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Software patent madness

2012-09-18 20:01:35.372043+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

Rackspace sued for patent infringement for hosting Github.

Direct link to the PDF hosted on priorsmart.com, and the list of software patents claimed.

I didn't get further than the first patent:

In a data processing system, a mechanism identifies data items by substantially unique identifiers which depend on all of the data in the data items and only on the data in the data items. The system also determines whether a particular data item is present in the database by examining the identifiers of the plurality of data items.

ie: hashing a data set, filed Oct 24, 1997, issued Nov 2, 1999.

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comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: Rackspace sued for hosting Github made: 2012-09-18 20:44:00.589034+00 by: Jack William Bell

I really don't get this at any level; technically, legally or otherwise. Right now I'm waiting for someone to explain it to me.

I don't even understand the motivation behind the suit. These seem like fairly general patents, so why Rackspace and why for hosting Github?

[Lost in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike.]

#Comment Re: made: 2012-09-18 21:46:13.028478+00 by: Dan Lyke

You want to hit someone with a reasonable income, but not so big that they can afford to fight it. You want the circumstances of this to be fairly unique. You only get a few chances at this before a big player takes a swipe at you, and there's no money to be made off of hitting the small companies, so there's this kind of middle ground where you're trolling for special cases that you hope can be profitable...

#Comment Re: made: 2012-09-19 11:02:35.262783+00 by: meuon

Lawyers are like pirates, searching the seas for a ship they can plunder with reasonable risk.It's how they pay back hose student loans, and then the mortgage on the house.. and.. and..

#Comment Re: Some more details made: 2012-09-19 14:21:17.264852+00 by: Jack William Bell

Turns out the company behind the lawsuits *is* going after some of the big boys too. According to a Wired article: "A virtually unknown company called PersonalWeb Technologies has launched a series of patent infringement suits against some of the internet’s most important companies, including Facebook, Apple, Yahoo, Microsoft, and IBM." - http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/09/pwersonalweb/

Clearly the answer to my 'why' question is "They are stupid or crazy or maybe both."