Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Patents Apple

Woz Fears Stifling of Startups Due to Patent Wars 300

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the innovation-is-verboten dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak says that Apple and other tech companies' patent hoarding could prevent entrepreneurs doing the same thing that he and Steve Jobs did in starting a computer company in a garage. Woz also says the jury is still out on Tim Cook as the right CEO to lead Apple forward after Steve Jobs." He still gives Apple a bit of a break: "'Apple is the good guy on the block of all of them,' he says. 'It is creating so much and is so successful and it is not just following the formulas of other companies – [Apple is] totally establishing new markets that didn't exist.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Woz Fears Stifling of Startups Due to Patent Wars

Comments Filter:
  • by Nyder (754090) on Monday April 09, 2012 @11:12PM (#39627099) Journal

    because it goes against the corporate way...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Woz has long been the guy that people like us listen to, while the rest of the world worshiped at the altar of Jobs.

      Not surprisingly, everyone else went with the cut-throat, they're all trying to get in my kool aid, kill them with our IP... no-matter-how ridiculous, business guy with a, "I'm going to annihilate them if it's the last thing I do" attitude.

    • by symbolset (646467) * on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @12:42AM (#39627563) Journal
      We are all aware that patents do this, and it's not an accident. This is what patents are for.
  • by Fluffeh (1273756) on Monday April 09, 2012 @11:12PM (#39627101)

    Of course patent chests are there to stave off the attacks of other massive companies - heck, look at the Facebook response to Yahoo's patent attack - it snaps up a quick 800 patents and uses the new ones against yahoo in retalliation - but they are also used (probably much less noticably) to swat at the small flies that the big boys want to get rid of.

    What better way to make some easy cash, when a start-up has a good idea, point out that your patents invariably make their product "infringe" then come out with their product under your own name - and possibly use your new patents to broker another settlement with some other big player in THEIR new emerging technology.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 09, 2012 @11:12PM (#39627105)

    you bet. an entire industry of lawyer specializations!!!

    • The geeks innovate

      The lawyers? Rent seeking

    • by CAIMLAS (41445) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @02:25AM (#39627949) Homepage

      Precisely.

      Woz's biography (I don't remember which one it was, but it focused more on the early days leading up to the Apple II and Lisa and had Captain Crunch/Draper and Jobs' drug use and partying featured fairly prominently), as well as The Cuckoo's Egg (Cliff Stoll) and The Happy Hacker, were pivotal to my formative years as a technologist.

      His statements here don't really make sense, within the context of the autobiography. It was written in the late 1980s or early 1990s, and I read it right around when OSX was making its emergence (it's not on Amazon, afaik), so it didn't have the color of the iRevolution (gag) to falsely tinge things sepia.

      Frankly, I can't help but think that the statements in the biography I read were right: something crucial in Woz's brain burnt themselves out when he made the Apple II. He obviously is not paying attention to the changing

      Apple hasn't done anything "first" or creative since they first released the iPhone. Yes, the iPhone was quite a jump over what existed at the time, and it was precisely in the direction that people wanted to go. However, it wasn't as capable as many devices on the market at the time in both computing capabilities and audio capabilities (and the i* products still aren't, in any way, better).

      Apple software in particular is lacking innovation (since at least 2007). We have osX which is still lackluster at best at context switches (still, after over a decade with negligible improvement) and is removing functionality in leaps and bounds (using a butchered and buggy Microsoft stack for SMB/CIFS and butchering the cups project? seriously, is that what passes for innovation?). This butchery will only be surpassed by Windows 8 in recent memory. iOS is positively crippled compared to Android, with some of the most frustrating UI inconsistencies and shortcomings in capabilities (eg. map navigation which is rivaled by a 7 year old in-car Garmin; killing downloads if you switch to something else). iTunes is now a fractured by platform as well, with tablets not being able to re-download games and apps someone has already paid for on their phones. The hell?

      The hardware in the workstations is, admittedly, nice: but aside from the incrementalism of the 1990s which ultimately failed them until they switched to x86, how are they distinguishing themselves today in this department? Bigger, brighter, and more expensive displays with "Thunderbolt" technology - a technology which Apple (and Intel, for whatever reason) have let completely languished for the year and a half that it's been out, turning what has absolutely awesome potential into a completely proprietary display interface which offers nothing but cost over HDMI (or for that matter, DVI, really). The lackluster nature of iOS has done the same with the iPhone and iPad: no true multiprocessing? No contextual use with peripheral emphasis? No WiDi or similar?

      ("But Caimlas, you asshole", I'm sure someone will say. "We have jiggapixel retina displays!" Yes; yes you do - you also pay for that with horrendous battery life, despite the meager 3.5" display on the phones.)

      Sorry. Woz has lost the plot and is not paying attention. Apple has done some absolutely fantastic things since 2000. They've made great progress, pushing other companies to innovate and copy, and have shown even greater potential. And then, the innovation stopped: they started to be litigious bastards at almost precisely the same time.

      I would personally love for Apple to come back as the company they were in 2005, when they were kicking ass and taking names. We'd see a lot of cool things happening. But since roughly the time of iTunes, there hasn't been much other than market daring with the iPad to come out of their company I'd consider even remotely 'innovative'. The more I have to deal with Apple products in a support role, the more I feel like they're not even giving their hardware software enough development attention to keep them running stable, with some serious engineering problems that make Windows-self-clobbering-via-antivirus seem benign.

      Very disappointing statements from the Woz.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gl4ss (559668)

        iPhone? a jump? the only thing it did "first" was capacitive touchscreen.

        same goes for a lot of other tech and "markets". they didn't create application selling.

        • Finger-friendly app development.

          Before iPhone there was Palm, Windows Mobile, Blackberry OS, and a couple others I can't remember - all of them required the use of a stylus to properly operate. Sure, you could have used them with your finger (like my old Treo), but it was an exercise in frustration.

          The iPhone ushered in an era where all OS and app functionality was built with the expectation that the user would be using his/her fingers - not a stylus. It may seem obvious now, but it wasn't always that way

      • by HuguesT (84078) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @05:58AM (#39628771)

        Apple is innovating in the iDevices department, nobody can say the contrary. They own the market, everybody is rushing after them and so far, failing. However a tablet is purely a consumer device. What about the developer market, the enterprise, and the innovators that have made Apple possible ?

        Here I do hear you, they are letting OS X go fallow. Mountain Lion is already a huge disappointment, as was Lion before it. Its cloud support is lackluster, the server parts are even more dreadful than before. OS X cannot really be recommended for developers on the desktop anymore. Think that the only halfway decent software RAID solution for OSX is the one coming from the abandoned port of ZFS all these years ago and picked up by enthusiasts. GCC is stuck at 4.2 and LLVM is not really progressing compared to the GCC behemoth. As far as I can tell, we are not sure Apple is going to ever upgrade the Mac Pro again. The list goes on.

      • Back in 2005, Apple was still "struggling" with the PowerPC platform. When did SMB/CIFS in OS X become a "butchered and buggy Microsoft stack"? It was based on the open source Samba stack until 10.6 and starting with 10.7, an Apple built system. Samba along with gcc were banished/limited from OS X due to GPLv3 more so then Apple's decisions.

        As for iTunes... its a bloated mess nowadays. Its basically Apple's Outlook, a far cry from what Jobs called "The best damn Windows App Ever" in 2003. Its one of the man

      • We have osX which is still lackluster at best at context switches (still, after over a decade with negligible improvement)...

        You moan about MacOS X being "lacklustre at context switches", while I enjoy the ease with which Grand Central Dispatch and blocks allow me to create multithreaded applications.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 09, 2012 @11:14PM (#39627111)

    That's why most startups don't do real business anymore: their model is to hype an idea and be bought up early, by a large corporation with its own protective patent portfolio.

  • What break? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jeeeb (1141117) on Monday April 09, 2012 @11:15PM (#39627119)

    He still gives Apple a bit of a break: "Apple is the good guy on the block of all of them,” he says. “It is creating so much and is so successful and it is not just following the formulas of other companies – [Apple is] totally establishing new markets that didn’t exist."

    I'm not a huge Apple fan but that seems pretty much true to me. They weren't all 100% original (what is?) but iPod, iTunes, iPhone and iPad have pretty much all created new markets or massively expanded existing ones. I mean I can't remember seeing rows of tablets on sale at my local electronics store prior to the iPad but now every company and his dog seems to have a tablet product. In fact the only tablets I remember hearing about before the iPad were laptops with touchscreens and huge price tags slapped on."

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Apple hasn't created anything. Everything existed before. Apple excels at marketing. That's it. They use the same chipsets and the same technology as everybody else. It is so bloody frustrating. Then they get rewarded for removing features and making shit HARDER to use. Yet some how we again say "look out easy it is" when in reality the majority of people run into more problems and can't figure the damm thing out. Is it better than some of Microsoft's offering? Not really. It offers a slight improvement by

      • Re:What break? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 09, 2012 @11:40PM (#39627265)

        Apple finishes their products though (some use the term polish) unlike many other manufacturers. HTC/Samsung and the rest of the makers of smart phones and electronic gadgets have a tendency to rush things to market and just throw them out before they are complete. They are often not very well thought out and have major bugs and glitches or poor performance in comparison to Apple products.

        Like my brand new Galaxy Nexus for example had a glitch where the sound would randomly go up and down, then they fixed that and now the phones connection is intermittently lost, to top it off the camera and speakers suck both hardware and software wise in comparison to the 4s iphone's. All that was needed was a little more time to iron out the bugs and add some polish, but typical big manufacturers just simply can't or choose not to do so.

        While I dislike Apple's products due to the lack of options, such as a larger screen, removable battery etc.. you simply have to admit they spend an awful lot of time and care on their products to make sure they are polished and the major bugs are worked out.

        • Re:What break? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by CoderExpert (2613949) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @12:08AM (#39627403)
          Despite the perceived "fanboyism", there is some truth in that too. I used to think Apple users were huge fanboys before. But this year I got MacBook Air and despite some quirks like different keyboard layout (I'm used to PC) and Finder trying to hide much of the file system, I am quite impressed with it. It is very polished, and despite the GP saying that Apple doesn't innovate, I haven't for example seen multi-touch trackpad in any other laptop. It makes a great difference. The quality of it is also much better than I have used before, as is screen and audio quality (I always wondered why my headphones sounded like shit with my old laptop even while it cost 3000 dollars!).

          The overall product is very finished. On top of that you get a nice UNIX system on the background and tons of apps that come with it. For example Automator and the system-wide services menu for your scripts make a HUGE difference.

          And of course, there are also many commercial games available for the platform and now that Steam is too, there should just be more. Linux just cannot compete that. Even if you are a geek, OS X is a very good choice, as it's pretty much what Linux on desktop should be.
          • Re:What break? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by slippyblade (962288) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @12:18AM (#39627459) Homepage

            You haven't seen multi-touch trackpad in other systems because of... PATENTS!

            • Patents don't prevent you from using a technology, they prevent you from using a technology royalty free.
              • Re:What break? (Score:5, Informative)

                by ghostdoc (1235612) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @02:53AM (#39628047)

                Patents don't prevent you from using a technology, they prevent you from using a technology royalty free.

                ...unless the patent owner refuses to grant you a licence at any price, which is entirely within their rights.

                for some patents, in some circumstances, when specified by government or courts, you can force a patent holder to grant licences, but otherwise it's entirely up to the patent holder whether they let you use 'their' technology and at what price.

          • by CAIMLAS (41445)

            Even if you are a geek, OS X is a very good choice, as it's pretty much what Linux on desktop should be.

            Nope, but thanks for your assessment.

            There's one thing OS X is lacking which I require my system to be, and that's "usable". It's got BSD binaries for the UNIX subsystem, which is fine, but then it doesn't present them with a proper package management system: they're just 'there'. Granted, I can download something like DarwinPorts and install/compile packages for my system like I could in 1998 on PC-BSD, but that's somewhat missing the point.

            And the GUI? It's anathema. Any self-respecting Unix person who pr

          • by Luckyo (1726890)

            Wait what? My shitty 350€ HP "netbook APU with a notebook form factor, but I can play startcraft for almost 3 hours on a 15 inch screen on battery" lappy has one. A very good one at that. As did every single other notebook I looked at when I was picking one for myself about two months ago.

            Where on earth did you find a major brand laptop without a multitouch track/touchpad?

        • Re:What break? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Ryanrule (1657199) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @12:12AM (#39627431)
          I expect this to go away. This sort of perfection was the result of a giant cock up top who could say, "X is not acceptable, fix it, no alternative." Your average exec is an mba, who all about cost vs reward. Not the engineering mindset of X or nothing.
        • Re:What break? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by ccguy (1116865) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @12:25AM (#39627489) Homepage

          Like my brand new Galaxy Nexus for example had a glitch where the sound would randomly go up and down,

          I wrote about this in my amazon.co.uk review, was instantly voted "not useful" by a lot of people. Other reviews mentioning shininess are of course "most useful".
          Don't know if it's a legion of astroturfers, fanboys, or just other buyers who have a hard time admitting they made a bad purchase.

          • Re:What break? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Pieroxy (222434) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @03:11AM (#39628109) Homepage

            If you really waste your time writing reviews for Amazon for free, you've got nothing to do here pal. These things are nests of armies of paid-for "moms" and "dads" writing nice things for the products they're paid to write nice things for. Any second spent trying to "crowd-source" those reviews is a second of your life that you'll never recover. And it will benefit no one, except those reviews farms.

            I know, I work for a big e-commerce website.

        • Re:What break? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by bemymonkey (1244086) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @12:46AM (#39627581)

          Or, on the PC/Laptop side, the systems are simply more reliable than a typical OOTB Windows 7 or Linux (my basis for comparison is Ubuntu) install. If you're unlucky (this depends highly on which vendor(s) you buy your hardware from, and the quality of the drivers they provide), you'll still run into the occasional bluescreen or things that simply break and require a reboot (yes, even on Ubuntu :p)...

          Just in the last two years of Windows 7 use, I've seen a few bluescreens with EMU audio hardware, Realtek laptop NICs, and even a virtual network driver (AVM's Fritz!VPN application - that was a particularly nasty one, because the machine would hang on standby and then only bluescreen about half an hour later... very difficult to troubleshoot). Oh and don't even get me started on Intel's crappy video drivers... bug-infested crap (if it weren't for the higher power consumption and heat I'd switch to a laptop with discrete graphics just for the better drivers).

          As far as I know (since I'm more or less a pure Windows user - can't get used to OSX for the life of me, nor do I want to - hell, maybe it's just a "grass is greener" thing), these are problems that more or less don't exist in the Mac camp... I keep hearing from musicians how they've never had a crash with their MacBook - our keyboarder, who uses his Windows 7 laptop as a soundbank on stage, actually had a bluescreen during a gig a few months ago. :(

          • "Linux (my basis for comparison is Ubuntu) " That's probably part of the problem right there. I've used all three OS's as my 'daily driver.' Win7 is probably the most unstable, Followed by OSX(they hide stuff, so you would never notice until you started dicking around with it), and then Linux. The most stable install i've had is crunchbang linux. (based on debian stable.) The last two could easily switch places depending on what you're doing. Ubuntu is, IIRC, based on debian unstable. (Downvote city he
            • Yup, I managed to break Ubuntu pretty badly with just 5 packages or so (trying to find a decent DE for myself and get the power consumption on my laptop below 9W [Windows hits about 6W when idle])...

        • by CAIMLAS (41445)

          What the...?

          Like my brand new Galaxy Nexus for example had a glitch where the sound would randomly go up and down, then they fixed that and now the phones connection is intermittently lost, to top it off the camera and speakers suck both hardware and software wise in comparison to the 4s iphone's.

          I call BS. Granted, it's anecdotal, but and maybe it's had problems, I can't say for certain. I can tell you this: my housemate has had a Nexus since the first day it was available. He gets an official ASOP update from Google every night (that is, he's running nightly builds, which I believe is a stock ROM option, and should by all means have more problems than any 'baked' ROM), and to the best of my knowledge, has never had such a problem as you describe. ICS is, from my subjective observation,

      • Re:What break? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by drcagn (715012) on Monday April 09, 2012 @11:56PM (#39627345) Homepage

        You're thinking too much like a techie. Regardless of whether the new market was carved out of excellent tech or excellent marketing, Apple is still carving new markets. If the iPad didn't exist, do you think the tablet market would look anything like it does today? No? Then Apple pretty much created a new market.

        • by CAIMLAS (41445)

          If the iPad didn't exist, do you think the tablet market would look anything like it does today? No? Then Apple pretty much created a new market.

          The first tablets weren't made by Apple in this round. They copied the cheap tablets from China which copied the cheap 'netbooks'. Google was already moving (slowly) in that general direction with Android, with netbook support. Did Apple find (and set) the price point for tablets before anyone else? Yes. So in that regard, yes they created the market, but it's not like they made something which wasn't being conceived by almost everyone else at the time, already. (By using the exact same lackluster phone sof

          • The first tablets weren't made by Apple in this round. They copied the cheap tablets from China which copied the cheap 'netbooks'.

            Citation needed.

    • Re:What break? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by countach (534280) on Monday April 09, 2012 @11:26PM (#39627185)

      Yeah, relative speaking they're "good". Relative to Bill Gates and his mob, and relative to a lot of other stuff that goes on in corporate America. Even so, they play pretty hard ball, and don't think twice about rolling over their developer community if it suits their supposedly higher purpose. And they're playing pretty hard ball in squashing the incumbents in books, music, magazines, newspapers, film, apps, etc etc. I guess some of those guys deserve to be squashed, but still its going a bit far saying Apple are pure good guys.

    • Yeah, iPods, iTunes, iPhone and iPad are so new... because nobody ever heard of a walkman, online music store, mobile phone or tablet before. Nor is Apple all that succesfull, yes, they sell a LOT of a single model but in total sales, many others surpass them. (Android activations outstrip in a matter of days, total iPhone sales. iTunes sells a lot of online music but only if you don't count traditional retailers)

      The parent poster claims he can't remember seeing rows of tablets before. Well, then he must no

      • Apple fanboys ARE funny. I find them endearing, because their irrational positivity towards Apple stems from their enthusiasm for the consumer devices they enjoy owning.
        I generally find fandroids less amusing because (on Slashdot at least) their energies seem equally driven by the same consumer devices but with irrational negativity.
      • by Jeeeb (1141117)

        Yeah, iPods, iTunes, iPhone and iPad are so new... because nobody ever heard of a walkman, online music store, mobile phone or tablet before. Nor is Apple all that succesfull, yes, they sell a LOT of a single model but in total sales, many others surpass them. (Android activations outstrip in a matter of days, total iPhone sales. iTunes sells a lot of online music but only if you don't count traditional retailers)

        Nobody is saying they invented portable music players, mobile phones or online music stores.

  • Oh Please ... (Score:2, Informative)

    by giorgist (1208992)
    Google creates cloud print ... release the code and makes it available to everybody
    Apple creates Airprint ... patent encumbers it and puts barbed wire around it and anybody with a similar idea
    • Re:Oh Please ... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 09, 2012 @11:20PM (#39627149)
      Like the DLNA open-standard, then Apple creates lock-in with its proprietary 'AirPlay' instead.
    • Re:Oh Please ... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 09, 2012 @11:30PM (#39627201)

      Um... you do realize that AirPrint support is built in to most recent linux distributions, right?
      Apple implemented it in CUPS 1.4.6 (and you can get it running on earlier versions with a little work, since it's mostly just combining a few existing standards).

      But why let facts get in the way of apple bashing.

    • Re:Oh Please ... (Score:4, Informative)

      by KingMotley (944240) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @12:01AM (#39627365) Journal

      Erm, well except for the fact that Apple created AirPrint first (Sept 15, 2010), and THEN google released theirs (Jan 10, 2011). Silly facts always getting in the way of a good point.

      • Re:Oh Please ... (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @12:11AM (#39627421)
        I don't think he was attempting to list it in chronological order, the point still stands: Google creates something and releases it freely, Apple creates something and locks it down. Airprint/Cloudprint isn't a good example, but DLNA vs AirPlay is, they could have used DLNA and allowed interoperability with existing devices but instead they deliberately prevented it by creating a proprietary, closed competitor.
  • If you looked at the recent Apple store front displays, or even their recent TV advertisements, they're horrible. They're nowhere as good as the Steve Jobs era TV ads (the Siri ad was very robotic, and the iPad ad didn't put the human using the iPad in the limelight, but the iPad itself and how wonderful its screen is: the narration made me think it was a bank commercial when I didn't look towards the TV). Instead, the Apple storefront displays feature some preprinted image of their latest product, instea
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      Indeed. And the 3rd gen iPad is way wide of the mark too. Heavier, hotter, sucks battery, all because Tim Cook couldn't think of any way to improve it except to crank resolution up way past anything anybody actually wanted. Oh, and not give it a proper name. Let's see how that works out.

      I can say this much in favor of Tim Cook: he did a great job of setting the stage for further gains by Android.

  • Collective Amnesia (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 09, 2012 @11:24PM (#39627161)

    Everyone is going to forget about how apple tries to stop everyone with vague patents: lock screens, touch screens, tablets, launching applications by touching icons.

  • Yep (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 09, 2012 @11:24PM (#39627173)

    I'm trying to do the indie developer thing and I know that after these years of working full-time on a product with an upcoming initial release, the biggest threat to me isn't product failure but a frivolous patent suit burying me and likely making me give up the results of all the thousands of hours I've invested. I still plan on releasing this particular product, but the extensions and off-shoots I'll write for it will either stay private (and I'll make my money in a completely different field) or I'll end up moving to another country without software patents. It's shitty that the U.S. patent system is basically set up to force non-rich people to work for others (and thus have some indemnity), or pair up with lawyers to become pure patent trolls. In my worse moments, I've considered the latter as a sort of "this is what you've turned me into!" revenge fantasy.

  • Possibly (Score:2, Interesting)

    by koan (80826)

    When it comes to patents stifling competition is, at the minimum, part of the equation, I wonder what would happen with no patents at all, the ultimate form of competition?

    • by Skapare (16644)

      You mean no patents for junk ideas as well as for the few gems of innovation? Then I suspect maybe a few innovators might be discouraged. But corporations will still continue, sans a few overpaid lawyers.

    • by rdebath (884132)

      That's easy, for patents, the environment hasn't changed much since the Patent was invented.

      So if a "little guy" gets a markable idea a big company will come along, copy it, and use it's larger manufacturing capacity to put through a shitty knock off before the little guy gets the first one out of the door. If the little guy tries to go to court (which will still in theory be possibly) he'll be swamped under lawyers. If two middle size companies come out with similar products at the same time they'll sue

  • by Skapare (16644) on Monday April 09, 2012 @11:35PM (#39627227) Homepage

    As long as we have a patent system that blindly issues a patent to damn near anything applied for, even though there's no real innovation involved ... e.g. stuff that the best engineers/programmers in their field could do without much effort if given a task that needs it, then we'll be having these wars. Patents need to be limited to the kinds of innovation that that we simply would not have if the applicant had not figured it out or spent the extensive effort and cost to come up with it.

    Fundamentally, patents are themselves a government sanction theft of intellectual property from those that invent it, just because they didn't invent it first. Only because we can't know whether someone did invent it, or did steal it, do we justify a patent (which is really nothing more than government sanctioned exclusivity). But our patent office is not working to filter genuine innovation from trivia ideas. A few years ago I scanned over some random patents, selecting those in areas I happened to know, and found that the vast majority were easily doable, and not innovation. The ratio was around 500 (junk) to 1 (innovation). This was one sampling, so that can be off. I only used higher numbers spanning about the last 5 years at that time.

    So it's not really the corporations doing this. They have to react this way under such a system, or end up being a loser. This is why we need an epic-major overhaul of the patent system itself, and not some minor tweaks that politicians have paid lip service to.

    I have written more detail about this recently here [wordpress.com].

  • Oh, nonsense. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SecurityGuy (217807) on Monday April 09, 2012 @11:38PM (#39627251)

    Apple's savior is an MP3 player. They didn't invent the market, they just made it shinier than it was before.

    If you've read Jobs's bio, he was ready to go nuclear on Google over Android, so yes, Apple's just as ready as anybody else to pound you into sand if you dare try to make anything resembling their products. Apple is not a good guy. If you love Apple products, they're just YOUR bad guy.

    Finally, few people are qualified to tell whether the newly appointed head of a half TRILLION dollar company is going to be successful. Woz is probably more qualified than I am, but not by much. Tbh, I truly believe the only people who are really qualified to know are living in 2017, if not 2022 or so. Ask one of them.

    • by rdebath (884132)

      I don't have 2020 vision, but it's really unlikely that the new guy can be as successful as the extremely "unique" individual who built the company. The board of directors, who took control when he left, wouldn't allow it. They will basically choose someone just like them with the exception that this person is willing to take a greater risk, ie when something goes wrong they will be kicked out, for a better reward.

      This is nothing like Steve Jobs who basically loved the game, he was very, very good at it

  • LoL (Score:3, Insightful)

    by daath93 (1356187) on Monday April 09, 2012 @11:46PM (#39627289)
    Really? Woz is actually going to say anything about patent trolling being bad after his company has just about sued everyone who makes something with a rectangular screen for patent infringement? THAT is f'n priceless.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kahlandad (1999936)

      Woz wanted to give away the Apple I schematics for free... I don't think he's the Apple founder you should be bashing.

    • by SendBot (29932)

      If you know anything about Woz, you'd know that he has zero influence on Apple's legal activities. Just because he's a celebrity and collects a check doesn't mean he actually works for them or tells them what to do. He's admitted in many different ways he just wants to build and hack, not run a company.

  • by Daniel Phillips (238627) on Monday April 09, 2012 @11:56PM (#39627343)

    I disagree. Apple is following the formula of Microsoft, which is to abide by no morals and have no shame.

  • by Lisias (447563) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @12:37AM (#39627543) Homepage Journal

    He still gives Apple a bit of a break: "Apple is the good guy on the block of all of them,”

    And I would do the same.

    I'm not stupid to bash and kill my own cash cow.

    Anyway, I always liestened to what this guy said all these years.

    He is a good engineer, but not just it: he likes and encourages good technology no matters from who.

  • by blind biker (1066130) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @12:41AM (#39627561) Journal

    Seriously, what a fucking blind spot, Woz. If anything, Apple is the most vicious patent suer of all. I really hope B&N fucks Apple's patent portfolio for good.

    I am particularly irritated by Woz's assertion, because it just plays into the zombie-Jobs reality distortion field.

    • Seriously, what a fucking blind spot, Woz. If anything, Apple is the most vicious patent suer of all. I really hope B&N fucks Apple's patent portfolio for good. I am particularly irritated by Woz's assertion, because it just plays into the zombie-Jobs reality distortion field.

      At least answer Woz's claim, instead of bashing him on something irrelevant to his point. He didn't say Apple was better because of suing less, he said something different. It was mentioned in the summary.

  • I always thought patents were about products and not idea. There are too many "gee i think I can make something that does something interesting" and write a vague design. It has never been built and never researched. Cas in point the touch sensitive floor. IBM has not built one but they got the patent anyway. The problem is that no one else can develop it because someone already has the patent even if they never develop it themselves. Ideas are a dime a dozen and should not be patentable.

  • by Alkonaut (604183) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @02:20AM (#39627935)

    It don't think this patent debacle stifles innovation or startups, I think it does so in the US because of a broken patent system and borked legal system. Incubate your startup company somewhere where it can either fail, or grow large enough to stand up to the patent trolls before they ever find themselves in that situation.

    If I started a company in the US, an attorney or patent advisor would be person #3 involved. In europe I'd be confident to run a much larger innvoation-heavy a startup with without legal advise. I'm not shitting you: you can run a company for years with dozens of employees and not even have a business card from a lawyer in your office.

If it's worth hacking on well, it's worth hacking on for money.

Working...