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March 27, 2007
  • Verizonvsvonage It is one thing when someone like Jim Cramer jabs Vonage constantly for business reasons, that can actually be pretty humorous. What is not funny is the possibility of once again paying inflated prices to telephone companies due to Verizon’s attack on Vonage and subsequent winning of round one. Make no mistake, Vonage has had a key hand in changing 135 years of traditional ideas and usage patterns relating to what we call the telephone. These changes have had a dramatic impact on pricing and moving VoIP from techie to mainstream.

    What I do not understand is the relative apathy and lack of true outrage among consumers in general with regards to the Verizon ruling. Sites like TechDirt (for which I have previously disagreed) have covered it well and point to the ludicrous nature of granting a permanent injunction when Verizon seems to have no other interest than stopping innovation and keeping inflated prices. The judge states the following (as noted at TechDirt):

    Mar 27, 2007 at 08:47 AM in Companies, Legal, Patents, Take Notice
May 12, 2006
  • Techdirt is a site that I often read. It is also a site that I must make sure I am prepared to read. Why? Because while I probably agree a lot more with their insights than I disagree, postings like Innovation Is An Ongoing Process -- Not A Single Event will fire me up in a hurry.

    This posting is one of many by Techdirt that slant against the current patent system. I, like Techdirt and most other sane people, believe reform needs to be done. The divergence however (as a person who has experience with the current system) comes in the understanding and viewpoint from a small entity/ individual point of view.

    Techdirt takes the stance that innovation is different from invention. I am not going to argue this point - even though I do not think it is completely correct. The real problem with the article is how they equate market dominance as innovation. This is absolutely wrong. According to that philosophy innovation would essentially boil down to market position and dominance, regardless of what may happen long term.

    May 12, 2006 at 01:00 AM in Patents
September 06, 2005
  • Next GPL to protect free software from lawsuits? -
    Free Software Smacks Down Patents - Wired
    via &

    First, the title is very misleading. The title makes it appear as though the GPL will somehow usurp United States patent law - which in of itself is absurd. Secondly, the first block is written such that it exaggerates the breadth of GPL by stating the GPL "...may contain a clause to penalize companies that use software patents against free software." Read that 10 times and try to unwrap its meaning. How does one use software patents against free software exactly? I was not aware that patents implied a cost to software and that somehow it is a patent versus cost equation?

    Sep 6, 2005 at 04:57 PM in Patents
August 19, 2005
  • This article by Robert X. Cringely (of Triumph of the Nerds fame, and writings) has correctly brought to the forefront some issues surrounding the 2005 patent reform act. His great article, titled Patently Absurd, touches on some of the same concerns I have had about the reform act. I think it should even be more troubling when there are, essentially, secret hearings being held about a hugely important topic. Moreover, this bill has been repeatedly cited as the largest patent reform in over 30+ years; that means we not only need to pay attention, but have the bill progress above board. If what Cringely says is true (I have no reason to doubt the accuracy), Senator Hatch should be ashamed of himself.

    There are even more issues than Cringely cites, but this is a great start and I hope people pick up on the ramifications of this so-called "reform" act; it is another attempt to usurp the individual and small inventor for the sake of large business. I hope to post a series of articles about this topic in short order.

    Some good resources for reading up about the patent changes are:

    Aug 19, 2005 at 04:21 PM in Legal, Patents, Take Notice