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Re: Amazon Patents Getting Numbers Off a Check

From: telford
Subject: Re: Amazon Patents Getting Numbers Off a Check
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2004 11:40:35 -0000

In gnu.misc.discuss Tim Jackson <news@winterbourne.freeserve.invalid> wrote:
> Lee Hollaar wrote on Sun, 25 Jul 2004 01:08:03 +0000 (UTC)....
>> If you, instead, want to screw your competitors with somebody else's
>> bad patent, then conspire with the to get a license from them in
>> trade for you not disclosing the prior art.
> A completely unjustified reading of what I said.

> What's screwing my competitors is the bad patent.  There's no 
> obligation on me to tell them that it's bad.  Failing to do so doesn't 
> amount to me screwing them.

Yes, yes it does. If you see someone push someone else in the river
and you could pull them out, and you decide not to, then ethically you
have failed in your duty to a fellow human being. Remember, next time
round it might be you in the river. Of course, in business finding
ethical people is pretty damn unusual.

Also, in the case of patents, a given software product will be influenced
by a very large number of patents. It is not a simple matter to decide
that the bad patent will automatically give you an advantage over your
competitors. For example, the market may decide to shift standards away
from the bad patent and TOWARDS another patent and your competitors make
a deal amongst themselves to lock you out. Alternatively, your competitors
may send lots of money to the patent holder who then has plenty to spend
on a legal team and reminds you of some of their OTHER bad patents that
you hadn't noticed up till now and which you don't have any prior art for.

        - Tel

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