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Why United States Patent Reform Has Stalled

timothy posted about 5 months ago | from the buyer's-market dept.

Patents 139

ectoman (594315) writes Proponents of patent reform in the United States glimpsed a potential victory late last year, when the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3309, the Innovation Act, designed to significantly mitigate patent abuse. Just months ago, however, the Senate pulled consideration of the bill. And since then, patent reform has been at a standstill. In a new analysis for Opensource.com, Mark Bohannon, Vice President of Corporate affairs and Global Public Policy at Red Hat, explains three reasons why. "For this year, at least," he writes, "the prospect of addressing abusive patent litigation through Congressional action is on ice"—despite the unavoidable case for reform.

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Uh, what? (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 months ago | (#47222131)

The article seems to explain what is [not] happening, not why. But I thought we already knew why. It's called the influence of money on politics.

Re:Uh, what? (4, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#47222191)

Well, the senate is complicated, and we could go into the whole details of how anonymous holds work, the potential for "single senator" filibusters, the difficulties of getting things out of committee in the face of a single powerful shill against the bill. The likely imperfections in the bill's language that would make those who actually support the concept to not support the actual thing, the fact that one party actively made a mission of having no bipartisan bills pass until Obama is out of office, or the relative lack of popular support outside of the tech sector.

Any or all of those could have come to into play. But it's easier to pretend that those damn [other party] have the opposite of America's best interest at heart.

Re:Uh, what? (3, Insightful)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 5 months ago | (#47222245)

it's easier to pretend that those damn [other party] have the opposite of America's best interest at heart.

Yet you somehow manage to blame the party that passed the bill in the house and doesn't control the Senate.

Not a surprise. Exactly what we've come to expect from you.

Re:Uh, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47222381)

Good grief. Have you no fucking clue. This is why American politics are in such a bad place. It only takes 41 sentors to prevent things from going on. 41 Senators that either oppose the measure or are unwilling to vote for cloture.

Have you any god damned idea how hard it is to pass legislation when it never gets to a vote?

Re:Uh, what? (4, Insightful)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 5 months ago | (#47222405)

Except that's not what happened here. In this case the party in charge of the Senate prevented it from leaving committee. Protecting their shyster master's cash cow.

Re:Uh, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47223801)

Since when is the word "only" applicable to 41 senators? Ideally we shouldn't ever have any laws that can't scrape up 95% of popular support, and 60% is a way lower bar than that.

The problem has nothing to do cloture and everything to do with that fact that so many Republicans and Democrats were able to get people to vote for them. If people who have right or left opinions would just fucking vote on Election Day for the first time in any person's memory, then we'd probably be talking about four or five senators, not ten times that number.

The right's disgrace is that there are still Republicans in government. The left's disgrace is that there are still Democrats. Shame on you both; you are APOLITICAL apathetic America-haters, and your failure to vote for real candidates is how the country got sold.

Re:Uh, what? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#47222483)

I said that purposeful temporal intransigence was a possible factor. But sure, let's pretend it's all completely non-partisan, since I was suggesting reductionism is a bad idea.

Re:Uh, what? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 5 months ago | (#47224259)

Typical. You point the other way, when called on it, you say: OK it was nobodies fault...

Shyster loving democrats will never end this cash cow and you know it (but are in denial).

Re:Uh, what? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#47224393)

"Why won't you accept that the people I personally hate are simply evil monsters?"
--the person pretending that I'm a partisan shill.

Re:Uh, what? (1)

guises (2423402) | about 5 months ago | (#47223439)

He didn't blame either party for this bill, neither party is to blame - both support and opposition were bipartisan. He did say that one party has made a mission of having no bipartisan bills pass until Obama is out of office, and that this fact might have been a factor in some of the opposition. This is entirely possible. He did not blame the bills withdrawal for this, or claim that this was the only factor.

The bill was withdrawn when its sponsor (D) decided that it wouldn't get enough votes to pass after hearing from an opposition senator (also D).

Re:Uh, what? (4, Interesting)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | about 5 months ago | (#47222377)

The current Senate leadership has already unilaterally rewritten the rules regarding filibusters and some nominations/appointments; it could very easily do it (and with political/voter impunity as we saw from the previous rewrite) again to push this through. The pulling of a bill in the Senate happens because one man doesn't want a vote on it: Harry Reid. I suspect somewhere he's getting millions - or the promise of tens of thousands of votes - to pull the bill. He's the block in the Senate.

Re:Uh, what? (3, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | about 5 months ago | (#47222629)

The current Senate leadership has already unilaterally rewritten the rules regarding filibusters and some nominations/appointments;

The rules are in place to protect the role of money in politics. Allowing bills to be killed without the killer being identified or without the majority party taking any heat over their failure to pass a bill.

Re:Uh, what? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#47222851)

Reid isn't the individual person who kept it from the senate floor, it's nice that there's a powerful figure for your ensconce in your conspiracy theory as the core of the problem That does make it easier on you to make it seem like you've got the magic answer to fix the problem.

Re:Uh, what? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47223043)

From TFA: "While the announcement came from Leahy, sources close to the negotiations all pointed to Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) as the one who really killed the bill." [arstechnica.com]

So yes, yes Reid is the individual person who kept it from the senate floor. And you're right, it is nice there's a powerful figure for us to blame. Fucking troll.

Re:Uh, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47223591)

Reed or Reid?

Re:Uh, what? (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#47223601)

Objection withdrawn due to obvious factual error on my part.

Re:Uh, what? (1)

houghi (78078) | about 5 months ago | (#47223079)

Just curious: how is this 'voting' going for you?

Re:Uh, what? (1)

bistromath007 (1253428) | about 5 months ago | (#47223773)

Every single one of those, except for the "lack of popular support" which is just a bald-faced lie, can be boiled down to "the influence of money on politics." You haven't contradicted the person you're replying to, just made a list of largely unnecessary specifics about how they're right.

Re:Uh, what? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#47224101)

"Bold faced lie" == "More complicated that I'm willing accept the world as being"

Re:Uh, what? (1)

servant (39835) | about 5 months ago | (#47223841)

Just proves, we have to many politicians and to few statesmen among both houses of congress in any party.

Re:Uh, what? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#47224111)

Maybe? I feel the problems are more systemic and less personal.

Re:Uh, what? (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 5 months ago | (#47222387)

Or, to put it another way, Congressmen are vile repugnant greedy pigs.

Re:Uh, what? (3, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 5 months ago | (#47222809)

Which is why it makes no sense to me that most Americans who regularly acknowledge that fact pay no attention to what their congressmen are doing. "The government is doing a terrible job" somehow justifies apathy and ignorance about the whole thing. It's insane.

Whatever the reason for it, I think it's counterproductive to generalize it like that. Congress is dysfunctional, and most politicians can't be trusted. There must be congressmen though, so it is up to the citizens to reign them in by voting, INCLUDING IN THE PRIMARIES, in order to ensure the ones we get are the least overtly corrupt ones.

Re:Uh, what? (1)

wienerschnizzel (1409447) | about 5 months ago | (#47222551)

The ars technica article does. You are probably talking about the opensource.com article - that one really does not say 'why', just 'what'.

Re:Uh, what? (3, Interesting)

gnupun (752725) | about 5 months ago | (#47222625)

The article seems to explain what is [not] happening, not why...It's called the influence of money on politics.

Or perhaps, the senate wants to prevent the US from turning into a 2nd or 3rd world country? The so-called patent reform treats even valid patents as troll patents, putting a lot of financial pressure on inventors, by making it difficult for inventors to sue infringers. In case of a trial loss, the inventor has to pay the infringer's legal costs, according to the new law. This disincentivizes inventors to patent inventions, resulting in lower product revenue, which in turn reduces GDP of the US, substantially.

In this washington post article [washingtonpost.com] , this letter [washingtonpost.com] explains it better:

The patent system is the bedrock of the U.S. economy. The future of the U.S. economy and our nation's ability to compete successfully in an increasingly competitive global economy is dependent on Congress fostering a strong patent system that incentivizes innovators to invent. Amending the law as this bill does shortchanges the future of our economy for an unbalanced policy. The stakes are far too high not to get the balance right.
        We cannot support changes to the patent system that substantially weaken all patents. We oppose the legislation that we understand Members are being asked to agree to today and ask that you not support it.

Re:Uh, what? (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | about 5 months ago | (#47223459)

we did damn fine for the CENTURIES that we had much less plutocratic patent law.

Re:Uh, what? (2, Informative)

gnupun (752725) | about 5 months ago | (#47224047)

Umm, what centuries are you referring to?

* 1776 - US Declaration of Independence

* 1787 - US Constitution Article I, Section 8: The Congress shall have Power ... To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

* 1790 - The Patent Act of 1790 was the first federal patent statute of the United States. It was titled "An Act to promote the Progress of Useful Arts."

Link [wikipedia.org]

Re:Uh, what? (2)

tlambert (566799) | about 5 months ago | (#47224369)

Umm, what centuries are you referring to?

* 1776 - US Declaration of Independence

* 1787 - US Constitution Article I, Section 8: The Congress shall have Power ... To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

* 1790 - The Patent Act of 1790 was the first federal patent statute of the United States. It was titled "An Act to promote the Progress of Useful Arts."

I believe he meant the two centuries between 1776 and 1976, but if you want to wiggle on the 1790 being 14 years after 1776, since that's about the term of a patent, and you're OK with patent terms that long, then I'll call rounding it up to two centuries an OK thing to do...

I'm a state legislator - we don't have this prob.. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47222725)

I'm a state legislator in New Hampshire. We don't have this problem. Our legislative rules require ALL bills to be considered both in committee AND by the full body - committee chairmen don't get to act as "gatekeepers" , and the majority party's leadership can't simply "pull bills" with procedural moves.

At the beginning of 2012, we wrote and passed an emergency bill for a school district, walked it across the hallway to the Senate which then passed it, and walked it up the hallway to the Governor. The entire process took about 3 hours.

It's possible for government to be efficient and effective.
Just not usually in Washington......

Re:Uh, what? (1)

houghi (78078) | about 5 months ago | (#47222921)

They are thinking about the wording.

They can't decide if it should say "For ever", "For always" or "For all eternity". They are luckily clear about the "... and then some." part.

Re:Uh, what? (2)

scamper_22 (1073470) | about 5 months ago | (#47223037)

Money influences politics isn't really an explanation. It gives the impression people just buy off politics.

Almost every such policy is partly money, partly ideology, partly special interest, partly regional politics...

My brother used to be an engineer, and is now in patent law. He genuinely believes that patent law is essential to protecting IP so Western businesses can thrive and long term intellectual property is protected.

I heard a similar story on TVO (Canada's version of PBS). A bunch of lawyers and such talking about free trade and competition. They genuinely believe they are fighting the good fight on behalf of Western industry.

Now of course, it just so happens they benefit very much from this patent business.

So there is a real ideology behind this patent system. People really do believe. Think about politicians who speak about free trade. What idea do they push? They push the idea that the Western world can still thrive via education and IP. So how do we protect this IP? Yep patents. without patents everything is made cheap and their whole intellectual basis for the 'new economy' goes out the window.

I don't agree with their ideology. I'm just stating that people believe in that ideology and so they base their assumptions and what not on it.

Then yes, there is money form lawyers, big companies... do try and influence politics.

This is not unlike say teacher unions. Many genuinely believe education is the future and education will solve any number of problems. It just so happens of course that they benefit from the union and tenure system.

So there is this ideology that education solves all problems. It is what will allow us to compete globally and keep our standard of living. again, I don't agree with this ideology. I'm just stating what they say.

Then they ally themselves as allys of politicians and ideology and money...

It's all a very complex intertwined system.
Thinking all of politics is just people in briefcases buying off votes is just silly.

The real devil is and will always be ideology, institutions, special interests...

Re:Uh, what? (1)

swillden (191260) | about 5 months ago | (#47223437)

It's called the influence of money on politics.

There is money fighting for both sides. Much of the tech industry is fighting for patent reform.

Re:Uh, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47223695)

The person who holds the patent on patent reform wants too much money.

Can I blame... (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#47222137)

People I disagree with?

That's what we're going to do in here, right?

Re:Can I blame... (1)

TWX (665546) | about 5 months ago | (#47222193)

No we're not!

How dare you drag down this discussion that way!

Re:Can I blame... (5, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | about 5 months ago | (#47222299)

Yes you can, the world would run so much smoother if they all had the same opinions and beliefs that I do.

This type of thinking is the first step to tyranny. As any opposing opinion must either be from the Stupid (who needs to be reeducated), Coerced (Where we need to find the ring leader spreading the ideas), or from some evil in them (Where they need to be jailed or killed)

Many Tyrants of the world came from people who had good ideas and gained and used their power to try to make real. Unfortunately there always seems to be a part of the population who has a different view that needs to be controlled.

In America sometimes I am very frustrated that our government doesn't move much because they just don't seem to agree on any little thing. However due to the fact that they do disagree, and not feel like the government is going to go out and kill them for disagreeing with them is also comforting.

When you have a government where all the people are working smoothly and efficiently without much conflict. Actually is very scary because you need to ask yourself why does everyone agree with this. Especially as every choice you make normally has some sort of trade-off which someone else may take the different path.

Why find a solution... (4, Insightful)

tysonedwards (969693) | about 5 months ago | (#47222141)

When there is money to be made in perpetuating the problem?

Re:Why find a solution... (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 5 months ago | (#47223135)

It depends on who profits and who loses. Patent trolls cost many, many businesses a lot of money; there is plenty of support and money for patent reform; the problem is that it only takes one or two politicians in the right place to block it (e.g. a committee chairman or the Senate Majority Leader).

I patent the use of the letter E on the internet (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 5 months ago | (#47222183)

I patent the use of the letter E on the internet.

Cost is $0.0060 per use

Send payments to Happy Dude, 742 Evergreen Terrace, Springfield USA.

Re:I patent the use of the letter E on the interne (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | about 5 months ago | (#47222301)

I've already patented the alphabet (lower and upper case!) so please redirect your payments to
Sorry Dude, 742 Evergreen Terrace, Springfield USA.

I'll give you $0.0003 for every $0.0060 you collect.

Hmm... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47222341)

I think you'll find that avoiding that particular symbol is fairly straightforward.

Re:Hmm... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47222615)

Easy for you to say.

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47223661)

Trivial, in fact. Though, I snuck that link in.

Politics (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 5 months ago | (#47222185)

Here is the problem.
The Right Wing Media has done such a good job a painting the Democrats and Obama as pure Evil, is that any sign of working with the Democrats on anything is a sign that they are being manipulated. So these politicians cannot dare to do anything that will make Obama side considered a win. As if they did they will get voted out in the next primaries.

The Left Wing Media makes the Right Wing like they are so out of touch and evil, so the Right feels constantly threatened, thus makes their stance more resolved.

This degree of Polarization has gone to the Crazy level.
Simple common sense solutions will not go threw because it was the other side who came up with it first.

Re:Politics (5, Interesting)

TWX (665546) | about 5 months ago | (#47222283)

The Left Wing Media makes the Right Wing like they are so out of touch and evil, so the Right feels constantly threatened, thus makes their stance more resolved.

I don't think that we listen to the same radio stations. I listen to NPR a lot (the virtue of driving around a lot during the day) and they talk about issues, not political stances.

I have heard right-wing radio on at places that I've had to visit, and they talk about their opposition, demonizing them. They didn't really talk about actual issues.

I attempted to listen to left-wing radio like Air America, and I couldn't. They attempted to operate the same way as right-wing radio. It put me off for the same reason that right-wing radio did, it only served to demonize, not to actually discuss anything. So I went back to NPR to hear about issues again.

I don't listen to the radio as much as I used to, actually. I realized that the 24 hour news cycle becomes a massively self-referential thing, and that it exists to feed itself on itself and the listener. It has to make things seem important to survive, any little deviation or difference suddenly becomes big news in order to garner the attention needed to keep the advertising dollars rolling in. As a consequence it needs inflammatory people that are willing to say disgusting things, which in-turn destroys polite discourse and factionalizes people that really don't come into this with any stake in it to begin with.

Turn off your TV, turn off your radio, stop visiting political websites and listening to political podcasts. Go do something for yourself that you choose to do, and the circle-jerk will reduce.

Re:Politics (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 5 months ago | (#47222339)

I do listen to NPR. They have gotten a bit more moderate, however their is a liberal tone in their discussions.

They are not Rant Radio. But they are more apt to paint a negative image to the Tea Party without trying to show their virtues. As well the Occupy movement they made them seem a bit more organized and virtuous then they actually were.

That said NPR actually tries to give you news, Not commentary. But they get their views out in deciding what stories to play, and what isn't worth it.

Re:Politics (4, Interesting)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 5 months ago | (#47222455)

Also, I've noticed that their non-news programming absolutely has an anti-conservative bent (with some exceptions).

For example, I really like Wait Wait Don't Tell Me. But the participants tend to take swipes mostly at conservatives and conservative views, and the audience tends to whoop and applaud along the same lines.

I recall another story where they did a sympathy piece on an illegal immigrant. But they never broached the subject of the people seeking proper visas whom she "cut in line", nor the possible identify fraud if she was using a SS#, nor the other low-skilled Americans who had to compete with here for a limited number of low-skilled jobs. Strangely, when I wrote my local NPR ombudsman regarding this, I never got a reply.

Re:Politics (2)

thaylin (555395) | about 5 months ago | (#47223145)

Well lets see, the people seeking "proper" visas are waiting 21 years already, and there is no evidence that one affects the other

You stated no evidence that she was using a SS#, so not really an issue

And for the most part they dont compete with many other low skilled Americans because they do work even they dont want to do for the price.

So you are upset they did not talk about a 2 non issues and an issue there is no evidence of...

Re:Politics (2)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 5 months ago | (#47223869)

Well lets see, the people seeking "proper" visas are waiting 21 years already, and there is no evidence that one affects the other

Saying there's "no evidence" is a stunningly strong claim. Impressive citation needed.

You stated no evidence that she was using a SS#, so not really an issue

I believe most or all jobs require that an employee submits a SS# for tax purposes. So are you saying illegal immigrants (a) don't work, or (b) somehow obtain valid SS#'s, or (c) something else?

And for the most part they dont compete with many other low skilled Americans because they do work even they dont want to do for the price.

Say that to someone looking for an over-the-counter job in construction or restaurant work.

So you are upset they did not talk about a 2 non issues and an issue there is no evidence of...

Again, it's a very strong claim you're making, and I don't believe your post adequately supported that claim.

Re:Politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47224277)

Say that to someone looking for an over-the-counter job in construction or restaurant work.

Well, as someone who has worked in a few kitchens the past several years, I can tell you it is not difficult at all for a white person to get a job in one. At least half of the workers were white, usually kids in high school or college. There were always a couple of Mexicans, some who were born here, others who were not (no idea if they were legal or not). Pretty sure everyone in the place made at least minimum wage too.

As for construction, I don't know for sure since I don't work in that field, but when I go out for jogs and see people doing road work there is usually a good mix of whites and non whites, so I don't think it is all that bad. By far the biggest employer of illegal aliens is farm owners looking for people to do extraordinarily tedious and painful work. They often get paid well below minimum wage too ($2/hr). It is essentially modern slave labor.

Re:Politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47224169)

"Well lets see, the people seeking "proper" visas are waiting 21 years already, and there is no evidence that one affects the other" - He did not state that one had a causal relationship with the other. The person following the rules as set for in our laws has to wait 21 years, the person who breaks the rules does not have to wait. The question is one of fairness. Should "we" as a country reward unjust behavior? Have we done right by the person who followed the rules?

"You stated no evidence that she was using a SS#, so not really an issue" - Regardless of evidence, there are only two possibilities; either she is using a SS# number and it is an issue or she is not using a SS# and therefore not pay taxes on income, which is illegal.

"And for the most part they dont compete with many other low skilled Americans because they do work even they dont want to do for the price." - That is a nice talking point but as you stated in your first point, please provide your evidence that this is true.

"So you are upset they did not talk about a 2 non issues and an issue there is no evidence of..." - By my count, it is 2 issues and one opinion with no evidence, but I'm an AC so I'm probably full of it.

Re:Politics (1)

EXTomar (78739) | about 5 months ago | (#47224217)

First I must point out: Shows like "Wait Wait..." are entertainment and never present themselves or any of their guests as news or analysis or anything of the like. They don't need to be objective about anything they comment on.

Secondly: The conservatives make it pretty easy to make fun of them. They can write up a funny joke about a liberal going basaltic because no one is paying attention to global warming or they can write up a funny joke about a conservative who wants to stone to death sinners. I am not a professional writer or comedian but it is easy to spot which one would be more "fertile material".

That said, I do think there is a legitimate complaint about funding going into a general fund and being distributed to shows they don't appreciate. One can be a conservative and really love the news coverage NPR does but hate that any part of the funding they hand over goes to "Wait Wait..." To solve that would require changing how funding works with NPR.

Re:Politics (0)

Dorianny (1847922) | about 5 months ago | (#47222471)

Pointing out that the Tea party's politics of reducing the powers of the federal government, especially its ability to tax and regulate as well as their obsession with imposing austerity measures to service the nation debt, is going to spell disaster for the United States is not liberal politics, it is common sense conclusions. Exposing the lunacy of the far right agenda doesn't automatically make one a left-wing nut.

Re:Politics (3, Informative)

dcw3 (649211) | about 5 months ago | (#47222595)

You could make the same argument for Republicans or Democrats. You've simply chosen a position, and are claiming the opposition are all lunatics. Please don't pretend to be non-partisan when you clearly are.

Re:Politics (2)

thaylin (555395) | about 5 months ago | (#47223169)

There is no evidence that he is partisan. This discussion was about the tea party, so therefore pointing out the problems with the tea parties agenda is no more partisan than point out the problems with the far lefts platform in a discussion about the far left's platform. He also never claimed they were lunatics. If it was just a general political thread you would have a possible point.

Re:Politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47222441)

The way human memory works is that we have a stronger recall for events and stimuli that occur while we are in a heightened emotional state.

Advertisers want to put their ads right next to programming that produces a strong emotional reaction in the viewer.

Once I started looking at it from this point of view, a lot of what happens on TV and Radio made more sense to me.

This is why we have shows that stir up a lot of drama, like reality shows where the participants are really emotionally charged (The fighting on American Chopper, Chef Ramzi freaking out). Sports stirs up a lot of vicarious emotion in a large portion of the population. etc...

Re:Politics (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about 5 months ago | (#47222643)

This is why we have shows that stir up a lot of drama

And it's why shows like Survivor and Big Brother have Psychiatrists and Psychologists screen each candidate not for the best but the most diametrically opposed contestants. That way you get drama all the time since you always have a few people who rub each other the wrong way.

Re:Politics (1)

Patent Lover (779809) | about 5 months ago | (#47222447)

The right wing thinks NPR is left wing radio. I agree that Air America is terrible.

Re:Politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47222673)

I am what you would consider 'right wing'. Because I probably disagree with many things you do. However, you probably would be shocked by my reasons (which I will not list here). Also mostly because most people do not understand what right wing is and use it as a pejorative to demonize the other side.

However, I do not find NPR to be 'left wing'. I find it very bland and just as non informative as msnbc, cnn, or fox. They tend to be very middle road on many things. They do not want to upset anyone (especially the donators). So their news tends to be of bland BBC ilk which is self proclaimed left wing. So you cant really blame people for saying its left wing. They call themselves that. However its very middle road.

At this point both parties have failed. They only point fingers at each other and yell how the other sucks. Neither want to give an inch. Obama and Boehner have in many ways made it much worse. Basically think like I do or I will demonize you more. I frankly am not surprised the republicans are acting the way they are, but that is because the president encourages it. But I could see he had an amazing opportunity to unify the parties and make them work together. But him and Mrs Polizi set out to sideline anything the republicans said (with grand statements lets pass this and see what we get, uhhh do your job read and vote). A squandered opportunity for simple childish political wankery and a show of power that will cost our country trillians. Our political class do not work for us anymore, but themselves.

I only see 5 people currently in public offices that have the cut to be president (2 democrats and 3 republicans). None of them will ever get within spitting distance of that office. We will again get 2 very rich 1 percenters of 1 percenters running (most certainly hillary running who is unsuited for the office and see it as a position of prestige and not one to help the public). Not sure who it will be for the republicans yet, but none of the 3 I am thinking of.

Re:Politics (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 5 months ago | (#47223217)

The president has been a very good at compromising, even when the Republicans refuse over and over. I am a middle of the road person, but in this case I see the Republicans unwillingness to compromise as an issue that cause most of what you state. The thing is the President will bend to the breaking point and even breaks sometimes, but typically will not given completely in. The Republicans will bend barely if any because they know they can block him.

Re:Politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47224397)

The president has been a very good at compromising, even when the Republicans refuse over and over

I disagree. Take the budget. 5 years there was no budget passed. The congress passed one every time to a big bruhaha. Never got past the senate. The president postured about it but did not compromise. Or it was a compromise of I want to spend 10 trillion in 10 years well ok how about 2 trillion. When it should have been going the other way.

Look no further than the closures of public parks. That was simple political posturing. Both parties used it to good effect.

The Republicans will bend barely if any because they know they can block him.
The senate has also been the major blocker of anything getting done. The congress has passed many bills. The senate has been blocking many of them and doing nothing. As the democrats there want to make the congress look ineffective. The president if he wanted to change things could hold hostage bills to get compromises. But instead it is a compromise of asking for the sky, but then asking for 'only' the moon. I know price anchoring sales technique well, I used it for many years on many people.

The thing is the President will bend to the breaking point
Hardly. He squandered massive good will opportunities for showing off with the healthcare bill. He straight up ignored the republicans and went as far as to exclude them from the meetings they needed to be in. At that level of gov it is about I scratch your back you scratch mine. But if you go out of your way to minimize them... They are now repaying that debt. Never ever slight a man. He will take that crap to his grave.

It takes two people to not compromise. The republicans are only getting the light shined down on them because the political machine wants you to see that. It is easy enough to read the transcripts of the congress/senate and watch cspan and see what is really going on.

There is no way almost all votes should be evenly split party lines. You should see a good mix. Your congressman is being 'managed' to stay on task and follow the party rules. ALL of them, by both parties. Only a handful of people are running the congress and senate (leaders and minority leaders). The rest of them are afraid to lose their bribes to make any difference.

Re:Politics (2, Insightful)

tomhath (637240) | about 5 months ago | (#47223249)

NPR was established as the voice of the Democratic Party back in the 1960's, and it remains so today. If you pay attention to how they report an issue you'll see it immediately.

I stopped listening to it regularly back in 2008 when they were falling all over themselves to glorify Obama. A typical story would be a minute or two discussing Obama's press releases on the topic followed by a 30 second sound bite of him talking about it; then the reporter would read a 7 second counterpoint with the Republican point of view (and the snark in the reporter's voice was tangible). Yes, they covered both sides of the issue all right.

Re:Politics (1)

TWX (665546) | about 5 months ago | (#47223781)

Really? Because that was in the height of the Juan Williams era, when he was distorting matters the other way.

Re:Politics (3, Insightful)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | about 5 months ago | (#47222385)

Wait, what? The "Right Wing" Republican House PASSED the bill; it is the Democrats who control the Senate that pulled it. How does that reconcile with your nice little political rant?

Re:Politics (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#47222411)

Here is the problem.
The Right Wing Media has done such a good job a painting the Democrats and Obama as pure Evil, is that any sign of working with the Democrats on anything is a sign that they are being manipulated. So these politicians cannot dare to do anything that will make Obama side considered a win. As if they did they will get voted out in the next primaries.

The Left Wing Media makes the Right Wing like they are so out of touch and evil, so the Right feels constantly threatened, thus makes their stance more resolved.

This degree of Polarization has gone to the Crazy level.
Simple common sense solutions will not go threw because it was the other side who came up with it first.

And here's the solution: Stop voting (D) or (R)
They're the same damned party anyway.

Re:Politics (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47222469)

There is no left-wing media in the United States. There is center-right and extreme right. We have no viable parties to the left of center either.

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47222569)

Patent Reform is not a particularly partisan issue. Other websites say that Harry Reid killed patent reform, on the behalf of trial lawyers (a major democrat constituent), and big pharma. I think conservatives could be won over with the argument that moderately paid engineers working for the patent office, could replace expensive patent lawyers.

Money and Lawyers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47222201)

That's really all you need to say. Nothing has strangled the United States more than its own legal system.

Doesnt make a diff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47222237)

the DMCA outlaws innovation in this country. We wont move forward until it is repealed.

I know the USA's banking system is backward ... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 5 months ago | (#47222241)

I know the USA's banking system is backward, but even so that check was slooooow to clear.

Re:I know the USA's banking system is backward ... (2)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 5 months ago | (#47222489)

Checks are actually moving faster than ever with the Check21 (The 21st Century Checking Act) which went into effect over a decade ago. Now, when WalMart scans a check in front of you at the register, the money instantly moves from your account to WalMart's, and the banks start reconciling where the cash that the transfer represents right away. If there's any delay in a check showing up in your Online Banking, it's because you sent it via the Postal Service and that still takes a little time but is also always getting faster.

If I could just get government approval, I'm willing to set up a bank that really moves fast.

Duh? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47222255)

Money buys policy in the US, and patent holders have more money. Did we really even need this question?

TLDR (5, Interesting)

wienerschnizzel (1409447) | about 5 months ago | (#47222505)

Here's the meat part:

"This was entirely done by the pharmaceutical industry and the trial lawyers."

...

Pharmaceutical and biotech firms are often plaintiffs in patent disputes and haven't been hit hard by troll lawsuits.

...

Many law firms working in traditional plaintiffs' areas like personal injury or securities class actions have added patent work as other sources have dried up.

Fucking. Lawyers.

Re:TLDR (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | about 5 months ago | (#47223339)

Pharmaceutical and biotech firms are often plaintiffs in patent disputes and haven't been hit hard by troll lawsuits.

Fucking. Lawyers.

What does that have to do with lawyers? It sounds more like the proposed reforms would have impacted pharma and biotech firms in an way that they viewed negatively, because the harms to them are not balanced by the marginal benefit to them of avoiding troll suits.

Without knowing specifically what they're complaining about, my guess is one of the definitions of trolls as "non-practicing entities" also scoops up many research universities, like Johns Hopkins (since they do research, get patents, and then license or sell them without making any products). And research universities are big R&D labs for pharma. If those JHU patents that they are exclusively licensing to make a drug suddenly become invalid, then their competitors can start making the drugs too... and without paying any royalties to the university or providing them grants for the initial research.

That has nothing to do with fucking lawyers, though. That's a business consideration... Why aren't you saying "fucking CEOs"?

Re:TLDR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47223623)

Fine. Fucking Lawyers and CEOs. This is why we can't have nice things.

Re:TLDR (1)

wienerschnizzel (1409447) | about 5 months ago | (#47223757)

Because I'm pretty sure it wasn't the CEO's at the biotech and pharma firms that decided they needed to dump money on congress on this issue as if they didn't have better use for their capital. Guess who convinced them to do it...

Plus, the trial lawyers played no small part in this. Read the article.

Re:TLDR (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | about 5 months ago | (#47223807)

Because I'm pretty sure it wasn't the CEO's at the biotech and pharma firms that decided they needed to dump money on congress on this issue as if they didn't have better use for their capital. Guess who convinced them to do it...

The Board of Directors? And yeah, lobbying decisions are absolutely due to the CEOs. I'm not sure what big business experience you have, but even the general counsel isn't pulling the strings that much.

Re:TLDR (2)

wienerschnizzel (1409447) | about 5 months ago | (#47224031)

I'm not sure what big business experience you have

A little bit. Specifically issues regarding intellectual property that got escalated up to our CEO. What did I learn of it?

CEOs of big companies listen to their lawyers very carefully and don't second guess them. At least in tech companies they don't.

Gotta pay whoever comes up with this stuff! (2, Insightful)

The New Guy 2.0 (3497907) | about 5 months ago | (#47222541)

Patents in the USA are a monopoly granted by the Constitution and laws that follow in order to provide a way for inventors to make money for a limited time, then depositing the idea in the public domain so others can manufacture the product or use the idea to expand upon it. It's all about encouraging innovation, because without a patent system, there'd be no incentive to do so and the inventor would have to find other jobs.

Re:Gotta pay whoever comes up with this stuff! (4, Insightful)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | about 5 months ago | (#47224327)

I'm sorry, were you going for +1, Funny or -1, Naive? What you stated is indeed the standard line in support of patents, but unfortunately for that argument there is little evidence to suggest that patents actually foster innovation. There is, on the other hand, plenty of evidence to support the opposite position, that patents, like pretty much every other monopoly imposed by law, have a tendency to impede natural innovation and raise barriers to entry. Innovation occurred before patents, and would continue to occur if we eliminated all patents tomorrow. Perhaps not exactly the same kind or to the same extent, but rather the kinds and extent of innovation which make sense given supply and demand in the absence of artificial subsidies—the kind where innovators profit by enriching society rather than wasting resources in pursuit of monopoly rent-seeking.

Patents are Legitimate Personal Assets YOU own (1, Insightful)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 5 months ago | (#47222601)

So once people say we will limit "abusive patent litigation" what does that mean?

You worked for 5 years to solve a particular problem and found a unique way to solve it and successfully got a patent or two or three on your solution.

Should the government now come in and pass a law that says "Bud, you can't sue to get patent royalties?"

That takes away your asset value, does it not? How do you define "abusive"? Is it only when you sue a Fortune 500 company? Is it only when 20 other patent holders sue a particular company? Or is it only when those companies have lots of lawyers to lobby the US Congress?

Answer the questions!

Re:Patents are Legitimate Personal Assets YOU own (2)

alen (225700) | about 5 months ago | (#47222701)

you're only a patent troll when you invent something that's part of a product people like and the giant megacorp took your idea from 15 years ago when it was ahead of it's time and decided not to pay you. but since people want that feature now and want it for free because now its obvious, you're a patent troll

Re:Patents are Legitimate Personal Assets YOU own (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 5 months ago | (#47223141)

Great answer!

Re:Patents are Legitimate Personal Assets YOU own (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47222829)

How do you define "abusive"?

When you didn't create the method, you didn't file the patent, and you have never attempted to actually execute the patent?

You bought the patent from someone else and do nothing but sue other people for infringment. You add nothing to society.

Re:Patents are Legitimate Personal Assets YOU own (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47223137)

You add nothing to society.

I dunno, the inventor getting money for selling the patent sounds like more money to invent things to me...

Re:Patents are Legitimate Personal Assets YOU own (1, Insightful)

alen (225700) | about 5 months ago | (#47223291)

say you invent a super absorbent material that can you be used in diapers and lots of other things
you can't sell it as a standalone product because it's designed to be PART OF A PRODUCT
and you don't want to pay a lawyer or spend months haggling deals with different companies or worry about suing people who rip off your idea
so you sell it to intellectual ventures or some similar company, get paid and go on to invent something else

meanwhile the crazy OCD geeks who have mental issues about controlling everything will rant about you on the internet how you are supposed to be handwriting the licensing contracts yourself for the hundred companies you might license a patent to

Re:Patents are Legitimate Personal Assets YOU own (3, Insightful)

swillden (191260) | about 5 months ago | (#47223485)

The problem is that the situation you describe fits about 0.1% of patents, or less. The dream of the lone inventor making it big with the help of patent law isn't a fantasy, but it's so rare that it might as well be. In the meantime the current patent law structure serves mostly to impede technological progress and enrich patent attorneys.

Re:Patents are Legitimate Personal Assets YOU own (1)

alen (225700) | about 5 months ago | (#47223557)

that's exactly what it is
most of the internet today was invented in the 90's and those ideas were too far ahead of their time and they were really new ideas
by the time tech improved to where they can be used in a product, the companies selling the product suddenly didn't want to pay for those ideas

Re:Patents are Legitimate Personal Assets YOU own (3, Insightful)

swillden (191260) | about 5 months ago | (#47223785)

I disagree.

Most of the Internet-related patents are so utterly obvious the patents should never have been issued. The reason companies don't want to license them is because thay add no value: The companies' engineers independently reinvented all of those trivially-obvious inventions, and now the patent holders are trying to hold them up for a lot of money. This is evidence that the system is badly broken.

Re:Patents are Legitimate Personal Assets YOU own (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47223857)

and you don't want to pay a lawyer or spend months haggling deals with different companies or worry about suing people who rip off your idea

so you sell it to intellectual ventures or some similar company, get paid and go on to invent something else

Okay...and? Without actually suing anyone, you're not a patent troll. If "intellectual ventures or some similar company" goes and "pay[s] a lawyer or spend[s] months haggling deals with companies or worry about suing people who rip on your idea", then they're "attempt[ing] to actually execute the patent" and wouldn't be patent trolls. If they simply sit on the patent and wait for others to stumble across the same material or perhaps introduce the material but fail to mention the patent until years later when it's a ripe time to sue, they're patent trolls.

In short, it disincentivies buying up a lot of patents, often at sub-optimal prices, with a shotgun approach of trying to troll out a lot of companies and sue over the few patents that can "make it big" for the company. Now, this almost certainly means less inventors will get their patents bought up precisely because they're too simple to ever be worth the risk of executing in an actually legitimate fashion. But those that do will likely be able to demand much more money. Meanwhile, the rest will likely want to sell their patent(s) to a collective company that workers harder to bargain with more broad scope cross-licensing agreements for a relatively small fee--this being different than trolling since the idea is to introduce new patents as time progresses and to not focus on suing but on receiving a small fee per 1000 units sold. Of course this also introduces the risk of a higher barrier to entry, but that's an inherent issue of patents.

PS - It's the difference between salmon trolling and salmon farming. And one reason why wild cows may be [near] dead but domesticated cows live on.

Re:Patents are Legitimate Personal Assets YOU own (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47223891)

You worked for 5 years to solve a particular problem and found a unique way to solve it and successfully got a patent or two or three on your solution.

Should the government now come in and pass a law that says "Bud, you can't sue to get patent royalties?"

If the patent is held by a shell company that does not produce anything, not showing the patent to the public through a product or service, you shouldn't be allowed to sue over it because obviously it not a unique way.

Re:Patents are Legitimate Personal Assets YOU own (3, Informative)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | about 5 months ago | (#47224431)

So once people say we will limit "abusive patent litigation" what does that mean?

The canonical example of "abusive patent litigation" would be the case where someone else with the same problem came up with the same solution independent of your efforts, and you sued them simply because you happened to register your solution with the patent office first. This covers in particular all the cases of "submarine patents" where someone anticipates a problem and patents all sorts of half-baked variations on possible solutions without actually putting in any of the effort to make them work, and then waits for someone else to do the actual innovation and bring a product to market before suing for infringement.

Independent invention should be an affirmative defense against claims of patent infringement. Put simply, if you developed a solution yourself, you shouldn't need anyone else's permission to use it. Naturally, the problem is proving that the solutions were really independent, since—unlike copyrights, for the most part—patents cover a very broad domain and two machines or manufacturing processes based on the same work need not show an obvious resemblance. A better solution would be to eliminate patents entirely. They don't really work to encourage innovation, they can't be implemented without violating people's natural rights, and they distort the entire economy for the sake of a mere incentive program.

Time for Senate staff bank audits... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47222633)

Someone or someones in the Senate have fatter wallets right now. I can guarantee it.

Sensationalist article (2)

SlaveToTheGrind (546262) | about 5 months ago | (#47222687)

While it's no doubt fun to rail against Big Pharma and Greedy Trial Attorneys, Occam's Razor still holds true.

The piece of the proposed legislation that would have made the most meaningful real-world change in the system was making it easier to collect attorney's fees from losing parties that had taken unreasonable positions in the litigation (e.g., trolls). After the Supreme Court expanded the trial courts' ability to do just that in the Octane Fitness and Highmark cases a few weeks ago, that naturally took a significant amount of wind out of the legislative sails.

The legislative appetite to Just Do Something diminishes quite a bit when the playing field has materially changed and there's not yet any data on how much of the problem was curbed by that change.

fuc4? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47222849)

Meh, Congress (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 5 months ago | (#47222853)

With all the lobbying going on in Congress it's no wonder that their approval rating is in the dumps. This is another example of something getting held up in committee rather than being submitted for a vote. The committees control everything in congress and if the chairman decides to pull a piece of legislation they can pretty much do it. In this matter the Republican controlled House passed legislation but the Democratic Senate is caught in its own red tape. NPEs are a threat to our economic development and certainly there are an over abundance of useless, frivolous patents that have been awarded. Regrettably the US Patent system has let us all down in letting these things become a "patent" and unfortunately unless there's litigation it never can be settled. NPEs don't want to go to trial, they want you to settle, pay them their protection money. It's like the Mafia and paying for protection but unfortunately in this case you have multiple gangs all coming to your door asking for their cut. Literally it's like the death of 1000 cuts.

Since I'm not in Vermont, can somebody there kick their Senator in the nuts for me? Thanks.

hmmm.. (1)

Randy_Leatherbelly (1983850) | about 5 months ago | (#47223229)

having screwed half the planet up already, the US Govt is screwing up tech too for everyone else .. thanks..

Patent "reform" (2)

tambo (310170) | about 5 months ago | (#47223493)

I posted an article [usptotalk.com] describing the "why" a month ago. Totally not surprised that the current reform efforts exhibited the same arc.

That general model is exactly why this initiative collapsed as well. Several aspects of this reform - such as "attributable owner" rules, i.e., implementing laws that require patent applications to reveal the real party of interest in the case, as a measure addressing shell companies - were supported by large interests that benefited from them, and opposed by large interests that didn't. The result is stalemate, just as we've seen countless previous times in the patent "reform" discussion.

The only measures that make it through the "reform" system are mild improvements that don't affect some entities differently than others. And even those can be difficult - e.g., the first-to-file change in the America Invents Act is great for well-funded enterprises, but more problematic for small businesses. In that case, large enterprises simply steamrollered the opposition with lobbying cash.

The upshot is that the "reform" sytem is, itself, deeply dysfunctional. An additional tragedy is that efforts that would objectively improve the patent system for everyone, such as giving examiners more time to perform their examination and implementing more accountability for technically incorrect arguments, get lost in the struggle.

Trial lawyer party (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47224143)

I do not like the republicans, and if McCain was president we might be living in a radioactive desert fighting over the last can of dog food. But, the tech companies in Silicon Valley just found out what many other industries have learned over decades. The Democratic Party will always, without exception, vote in a manner favorable to trial lawyers. They may pay lip service to tort reform (including patents), but in the end, the huge contributions from trial lawyer associations is money well spent and somehow, reform fails. If it were not for the Republican politicians, the Democrat politicians would be the worst people in the world.

The same reason all of America has stalled (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47224649)

Tea party obstruction of nearly any and all things.

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