Tuesday, August 9, 2011

It’s Patently Simple, Use It or Lose It.

An off topic post but the subject of obvious patents does annoy me more than a little and I felt the need to comment on what, to me, is yet another absurd patent battle.

According to The Register, Operating Systems Solutions (OSS) are suing Apple over what, on the face of it, looks like nothing more than saving the machine state to allow fast reboot – aka Hibernation.

The patent in question is over at The US Patent Office.

If you’re a developer, state saving as a means of enabling the quick startup of an application or the quick creation and population of an object is a standard item in the toolbox. 

But is this just another shot across the bows in the on-going Patent War taking place in the smartphone market? The patent would appear to have been originally granted to LG Electronics who, some say, are spoiling for a fight with Apple over Android.

To me this is just another example of an absurdly obvious patent being sat on until it’s useful to the holder.

Is a “Use It or Lose It” clause long overdue? My opinion is that it may well help technology innovation by ridding us of the process where absurd patents are granted and subsequently held, quietly, until there is some potential income to be generated or competitor to pursue.

It’ll be interesting to see how the America Invents Act fares in Congress after the August recess.

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