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Xiph.org Comments For the FTC's Patents Workshop 65

Freddybear writes "Xiph.org, makers of ogg audio and theora video codecs, submitted a detailed proposal to the FTC for the patents workshop. Their proposal recommends changes which would help to eliminate the practice of 'submarine' patents regarding standardized technologies. Quoting: 'The Xiph.Org Foundation recommends that the FTC work to require specific, ex ante disclosure of patents or patent applications that would read on standards under development, that failure to disclose exhaust the patent, and assertion of such a patent ex post be deemed anti-competitive. This should apply not only to standards development activities that the patent holder participates in or knows about, but those it should have known about. Furthermore, vague infringement allegations or activities designed to avoid an SSO's disclosure requirements or undermine the standards process should also be deemed anti-competitive.'"
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Xiph.org Comments For the FTC's Patents Workshop

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 19, 2011 @02:43AM (#36489582)

    I would like to add my name to a list of people who support this submission.
    Does such a list exist?

  • Thank you xiph.org (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jhoegl ( 638955 ) on Sunday June 19, 2011 @02:54AM (#36489612)
    I appreciate the time spent by xiph.org to think about and put together the information. Unfortunately I know little about patent processes, but I know that patents have been a major concern and pain, because one can, through no fault of their own, create a "method" like something that had been patented.
    I also know that there are many patent troll companies out there and they need to be taken care of, regardless of how much the government thinks it brings in on fees during these processes.
    I understand parts of what was said, and found nothing that I can disagree with. Although I would rather they do away with software patents completely, in our reality that will not be the likely case.
    Thanks xiph.org.
  • length (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 19, 2011 @09:59AM (#36490782)

    With the pace of competition today, why do patents last more than 2-4 years?

  • by evanbd ( 210358 ) on Sunday June 19, 2011 @01:53PM (#36492028)

    Most ideas don't pan out. This applies to patent-worthy, reasonably thought out ideas as well. Plenty of things look perfectly reasonable at the patent stage, but just don't quite work for one reason or another. This causes a problem for your idea: if I put in the effort to develop ten patents, all of them reasonable, and pursue them further, perhaps one or two or three will actually turn into a saleable, profitable product. If I can only recoup 1.5x my costs on those 3, and nothing on the others, I lose money.

    Patents are, in general, a bet on an unlikely outcome. Much like startup companies. Most of them fail, too. In order to make that work, you need a possibility of a high return. Maybe not an astronomical return, but a high return. Of course, none of these comments are relevant to patent trolls and such, but the problem isn't quite as trivial as you suggest.

"To take a significant step forward, you must make a series of finite improvements." -- Donald J. Atwood, General Motors