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Wozniak On the Samsung Patent Verdict 328

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-sir-I-don't-like-it dept.
dgharmon writes "'I hate it,' Wozniak told Bloomberg in Shanghai today, referring to the patent battle. He thinks the ruling will be overruled. Samsung will of course appeal, and this case will go back and forth for months still, but Wozniak just wishes everyone could get along. 'I don’t think the decision of California will hold. And I don’t agree with it — very small things I don’t really call that innovative. I wish everybody would just agree to exchange all the patents and everybody can build the best forms they want to use everybody’s technologies,' he said."
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Wozniak On the Samsung Patent Verdict

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  • Please. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pdbogen (596723) <pdbogen-slashdot@cer[ ]us ['nu.' in gap]> on Thursday September 13, 2012 @07:47PM (#41329917) Homepage

    That would be amazing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 13, 2012 @07:49PM (#41329939)

    Apple STARTED this patent war. If they hadn't started aggressively going after the other major Smartphone makers, everyone would still be rolling along quietly.

  • by pushing-robot (1037830) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @07:50PM (#41329951)

    "...and, you know, world peace would be great. Somebody should do that."

  • by jerpyro (926071) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @07:51PM (#41329967)

    I suspect that nearly everyone except the lawyers and leadership wish we could get along. When the patent system was envisioned a long time ago, progress didn't happen nearly as quickly, consumerism wasn't so rampant (you didn't buy a new ANYTHING every two years except maybe a toothbrush), and the manufacturing cycle was MUCH longer than it is today.

    I consider the lawyers of these tech companies (Apple, Samsung, Oracle, etc) to be exploiting 'bugs' in the patent system, and I suspect that most others do as well. The patent system needs a hotfix, and there's no political pressure to do so.

    • by icebike (68054) * on Thursday September 13, 2012 @08:12PM (#41330129)

      I suspect that nearly everyone except the lawyers and leadership wish we could get along.

      Actually I suspect Woz gets a big bitchslap by the legal staff tomorrow morning.
      I further bet he tells them to go to hell. He owns his stock and there is nothing they can do about it.

    • by Dave Emami (237460) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @08:28PM (#41330241) Homepage
      Basically, at least as far as high tech is concerned, the patent system has morphed from its original "encourage inventors to share and explain their inventions in exchange for a short period of official monopoly" to a legally-empowered version of "I call dibs on that." Rather than developing something and patenting the result, people are observing trends, anticipating where things will go, and patenting that. Sometimes (such as with Apple) they proceed to actually develop something, and other times (as with patent trolls) they just wait to cash in. But in either case, the patent boils down to "I was the first person to tell the Patent Office that things were moving in this direction."
      • by symbolset (646467) * on Thursday September 13, 2012 @08:37PM (#41330319) Homepage Journal
        Agreed. We are well into the era of preemptive patents, where people claim as many possible permutations of function, form and use as they can without inventing anything. Which of course halts any sort of progress completely.
        • by Dave Emami (237460) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @10:33PM (#41331051) Homepage
          On the subject of "permutations", that brings to mind one particular kind of problem: patents being issued for a specific instantiation of an already-documented abstraction. For example, a few years ago there was a patent dispute (involving RIM, I think) where the patent was basically "sending email over a wireless connection." But a major point of the OSI and TCP/IP layer models is that the implementation of a given layer isn't supposed to care (or even know) about the implementation of another layer. IMAP at the Application layer doesn't care whether the Physical layer is 802.11n, RS-232, DOCSIS, or 1000BASE-T, while 802.11n at the Physical layer doesn't care whether the Application layer is IMAP, HTTP, or FTP. The layer models intentionally include the idea of plugging things into the various layers independently, so while you might be able to patent the thing you're plugging in, you should not be able to patent what things you plug in. The layer models should be considered "prior art" against any attempt to patent a specific combination of layer implementations. Or to put it differently, if there already exists a thing designed to be flexed in any direction, you shouldn't be able to patent flexing it in some specific direction. The same thing that goes for communications layer models goes for any sort of layer, framework, or similar abstraction.
  • by DragonWriter (970822) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @08:06PM (#41330071)

    I don't think the decision of California will hold.

    Er, its not the "decision of California".

    First, because its not "of California", as it is in a U.S. federal court that happens to be located in California.

    But mostly because its not even (yet, and quite possibly ever) even a decision in that court. Its the jury verdict which is still the subject of several post-verdict motions before the court finally (not considering appeals) decides on a judgement in the case.

  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @08:10PM (#41330103)
    "For anything non-trivial, it is simply illegal to develop software." Companies are getting away with patenting things that are trivial and obvious, for almost any piece of software, you're tripping over dozens of patents. If we were to enforce the letter of the law, developing software is illegal.
  • A Voice Of Reason (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ChodaBoyUSA (2532764) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @08:11PM (#41330121)
    It is truly sad that a voice of reason like Woz is so rare in "business" anymore.
  • Who you know (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 13, 2012 @08:33PM (#41330281)

    I knew Woz about 25-30 years ago when I worked as a systems engineering consultant in the Silicon Valley. He always impressed me as an engineer who was more focused on creating wild and new stuff, vs. Jobs who wanted to rule the world... :-) Well, Jobs ruled the world for awhile, but the Woz is still kicking ass and taking names!

  • by fm6 (162816) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @08:34PM (#41330287) Homepage Journal

    One Steve made a name for himself by opening up computers. His idea that a desktop computer should be a big open platform that anybody can plug into dominates computer design to this very day, and had a lot to do with the explosive growth of computing.

    The other Steve wanted to close up smartphones []. Come to think of it, he took a control-freak attitude toward every product he ever launched. Ironic, really.

  • by SpazmodeusG (1334705) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @08:45PM (#41330375)

    Having the big companies exchanging patents just means the big players divide up the monopoly between them whilst suing the start ups out of existence.

  • woz is a great guy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LodCrappo (705968) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @09:02PM (#41330549) Homepage

    Woz always seems to be sensible, realistic and honest. Make you wonder how S. Wozniak got mixed up with the likes of S. Jobs in the first place.

  • The Woz (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BluPhenix316 (2656403) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @09:17PM (#41330647)
    I love Steve Woz. He is a really cool guy and is really the original brains behind Apple. Apple may have skyrocketed into fame because of Steve Jobs' marketing but its Woz that made Apple who they are today. The man is a old fashioned hacker, which is something that is missing from today's computer hardware and software companies. The computer enthusiasts have been replaced by the greedy business men in the computer world and its really sad.
  • by ebinrock (1877258) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @09:54PM (#41330863)
    Woz is so cool. If only he were Apple's CEO, we wouldn't be having all these lawsuits, and we'd probably have some REAL innovation from Apple (not catching up to making a 4" screen and including LTE). C'mon, smartphone makers, where's that long-lasting battery power (perhaps with a solar panel on the back to boot)? Where's that built-in holographic projector (a la R2-D2)? Think how useful that would be in the corporate world! (Not to mention gaming!)
  • by aristotle-dude (626586) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @10:30PM (#41331029)

    He does not have a clue about how to run a business. You don't get ahead by sharing everything you make and helping out the competition. Business is "war" and the nice guys finish last.

    Apple lost the last desktop war because they were too nice and gave MSFT access to early prototypes of the Lisa and Macintosh.

    Do you all think that Bill Gates and MSFT got to where they are by being "nice"?

    I think the Woz needs to permanently retire and enjoy the rest of his life. Because he has been out of the game, I don't consider his opinions to be worth more than the average joe on the street. I'm sorry but that is reality. As much as I might admire his contributions to the early days of personal computers, he has not done much in the past decade.

    • by Bing Tsher E (943915) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @11:26PM (#41331321) Journal

      People who think you just need to get out of tech.

      Go be a lawyer somewhere. Or go into marketing.

      Apple lost the desktop war because they refused to play and collaborate with others. They wanted the whole deal for themselves.

      A lot of us grudgingly use Windows on the desktop, but at least we have a huge variety of choices of hardware to run on it. If Apple had won we'd all still be using beige Macs.

    • by Empiric (675968) on Friday September 14, 2012 @01:07AM (#41331739) Homepage
      You don't get ahead by sharing everything you make and helping out the competition.

      Yes, you do.

      Open Source has proven this to be the case, even winning over the historical corporate bastion of conservatism that is IBM. I had two machines on my desk. One Windows, one Linux. Both made the company money by different means.

      It's the old question of "getting more of the pie" versus "growing the pie"--the difference being, in software, you can grow the pie exponentially and at a trivial incremental cost. When the domain of technological possibility is grown like that, there's more room for profitable activities for everyone involved.

      And... no, Apple lost because the Lisa and Macintosh were absurdly high-priced for their capabilities. IBM and Microsoft won that fight by... let's see... -helping their competitors- through allowing the "clone" market to flourish, from which the efficiencies of scale took care of the rest, driving down the prices and making Apple's pricing look even worse by comparison. Xerox PARC's concepts (you may erroneously know them as "Apple's concepts") were nice, but not nice enough to be cost-justifying compared to the PC-compatible market's pricing. Windows just eliminated Apple's sole claim to advantage, and had the clearly better OS until... well, Apple stuck to tradition and stole the BSD OS. That they don't -like- sharing doesn't alter that they'd have no OS for their desktop/laptop systems without people who did like sharing, before they slapped an "Apple" label on others' work.

      As the final argument on how this history proceeded, we can look at what happened when IBM tried to "pull an Apple" with the PS/2 and proprietary interfaces--an unmitigated disaster in the market. It's working for the time being for Apple as history repeats itself, but I expect it won't be long until Android reverses the perceptions again--it's just important to understand that there are alternatives to rapacious business, and spending your money exclusively on that just harms progress and technology for everyone, regardless of immediate perceptions. Though, granted, Apple is all about immediate perceptions...
  • by manu0601 (2221348) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @10:44PM (#41331103)

    Woz says:

    I wish everybody would just agree to exchange all the patents and everybody can build the best forms they want to use everybody’s technologies

    Then what why would we need patents, except for preventing newcomers to enter the market? Again, this is something that hinder innovation. Once you realize patent prevent innovation in a given field, why not stand against them

  • by kolbe (320366) on Friday September 14, 2012 @01:21AM (#41331787) Homepage

    A true man of reason that I hope both these companies listen to.

    He is about as down to earth and realistic of a man in person as any average tech savvy geek and even though many of us dislike Apple, this man should have all our respect.

  • by Khyber (864651) <> on Friday September 14, 2012 @02:45PM (#41338121) Homepage Journal

    We can have software patents and have them be reasonable with one simple little rule.

    Look at the CODE. We have design patents for a reason. If the code is significantly different (e.g. written in ASM vs C or Java) it is a unique implementation. If it's written in the same language, see how much it differs to achieve the same effect. A given language may only have one way to do things, so that part can't be given as part of the patent. Just like one can patent different designs of things like LED lights (even if they use the same components and number of each component, positioning for effect/etc is patentable as a design patent) and other items.

    the courts are totally forgetting about design patents here. They could be ruling in a way that works both ways, and it is within their power; they are just too stupid to realize this and do so for the benefit of the country and competition.

Chemist who falls in acid is absorbed in work.