Software patents vs. collaborative creativity

Software patents vs. collaborative creativity

This latest example takes the biscuit. I have read several documents produced by a number people inside and outside of the mobile industry that clearly describe the service or one just like it. Also, Nokia, Craigslist and others are already doing this.

One of my colleagues described it as the “ubiquitous flea market” an online system to match-make and alert participants on the basis of shared location data mashed up with the matching of stated haves and needs.

What irks me is that this is just the natural progression of a good quality mobile network enriched by the advent of smart mobile computing on top of the internet. In case anyone forgets, the network effects we’re all benefiting from come from us (the subscriber) and are built with our money, financed by all those 24-month contracts we’ve been signing up to. In a sense, this is just best practice and should be available everywhere. If this patent goes through, the service will be closed, difficult or impossible to federate, you’ll have to wait forever for the business to create a client for your phone and in the end the service may not even be that good…

A much better scenario is for all of us to try and build the service (and a rich ecosystem of client apps and widgets) and let the users decide which market experience they want to invest their time in.

To get an idea of how potentially ridiculous software patents are, take a look at some previously approved patents for the European Union I love the one about selling using ecommerce.

Sigh… I guess big IP marches on…