[Linux-aus] Re: Fwd: Software patents

Andrew Donnellan ajdlinux at gmail.com
Fri Dec 23 09:29:02 UTC 2005

On 12/23/05, Benno <benjl at cse.unsw.edu.au> wrote:
> On Fri Dec 23, 2005 at 10:05:59 +1100, Andrew Donnellan wrote:
> >
> >Also a lot of software patents don't have ANY economic benefit - what
> >about when M$ does crazy things like patent algorithms to determine
> >exciting parts of baseball games?
> Um, I would have thought that the potential economic benefit of determining
> the exciting part of a baseball game would be really obvious.


> When you have so many games of baseball per week in the US I'm sure
> that there is some person there watching all the games to come up with
> sports hilight clips and similar things. Or just having something on
> your TV that automatically popped up a picture-in-picture when the
> action is happening. That would be cool for cricket, I'd love to be
> able to sit here coding, and then have the cricket pop up when a
> wicket happens, or a six is hit, or something like that. In fact you
> could tune your carefactor level, so if I'm doing some really heads
> down programming, I would care about a wicket, but if someones on a
> hat-trick I still really want to so it.  So having an algorithm to do
> this seems pretty cool actually. This seems much closer to a valid
> patent than say, 1-click shopping. I would think it definately passes
> the non-obvious criteria.

Is it really non-obvious? It could be done easily just by analysing
the sound of the crowd and the visual action. Which is basically what
the patent says. When there is a lot of cheering in the crowd and a
lot of noise, obviously it's important.

> Of course, do M$ really need a patent to exploit such tech, I doubt it.
> Not that I agree with software patents, but I think there are plenty
> of other better examples of bad software patents that could be used.

It's bad enough.


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