I don't understand why they are patenting this stuff, It will never hold up and they will never sue anyone
I've read this kind of sentences plenty of time and it always puzzled me. I don't know how the American Justice system works, but I wonder: how one trial could be that expensive to deter companies to take another company in court ?
As far as I know, trials in France can cost dozens/hundreds thousands Euros, I wonder how expensive they can get in the US.
All lawsuits are different, and simply being named as a defendant does not trigger any enormous payments beyond a lawyer's retainer. I suppose huge cases can call for such a retainer, but those surely are exceptional.
Or do you mean attorney fees, because going in a court without one would be practically a suicide?
For real ? Why ?
If BofA has 100 lawyers on a case, and you have one lawyer, what kind of advantages does BofA have?
What kind of trouble can they cause that company? How does not having a lot of lawyers make it dangerous?
Seems like in a court room only one lawyers runs the show mostly anyway.
imho, it's not the number of lawyers, but that you get involved in court cases at all. If you're a small, independent developer lonewolfing it, you can't even afford to hire a lawyer, let alone retain one on staff. A settlement, where you get a relatively favourable outcome compared to paying the court costs, is probably tantalizingly good.
i want to see the losing party pay in civil suits!
Big companies have virtually unlimited legal resources. Small companies don't -- lawyer time is very expensive for them. Anecdotally, it seems to cost around $5 million to mount a defense against a big public company in court.
BigCo's lawyers will file every type of complaint, motion, appeal, request, notice, stay and postponement possible in hopes of starving you out. You have to pay your lawyers for all the hours they spend just responding to frivolous and/or repetitious crap, which will end up being in the man-weeks before your first court date. You have to pay your lawyers to do all the pre-trial research, negotiation and strategizing, which costs will end up being in the man-months by the time you get to an actual court.
Once you finally do get to court, BigCo's $1000/hr law firm will mount very aggressive and convoluted legal arguments and attempt to mint new legal theories, because a) it greatly increases the complexity of the case, which means you're more likely to run out of money and concede to their client; b) their client doesn't care how much money the law firm is going to bill them, so the law firm is going to have a heyday and squeeze out every billable hour possible; and c) if the new legal theory actually works by some fluke of luck, both the firm and the attorneys directly involved in the case will get a big boost to their industry starpower. What does all this mean for the little guy that's being brought to court? It means your defense is going to cost you a lot of money.
There's also the possibility that the court will grant an injunction against your behavior while the issue pends, and if that affects the wrong thing, it's possible that your entire revenue stream will be destroyed and you'll either have to pivot on a moment's notice or just give up. Since these cases usually take years to see all the way through, you'll be out of business for quite a while, even if the court ultimately vindicates your position. Small companies can't afford to go without their revenue for years at a time.
For an example, refer to the case of Uzi Nissan, an IT technician who operated a computer repair business under his own name before Datsun rebranded to Nissan Motor. Nissan Motor drug him through an unsuccessful 9 year, $3 million saga to attempt to wrest the domain name from him. At the end of it, Nissan Motor was ordered to reimburse Mr. Nissan only $52k in legal fees, of the over $3 million Mr. Nissan was forced to spend, and Nissan Motor began pursuing a frivolous trademark filing so they could make a second attempt to steal the domain by use of legal force. 
Anyway, businesses can't be represented by an entrepreneur in court, they have to be represented by a member of the bar. If you can't afford to regularly refresh a 6-figure retainer as your lawyers fend off the vultures, you're basically SOL. You have to comply, or be sued. If you get sued and proceed without retaining good counsel, it's likely that you'll end up more FUBAR'd than you would've been if you had just complied with whatever the demand was in the first place. Compare Facebook, Inc. v. Power Ventures, Inc., where the entrepreneur had issues keeping counsel on board and ended up being held personally liable for $3 million in damages.
As such, if any big corp is able to identify things they don't like before those things have begun to generate dozens of millions in annual revenues (enough to semi-comfortably fork over $500k-$1m/yr for legal defense), they can pretty successfully sue them out of existence. This happens regularly, you just don't hear about it that often.
Of course, it's frustrating to see the aspects of this situation that are (practically) unsolvable. But one item jumped out that I'd be interested in knowing more about:
> Nissan Motor was ordered to reimburse Mr. Nissan only $52k in legal fees, of the over $3 million Mr. Nissan was forced to spend
What are the reasons for that disparity? Would fixing the way we calculate those legal fees help to fix these kinds of abuses?
I understand that the American legal system is a bit unique when it comes to lawsuits, but I'm hampered by not understanding exactly how, and what the positives and negatives of that are.
As I'm thinking about it, one of the other big benefits is at-risk speculation. Say I'm a small fish with a few hardware patents and I'm pretty sure Honeywell is infringing on them.
Currently, I need to ask my good-for-what-I-can-afford attorney to have a look at it, then debate whether I have the cash on hand to take the suit, and figure out the economics of sustaining my business while I try to seek damages from Honeywell's wanton disregard for my IP. I have to do all this because I'll likely have to pay as I go unless I have a slam-dunk case, and even then, a lot of my winnings would go to the attorney if they'd foregone payment until verdict.
In a loser pays system, there's a greater guarantee of payment if they win -- so it can be beneficial when the possible case looks good on the surface, to do some at risk research to determine its real viability. I can take that case, then, to a larger or more experienced firm because the economics of the win are advantageous to them. Hypothetically, it could help in that second way to level the pitch for the "underdog."
As well, knowing I can take my case (or defense) to a larger firm who would be better protected from loss in an at-risk or deferred payment agreement, means that larger corporations will necessarily be dissuaded from the more frivolous or speculative suits they're wont to bring. Even for corporations with large litigation coffers, running a negative balance sheet will get a firm or legal team replaced.
Another detail is the 'loser pays' principle, which (barely) exist in the US, but is prevalent in almost all other civilized countries.
It's solve purpose is to dampen the effect of frivolous lawsuits, by making the instigator pay for the whole carouse (wasting other peoples time and wasting the legal system's time).
I mean, BigCo sues you. They threaten you they have 100 attorneys they can get off the leash. Even if they're most obviously in the wrongs, you'll have to get somewhat matching manpower to thwart the pressure. And even if you win and BigCo pays for all of the mess, you need a very large sum of money while this isn't over. So, a barrier for justice is still there. (Not to say the only real winning side here are attorneys, because they're practically fed a giant amount of money.)
And then there's a fear of "and what if I lose"...
Which is not necessarily remote. In Ticketmaster v. RMG, the smaller company, which extracted non-copyrightable data from Ticketmaster's site, lost because the Court ruled that the momentary existence of a web page in RAM constituted an unauthorized copy. The real-world analog is claiming that an illegal copy is made every time a copyrighted work reflects against your retina. The only explanation for that kind of ruling is simple technological ignorance, but it's what we have to deal with.
While the American system has safeguards in place to prevent it, you do have to ask yourself how badly a particular judge is going to want to offend a massive company that could potentially make him tons of money if they believe he's a reliable ally; if not through explicit corruption and bribery, through the possibility of a post-retirement relationship as a "legal consultant" or similar. What benefit does the judge get by favoring a tiny company that's probably not going to be around for more than a few years anyway v. favoring a megacorp that has practically infinite money to burn? Whatever the deterrents are, we do have to recognize that the natural incentive is to favor the larger company, and remain cognizant of that.
We've seen a minor version of this happen with the Eastern District of Texas, which has become the go-to jurisdiction for patent trolls because they believe that judges that sit there are more sympathetic to their cases than other judges may be. The incentive exists for the circuit to encourage a "specialist" reputation, because they collect more filing fees that way, and the judges get more attention, which is a very valuable currency indeed.
- An attorney doesn't need to be afraid of not getting paid if they're supporting the side that is 'objectively right'. Obviously, most cases aren't crystal clear from the outset, but some are.
- The cost of bullying goes up in the cases where the bully loses.
But you are right, there are also instances where it wouldn't help much. This isn't a silver bullet, but there are good reasons why almost all other modern countries has adapted this principle.
I think it's a hard problem to reorganize the system to prevent big corporate bullying. I think any potential solution would be pretty sweeping.
One idea would be to require MegaCorp (defined maybe as $100m+ annual revenue) to pay the legal fees of the small defendant (defined maybe as <= $20m annual revenue). MegaCorp would have to bear this cost even if they won, meaning they could only sue little guys if it was really worth it. MegaCorp would pay the same amount they pay their attorneys into a trust managed by the court, which would allow the small defendant to select his own lawyers. This would ensure that both sides have equally-adequate representation.
A second solution is to lower the cost of litigation in general, which would be accomplished by de-formalization of the system and greater local sovereignty. Why does it have to take 10 years and $5 million to have a dispute settled? Companies are already trying to make something like this the de facto legal system by forcing arbitration against their helpless victims; arbitration might not be bad in theory, but under the current practice, it's an unnerving prospect, since you're going into a black hole.
Beyond the contractual method of handling attorneys fees, civil procedure rules deal with this situation: if a settlement offer of X is rejected, and the rejecting party ultimately wins an award of X-1, then they have to pay all of your legal fees. 
"I know what you're facing, Jeff. And, I think I know how you're feeling. In the Navy I flew A-6's off carriers. In combat, events have a duration of seconds, sometimes minutes. But what you're going through goes on day in and day out. Whether you're ready for it or not, week in, week out. Month after month after month. Whether you're up or whether you're down. You're assaulted psychologically. You're assaulted financially, which is its own special kind of violence because it's directed at your kids. What school can you afford? How will that affect their lives? You're asking yourself, "Will that limit what they may become?" You feel your whole family's future's compromised, held hostage. I do know how it is."
Not to mention:
"You fought for me? You manipulated me! Into where I am now - staring at the Brown & Williamson building, it's all dark except for the tenth floor. That's the legal department, that's where they fuck with my life!"
a bigger business can be more resilient than a smaller business
=> any reason you can't have an account with both?
This is because Bank of America charges a $5 for non-customers to cash checks issued by customers, and California Labor Code Section 212 requires that paychecks be "payable in cash, on demand, without discount".
Overdraft fees have been opt-in since 2010 in the United States . If you have a checking account opened before 2010 that opted you in without consent, you can contact them and opt-out.
Absolutely no one should be subject to overdraft fees in 2015 unless they have specifically opted in.
See https://www.bankofamerica.com/content/documents/deposits/ser... for an explanation of their practices.
We're adults. If you don't understand that you'll be charged a fee for spending more than you have in your chequing account, maybe personal finance isn't for you.
Both times were when moving. Most people do not enjoy moving. It's tiring. There are a lot of moving parts. Two of these times, I had forgotten to move money from my savings account to the checking account to cover the check for the deposit. This drained my checking account. However, my credit union will waive overdraft fees if the attached savings account has the available funds to cover the transaction. I feel like this is a very reasonable option to give customers instead of slapping on $35 fees immediately, because overdraft fees add up quickly.
In my example, say that I overdrew my account for the deposit, went to get gas, then ran inside the gas station for a snack. That's three transactions totaling an additional $105. Not because I'm bad at personal finance - I know how much money I had, but because in the whirlwind of activity, I forgot to move funds from one account to the next.
This isn't to say that banks should never get paid for covering your mistakes. They are not in the business of handing out free money, and it's very myopic to think there should never be overdraft penalties under any circumstances. I like to think of the way my credit union does it as a compromise between the two extremes.
When I tried to find out the reason why, they literally said "we don't have to provide a reason". Keep in mind I've had these checking accounts for 15 years.
So yeah, Fuck Bank of America!
Then they reminded us that they do not have have to provide a reason, a month after they sent the letter, and of course after we called them.
Let's say I patent one of these myself and BofA develops anything with cryptocurrency. I can go to them and say they are violating my patent and they can either pay me $75,000 or we can go to court. Going to court costs them more than $75k, so they would settle.
It is much cheaper to file the bogus patent yourself upfront then to be extorted later. Challenging a bullshit patent is often far more expensive than settling, but exceedingly more expensive than a patent application.
So no, they likely won't sue anyone else.
Both they and patent trolls can file bogus patents covering the same ideas. The system is that bad. The patent office just grants and assumes the courts will sort it all out.
Having patents is zero defense against trolls. Trolls make nothing and have nothing to cross license or lose. It is only a defense against another company that is patenting and making things in you industry.
(I don't base this on any particular courtroom experience with this, though, so maybe I'm totally wrong.)
Rightly said, patent trolls just seeks for the opportunities to exploit a company's portfolio and gain some settlement bucks from them.
However I am a little confused about how patenting bitcoins is going to affect us/industry/other banks? if they are not going to sue anyone.
No, it's much cheaper to publish your idea in sufficient detail where a) it can be easily found by examiner searches and b) a clear priority date can be established. With the advent of Google, even something as simple as a blog post can count, though establishing the date could be trickier.
I'd love some proof that examiners actually search outside the USPTO database, not references to their guidelines etc that imply they should, actual proof they do.
But yes, NPL is rarer than patent prior art citations ("Determinants of Patent Quality" by Bhaven Sampat is one study that has some numbers). This is primarily because patents are already authored, classified and organized in a way that examiners can easily search, so they typically find the necessary "ammo" they need to make a rejection more quickly there.
At least the legal system seems to have moved towards more heavily punishing blatant trolls more recently. I would hate to see what trolls get their claws sunk into if blockchain tech is heavily adopted for financial transactions.
Source for wifi trolling
This is not rooting for the banks, but it is also not rooting for bitcoin either, where for it not for the criminals latching on to Bitcoin at such an early stage, it would not have gained the media hysteria it has in recent years.
Go elsewhere, or store your money under your mattress if that's more convenient for you. Who makes you bank with them?
>$35.00 overdraft fees?
It's a short term loan, albeit an expensive one. Should it be free? Perhaps thy should just NSF the payment? They can if you tell them to.
There is the greater issue, to be sure of managing finances, but charging this fee on -electronic- transactions is highway robbery. Just say "DECLINED" and go on your way.
Oh, and for shits and giggles - Declined? Your friendly helpful cashier may say "Oh, it didn't go through" and swipe your card again. Ding. Now you have SEVENTY dollars in NSF fees.
Good luck getting that fee dropped too. "One courtesy fee reversal per customer per year".
See https://www.bankofamerica.com/content/documents/deposits/ser... for an explanation
Some of them seem remarkably frivolous:
>System and Method for Wire Transfers Using Cryptocurrency
>[...] The processor can transfer the first quantity of the cryptocurrency to a second cryptocurrency exchange and initiate the sale of the first quantity of the cryptocurrency at the second cryptocurrency exchange. The processor is further able to initiate the transfer of at least a portion of the resulting currency to a recipient.
1. A system comprising:
a memory operable to: store a customer account associated with a customer;
and a processor communicatively coupled to the memory, the memory including executable instructions that upon execution cause the system to:
receive an electronic request for a fund transfer from the customer;
initiate a debit of a first amount of a first currency from the customer account;
determine whether using cryptocurrency is optimal;
in response to determining using cryptocurrency is optimal:
transfer the first amount of the first currency into an account associated with a first cryptocurrency exchange;
initiate the purchase of a first quantity of a cryptocurrency from the first cryptocurrency exchange, wherein the first quantity of cryptocurrency is equivalent to the first amount of the first currency;
transfer the first quantity of the cryptocurrency to a second cryptocurrency exchange;
initiate, essentially simultaneously as the initiation of the purchase, the sale of the first quantity of the cryptocurrency at the second cryptocurrency exchange, wherein the sale of the first quantity of cryptocurrency results in a second amount of a second currency;
and communicate a message to a local automated clearing house, the message requesting a transfer of at least a portion of the second amount of the second currency to a recipient.
Even better formatting available here: https://patents.google.com/patent/US20150262173
Seems to me the only thing different from existing systems is the step of determining "whether using cryptocurrency is optimal". Shouldn't be hard to find a reference that does the same for conventional currencies and make an argument for obviousness.
As are most patent filings (including some of my own)
Why file them, then? (The fact that you admitted to it suggests you have a valid and ethical reason to do so.)
"Don't hate the player, hate the game."
If I join up with the Nazis, the Nazis are stronger.
If I file a patent, one more idea might go unclaimed by a major corp. Unless I am litigious on their level, the patent will hurt fewer people.
And no, those patents (and the inflated prices) don't happen just to overcompensate for the "cost of research/FDA approval". The drug company often still has healthy, or rather ridiculously large, profit margins, on top of these costs.
I believe the context was software patents.
As an employee, your refusal will probably get you fired (since you probably agreed to cooperate with patents in your contract) and burn bridges, and all it does is force them to spend a few extra hours on paperwork.
A previous employer wanted to patent some of my work, and I tried to use this as leverage to get them to implement something like Twitter's "Innovator's Patent Agreement", Google's "Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge", or Paul Graham's "Patent Pledge" - only to find out that I didn't really have any leverage. I at least did manage to get it discussed, but ultimately it was rejected. This was a factor (though a minor one) in my decision to leave there.
It has been a standard excuse in tons of other, smaller scale, wrongdoings.
Besides, while having your employee file a patent on your work is not similar to those cases you mention in the scale of harm it causes, it's very much the same exact excuse used there.
That sums it up for me.
(That said, my own patent applications probably went to the highest bidder after the sponsoring employer collapsed. So maybe I shouldn't have been so confident they'd remain in good hands.)
Didn't the Supreme Court decisively swat down that sort of thing (i.e. "but do it on a computer" patents)?
Only if challenged within 6 months after the patent application was published: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leahy-Smith_America_Invents_Ac...
Obviously because the patent process is just a timestamp thing that says "I've registered this idea at this time".
It's then up to the court to rule on a any clashes, e.g. when somebody else has a similar registration from an earlier time.
You may be on to something there.
But after starting (and quitting) a BTC business with a guy, and getting a BTC-related patent with another guy, I've come to the conclusion that blockchain technologies are a solution looking for a problem, and the only current problem being solved is how to illegally move money.
This is of course a standard thing to say for someone who's just come across BTC (like a savvy old businessman friend of mine) but I've actually looked at the code, talked to people who wanted BTC (a couple of nerds and an army of drug dealers / drug customers), and so on for a long while.
All the blockchain uses I've come across have seemed to be bolt-on hype motivated rather than genuine uses of the technology. I'm even doing a standard web project for a guy who thinks it will be useful to keep track of stuff in containers. I come from the finance industry, so I think I also know a bit about the requirements there, and they don't need it.
So let's look at what blockchain technology lets you do:
1) You get an indelible wall that grows every 10 minutes. You can write whatever you like on it. Well, that's great but you can do that with a normal database. It's well known how to do it, there's backup processes, security, various consistency measures, scaling, and so on that are established.
2) You don't need to run your own database. This is great if you don't want the network to be closed due to malfunction or police intervention. But banks already know how to run a database, they have hordes of people doing that. And they have to comply with information requests from the authorities. And someone, somewhere needs to have all the records, which they will want compensation for. I suggest AWS and the likes (in house), running an old fashioned DB would require orders of magnitude less compensation for similar amounts of traffic.
3) The network automates the ledger system so we don't need as many back office staff. Well, there's no magic here. If you write a blockchain for securities operations, the logic still needs to be written by someone. There's existing protocols for this kind of stuff, and there's existing automation at the banks for processing this stuff. Even if you decide to go blockchain, you will have to meet with the other banks to make sure everyone agrees so they'll want to be on the same chain. You're still going to need back office staff to make sure the inputs and outputs make sense.
Anyway, I've yet to see a blockchain use that both requires and is improved by using the blockchain.
That being said, here's my devils advocate for your 3 complaints:
1.) Yes, you can make your servers redundant, and keep them up 24/7, or you can use the pay as you go model with the Blockchain. The difference is like keeping a car idling vs. using an electric car.
2.) Writing things to the Blockchain can be very beneficial compared to your own database. Ownership of offline things like bikes can be done with a Bluetooth/NFC chip and a bitcoin address. Also for online transactions, it provides a tamper-free source of truth.
3.) You argue that someone would still have to write the logic for the Blockchain apps. That's definitely true but the impact of a Blockchain startup might replace a higher ratio of jobs than you expect. (Like Kodak vs. Instagram numbers)
Give it time, it's still early to call it a bust just yet.
2) My patent is about something like this. Sure, it works, I actually did this with NFCs and an Andriod app. But it's a heck of a lot easier just to ask a REST API who owns this NFC. Tamper proofing can be done using pieces of bitcoin (like ECDSA) without using the blockchain. Then you're just back to using a PKI.
3) The question is whether there's anything actually new here. Computers came to wall street a long, long time ago. You'd think most of the gains have already been made. Back office has been decimated over recent decades. It might continue, sure, I'm open to that suggestion.
I'm not declaring a bust; I think something will come of it. But the things I've seen up to now don't seem to need it. Something like that DNS idea, that wasn't bad. But I do see a lot of business types hyping the blockchain, and I don't think it's entirely thought through.
> using pieces of Bitcoin
ECDSA is great, have you run across any db's using it? Seems like a great component to extract from the blockchain craze
There is no "state", the state gets created and verified by transactions. What this means is that integrity of the system does not depend on a central unit, it hinges on the environment.
hard to spoil a frikking appletree
 http://www.risk.net/risk-magazine/opinion/2422606/-smart-der... (not sure if this is paywalled or not)
The problem isn't fundamentally changed by having transactions on a blockchain. You either ask the blockchain who has what assets, or you set up some other system to do the same. The problem isn't that they need the information distributed, that can be done by any number of existing technologies.
As for value, consider that even for legal businesses in many countries even getting bank accounts set up is a massive pain, and being able to take online payments even more so. It can be a distraction from anything from days to weeks or even months. In two different companies I've worked on billing we ended up having to implement multiple payment processor backends because we needed to be ready ASAP after getting approval, and so started one integration only to get rejected, started another, and so on. Months of aggregate developer time wasted because there was no immediate way of guaranteeing we'd be able to take payment via a specific provider. It's getting better, but slowly.
International wire transfers is another "fun" one, which is usually slow, expensive or both, and with lots of arbitrary limitations (e.g. I once had my old bank refuse to transfer funds directly to a customer of a specific Russian bank - this was not during a period of any kind of sanctions; instead I had to wire to an account held by the Russian bank in a US bank, with instructions to move the funds on to the recipient account). My Norwegian bank at the time had no objections to facilitating that transfer, knowing full well that the funds would still end up the same place, but it did mean I had to waste extra time getting the recipient to talk to his bank to figure out the "workaround" and then going back to my bank with the details.
There is significant amount of friction in traditional banking, and even providing tools for mitigating that (or forcing the banks into fixing that to compete) would provide huge value. Maybe the downsides will continue to outweigh the possible benefits, maybe not.
> Even if you decide to go blockchain, you will have to meet with the other banks to make sure everyone agrees so they'll want to be on the same chain.
A big difference is that you can opt to bypass the bank for a number of services. Many won't want to, but for others it provides more flexibility in e.g. picking software vendors over a bank intermediary, or creating custom solutions.
(And yes, that leaves plenty of opportunities for people to lose money by doing it wrong too - we have years to go before we'll see what the fallout is and which areas this works well enough)
No, that can be done without a blockchain. The only piece you need is digital signature, an established technology. If someone hands you a block of data with a signature, you can hash it and check the signature corresponds to the purported signer.
> As for value, consider that even for legal businesses in many countries even getting bank accounts...
Yes, because there is such a thing as money laundering laws. I have a friend who is a specialist lawyer in this area, and it's actually non trivial to do KYC, especially for people from certain countries. The procedures and various banks' understanding varies as well, hence your issues. And this is an important point. If there were no restrictions (who can have an account, and what do they have to disclose), there wouldn't be much of a point in bitcoin. Everyone would just find some old bank somewhere that would give them a numbered account, and that would be that.
That's entirely insufficient, as it doesn't prove that the chain you have been given is genuine. It just proves that each transaction is signed by someone holding the right signature. Nothing in your scheme prevents multiple diverging chains. The entire point of the confirmations etc. used by blockchains is that not only each individual transaction can be verified as coming from a specific source, but that the chain as a whole can be verified to meet certain criteria - specifically in the case of e.g. Bitcoin, the criteria that it represents the view of the majority of the mining power of the network.
> Yes, because there is such a thing as money laundering laws.
That's just a small part of it. Providing sufficient information to satisfy that part is the easy part in my experience. I'm sure that would be different in some countries. If it was just about money laundering laws, it wouldn't generally be a problem.
But in my experience the much larger issue is that many banks and payment processors have a lot of policies about what kind of (legal) businesses they want to be involved with, because being an intermediary means they take on risks - whether monery or PR related - and that makes them hard to deal with if you're a small company without tons of cash, and they're not going to tell you quickly in most cases, because they are perfectly happy to bend all kinds of rules and principles if you can convince them there's enough money in it.
In the cases I've dealt with, KYC has never been the issue that has caused delays. The legal hurdles have been cleared in no-time. The issues have been over perceived business risk. And that's fair enough - these companies are businesses too and need to safeguard their own business.
> If there were no restrictions (who can have an account, and what do they have to disclose), there wouldn't be much of a point in bitcoin.
Everyone can have an account. Finding someplace to get an account is trivial if you have nefarious purposes in mind. Heck, with enough money (around $500k last I checked, probably higher now) you can get a fully legally registered bank in a suitably off-shory location, complete with nominee directors and the ability to do your own wire-settlement.
The issue is the hassle involved with getting business banking accounts and associated merchant accounts and a payment processor to service it in a developed country, without lots of waiting or paying truly extortionate rates.
No, this is wrong. I can sign a chain of transactions (Merkle tree is used in BTC as well), and you will know it came from me. If I'm a central authority, I can keep signing it in all of perpetuity, and it will be verifiably from me. As long as you trust the signer, it's very simple.
The reason Bitcoin is different is because you want to be able to have different signers doing each block. The way bitcoin does it is through clever incentives: miners only believe that other miners care about the longest chain, and they want to sign that last block because then the other miners will recognise their mined coins.
- Technology the Sun uses to shine, technology and methods for light which creates light space in dark space.
- Internal structure of fingers to click mouse/keyboard
- State of the mind before buying something
Granted, their strategy won't work if they can't influence adoption or sue the pants off of startup competitors.
Again, this is just a theory. Maybe they really do all of a sudden want to spend millions on something that does basically what their existing services do except they can't control. /sarcasm
Second, I think they want this for inter-bank commerce, not for end users. It makes more sense to implement for banks as a way for them to exchange monies between themselves, at least, at first.
That's a start.
Basically how can you get patents for someone else invention?
The article says that they are trying to file patents _related_ to blockchain.
Surely, if they actually invent something new on top of existing technology, they can file a patent for that?
Beyond this, managers and policy makers listen when Buffett talks/writes; an outcome of his 50-year track record in investing and managing at Berkshire. I personally don't think there's anything sinister going on.
You can get a really good overview of Berkshire as a company, including its operating companies, investment philosophy, and current investment holdings from the annual letters that Buffett writes: http://berkshirehathaway.com/letters/letters.html
If you want to see exactly what securities Berkshire owns, you can look up the 13F filings on http://edgar.sec.gov
To make money with no regards to anything else? Yes, they are dangerous to the human race and should be treated as the absolute worst terrorists possible.
However, if their end goal is to actually leave the world a better place than when it was when they were born, and it just happens it takes being one of the richest people ever to do that? More power to them, and I hope they succeed.
Not all rich and powerful people are assholes, some just want to make the world less shitty, and some actually succeed at it.
I arrived at this line of though when I started wondering why would the head decision makers of (for example) trafigura decide to horribly pollute the Ivory coast just so they can squeeze out a bit of extra profit, when they are all already super-rich. You can only enjoy so many yachts and so on. I arrived at the conclusion that their motivation is not to get more money per se, its to beat the other guys.
Not sure how true this is. There are other options, including the using the Canadian Pacific Railway, which also operates in that corridor.
Headline: patents for TECHNOLOGY BEHIND bitcoin
Comments on HN: OMG THEY ARE PATENTING SOMETHING ALREADY INVENTED, EVIL STUPID BANKS, EVIL STUPID PATENTS, EVIL STUPID LAWS
Yes, their patents include descriptions of already known tech, but at first glance, these two actually look like new and interesting stuff:
It seems that while these patents should not be granted, one should know what's happening in the field to know that these technologies already exist, wouldn't you agree? My original point about "on first glance" and hysteria about "Bank of America PATENTED BLOCKCHAIN" still stands.
Novelty may be fulfilled, but like in many software patents, the “non-oblivious” part is really questionable here.
That's exactly my point : because it's already implemented doesn't mean you can register a patent on it. You cannot register “obvious” things, even if nobody uses it already.
But my main point was that these patents are not obvious bullshit of patenting the blockchain principle itself.