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Since the original post went straight to Alan's personal inbox, I repost
it here...should have watched the reply-address...
> The U.S. patent system is going to be geared toward protecting
> U.S. interests in international trade. It probably does fit well
> with U.S. interests in the short term, but in the longer term,
> such protectionism is going to reduce our productivity.
I am sure it will, as it is going to be happening all around the global
> Would the holder of a patent on some arbitrary combination of
> algorithms be able to detect their application in a Tamil
> language word processor? Can anyone in the U.S. inspect the
> business processes of a firm in Cambodia?
> We're going to run into some strange enforcement issues with all
> these frivolous patents, in international markets, who have
> little incentive to see it our way. We may come to regret making
> a mockery of our patent office with all these business process
> and software patents.
Well, not exactly as it is happening right now. Seen in the long term,
the globally acting industry
is constantly pushing legislation and therefore the states to adopt to
their consent of what
industrial culture is, part of it is becoming or already is a part of
our lead culture in both western
and eastern and of the so-called developing countries societies. The
consequence is that they,
instead of having to fight over any patent infringements, will make sure
and then rest assured, that
no one is ever able to or is going to try to breech any one of their
patents as no one ever again will have
the resources and time needed to a) do research over a given topic and
b) find somebody to develop
it with in the first place (the ego principle, and part of it also the
social fud principle) and c) find the funding
necessary to enable a product to go unto the local or global market and
d) remain independent as a newly
emerged company without having to either fear to be sued to death upon
any so-called patent infringements
or be starved to death by some or multiple companies ruining your
customer base spreading fud about your
products or be destroyed by a small or large scale business buyout.
Currently, the industry is still continuing to set out their plans,
pushing legislation to follow suit and stay put
and the rest is little more than logical consequence to my eyes.
Especially when we look at the rate in which
we find companies to either be bought out when it comes to small new
emerging companies or, we find
increasing rates where the larger of the existing players unite in
so-called joint-ventures, the latter being
mostly the softer form of a corporate buyout and subsequently both
technology and knowledge transfer.
What this does to existing markets we can already see here in the
European Union, where we have small
to middle sized companies sort of dying out due to the concentration of
the ever so larger companies.
And, I also believe that in the advent of proprietary intellectual
property and protectionism thereof we will one day
find that patents held in the U.S. are going to be valid across all the
other states, sort of a patent inter-change system
that enables patent holders to more quickly install their claims in
other countries as well. Currently, patent-holders will
have to endure a long period of patent review and such, in the future,
and if all goes well as has been definately planned
by the persons in charge, patents granted in one country being part of
the inter-change will be more easily granted
in all the other part-taking countries as well, perhaps with only one or
few central review and approval boards.
As such, developing software or anything that results from research will
not be possible for the individual or small to
middle sized companies anymore without the approval of any of the patent
holders, I fear, even resulting in the
scenario I presented above, not as long as there is still a quantifyable
growth in that area.
But this all is rather the consequence of a long development and
evolution, especially here in Germany and around
where we had a long term decline in funding of public education, I
personally call it the return to a state
of innocence like what we had before the epoch of social and
philosophical and religious enlightenment.
At that time, religious and therefore political leaders installed and
maintained the innocence of their people so that they
be kept afixed in their positions, right now we have a new religion in
town called economy that does just the same.
I could go on about this for hours, but to cut things short, to really
change things, we must have another
reformation of our systems of state and societies at the global scale,
and not just what the industry is trying
to make out of it - we eventually would have to divide economies and the
political systems like we did before
when we separated church and state. Remember that church or any
religious intent can also always be
seen as one of the very first economies we find in human societies, not
to mention the fascistic part about religion or religious
believes. Not to mention the corruption that currently takes place
everywhere around the world in every legal and
policital system resulting from interactions between polititians and
managers or companies when being seen as a social
body or, as it is here, a legal person. And, looking at the current
decision process of the European Union legislation, we
find lobbying and accompanying that corruption of politicians that are
not really true politicians but rather economists taking
part in the shaping of a future society of their liking, but not one of
that of the people they are trying to govern or should I
rather say try to install a new social order in an attempt to make it
more feudalistic, preserving and feeding the 10% above
whilst maintaining a growing fluid base of cheap unemployed,
semi-employed, near-constantly-employeds and all of them
being innocent and held in constant fear, further driving onward the
ego-principle that makes and drives our economies?
> We'll then have to pick our battles. Are we going to squander
> our influence to inforce a patent age old business process, now
> with XML, or are we going to push to defend big pharma and
> Hollywood? The latter two industries have a body of law that is
> far more mature. They are two industries that the U.S. will
> dominate for a long time to come. Bang for the buck.
Yes, and this makes me think back to times when the only reasonable
thing to do was, prior to enlightenment, to revolt and put
power back into the hands of the people. And, I fear, that would be the
only true consequence that we might face in
the future, worldwide and on global scale.
By revolting I surely mean, that on the political scale we should really
care and do something about it, as long as we
can, for them have not yet enforced their positions, but eventually will
and become untouchable. As for the software
industry, I don't believe that XML is going to be the solution to the
problems that we face.
We currently have, as I call it, a big pile of mud (see also laputan.org
for more of these not-anti-patterns) and we, web-
developers constantly dig in that mud to find some pearl or at least
something that we can take to shape something
from, cheap and functioning but there is no beauty in it, except for the
craftsmanship that went into it or the structure that
it then consists of (architecture), yet all below that layer is simply
integrated as we don't find the time to burn down that
big pile of mud in order to make the soil below it again more fruitful
so that it can grow new and more beautiful things,
not just more piles of mud.
As such, XML is only to be seen as a means of transition between the old
generation (legacy services, legacy languages and
so on, and consequently legacy-software, aka pile of mud). In this
transitional phase in which we currently are, we find XML
to be the great harmonizer, assimilating old technologies to a new way
of hiearchically structured thinking and acting, proper
translation of the economic or corporate system, but not necessarily
that of any naturally evolved social body.
And this is what it will boild down to, XML is currently pushed to the
edge, with ever so many standards to be forcedly evolving
and appearing and disappearing from sight, that one cannot really keep
up with new architecture, new software, so that we
will re-use the prototypes of the beginnings of XML evolution,
eventually building up again piles of mud so that we may restart
from the beginning, in fear of any patent infringement or attack against
the monopolies installed by the patenting system.
And, industry is trying to also shape that future of ours in the
transitional era of computing and to preserve what they call is their
rightful property. In my believe there is no intellectual property and
as such there should be no legal system preserving the global
monopolies that they try to install. In my eyes the latter leads also to
planned economy at the inter-corporate level (b2b) with shared
global markets that can only be shared by a few players in the future,
as everyone else will have to leave the scene.
I currently don't see any attempt in the industry to finally take a real
leap forward and solve our problems for all. Personally
I believe that this can be done, even in language but not in XML, for
the industry is also self-preservation and might not at
all be interested, so we have a), b), c) and d) again, those of which I
currently face myself - actually having no perspective whatever,
ideas yes, but I see technologies emerging now, that I thought about 4
to 5 years ago, that could have been developed back then,
given enough personell and enough time and money and total disrespect
for any of the available technologies that constantly put
us back whenever we could be moving forward.
The circles in which we exist are running even tighter these days.
Just my two cents, and admittedly two desperate looking ones by the way...
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