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Re: Tom Tom and Microsofts Linux patent lock-down ..

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: Tom Tom and Microsofts Linux patent lock-down ..
Date: Tue, 17 Mar 2009 19:16:27 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: tin/1.6.2-20030910 ("Pabbay") (UNIX) (FreeBSD/4.11-RELEASE (i386))

In gnu.misc.discuss Hyman Rosen <> wrote:
> Alan Mackenzie wrote:
>> Can anybody explain to me why a typical simple court case in the
> > developed world takes 18 months to resolve and costs the loser one,
> > or even several years' earnings?
> Because doing the research needed to properly argue a case takes a
> long time,

Yes.  The aggrieved householder submits a complaint, in ordinary English,
to a legal clerk of the court, who clarifies the issues with him and
translates the complaint into legal language.  This is forwarded to the
allegedly negligent neighbour who is required to respond promptly
(?within two weeks, perhaps).

If the neighbour disputes the allegations, it takes a further week for a
court appointed plumber to inspect the allegedly defective plumbing,
prepare his report, and submit it to the court.  It would take, at most,
another two weeks for the report to be sent to the two parties to give
them time to review it, possibly to dispute it.

Usually the judge could then issue his judgement immediately.  Costs: ?300
for the impartial plumber.  ?200 court costs.  Total, ?500, max. ?1000.
Total time taken: 4 weeks.  The judge may impose a penalty on a frivolous
persuer or a prevaricating respondant.

> .... and challenge-response is implemented through filed court
> documents which must be prepared to accepted standards and rules. It
> just takes time.

The amount of time it takes suggests most strongly that the particular
challenge-response systems in operation are badly broken.

> That's why parties are encouraged to settle.

So much for access to impartial justice.

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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