The Great Patent Wars - I Was There

Some day our children will ask us what was so special about our youth, about our generation and what made us who we are. Back in the last decades they had "flower power", movements and whatever. What do we have? The great patent wars.

From my point of view it is a really sad period. Some companies just try to make money. No matter how. They buy patents and do not create stuff. They go to court and try to get money out of their patents and do not create anything. They just do nothing but try to take money from other companies.

On the other hand there are companies that create stuff. And they patent it, of course. Some companies try to rip them off. They go to court and try to stop them. Sometimes they even try to stop them with vague patents. This is the point where everything goes downhill.

No matter if you try to formulate your patent as vague as possible or if you just try to make money without creating something new - you are just worthless for everyone but your shareholders.

I Want My Push-Mail And I Want It Now

Thanks to Motorola Apple had to stop iClouds push service in Germany. Some kind of patent war that Apple temporarily lost. I talked about iCloud and one of the first reactions on Twitter was a link to the article that explained the current lawsuit.

Thanks to an obscure patent I cannot use push mail. Because I live in Germany. If I would live in another country I could still use it. Why? Because there are countries that give a damn shit. Because there are countries that judged different. Because there are countries where no lawsuit happend.

Consumer, Customer and Hackers

As a consumer and customer I can do nothing against it. I could buy my hardware or software from another vendor. I could wait till it is settled. I could just do nothing.

As a hacker I could just roll my own push mail and flip them them the bird. I could find a way around the restrictions or just do nothing.

No matter how you look at it - everyone beside the companies are screwed when they want to use push mail.

Let Us Burn Something Down

Apple is also known for some serious lawsuits the last few years. Most of the time they tried to protect their ideas and property. Sadly this went out of control from time to time. I do not say that they did everything right, but they did not screw up so badly.

Now they lost one. What is different this time? Why is it not just another lawsuit we should ignore? Because Apple lost. Something totally different. Apple build an enormous fanbase. True fans. People that will not buy or believe anything else.

If you are a company suing Apple and winning you have a problem. You have a fanbase against you that is ready for every holy war and crusade you can imagine. You lose every chance to win some of them for you product. You took away a toy they love from a company they love.

On the other hand if they really are right about some of their patents they deserve a compensation. If there are reasons why software patents should be killed instantly is something different.

Scary Bedtime Storys

Currently there is nothing that seems to change. There will be companies that hold patents and there will be companies that make money with them without creating stuff. The madness has to stop. Or we will have to explain our kids, someday, why there is nothing new, why there are no innovations anymore and why the only thing in the news is a list of new lawsuits regarding some ideas written on paper.

>> posted on Feb. 26, 2012, midnight in business