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It's so great to see the Eolas patent struck down. We had firsthand knowledge of this case at O'Reilly, since +Dale Dougherty and +Pei Wei, who worked with us on GNN back in 1992 and 1993, have testified repeatedly in this trial over the past decade or more. Pei's work with Viola (see was clearly prior art, but it took till now for the court system to catch up with that obvious fact.

The current patent system is a terrible tax on invention, as it requires real inventors to spend time in court rather than focusing on making real things happen. We must remember that the patent system was supposed to "promote the progress of science and the useful arts," not to enrich people who know how to work the legal system.
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So what will it take to put a stop to software patents entirely? It seems significant that software developers are overwhelmingly opposed to software patents (I'd say "unanimously", but I'm sure there are a few here and there). In theory, the "prior art" and "obviousness" tests should disallow crap like this from the start, but it's not working. Nobody can listen to this and not come away with the conclusion that the system is broken beyond repair:
It seems to me that the concept of intellectual property is one that's facing it's extinction.

Whether you're talking about patents, piracy or privacy, you're talking about a slowly dwindling concept of ownership within a world that no longer supports it. Every corporate entity out there wants to know as much about me as possible in exchange for services that I find valuable and the opportunity to advertise to me. At the same time, all of these companies are trying to find a way to hang on to the same kinds of information about themselves and finding it's becoming impossible.

It's been interesting to watch.
One aspect of ownership that seems to be increasingly stressed by the online community/culture is attribution. That is, "This was created by so and so, and I'm passing it along to you because it is amazing," rather than "This belongs to so and so, and you need to pay up before you can get your copy."
Yes, much like that though i think of it as artists and fans selling and sharing the artist, not the end product. If i understand you correctly...
The more I read of history, the more difficult it becomes to assign ownership of ideas. Every discovery seems to be a re-discovery of something that someone in an earlier time didn't understand or see the value of. This case is obviously a mess that should never have happened but I wonder how many other ideas or insights that are not truly unique have been considered to be so.
This is precisely why the copyright wars are so exciting. Once they lose, we get to leap forward by leagues. Congress will have it's work cut out for it.
I wonder if this can be used as precedent or if it is an isolated case.
Go to townhall meetings and ask again and again, "what are you going to do about the broken patent system?" Get some promises out of them, that'll be a start.
This is amazing. The east texas court is most infamous for the parent trolling cases and that court threw this one out!!
I thought Al Gore already laid claim to it? <snicker>
too bad that obama changed it to "first to file" instead of first to invent eh. too bad, so sad future generations.
O goodness james wise. (Anyway u can huh?)
just saying. i'm pretty sure everyone liked the old system. dont know why he thought that would be better. this case would go other way on new patents.
It isn't just a tax on invention- who pays for the courtroom, the wages of the judges and clerks, and so on?
Unfortunately, "people who know how to work the legal system" is the exact definition for the current power elite.
Does this mean that we can soon stop the ridiculous practice of using JS to dynamically generate embed-tags for Flash, Java, etc. - and instead revert to the original concept embed-tags inlined in html?!?
I, for one, will celebrate when that is a reallity!
Min Ko
Phew.. I was worried. Thanks juries.
Interesting bit for me is that Apple was one of the companies that settled with Eolas. +1 Google :-)
If only the caveman knew about this, he would be a millionaire from his paintings..
Thanks go to Tim Berners-lee for testifying!
Actually I think that if they had won this case it would have been even more beneficial.

A coworker recently convinced me that using all my resources to keep people from jumping off a cliff when they were determined to, wasn't helpful. That I should actually help them do it faster so we can actually crash hard and then start constructively with the survivors.

If Eolas would have taken the internet hostage with a win everyone would finally be confronted with the insanity current IP/patent/etc laws have become and just start building something new rationally.
+Lucas Walter agreed, I'm normally on the side of prevention, but when the fight becomes this exhausting and the opposition is so unreasonable there is a point that at which letting a disaster happen costs less than continuing the course until one side wins by attrition.
Strange I just commented on this...
There seems to be endless discussion and agreement that the system is broken but no one has a plan to fix it.
+Reza Samahin Plenty of people have plans. Wired asked a bunch of users what they thought and compiled the results. Also reddit users post endlessly about it. If you look you can find ideas just about anywhere. The problem is that no one in the government is proposing anything useful. They are the ones without a plan.
+Thomas Manning that's what I meant..endless discussion, ideas..not much concrete action..too bad the mobilization spawned by SOPA, etc. cannot be channeled to create concrete proposals and lobbying to affect real change.
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