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They're banking on getting away with it (retroactive immunity for patent infringement)

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antigop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 09:23 AM
Original message
They're banking on getting away with it (retroactive immunity for patent infringement)
(Cross-post from the daily stock market thread.)

A disturbing trend...retroactive immunity..for spying and now for patent infringement...

http://www.star-telegram.com/245/story/552540.html

Property rights protect the little guy. It doesn't matter how wealthy or politically connected you are -- you have control and full legal standing with regard to your property. Because of your property rights, you can't be run over and abused.

The same is true of intellectual property rights. There is something heroic, even romantic, about the small inventor who comes up with a breakthrough idea. The patent is his property right; his protection. It means that big companies can't just steal his idea and kick him down the road. A just society is reinforced by property rights that protect the weak against the strong, and the small against the large.

At least, that's how it's supposed to work. But sometimes the powerful and politically connected see property rights as an annoyance. Unfortunately, that is happening on Capitol Hill, where a consortium of major banks that have repeatedly infringed a patent are asking Congress to give them immunity for their violations.

Worse, these banks also are asking Congress to make taxpayers pay the patent holder for their illegal actions. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bailout would cost the federal government at least a billion dollars.

If granted, this would reward the banks for ignoring patent rights. It also would set a precedent by which wealthy, politically connected patent infringers could go to Congress and ask for similar immunities and taxpayer bailouts. Such a precedent would undermine the U.S. patent system and American innovation.
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mainegreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 09:31 AM
Response to Original message
1. So patents will protect things that shouldn't be patentable, but not patentable things?
What's the fucking point then? If we're going down that road, lets just chuck intellectual property of any sort out the window.

This is so stupid it boggles the mind.
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antigop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 09:35 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. It's disturbing that evidently some members of Congress are going along with it
And it's disturbing that if companies violate the law they can try to get retroactive immunity.
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nebenaube Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 10:01 AM
Response to Original message
3. With all the
wire taping, warrent-free searchs and the out-sourced data mining that can happen now; the concept of developing a valuable product or invention as a private individual, in secret is a joke. Indeed, being secretive at all is enough to get big brother interested and who's to say some underling at DHS or NSA or some private contractor won't pass your ideas off to some other company for a few bucks or just send your ass off to gitmo as a suspected terrorist; simply because they cannot understand what it is your are doing or you are about to seriously damage a (multi-national) competitor's place in the market?

If you don't have the resources to prove your case there's nothing you can do about it.

The heroic, small inventor is history.
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. But patents are the opposite of secrecy
Anything that's patented specifically cannot be secret; anyone in the world can see its design at the PTO. For that matter, patents were invented to undermine intellectual property rights by encouraging people coming to the patent-granting country to rip off inventors from their home country.
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flashl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 10:12 AM
Response to Original message
4. K&R
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BattyDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 10:21 AM
Response to Original message
6. We knew it was only a matter of time before other corporations demanded retroactive immunity
Edited on Fri Apr-04-08 10:22 AM by BattyDem
"Why should the telecoms get all the breaks? We break the law, too - and we want our free pass!" :eyes:

Telecom immunity is a Pandora's Box that never should have been opened. If corporations can break laws, ignore patents and violate the Constitution whenever they damn well please, we haven't got a chance. :-(
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crikkett Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
7. The post leaves out what patents were supposedly infringed upon
and since various big guys are trying to put patents on crap like hyperlinks and DNA, I'm reserving my outrage until I learn more facts about the matter.
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antigop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Did you read the article? It's in there...
>>
The story starts more than a decade ago, when the founder of a small Plano company called DataTreasury Corp. invented a system for digitally scanning and sending images of checks. The inventor received patents for it in 1999 and 2000.

DataTreasury Corp. tried to sell its technology to the banks, but instead of buying or licensing the technology, several big banks expropriated it and began using it to change the way they processed checks.
>>
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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
9. I suppose Limewire downloaders want immunity too.
Ain't intellectual property a bitch?
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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 06:59 PM
Response to Original message
10. evening kick
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