would first have to become a success. Then A would end up with 90% market share and B with 10%, B would then have to get the product to market, use up it's billion dollars to catch up, while A already releases a new version. B would constantly trail behind A.

    Imagine this, company A still spends it's billion, but government awards the patent to company B. Now company A is prohibited from even entering the marketplace.

    I don't see any concrete example in that link.

    Let's take airbags for example. Cars have had airbags long before they were made compulsory. Same with safer fuel tanks.

    People should be able to decide for themselves how safe their car should be. Just not the issues that can harm other parties. That's why I totally agree with things like; minimum stopping distance, turn signals, brake lights, etc. etc.

    Government cannot come up with rules, just not with solutions. It has never provided one and on the occasion when they did pick one, they are often wrong. They are politically motivated, not motivated to pick the right solution.

    I don't really see how you can seperate those...

    The spirit of the law is something entirely different then the real world implication.

    That's what is wrong with our current mindset, we focus too much on spirit and too little on real world implication. That's why we push for agendas that sound nice, but have a devastating impact. We need more common sense.

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , Maddus Mattus wrote

    No, he is priceless. Companies are always looking for creative people. What do you think the market value is of the guy that thought up the iPhone, or Kinect? Those people are priceless.

    No. Worthless. I can't afford to pay $100m doing research which someone else can copy for $5m.

    If there were no such thing as patents, Microsoft would have ploughed tons of cash into Kinect, but both the PS3 and the Wii would have a Kin3ct and a Wiinect. Customers won't be giving Microsoft any money for the Kin3ct or the Wiinect. Microsoft would have just spent a crap ton of money inventing awesome peripherals for their competitors, and would no longer have a competitive advantage over them.

    Now when people want to buy Kinect Animals for their kids, they might buy a PS3 and Kin3ct animals, or a Wii and Wiinect Animals instead. After all, the Wiinect is cheaper because they didn't have to hire, train or trial the invention. They just had to copy Microsoft.

    Inventing new things is much more expensive and time-consuming than reverse-engineering something else. That's why it took Microsoft decades and thousands of staff to build Windows XP, but why it took six guys in their basement to make Reactos.

    I disagree. Microsoft would fire the lawyers and hire more inventors. Small companies would be able to compete, because the protection large companies have would go away.

    Nope. They fire inventors and hire reverse engineers. Who wants some expensive inventors who give you hardly any competitive advantage when you can hire reverse engineers to push down per-unit costs?

    InnovativeTech PLC and ReverseEngineers Inc both have a budget of $100m for a new phone.

    IT spend $50m researching the phone, $40m building it and $10m on marketing.

    RE spend $20m reverse-engineering IT's phone, $30m building it, $30m on marketing and $20m into dropping the price of the phone 20%.

    Now do customers buy the phone that few people know about that costs $200, or do they buy the one that is functionally identical three months later that everyone knows about costing $160?

    Here's a hint: customers buy the cheapest phone and are heavily influenced by marketing (i.e. the one from RE Inc).

    What happens next? Well, IT fire all of their innovators and close up shop. RE laugh whilst taking the proceeds of InnovateTech's research all the way to the bank.

  • User profile image
    Maddus Mattus

    @evildictaitor: Can you give me a concrete example of $100m research project, that takes $5m to copy? And how fast can bring a copy of a $100m research project to market?

    Microsoft would be first and allowed to reap the benefits of the idea, then competitors would be able to make cheaper versions, driving competition and consumer choice. If we want a Kinect-like device as a consumer now, we can only buy from Microsoft. That's a bad thing. Same with Apple and Samsung, consumer choice is hurt.

    A comparison between company A and B makes for nice examples, but it's never just A and B, you have many players in the market!

    Let's say company A is a copy cat. Companies B to Z make telephones. B to Z have R&D budgets ranging from $1m to $300m. Company A has to pick from the products of B to Z for ideas to copy from. How much is it going to spend trying to reverse engineer ideas from each individual company? How is company A ever going to have any market share if it constantly late in the market? It will have none, it will always be the cheap half baked version of a better idea. So while company A may survive, it will never be as successful.

    You can see this in every aspect of the market. Innovative companies that do things differently lead the markets, not the copy cats. So no need to protect the innovative companies. They are protected naturally. Why do you think Microsoft started doing apps in the first place? Would you have them prohibited by doing so by law?

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , Maddus Mattus wrote

    @evildictaitor: Can you give me a concrete example of $100m research project, that takes $5m to copy? And how fast can bring a copy of a $100m research project to market?

    1. A drug to cure HIV-AIDS.

    Finding the right protein: >$1bn. Determining what protein is the active ingredient in a given liquid using mass-spectrography <$5m.

     

    2. Inventing the Office 2007 Ribbon.

    Cost to make: >$50m

    Cost to implement, given a working implementation: <$10k

     

    3. Inventing Windows XP

    Cost to make >$1bn

    Cost to invent Reactos - a copy of Windows XP made by copying Windows XP, < $10m.

    Innovative companies that do things differently lead the markets

    That, right there, is proof that patents work.

  • User profile image
    GoddersUK

    , Maddus Mattus wrote

    Case from 1950, FDA was founded in 1906, so this is an argument against not for. Since the FDA was not able to do it's job.

    The police don't catch all criminals, therefore we shouldn't have police.

    It happens all the time, you just don't hear about it.

    A concrete example please. I happen to be a chemist (as in a scientist, not a pharmacist; to be clear) and have never heard of this happening (that's not to say it doesn't; I'm not an organic chemist, so it's not in my field - but I think I would hear if it does happen).

    Nothing wrong with profit.

    When it coincides with the consumers interest. Which isn't nearly as ubiquitous a situation as many capitalists like to think.

    And exploitation can only happen for so long, until people move away from that company. So if for instance Microsoft was exploiting it's customers, they would move to Apple. Microsoft would have to stop in order to survive.

    Apple is great example of why what you just said isn't true. It also relies on consumers being aware of the exploitation. The way pharma companies can try and manipulate/hide trial data is somewhat like a rootkit hiding itself on your computer. Unless you're suggesting that everyone spends three years doing a statistic degree so they can read the papers and spot this you're living in fairy land...

    No, I said I can imagine you want protection from the same institution that is demanding from you to make a lot of costs.

    In that case I have no idea what you're trying to say here since, as far as I can understand it, you're contradicting yourself.

    Then company A made a terrible investment decision, researching a product that could be copied so easily. And how would B know, that A's idea is worth copying? It would first have to become a success. Then A would end up with 90% market share and B with 10%, B would then have to get the product to market, use up it's billion dollars to catch up, while A already releases a new version. B would constantly trail behind A.

    So you don't want any drugs? Or any new materials? Or any invention/discovery, really, since it's easy to repeat what someone else has already done. Any article in the scientific literature (or patent, for that matter) should contain information that any competent scientist could reproduce the work done. The fact is that once it's been done; it's easy to copy. There is no way to mitigate this; you can't bring out a "new version" of a drug (strictly speaking you can make some minor tweaks but it's essentially a whole new drug in that case and is treated as such). I would suggest you try and get some research experience. (From a business perspective what you say may be faultless; but it would mean that our technology stagnated - there would be no new invention or discovery - precisely the situation patents were introduced prevent.)

    Imagine this, company A still spends it's billion, but government awards the patent to company B. Now company A is prohibited from even entering the marketplace.

    And that's why R&D intensive companies guard their secrets very strongly.

    I don't see any concrete example in that link.

    Fine, let's try this one. The markets are pushing companies to do things that are illegal. The flogs the companies when they're caught off the straight and narrow (in theory, at least - I wouldn't pretend the justice system is perfect).

    Let's take airbags for example. Cars have had airbags long before they were made compulsory.

    I'm not aware they are compulsory (in the UK, at least). But I that's somewhat different. Anyone can stick something in a car and say it will make you safer and people will buy it. But how do we know the car manufacturers welding is up to scratch, for instance? The success of a specific safety feature on the market (even if it really does improve safety) doesn't mean that the less glamourous/well known/lay person identifiable safety issues are also supported by the market.

    Same with safer fuel tanks.

    I'm fairly sure that if a defficiency in the design or manufacture of your fuel tank results in your car exploding the manufacturer would be liable.

    People should be able to decide for themselves how safe their car should be. Just not the issues that can harm other parties. That's why I totally agree with things like; minimum stopping distance, turn signals, brake lights, etc. etc.

    Well I'm not a mechanical engineer. I've never welded in my life. I don't know which bits of metal are safe and which aren't. I am unable to decide for myself how safe my car is (and if you were to ask me should be the answer would (obviously) be "as safe as reasonably possible"). We all like to think we're competent to make such decision; the sad reality is we're not. (Also most safety issues overlap to others - if something breaks down in the middle of the motorway it will probably affect the other traffic; what about "innocent" passengers?)

    The same applies to issues like drugs. I'm not a biochemist. I'm not a statistician. I can't possibly decide whether or not a drug is safe or analyse the outcome of a trial (let alone detect delibrate deception) - I have to rely on other people to do that for me. We call it regulation.

    Government cannot come up with rules, just not with solutions. It has never provided one and on the occasion when they did pick one, they are often wrong. They are politically motivated, not motivated to pick the right solution.

    I'm not entirely sure what you're getting at here. Yes, governments are politically motivated and it can be a struggle to get a sensible, evidence based approach guiding policy. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try. And a not-perfect policy is better than no policy (although a bad policy is clearly worse).

    The spirit of the law is something entirely different then the real world implication.

    Yes, but by that logic we would never have any rules. Ever.

    That's what is wrong with our current mindset, we focus too much on spirit and too little on real world implication. That's why we push for agendas that sound nice, but have a devastating impact. We need more common sense.

    On the contrast. Implementation has to be considered when drafting laws yes. But we can implement the agendas of patents and regulation in a way that is mostly beneficial. (I am not saying that is what the entirety of the current system is; but the principles are not inherently broken.)

     

  • User profile image
    Maddus Mattus

    @evildictaitor: What was the time to market of the copies?

    Innovative companies that do things differently lead the markets

    No that's an argument against. They are innovative at first, then use their patents to secure a place in the market at the expense of the consumer.

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    They are innovative at first, then use their patents to secure a place in the market at the expense of the consumer.

    And then they are replaced by more innovative other companies.

    Nokia used to be the top of the world for mobile phones. Now Apple is.

    How did apple do it? Via Patents? No. By innovating the iPhone.

    Claiming that the biggest companies are all non-innovative is just once again showing that you come up with an idea and then stick with it despite all evidence showing you clearly that you are wrong. And it's pretty tiring.

  • User profile image
    Maddus Mattus

    @GoddersUK

    This is getting too long,. I'll just respond to the last argument;

    But we can implement the agendas of patents and regulation in a way that is mostly beneficial.

    Mostly beneficial to whom? As far as I can tell, the only person gaining from the patent is the holder at the expense of everybody else.

  • User profile image
    Maddus Mattus

    , evildictait​or wrote

    And then they are replaced by more innovative other companies.

    Nokia used to be the top of the world for mobile phones. Now Apple is.

    How did apple do it? Via Patents? No. By innovating the iPhone.

    I've nothing but respect for Apple with the iPod, iPhone and iPad. Kudos for them for inventing a whole new market.

    But now that other companies want to move into that market, they are suing to keep their market leader position. This is nothing more then a government instituted monopoly at the expense of the consumer.

    Apple should innovate to stay in the lead, not sue.

    Claiming that the biggest companies are all non-innovative is just once again showing that you come up with an idea and then stick with it despite all evidence showing you clearly that you are wrong. And it's pretty tiring.

    Pot, kettle, black. I suggest we give this a rest.

  • User profile image
    TexasToast

    You are all making some good points here.  

    I don't think we should do away with patents but what we have now with the patent system is not the ideal situation.  If I have a patent and want to take on GE because they stole my idea,  I would have to come up with millions of dollars to fight GE and their army of attorneys.  Going to court is always a lose situation for the one without resources and money.  So as far a patents helping the little guy I do NOT believe this is true anymore. 

    Patents do help larger corporations protect their ideas but they have abused the system in patenting everything and now it is used as a weapon in court rather than real ideas moving innovation forward.  

    There is also a lot of patent lawyers filing lawsuits on patents they have purchased.   I think in order to file a patent lawsuit you need to have created a product using that idea in order to have patent protection.  Ideas without products are a dime a dozen and should not be protected.

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , TexasToast wrote

    If I have a patent and want to take on GE because they stole my idea,  I would have to come up with millions of dollars to fight GE and their army of attorneys.

    No you don't. If it's clear you'll win, your lawyers will take their fee out of the expected settlement, often as no-win-no-fee.

    That's why individuals routinely take the big businesses to court and win - even when the upfront legal cost of doing so often vastly exceeds the amount of cash that the individual has.

    Ideas without products are a dime a dozen and should not be protected.

    That's why you can't patent ideas. You have to patent inventions.

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