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Squawks & HeadlinesX-Plane developer on CBS This Morning about Patent Trolls

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X-Plane developer on CBS This Morning about Patent Trolls

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Two years ago, Meyer made an X-Plane app for the Android smartphone. Things were going great. Then, this past summer, he received a letter. Meyer said a company called Uniloc was filing suit against him for patent infringement. According to the lawsuit, Uniloc says it owns the idea of a computer program checking a central server for authorization. It's a routine source code from Google that Meyer and many others plug in, simply allowing the app to confirm it was purchased legally. (www.cbsnews.com) More...

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sparkie624
sparkie624 10
There is always someone looking to take a buck from someone else.
allanrbowman
Allan Bowman 6
The US patent system has been broken for decades and it seems nothing is being contemplated or done to fix this situation. The "trolls", who produce and manufacture nothing and don't ever intend to, now account for roughly half of the patents. A simple fix, produce it or lose it and you've got 3 years to show results.
mbwallace
Mark Wallace 1
Patents granted for methods or software, if you're going to allow them in the first place (I wouldn't), should expire after three years, not 20.
integre
Computer programs have been checking central servers in the Defense pre-cursor to the Internet and other networks we know today - which places this back in the 70s. If the patent was granted back in the 70s then the US patent would have expired. If the patent was granted later then there is a deficiency in the patent process as you cannot patent what is commonly in use, e.g. if that was the case I'm going to patent the concept of humans drinking liquids:-)
jshark00
In the early days of the auto industry, a guy named Selden held the patent for the automobile. All the manufacturers paid him royalties until Henry Ford told him to go pound sand. That put an end to that.
preacher1
preacher1 2
You are probably correct on all counts, BUT, most folks would just as soon settle and get rid of something rather than fight and that is waht they count on. If you will look closely at these there is generally a troll out there claiming patent ownership and a lawyer on % working in tandem, so all they are out initially is their time and filinf fees, whiche are generally next to nothing.
Derg
Roland Dent 0
FGS man keep your speeelling up to standard...you are worse than me!
preacher1
preacher1 1
so I misspelled 2 little ole words, get over it old man.lol
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
lol, not by far! :)
Derg
Roland Dent 1
haha...I had surgery on my finger last month...loved every minute on the op table..these surgeons are true engineers!
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
I'd be interested to know how Ford was able to do that. Unless the patent life had expired.
Wingscrubber
Wingscrubber 7
Patents are the enemy of free market innovation.
btweston
btweston 4
Intellectual property is a real thing. That certainly doesn't mean that people should go around looking to make their living by suing people over things that they themselves didn't invent, but to say that patents in general are bad for the free market is foolish. After all, if there is no protection of a person's claim to an idea, then there is no incentive to innovate because there is nothing stopping someone from stealing an idea that someone else spent time and money and effort to develop.


The free market, which is purely theoretical by the way, is not simple anarchy, but I'm sure you learned that in your macroeconomics class.
mbwallace
Mark Wallace 1
"there is no incentive to innovate"

There is still a first-mover advantage and, if the work really did require any substantial amount of intellectual effort, it might well be able to use trade secret protection. My position is that the Supreme Court erred in making patent protection available for methods and software. Those patents (IMHO) "in general are bad for the free market."
Isha
Isia Maria 2
A patent system still mired in the processes, technologies, and concepts of the late 18th and 19th centuries is the problem. Patent squatters, trolls, and hutts are the problem and the patent system needs to be reformed.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 2
Patents are a necessary protection to intellectual property. It's the process that's been broken by not staying current.
Derg
Roland Dent 2
I tral patents when I am into stuff...who doesn't?
jmcnett
John McNett 2
Odds are that if the facts are as clear as Austin Meyer says they are, he will be able to suspend the lawsuit and have the Patent and Trademark Office reexamine the patent and find it invalid for very little money. I have done that with several patents without problem.
jclear3
John Clear 2
Austin Meyer should talk to Drew Curtis of Fark about patent trolls. He has a great Ted Talk on how he beat the trolls.

http://www.ted.com/talks/drew_curtis_how_i_beat_a_patent_troll.html
HunterTS4
Toby Sharp 1
"a toll is a toll, and a roll is a roll, if you don't pay no toll then we don't eat no roll" -One of Little John's men-
preacher1
preacher1 1
Same thing happened to Qualcomm, Xata, and PeopleNet in 2010 or 11, over satellite tracking tecnology for vehichles. The individual users were named but the trolls knew that would bring in the deep pockets to protect their customers and it did. Some users were excused because they were not yet on the new technolgy that was named. Never did hear the outcome but it was the same thing, a nuisance lawsuit looking for money
jshark00
Took him to court an won. Look up "Selden patent" There's tons of stuff.
dunthank
David Unthank 2
Actually, that was Little John saying that, one of Robin Hood's men... from Robin Hood: Men in Tights
HunterTS4
Toby Sharp 1
thanks Dave!
Derg
Roland Dent 1
Come on W we both know the Feds keep the really useful new technology for the Navy.
preacher1
preacher1 1
I doubt if these guys would tackle the government
Derg
Roland Dent 1
Couple of years ago there was a statement that was read out on the BBC radio. A representative from the US State Dept made it very clear that if anyone from any nation violated US laws that person would be returned to the U.S. for legal trial. When challenged by the interviewer of the BBC the rep just repeated the statement. It was a very direct and chilling statement that must have put the fear of incineration up an awlful lot of white collars around the world. At that time the |CIA were using a couple of souped up business jets capable of M0.9 scooting across Europe rendering the accuse back to the States. They were running under a general aviation tag and squawk. A few countries tried to force em to land but could not catch them Have to say I was ecstatic that this was happening.
preacher1
preacher1 1
It's still going on to a degree. They just took a page out of the Isralei's playbook when they were gathering up Nazi War criminals from across the world back in the late 50's. The drug cartel leaders in South America are on the list, but they just can't get to them.
Derg
Roland Dent 1
Oh hell it continues..I hope it always will. I have to say the guys who call the shots are under pressure of the polititions. Now I am not saying that the USA is not a democratic country but I think there are about 15 levels of security access above the President and keeping stuff balanced must be a nightmare at times.
jccooper
jccooper 0
I believe that a lot of you that complain about patent trolls have spare bedrooms that you aren't using for anything but storage. Just because you don't use the bedroom should some bum be able to move in and complain that he is entitled to live there just because you aren't using the room? It is the same with patents. Inventors and other R&D entities spend years and pay thousands of dollars to invent new products, both hardware and software. Often they have their products copied by the very companies they try to license to, those companies betting that the inventors don't have enough money to do anything about their theft. When one does get called out for their illegal, yes illegal, theft they whine about how they are entitled (much the way people that don't want to work whine about how they are entitled to unemployment) and how the mean patent troll is after them. People and companies with entitlement attitudes are ruining this country.
nitro9999
Mick Malone -5
Perhaps one should read and research the lawsuit against Microsoft brought by Unilock. Unilock always held he patent for software authorization/license authentication and Microsoft stole the work and used for its OS etc. it never paid due compansantion to Unilock. CBS News just sensationalized the issue without proper research. Meyer doesn't highlight how his IOS apps are authenticated. Android authentication in my opinion is just sloppy. Perhaps authentication process has to change from androids end before accusing Unilock as a troll. By the Unilock had the patent well before android was a tech zygote! Meyer should save his million and do a thorough research to his problem.

mbwallace
Mark Wallace 2
There was nothing for Microsoft to steal, because any such patent never should have been granted in the first place. Such a software process would fail both the "new" and the "obvious" tests since at least the late 1980s, and, arguably, much earlier.