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Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos Calls For Governments To End Patent Wars 135

concealment writes with news that Amazon's Jeff Bezos has called for new legislation from governments to end abuse of the patent system. He said, 'Patents are supposed to encourage innovation and we're starting to be in a world where they might start to stifle innovation. Governments may need to look at the patent system and see if those laws need to be modified because I don't think some of these battles are healthy for society.' His comments are from an interview with the UK's Metro. Bezos was also optimistic about the future of the private space industry: "If private companies can start to generate profits from this kind of activity then you’ll start to see the flywheel spin more rapidly and we’ll make more progress, because I really do think we want to live in a civilization where millions of people are living and working in space."
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Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos Calls For Governments To End Patent Wars

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  • by aristotle-dude ( 626586 ) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @02:42PM (#41684421)

    Amazon has been licensing their [] to various companies like Apple. I guess Bezos just wants to use other people's patents for free but expects everyone to pay to use their patents.

  • by WillAffleckUW ( 858324 ) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @02:54PM (#41684559) Homepage Journal

    Outlaw and expire Business Process and Software patents.

    Return to a basic 13 year and 17 year patent and copyright issuance.

    And only allow the Person (not fictional Person such as a Corporation) to renew copyrights for a similar period until they die.

  • by Decker-Mage ( 782424 ) <> on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @03:03PM (#41684665)

    Actually they'll do what Hollywood and the others, such as patent trolling firms and that new entity created to house NorTel's patents, just spin off a LLC or LLP which has no real assets to speak of, houses just one, or a few, patent[s], and which can sue everyone in sight. Whatever you can think of, the lawyers and those politicians beholden to the corporate interests will circumvent either using loopholes embodied in the new law or via court cases that gut the new law on point. We have the best politicians money can buy. And honest because they generally stay bought.

    Hell, you can't even limit patents just to individuals or small groups of individuals since corporations are people too, in the eyes of the law. I used to be both a realist about "the system" since I grew up knowing the warts as well as the good and the good kept me somewhat optimistic. Now I can't see much good, if any, left. Thank Bastet that I don't have any kids.

  • by sohmc ( 595388 ) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @03:04PM (#41684685) Journal

    The USPTO generates the most income for the government, outside of the IRS. There is absolutely no incentive to Congress to get rid of a patent that requires absolutely no materiel, don't exist, but worth a lot of money. For congress, software patents and the like are cash cows.

    The only way this will change is we have a revolution and write a new constitution. Technically, we need to get the right people into office; but in this case, we need to get 51% of people into office. And once they are in office, there is no guarantee that they will write the bill.

    While I will hope that this changes without the watering the tree of liberty with blood, I'm not going to hold my breath.

  • Re:Yes, and no. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by suomynonAyletamitlU ( 1618513 ) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @03:22PM (#41684907)

    That's because laws are fixed. In any scenario, if you stare at fixed defenses long enough, you can find some way to get around them. What you need is a vigilant and trustworthy justice system that punishes attempts to get around the law.

    It can happen, it's just that it comes closer to fascism than most people are comfortable with. If you want to punish abuses of the law, you have to say, "Even if the law would let you get away with it, I won't." That's not how most people view a free and open society, although arguably it is necessary to maintain one.

  • by scamper_22 ( 1073470 ) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @03:38PM (#41685145)

    Okay, so he's part of the problem.

    If you're looking for moral perfection before people can have an opinion, you're going to have to wait for a world full martyrs and saints. It's not going to happen.

    Like it or not, if you're a tech company to say, you have to participate in the patent wars... or you won't be in business at all. This doesn't mean you don't want the whole system reformed.

    I have many disagreements with the banking industry... but you know... I'd like to buy a house... and I'm probably going to get a mortgage from a bank and participate in the silly scheme. I have to live my life too.

    Systemic change requires just that... systemic change. All the players operate in the current system under the current rules and you can't fault them for it.

  • Re:Yes, and no. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MozeeToby ( 1163751 ) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @03:42PM (#41685197)

    However, I suspect that it's impossible to write a set of laws that leeches can't find a way to exploit, for their own benefit at the detriment of the greater good.

    Well, you can, it just requires putting more faith in juries and the judiciary than we are currently comfortable with. For example, a good legal code can be summed up in the four words "Do Not Harm Others" if you trust your police, judges, and juries to apply that code fairly (but we don't, and we shouldn't).

    Think about it from a software testing perspective, where do you encounter the most errors when testing software? The edge cases right? But with law, every time you try to close a loopholes you create more edge cases. Only with a wholesale re-write can those edges be removed, and there are very, very few laws that have gone through such a re-write in recent history. I would argue that any complex law code is going to have loopholes that the unethical will take advantage of, the more complex the code the more loopholes there will be to abuse.

  • Re:Obviously (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @04:38PM (#41685961) Homepage

    He could show he means business by putting the "One-click" patent in the public domain and refunding everybody he's sued over it.

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972