[CoMoDev] Re: bump: March meeting topic

  • From: "Sue Spielman" <sspielman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <comodev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2005 20:27:45 -0700

Well as usual...I don't think I can make it down to the meeting...but I'll
add my 2 cents to the discussion :). Among other things, I'm a technical
expert witness on rather large (multi-million - billion) technology
lawsuits. Some have been small companies, some have been for industry
leaders. I've been involved with a number of patent cases. I agree with Pete
in that for the most part they are paper that generates long and
costly...and usually unsuccessful for both parties...litigation. Mostly,
companies will settle on some amount of damages because to take something to
trial (which I also have had the opportunity to testify) is a very expensive
process that most companies want to avoid at all costs. Comparing software
and prior art in patents is rather tedious. I have presented at the SD Best
Practices conference in Boston on 'Covering Your Assets' (ok, pun intended),
on the steps that companies can take to prevent lawsuits from happening and
what types of software collateral typically end up really hurting companies
when it comes to lawsuits. If I can make the meeting, I'd be happy to bring
it with me and talk on it. It's probably about an hour presentation...I
forget what the session length was. If not, maybe we can set up a webinar if
there are enough interested. Or ask questions on the list and I'll answer to
anything that I've had experience with while doing tech expert work.

-----Original Message-----
From: comodev-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:comodev-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of Pete Schofield
Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2005 7:11 PM
To: comodev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [CoMoDev] Re: bump: March meeting topic

The parent company to a previous employer was very big on patents.  They
were a printing company that did a lot of R&D into processes, products,
machinery, and related technology, so they generated a lot of IP that was
easily identifiable, quantifiable, and probably could be protected.

After acquiring our company, they carried this mentality into our software
development.  As a result I ended up with a couple of patents.

The process was long, full of lawyers, and more than a little annoying
trying to turn technology concepts into something non-technical people could
describe in legalese.  In my opinion, it was a waste of time (and probably a
lot of money as well).

By the time the patent filing is detailed enough to provide any protection,
you have given away all the IP you were trying to protect.  Be a little
vague to protect the IP and you give up any legal protection.  Given the
speed of innovation, trends toward standardization, the job hopping rampant
in the industry, and cost of litigation, I don't see much protection for

The attitude of the general public - and therefore any potential jurors - is
probably another negative towards patents.  Many people think software
should be free (or is free) anyway because the can not physically hold it in
their hands.

If Xerox and Apple can't protect there IP, I don't think I have much of a


-----Original Message-----
From: comodev-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:comodev-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of David Beers
Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2005 5:10 PM
To: comodev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [CoMoDev] Re: bump: March meeting topic

Haven't had any presenter volunteers yet.  You guys better think quick or
you may force me to present.  Fair warning!

But before I volunteer myself, I wonder if I can yet shake something loose
from one or two of you.  I notice that the EU just approved legislation that
introduces software patents in Europe, creating quite a stir.  Software
patents are already a sticky issue here in the US for anyone who tries to
write commercial software.  (I've personally lost business on two separate
occasions for reasons that related to software patent claims.)  I know some
people have strong feelings and carefully considered positions--pro or
con--about software patents and possible alternatives for protecting
intellectual property. If we've got anybody who'd like to discuss the state
of the debate or of various initiatives aimed at achieving a better legal
framework for dealing with intellectual property, that might be a cool
presentation that would generate some discussion.  If we had two people with
different views on the subject... still cooler!

Just as a quick poll:
        Who has had the experience of developing or starting to develop a
project of original design only to find out that it runs afoul of one or
more patents?

        Who has (individually or as a company) researched the patents that
were out
there to see if a product they were developing might violate one?

Note: I wasn't planning on talking about this myself--I had something
technical in mind that relates to the synchronization topic I mentioned
earlier.  I'm just stirring the pot to see if anything bubbles up from the
rest of you.

David Beers, Moderator
Colorado Mobile Developers

 On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 13:20:34 -0700, David Beers wrote:
> Hey folks,
> The March meeting is a couple of weeks away and I wanted to firm up a
topic or two.  Is there someone who hasn't presented before who would like
to talk to us about their work or demo something they've been working with?
 It could be something you've been working on but it could also be a tool,
an SDK, or product you like that relates to our mobility theme.
> I've got a couple of ideas, but you know me... I'm always mouthing off at
these meetings.
> David

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