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Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





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A cheap shot opinion without any basis in fact, and one that brands a group as corrupt individuals without a scintilla of support.

We are fortunate in the US to have the right to express opinions, but uninformed and unsubstantiated opinions do nothing to promote intellectually honest discourse.

There's plenty of "basis in fact" here, namely they didn't overturn a patent that any kid or grandmother will tell you is obvious, even to someone NOT skilled in the field.
As an attorney licensed to practice before the USPTO, SK demeans and impugns the integrity of the persons working within the agency.

If he disagrees with a decision professional decorum should serve as a guide for comments he may choose to make in a public forum.

As an attorney licensed to practice before the USPTO, SK demeans and impugns the integrity of the persons working within the agency.

If he disagrees with a decision professional decorum should serve as a guide for comments he may choose to make in a public forum.

I, personally, see nothing whatsoever wrong with calling a spade a spade. Not all situations call for "decorum". George Washington did not overthrow the Brits with "decorum"; Rosa Parks did not spark the civil rights movement with "decorum"; the passengers of United 93 did not save the White House from terrorists with "decorum".
Beeswax:

I must admit I am burning with curiosity. In what engineering field have you received training?

Alonniemouse writes:

Beeswax:

I must admit I am burning with curiosity. In what engineering field have you received training?

Objection: relevance?

Beeswax:

You appear to speak with authority regarding technical issues. I was just wandering about your technical background.

Let's see. First I say that the patent in question was obvious to "any kid or grandmother". Then I say I think there's nothing wrong with calling a spade a spade and mention a few historic events.

Where, in either case, do you think I imputed to myself "authority regarding technical issues"? The closest I may have come was when I said that that patent was obvious, but what I was saying was that it was obvious even to one without technical training. How do you get from that to your claim that I am "speaking with authority regarding technical issues"??? You're jumping to unwarranted conclusions.

To quote you, "...but what I was saying was that it was obvious even to one without technical training."

If what you say is true, then it should be a relatively simple matter for you to answer the question "Why is it obvious to even one without technical training?"

Given the high profile associated with this particular patent as it was undergoing reexamination, clearly numerous persons within and without the USPTO we involved to varying degrees. All of these persons passing upon the merits of the patent during its reexamination do in fact have technical degrees in the relevant technology areas. This is a mandate for such persons employed by the USPTO and attorneys practicing before the USPTO.

So, in essence what you seem to be saying is that you, who apparently have had no access to the prosecution history of the patent before the USPTO or to the entirety of the reexamination history before the USPTO are well situated to tell all of persons who participated in the reexamination that they are clearly unable to understand subject matter that your grandmother would grasp in a second. Let me make a suggestion. Since I rather doubt she has even seen the patent, why not ask her how she would go about creating a 1-Click system/process, and to then reduce her idea to writing in a level of detail sufficient for it to be understood and readily implemented by others?

Since you and so many others who regularly post comments on this site constantly say "It is obvious", perhaps you might want to undertake a similar task yourself. Pick something easy like intermittent windshield wipers and show why Kearns should never have received even his first patent. Maybe you can ask your grandmother to help.

If you're even asking why something that's obvious is obvious, then you have some serious problems that I am not qualified to help you with.

I recommend looking in the Yellow Pages under "psychiatrists".

All of these persons passing upon the merits of the patent during its reexamination do in fact have technical degrees in the relevant technology areas.

And they're all bought.

So, in essence what you seem to be saying is that you, who apparently have had no access to the prosecution history of the patent before the USPTO or to the entirety of the reexamination history before the USPTO are well situated to tell all of persons who participated in the reexamination that they are clearly unable to understand subject matter that your grandmother would grasp in a second.

First of all, we're talking about the infamous one-click patent here. What the hell is "novel and non-obvious" about using an http cookie to keep someone's account logged in between site visits? Oh, yeah -- nothing. Websites have been doing that for ages, and doing that with an ecommerce site is an obvious possibility as soon as you have a) sites with persistent logins and b) ecommerce sites. Sheesh!

Second, nobody said the people at the USPTO were unable to understand the subject matter. We said they were bought. There's a difference.

[insult deleted]

Your mother.

None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

(Lonnie, what's with all these nyms falling out of your sock drawer today? Is it laundry day or something?)

Beeswax:

I find it interesting that you claim that something would be obvious to your grandmother, or anyone else, and yet they have no understanding of how to read claims or the technology taught in the patents.

I am sure you will forgive me if I find your arrogance narcissistic at best. After decades of technical education and experience I still find patents and patent applications outside of my fields of expertise difficult to read. You either are so clueless that you do not know what you are saying, or you are a genius beyond belief.

As for 'nym's, you are just as clueless there. MLS lives in the southeast. I live in the midwest. I am surprised that with your penchant for knowing all that you were unaware of this simple fact.

By the way, who else do you think I am?

MLS:

Regarding your explanation: Well said. I love people who declare patents to be "obvious" when it is obvious that they are absolutely cluess as to how to interpret a patent, even if they knew how to read a patent, they clearly are insufficiently educated to be able to put it into practice. These are the same people who want us to return to the Dark Edges by eliminating the sole incentive for invention.

The Druids are coming!

Alonniemouse writes:

I find it interesting that you claim that something would be obvious to your grandmother, or anyone else, and yet they have no understanding of how to read claims or the technology taught in the patents.

*sigh*

I guess I need to say this again:

We're talking about the infamous one-click patent here. What the hell is "novel and non-obvious" about using an http cookie to keep someone's account logged in between site visits? Oh, yeah -- nothing. Websites have been doing that for ages, and doing that with an ecommerce site is an obvious possibility as soon as you have a) sites with persistent logins and b) ecommerce sites. Sheesh!

[insult deleted]

No.

You're the arrogant one.

None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

As for 'nym's, you are [insult deleted] there. MLS lives in the southeast. I live in the midwest.

None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

All we have is your word for it regarding these claimed locations. (IP addresses? Easy enough to appear to be geographically anywhere by using proxies.)

[insult deleted] the sole incentive for invention.

None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

And you're insane. "The sole incentive for invention"? What about increased in-house productivity? Having an edge vs. the competition? And other such time-honored capitalist incentives for invention? We don't need your stupid socialist planned-economy patent system, Lonnie.

And lastly, I'll reiterate: there is nothing whatsoever novel or nonobvious about taking the preexisting idea of a persistent website login and applying it in the context of the preexisting idea of an e-commerce site.

You can try to dress that dog up to look like something fancy with complicated, stilted legal and technical language in a patent, and you can then try to attack critics of your patent on the grounds of whether they can parse that mumbo-jumbo, but it's a complete strawman argument. The patent essentially covers using a persistent login at an e-commerce site. Everybody knows this. And it really is about as obvious as obvious can be.

Why not just admit it and give up your senseless fighting, Lonnie? If you really are an avid supporter of the patent system, this is quite easily the worst possible fight you could pick. A smart patent system supporter would make noises about how the one-click patent is terrible, and either some mild reform is needed or the patent system is good overall but letting the odd thing like the one-click patent through is some sort of a "necessary evil". Bullshit, of course, but much more believable bullshit than the kind you keep spewing.

In other words, a smart patent system defender would not defend the one-click patent, and would find some way to defend the system while acknowledging the one-click patent as a flaw, or while dodging that issue entirely. Only a really stupid patent system defender would actually defend the execrable one-click patent.

Of course, a patent system critic might pretend to be a really stupid patent system defender in order to damage the credibility of the patent system and its defenders in general. So which are you? A really stupid patent system defender or a really dishonest patent system critic? Inquiring minds want to know.

Earwax made some inane statements: . . . "*sigh*

I guess I need to say this again:

We're talking about the infamous one-click patent here. What the hell is "novel and non-obvious" about using an http cookie to keep someone's account logged in between site visits? Oh, yeah -- nothing. Websites have been doing that for ages"

It is very possible that web sites have been doing this for "ages." Now, define "ages." Obviously, not before about 1995, about the time the internet was invented. The patent was filed in September, 1997. How long before September, 1997, was "ages"? More importantly, name one company that was doing this before that date. Apparently, challengers have been unable to do so. As I have said before, you are apparently blessed with skills others do not have, so rock on.

"and doing that with an ecommerce site is an obvious possibility as soon as you have a) sites with persistent logins and b) ecommerce sites. Sheesh!"

And in spite of multiple, well-supported challenges, not one person has been able to prove that. But we await the re-examination request by the great, all-powerful Beeswax. . . . I see you deleted the truthful statement I made about the fact that you are narcissistic and arrogrant. Your words betray you. . . . "As for 'nym's, you are [insult deleted] there. MLS lives in the southeast. I live in the midwest.

None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true."

Now you add OCD to your cluelessness. Clown.

"All we have is your word for it regarding these claimed locations. (IP addresses? Easy enough to appear to be geographically anywhere by using proxies.)"

Yes, you do. MLS and I are definitely two different people. However, you are just as sneaky and neither do you publicize who you are, so why should I? I remain anonymous. . . . [Insane Beeswax statement deleted.] . . . And you're insane. "The sole incentive for invention"? What about increased in-house productivity? Having an edge vs. the competition? And other such time-honored capitalist incentives for invention? We don't need your stupid socialist planned-economy patent system, Lonnie.

You are a dipshit and an ass, but I do not normally say that here. Keep your insults for yourself, moron. . . . Now, let us talk about incentive. There is a company called Fedders, which produces air conditioners. In the later 1990's they were losing market share in the window air conditioner market to China. They decided to fight back by re-thinking the window air conditioner product.

They spent three years re-building their window air conditioner from the ground up, putting in many inventive and innovative features. During the design process, engineers working the project wondered whether they should patent the many inventive features they had incorporated in the new window air conditioner. Their management's viewpoint was that they had never needed patents before, so why should they need them to protect their new product?

The new unit was released, recapturing huge market share for Fedders. Engineers set about refining the design and planning for the next generation unit based on the new demand.

The following year, a Chinese company released a virtually identical product priced about 30% less. Fedders' market share plummeted immediately. The huge sums of money Fedders had invested in new tooling and in the assembly line was not recouped, and the company immediately laid off hundreds of people. They no longer had the money to even finish the next generation product, which would have been one to two more years in the future.

The sad thing is that since the Chinese company had no design capability that the window air conditioner market has stagnated, again. There is little interest in spending a bunch of money coming up with cool new designs because it is harder than ever to recoup costs.

This is the future you want for the world. . . . "And lastly, I'll reiterate: there is nothing whatsoever novel or nonobvious about taking the preexisting idea of a persistent website login and applying it in the context of the preexisting idea of an e-commerce site."

Even in 1997? What if the idea had been in 1996? What about 1995? Consider also that you have the benefit of knowing what had been done, which we generally call hindsight. Would you have considered this invention novel without hindsight? Remember that people with millions of dollars behind them have been unable to prove that the invention was obvious in 1997. . . . You can try to dress that dog up to look like something fancy with complicated, stilted legal and technical language in a patent, and you can then try to attack critics of your patent on the grounds of whether they can parse that mumbo-jumbo, but it's a complete strawman argument. The patent essentially covers using a persistent login at an e-commerce site. Everybody knows this. And it really is about as obvious as obvious can be."

You know, there are a lot of things that people "know." However, they are also generally wrong. For example, people "know" that aspartame turns into a dangerous chemical when heated, even though that is not true. People know that the "whole nine yards" came from the length of the ammunition belt used on WWII fighters; also not true. Chewing gum takes seven years to pass through your digestive system, also wrong.

The description in patents is not mumbo-jumbo, any more than the crap that you write. Neither is there a strawman argument here. Patents are written in English. They may be written at college-level English, but it is English. The style and format are unusual, but so are the formats required for college English papers.

You keep talking about how the patent covers something that "everbody knows." Yet, your summary in fact does not cover what the claims read; the claims are much more narrow than you claim. You may be glossing over the details the narrow the claim, or you have not read the claim.

Since you are already a patent expert, I know I do not need to teach you, but others may be unaware that the scope of the claims may also be limited by the description within the patent, so that narrowing also needs considered. Fundamentally, the patent is not as simple as you make it out to be. . . . "Why not just admit it and give up your senseless fighting, Lonnie? If you really are an avid supporter of the patent system, this is quite easily the worst possible fight you could pick. A smart patent system supporter would make noises about how the one-click patent is terrible, and either some mild reform is needed or the patent system is good overall but letting the odd thing like the one-click patent through is some sort of a "necessary evil". Bullshit, of course, but much more believable bullshit than the kind you keep spewing."

You put me in an unfortunate position. Until recently, I had not read the patent or its claims. The claims did seem a bit broad, but then again, the USPTO required the claims be narrowed on re-examination. Were the claims obvious in 1997? I do not know. I was using the internet regularly back then, but I was not paying attention to whether anyone was using one-click in those days. Apparently Barnes & Noble was not.

All of this is irrelevant. I am not defending the patent. My point is that in order to argue against the validity or obviousness of the patent, you should not do so without understanding what the patent actually claims and the best arguments presented thus far against the patent. All you have done is present what "everybody knows," and not what you know. Very sad that you rely on rumors and innuendo rather than finding out for yourself. . . . "In other words, a smart patent system defender would not defend the one-click patent, and would find some way to defend the system while acknowledging the one-click patent as a flaw, or while dodging that issue entirely. Only a really stupid patent system defender would actually defend the execrable one-click patent."

And only a dipshit was talk about something they know nothing about, and you have proven that several times. (1) I have not defended the one-click patent even once and I defy you to prove that. (2) You seem to be clueless as to what the patent actually claims and describes, relying on the ever-popular, and equally stupid, "everybody knows." Well, "everybody knows" that Obama was going to make a terrible president, but they elected him anyway. . . . "Of course, a patent system critic might pretend to be a really stupid patent system defender in order to damage the credibility of the patent system and its defenders in general. So which are you? A really stupid patent system defender or a really dishonest patent system critic? Inquiring minds want to know."

Wow, you actually asked one good question. Considering you have been a jerk for most of this post, you have broken from tradition.

(1) I think patents have provided benefits to society.

(2) I think without patents innovation might increase, but invention would definitely decrease. While that might be an advantage in the short term, in the long term it would slow progress significantly.

(3) The patent system needs changed in several areas. Business method patents are silly and need eliminated. There is no way to know what has been done and discarded to know whether something is "novel."

Software patents in general are a disaster. Software is one area where the arguments regarding "innovation" hold true. You can update and modify software faster than others can copy the software, so the best defense for software developers is innovating their product and staying ahead of everyone else.

The standard for usefulness also needs increased. The infamous method of swinging sideways served no societally "useful" function, and should have been rejected.

I also like the post-grant review period and the ability to provide prior art and reasoned arguments why a patent should not be allowed. However, "everybody knows" would not be one of those arguments. . . . As for stupid, well, you have proven yourself to be clever, narcissistic, arrogant, and a jerk - but not stupid, so I cannot call you that!

As for being a liar, you are not that either. Again, arrogant, ignorant, and all too willing to believe what you are told when it fits your view of the world, but not dishonest. But you do have a penchant for taking umbrage at being insulted yet your turn around and do the same thing yourself. Surely the definition of a jerk - and an ass.

Alonniemouse wrote:

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

It is very possible that web sites have been doing this for "ages." Now, define "ages."

Irrelevant. Nowhere in the statute does it say prior art has to be of some minimum age; it just has to exist at the time of filing.

Obviously, not before about 1995, about the time the internet was invented.

I'll let this speak for itself. It seems Lonnie is even more ignorant than I thought.

More importantly, name one company that was doing this before that date.

Doing what? E-commerce? Plenty. Persistent logins? Plenty. Doing both at once? Maybe none, but even if that was novel it was not nonobvious.

As I have said before, you are apparently blessed with skills others do not have, so rock on.

I certainly seem to be blessed with reasoning skills that you do not have.

"and doing that with an ecommerce site is an obvious possibility as soon as you have a) sites with persistent logins and b) ecommerce sites. Sheesh!"

And in spite of multiple, well-supported challenges, not one person has been able to prove that.

Of course they have. That the patent office didn't overturn the patent, despite the obvious ridiculousness of it, proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the patent office is bought.

I see you deleted the truthful statement I made about the fact that [insult deleted]

No, your statement was a lie. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Now you add OCD to your [insults deleted].

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

By the way, this is an English-language forums. Few users here speak jumbledallcapslettersese.

"All we have is your word for it regarding these claimed locations." Yes, you do.

So you admit it.

MLS and I are definitely two different people.

Unproven assertion, as you yourself just admitted.

However, you are just as [insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

I remain anonymous

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

[insults deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"What about increased in-house productivity? Having an edge vs. the competition? And other such time-honored capitalist incentives for invention?" You are a dipshit and an ass [rest of insulting diatribe deleted].

Observe here how the Lonniemouse responds to logic and reason with ad hominem attacks rather than sensible arguments. That's because he's wrong and he knows it. His are desperation tactics, the last refuge of someone utterly unwilling to admit that he erred.

None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

There is a company called Fedders, which produces air conditioners. In the later 1990's they were losing market share in the window air conditioner market to China. They decided to fight back by re-thinking the window air conditioner product. [rest of irrelevant, anecdotal just-so story deleted]

Generalizing from one data point is not a good idea, Lonnie.

(Fedders obviously should not have kept its prices so far above marginal cost once competition caught up, until they leapfrogged that competition with another innovation.)

This is the future you want for the world.

Alert! Alert! Strawman detected in Sector 3!

"And lastly, I'll reiterate: there is nothing whatsoever novel or nonobvious about taking the preexisting idea of a persistent website login and applying it in the context of the preexisting idea of an e-commerce site."

Even in 1997?

Even in 1997.

Remember that people with millions of dollars behind them have been unable to prove that the invention was obvious in 1997.

No, they've been unable to convince a government agency (one that was paid big bucks by the other side) to admit that the "invention" (and I use that term loosely) was obvious in 1997 and that they made a mistake. There's a difference.

[implied insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

The description in patents is not mumbo-jumbo, any more than [insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

The description in software patents frequently is stage dressing, deliberately obfuscated to make something sound very sophisticated, complex, and technical that would be summarily rejected if they'd just straightforwardly said "using a persistent login cookie to allow a one-click order process at an e-commerce website". Both the patenters and the patent office have to keep up appearances, you see.

They may be written at college-level English

There's a difference between college-level English and intentionally obfuscated, beating-around-the-bush English.

You keep talking about how the patent covers something that "everbody knows." Yet, your summary [calls me a liar].

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

You put me in an unfortunate position.

No, you put yourself there.

I was using the internet regularly back then, but I was not paying attention to whether anyone was using one-click in those days. Apparently Barnes & Noble was not.

There's nothing nonobvious about the concept of one-click ordering. Nor is there anything patent-worthy about a particular implementation. Ask any web-savvy techhead in 1997 how to have seamless one-click ordering on a commerce website and he'll snap his fingers and say "persistent login cookie". Ask him to implement it and he can and will. No patent is needed to "incentivize" the "invention" of the implementation; the engineer could "invent" that in his sleep. As for the mere idea of one-click ordering, mere broad ideas are not patentable by any stretch. Or, at least, are not supposed to be.

There simply is no justification for this patent ever being granted, let alone kept after being challenged repeatedly.

All of this is irrelevant. I am not defending the patent.

You just spent three increasingly long and contentious posts doing exactly that. Are you denying having done so, or are you saying you're giving up that hopeless and thankless task? I hope it's the latter.

My point is that in order to argue against the validity or obviousness of the patent, you should not do so without understanding what the patent actually claims

Everyone and his mother, by now, understands what the fucking patent claims! It's been discussed to death all over the internet for years. Have you been living in a cave or something?

[insults deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"Only a really stupid patent system defender would actually defend the execrable one-click patent." And only a [insults deleted]

No, you're the dipshit. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

I have not defended the one-click patent

A blatant lie. As soon as it was criticized here, you jumped to attack every critic. That's you defending the one-click patent.

You seem to be [insult deleted].

No,, you're the stupid one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Well, "everybody knows" that Obama was going to make a terrible president

No, only Repuglicon quacks like you "knew" that. And now he's slowly beginning to make real progress cleaning up the messes Bush left in the economy and in Iraq. The pullout of troops, in particular, is underway and on schedule, though it's a gradual process. (They have millions of dollars' worth of military hardware to ship out of there. That can't all be moved in a day and they sure aren't going to abandon it, not given what it all cost and not given that the locals would use it to kill each other, neverminding that enemies of the United States might reverse engineer some of the stuff too.)

Wow, [insults deleted].

No, you're the jerk. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

I think patents have provided benefits to society.

That much is obvious; as near as I can tell, patent system defenders are like religious nuts when it comes to their beliefs: incapable of having their minds changed by reasoned arguments, and prone to lash out violently at those who do not believe as they do. Patent defenders who find this site behave like creationists suddenly faced with a professor explaining the theory of evolution.

I think without patents innovation might increase

Well, there you go, then. Why are you still arguing in their favor?!

The patent system needs changed in several areas. Business method patents are silly and need eliminated.

So do software patents. Including the "one-click" patent you've been attacking me for criticizing.

So do gene patents.

So do seed patents.

So do all patents.

Software patents in general are a disaster.

Erm ... you are aware that it's a software patent that we're discussing here? That it's a software patent my criticism of which prompted your latest bout of vicious attacks?

Don't tell me you think software patents are generally bad but the "one-click" patent is a shining example of a good one?

You really are quite mad, aren't you?

I also like the post-grant review period and the ability to provide prior art and reasoned arguments why a patent should not be allowed. However, "everybody knows" would not be one of those arguments.

So, you'd have it only count as prior art if some people knew about it, but not everyone?

Why the fuck?

. . . As for stupid, well, you have proven yourself to be [vicious insults deleted]!

No, I have not. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

As for being a liar, you are not that either. Again, [vicious insults deleted], but not dishonest.

Not dishonest and not any of those other things, either.

None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

But you do have a penchant for taking umbrage at being insulted yet your turn around and do the same thing yourself.

Ah, but there's a difference: whereas every time you've insulted me, you've been lying, every time I've insulted you, I've been telling the truth. (As you even admitted just now, when you just said that I've not been dishonest.)

Surely the definition of [insult deleted].

No, you're the jerk. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

A jerk named Asswax says...

[Asswax crap deleted]

Everything I said is true, you just do not want ot admit it.

"It is very possible that web sites have been doing this for "ages." Now, define "ages."

Irrelevant. Nowhere in the statute does it say prior art has to be of some minimum age; it just has to exist at the time of filing."

Absolutely correct. Now, what is your prior art?

"More importantly, name one company that was doing this before that date. Doing what? E-commerce? Plenty. Persistent logins? Plenty. Doing both at once? Maybe none, but even if that was novel it was not nonobvious."

The question is which company was doing the one click method as claimed in the patent prior to September 1998.

"As I have said before, you are apparently blessed with skills others do not have, so rock on.

I certainly seem to be blessed with reasoning skills that you do not have."

You also seemed blessed with an arrogance I do not have, along with a hefty dose of narcissism, as well as being an insulting jerk.

"and doing that with an ecommerce site is an obvious possibility as soon as you have a) sites with persistent logins and b) ecommerce sites. Sheesh!"

And in spite of multiple, well-supported challenges, not one person has been able to prove that.

Of course they have. That the patent office didn't overturn the patent, despite the obvious ridiculousness of it, proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the patent office is bought."

Oh, please. If you knew how the patent office worked you would not make that statement. So, in lieu of evidence you offer paranoia. Way to go.

"I see you deleted the truthful statement I made about the fact that [insult deleted]

No, your statement was a lie. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true."

The more you speak, the more you affirm what I say is true and the more you make yourself out as either ignorant, paranoid, a liar, or a combination of the three.

"Observe here how the Lonniemouse responds to logic and reason with ad hominem attacks rather than sensible arguments. That's because he's wrong and he knows it. His are desperation tactics, the last refuge of someone utterly unwilling to admit that he erred."

Observe how your lying ass STARTED the ad hominem attacks. I merely responded to your insults, which were your substitute for arguments, and you are STILL doing it.

"There is a company called Fedders, which produces air conditioners. In the later 1990's they were losing market share in the window air conditioner market to China. They decided to fight back by re-thinking the window air conditioner product. [rest of irrelevant, anecdotal just-so story deleted] Generalizing from one data point is not a good idea, Lonnie.

(Fedders obviously should not have kept its prices so far above marginal cost once competition caught up, until they leapfrogged that competition with another innovation.)"

*sigh* Fedders could not beat Chinese labor rates. So now we all lose now that window air conditioner units are stuck in invention limbo. Of course, they can be made shinier, but invention is lagging.

"This is the future you want for the world.

Alert! Alert! Strawman detected in Sector 3!"

Ummm, I give you a real world example and you call it a strawman. What a clever counter-argument. Is that all you have?

"And lastly, I'll reiterate: there is nothing whatsoever novel or nonobvious about taking the preexisting idea of a persistent website login and applying it in the context of the preexisting idea of an e-commerce site." Even in 1997?

Even in 1997.

I just wish you would provide one itty-bitty piece of evidence.

"Remember that people with millions of dollars behind them have been unable to prove that the invention was obvious in 1997.

No, they've been unable to convince a government agency (one that was paid big bucks by the other side) to admit that the "invention" (and I use that term loosely) was obvious in 1997 and that they made a mistake. There's a difference. "

No. The government office loves evidence...there has just not been any provided.

"All of this is irrelevant. I am not defending the patent.

You just spent three increasingly long and contentious posts doing exactly that."

No, I did not, liar. I merely asked questions and asked you to support your position. You answered none and provided no evidence.

"My point is that in order to argue against the validity or obviousness of the patent, you should not do so without understanding what the patent actually claims"

Everyone and his mother, by now, understands what the fucking patent claims! It's been discussed to death all over the internet for years. Have you been living in a cave or something?"

Then why has no one been able to provide incontrovertable evidence of the obviousness of the patent?

[Asswax excrement deleted.]

" have not defended the one-click patent

A blatant lie. As soon as it was criticized here, you jumped to attack every critic. That's you defending the one-click patent."

I have no interest in the one-click patent other than reading objective evidence as to either the validity or invalidity. You have provided zero evidence to support the latter.

[Asswax insults and ad hominem statements deleted.]

"ell, "everybody knows" that Obama was going to make a terrible president

No, only Repuglicon quacks like you "knew" that. And now he's slowly beginning to make real progress cleaning up the messes Bush left in the economy and in Iraq. The pullout of troops, in particular, is underway and on schedule, though it's a gradual process. (They have millions of dollars' worth of military hardware to ship out of there. That can't all be moved in a day and they sure aren't going to abandon it, not given what it all cost and not given that the locals would use it to kill each other, neverminding that enemies of the United States might reverse engineer some of the stuff too.)"

I voted against Bush, too. I now know where your feelings lie, given that Obama just gave billions of dollars to pharmaceutical companies and doctors. Way to go.

"I think without patents innovation might increase

Well, there you go, then. Why are you still arguing in their favor?! "

Because invention would substantially decrease, which would be technological death.

"The patent system needs changed in several areas. Business method patents are silly and need eliminated.

So do software patents. Including the "one-click" patent you've been attacking me for criticizing."

Except, I have not defended the patent even once. You just fail to see that.

"Software patents in general are a disaster.

Erm ... you are aware that it's a software patent that we're discussing here? That it's a software patent my criticism of which prompted your latest bout of vicious attacks?"

Erm...you do realize I have not defended the patent, even once? I merely asked for evidence that the patent was obvious.

"I also like the post-grant review period and the ability to provide prior art and reasoned arguments why a patent should not be allowed. However, "everybody knows" would not be one of those arguments.

So, you'd have it only count as prior art if some people knew about it, but not everyone?

Why the fuck?"

Because hiding knowledge does no one any good. For knowledge to be available, it does need to be documented SOMEWHERE.

"But you do have a penchant for taking umbrage at being insulted yet your turn around and do the same thing yourself.

Ah, but there's a difference: whereas every time you've insulted me, you've been lying, every time I've insulted you, I've been telling the truth. (As you even admitted just now, when you just said that I've not been dishonest.)"

lol...No, every time I have said something about you, it has been true. On the other hand, you have lied about me routinely, viciously and deliberately. Jerk.

Alonniemouse writes:

[vicious insults deleted]

NO! None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Everything I said is true

No, and neither was that.

"Irrelevant. Nowhere in the statute does it say prior art has to be of some minimum age; it just has to exist at the time of filing."

Absolutely correct.

Glad you agree. Now will you please do the right thing and shut the hell up?

The question is which company was doing the one click method as claimed in the patent prior to September 1998.

Combining two known technologies is, pretty much all of the time, obvious. Novelty alone doesn't suffice for a patent; the claimed "invention" must be nonobvious to a practitioner skilled in the art. In this case, it would have to have been the case that if you asked a web tech circa 1997 how to implement one-click ordering very few would have been able to quickly come up with a way to do it. That isn't actually the case. Alternatively, the very concept of one-click ordering would have to have been non-obvious, but it wasn't. It is a natural progression of streamlining order processes by reducing the number of steps to maybe find a way to reduce the number of steps to one.

"I certainly seem to be blessed with reasoning skills that you do not have." [insults deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"Of course they have. That the patent office didn't overturn the patent, despite the obvious ridiculousness of it, proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the patent office is bought." [calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"No, your statement was a lie. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true."

The more you speak, the more you affirm what I say is true and the more you make yourself out as either [insult deleted], [insult deleted], [insult deleted], or a combination of the three.

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"Observe here how the Lonniemouse responds to logic and reason with ad hominem attacks rather than sensible arguments. That's because he's wrong and he knows it. His are desperation tactics, the last refuge of someone utterly unwilling to admit that he erred." [calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Fedders could not beat Chinese labor rates.

If you can't beat them, join them. Fedders should have had its own units manufactured there, if manufacturing elsewhere was too expensive for them to remain competitive. Or else positioned itself as a luxury brand. Evidently it did neither (always assuming, of course, that you didn't simply make up the whole anecdote).

Regardless, the fact is that a) the innovation got made, b) it got released to the world, and c) for making that innovation, Fedders managed to stay afloat longer than it would have if it hadn't tried. It looks like everyone won, compared to the didn't-try-to-innovate alternative scenario, without the use of patents. Your complaint is that they didn't win even bigger, not that they lost. Thus, your example (again assuming it's even real) actually supports my argument against patents.

You really should quit this, Lonnie. I can think rings around you. You're like a 1200-rated amateur chess player going up against a grandmaster. You cannot hope to achieve victory and half your moves just play directly into your opponent's hands. Give up before you embarrass yourself further.

I give you a real world example and you call it a strawman.

Your strawman was your claim that I want all innovative companies around the world to go bankrupt. That is not true, so assuming that that is my position and then attacking that easily-attacked position is a classic instance of the strawman fallacy.

I just wish you would provide one itty-bitty piece of evidence.

Been there, done that, you ignored it as usual.

"No, they've been unable to convince a government agency (one that was paid big bucks by the other side) to admit that the "invention" (and I use that term loosely) was obvious in 1997 and that they made a mistake. There's a difference." [calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[calls me a liar in response to my calling him a liar in response to his denying having defended the one-click patent]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Reread the first ten or so comments in this thread. Every time someone criticizes the one-click patent, you attack them and question their expertise, their knowledge, or their motives. Particularly if someone says the one-click patent is obvious, you ask them to better support that claim. Obviously you disagree. If you are publicly disagreeing that the one-click patent is obvious, then you are defending the one-click patent.

How hard is that for you to understand?

The enemy of your enemy is your friend. You keep attacking the enemies of the one-click patent whenever they display that enmity. That makes it obvious to everyone that you are one of the one-click patent's friends, your protestations to the contrary notwithstanding.

Furthermore, whenever the people you've attacked defend themselves, you attack them again.

You clearly take the defense of that awful, awful patent quite seriously. Almost as if you have money or a job or something riding on that patent's preservation ...

Then why has no one been able to provide incontrovertable evidence of the obviousness of the patent?

THEY HAVE!! The problem is that the patent office is stuffed with retards and corporate shills like you that plug their fucking ears whenever that evidence is presented!!

[vicious insult deleted]

NO! None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"A blatant lie. As soon as it was criticized here, you jumped to attack every critic. That's you defending the one-click patent."

I have no interest in the one-click patent ... [insult deleted]

Yeah, yeah, you keep saying that, but your actions tell a different story.

Oh, and none of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[vicious insults deleted]

NO! No, no, a thousand times no! None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

I voted against Bush, too.

Against Bush, against Obama ... what the fuck are you, then, an anarchist or something?

Nah, surely not. An anarchy would obviously have no patents, so you'd hate it.

I now know where your feelings lie, given that Obama just gave billions of dollars to pharmaceutical companies and doctors. Way to go.

"I think without patents innovation might increase

Well, there you go, then. Why are you still arguing in their favor?! "

Because invention would substantially decrease, which would be technological death.

Bullshit. Invention is spurred by necessity, one-off insights, and research grants. It is not spurred by patents. In fact, invention is mainly coming up with a new idea, which is very cheap. It's turning an idea into a workable product that can be quite expensive, but that's the innovation step!

"So do software patents. Including the "one-click" patent you've been attacking me for criticizing."

Except, I have not defended the patent even once. You [insult deleted].

No! None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

By attacking people for having the temerity to question the validity of that patent, you have indeed been defending it.

"Erm ... you are aware that it's a software patent that we're discussing here? That it's a software patent my criticism of which prompted your latest bout of vicious attacks?"

Erm...you do realize I have not defended the patent

I realize that you're a liar.

Because hiding knowledge does no one any good.

Non sequitur. By your stupid definition nothing would ever be prior art, since you'd always be able to find some Papa New Guinean aborigine or Siberian hermit or some such that didn't know about whatever-it-is.

Of course that is the desired outcome for you: everything in existence suddenly becomes patented, there's a huge patent gold-rush on all the pre-existing knowledge and invention, it all gets locked up, and you, patent attorney extraordinaire (rolling my eyes here), are laughing all the way to the bank.

Problem #1 is, your fiendish scheme would ruin everything for everyone else.

Problem #2 is, I'm your own personal John McClane come to throw a monkey wrench into your plans by exposing them to full public scrutiny. Now nobody's going to fall for your "everyone must know or it doesn't count" scheme and you'll have to come up with a new one. Which I will wreck in turn.

Every time I have said something about you, it has been true.

No, it hasn't. You've said many insulting things about me, for instance, absolutely none of which were true.

[calls me a liar]

Good example. That, too, wasn't true.

Indeed, none of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Jerk.

Yippie-ki-yay, motherfucker.

Asswax:

[Irrelevant, vicious ad hominem attack deleted.]

[Irrelevant, vicious ad hominem attack deleted.]

[Irrelevant, vicious ad hominem attack deleted.]

[Irrelevant, vicious ad hominem attack deleted.]

[Irrelevant, vicious ad hominem attack deleted.]

[Irrelevant, vicious ad hominem attack deleted.]

Regardless, the fact is that a) the innovation got made, b) it got released to the world, and c) for making that innovation, Fedders managed to stay afloat longer than it would have if it hadn't tried. It looks like everyone won, compared to the didn't-try-to-innovate alternative scenario, without the use of patents. Your complaint is that they didn't win even bigger, not that they lost. Thus, your example (again assuming it's even real) actually supports my argument against patents.

Actually, Fedders probably would have stayed afloat longer had they not tried. By trying, they lost millions and were deprived of the ability to recoup their investment. Had they just kept doing what they were doing, they would likely have continued to lose market share, but they would have remained profitable.

So, by making substantial INVENTIONS, Fedders lost money even faster, necessitating huge layoffs and the closing of a factory.

Yes, the invention was given away to another company that did absolutely nothing to advance technology, and probably did not understand half of what they copied, but by golly, they did it cheap. Of course, they will never be able to advance the technology one iota further.

So, it looks like everyone LOST. Fedders laid off hundreds of employees, including their engineering team. The technology was transferred to a company that, to this day, has zero capability of advancing the technology at all. Window air conditioner units have become a backwater of technology with millions of units in sales, almost all from Chinese companies, and no one with the ability to advance the technology further, which ultimately means consumers will lose until someone decides to spend more money on invention in this area. It does not look like it will happen soon.

[Irrelevant, vicious ad hominem attack deleted.]

[Irrelevant, vicious ad hominem attack deleted.]

[Irrelevant, vicious ad hominem attack deleted.]

[Irrelevant, vicious ad hominem attack deleted.]

[Irrelevant, vicious ad hominem attack deleted.]

[Irrelevant, vicious ad hominem attack deleted.]

Thinking around me, you little worm? You could not think around a doughnut. The only place you are thinking around me is in your own mind. You have not put forward a single, coherent argument against patents. You have totally FAILED to explain how the one-click patent was obvious, though I have done everything short of begging for an explanation. You have put words in my mouth that I never said. Fundamentally, you are a lying sack of shit.

Do me a favor and go screw yourself. Oh, wait. You already have been, and you have been enjoying it too.

Alonniemouse seems to be finally beginning to learn the virtue of brevity:

[insult deleted]:

[insult deleted]

[insult deleted]

[insult deleted]

[insult deleted]

[insult deleted]

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"Regardless, the fact is that a) the innovation got made, b) it got released to the world, and c) for making that innovation, Fedders managed to stay afloat longer than it would have if it hadn't tried. It looks like everyone won, compared to the didn't-try-to-innovate alternative scenario, without the use of patents. Your complaint is that they didn't win even bigger, not that they lost. Thus, your example (again assuming it's even real) actually supports my argument against patents."

[calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

You said yourself that for a while after, they enjoyed a dominant market position and charged 30% above cost for their products. If they weren't able to make their millions back under those conditions, then they were doing something wrong. Assuming they had remained in their previous, weaker position doing the same thing wrong, it is clear that they would have been bankrupt quite quickly.

Of course, they will never be able to advance the technology one iota further. [more repetitious nonsense in this vein deleted]

This is just an unsupported assertion by you.

[insult deleted]

[insult deleted]

[insult deleted]

[insult deleted]

[insult deleted]

[insult deleted]

[vicious insults deleted]

No! None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

You have not put forward a single, coherent argument against patents.

Liar. I've done so many times.

You have totally FAILED

No. I do not fail.

None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

explain how the one-click patent was obvious

Been there, done that, got ignored and flamed by you.

Not that it really needs explaining. There's nothing whatsoever nonobvious about the concept. Users visiting e-commerce sites probably frequently thought "All these annoying forms; why can't the site remember who I am after one visit and then make it as easy as click "buy", get item shipped?"

And anyone tech-savvy thinking that would know about HTTP cookies and how they could be used to create a persistent session between a user and a web site.

Besides, do you really think this patent would get so much criticism and flaming from techheads if it was not obvious to techheads? I.e., to one "skilled in the art"?

Sheesh! Either there's a massive conspiracy by computer nerds to denigrate a perfectly good patent, or the patent's bad. And trying to get computer nerds to act in concert is, famously, like trying to herd cats. I don't think they ever all appear to agree about something unless a) they genuinely do, independently, believe that thing and b) that thing is almost certain to be true.

I have done everything short of begging for an explanation.

Perhaps if you humbled yourself to actually beg, instead of flame, and additionally cleaned the wax from your ears, you'd have gotten one.

There's another one directly above. If you still think you've not gotten one, clean out that wax. (You keep mentioning the stuff, too, so it seems you're aware of your condition on at least some subliminal level.)

[calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"You said yourself that for a while after, they enjoyed a dominant market position and charged 30% above cost for their products. If they weren't able to make their millions back under those conditions, then they were doing something wrong. Assuming they had remained in their previous, weaker position doing the same thing wrong, it is clear that they would have been bankrupt quite quickly."

Read much, do you? You are, as usual, WRONG.

What I said was that the Chinese company undercut the Fedders price by 30%, not that Fedders charged 30% above cost. The Chinese company had the ability to do this for two significant reasons:

(1) The Chinese company did not have to invest three years of research and development to come up with a product. All they had to do was reverse engineer the Fedders product. It is invariably cheaper to figure out what the other guy did then to do it yourself. So, the Chinese company had three years of testing and overhead that did not factor in their price.

(2) The Chinese company enjoyed a significantly lower labor rate. There is some humor here. Chinese labor rates are rising rapidly and the Chinese advantage is beginning to decrease. In another five years, ten years tops, the same Chinese companies whose ONLY capability is labor rates will either finally be forced to invent or they will go out of business.

"Besides, do you really think this patent would get so much criticism and flaming from techheads if it was not obvious to techheads? I.e., to one "skilled in the art"?"

I have yet to meet a single "techhead" who has even admitted to reading the claims of the patent. Every argument I hear is that http cookies are obvious. Okay, great argument. Now, how does that relate to the claims in the Amazon patent? The claims are lengthy and, to the extent cookies might even be consider part of the solution, cookies or their equivalent only get one line in claims that are 10 or 15 lines long. So, cookies are "obvious" (though they had to be non-obvious at some point), what about the other items in the claims in combination with the cookies? You have addressed one, teeny, tiny little part of the claims without addressing any of the rest of the claims, which form the bulk of the claims. Your arguments are, as is typical for you, without any merit.

As for "begging," I have gone as far as I can to get a substantive position from you. It is apparent that giving you multiple opportunities to state your facts for you position will not work. I can only assume that have no facts and you live in your little fantasy world. You have fun with that.

Until morons like you wake up and realize that their fantasy world is far removed from reality, you will get ignored and things will get worse. You are not helping one bit. Worse, you are hurting the people who are trying to effect some measure of change. Why don't you go "help" the people saving the whales or donate blood or go live with your friends in a compound in Montana? It is people like you who make IP maximalists (though I loath the term) appear like NORMAL people - and thus more appealing.

Now, let us review Beeswax's history with respect to his "great" arguments.

(1) Who was the first person to name call? Beeswax.

(2) Who was the first person to use ad hominem arguments? Beeswax - he first used the word stupid and then followed that up with liar, without even once having a fact to back him up.

(3) Who has presented facts in their arguments? The anonymous person.

(4) Who has not presented any facts in this series of posts? Beeswax.

(5) Whose best argument to date has been "everybody knows"? Beeswax.

(6) Who, when pressed for details, attempts to use diversionary tactics to move the argument away from dealing with substantive issues? Beeswax.

(7) Who is the first person to make vicious, nasty and wanton attacks? Beeswax.

(8) Who is the first person to take imagined offense where there is none? Beeswax.

(9) Who is a waste of protplasm and time? Beeswax.

(10) Who routinely acts like a jerk, even while calling others by that name? Beeswax.

(11) Who is clearly an ass as well as being a jerk? Beeswax.

Alonniemouse just doesn't know when to quit:

"You said yourself that for a while after, they enjoyed a dominant market position and charged 30% above cost for their products. If they weren't able to make their millions back under those conditions, then they were doing something wrong. Assuming they had remained in their previous, weaker position doing the same thing wrong, it is clear that they would have been bankrupt quite quickly."

Read much, do you? You are, as usual, [insult deleted].

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

What I said was that the Chinese company undercut the Fedders price by 30%, not that Fedders charged 30% above cost.

I made the obvious inference, that the devices in question could be manufactured for at least 30% less than what Fedders was charging. If Fedders was manufacturing them that cheap they were charging fat margins and their error was to continue to do so after a competitor started going head to head against them and lowered prices. On the other hand, if Fedders's manufacturing costs were higher, their error was to continue using whatever inefficient manufacturing process they used instead of doing whatever their competitor was doing. Regardless, that a company was able to manufacture the things profitably for 30% less proves that Fedders could have done so. That they chose not to is not something to be blamed on the competitor, or on the non-use of patents, but simply on boneheaded executives at Fedders. It's that simple.

The Chinese company did not have to invest three years of research and development to come up with a product. All they had to do was reverse engineer the Fedders product.

Irrelevant. Once they entered the market and undercut Fedders by 30%, Fedders had two choices:

1. Lower their own prices, and if necessary increase their manufacturing efficiency.

2. Go bankrupt.

Stupidly, they apparently chose the latter.

You may rail about "how were they supposed to make back their R&D expenses?"; well, they certainly didn't do so by effectively ceding the market to a competitor instead of, well, trying to actually compete. Option 1 above offered them the chance to do so and option 2 did not.

And don't try to claim that the Chinese company had a greater manufacturing efficiency that couldn't have been duplicated by Fedders.

If it could have, then Fedders screwed up by not duplicating it.

If it couldn't have, then your charge that the Chinese company was a pure copycat incapable of innovation falls flat on its face: obviously not only were they capable of innovation, they managed to improve on Fedders's manufacturing process by as much as 30%, and Fedders wasn't able to reverse engineer their improvements.

The sole argument in favor of patents that might be extracted from this would be to trot out the old line about how the patent system favors disclosure over trade secrecy. But the competitor patenting their process improvements instead of keeping them secret wouldn't have helped Fedders; they needed to copy those improvements quickly, not wait 20 years.

In practice, patents don't truly encourage disclosure anyway. They encourage maintaining trade secrecy as long as possible, and when the cat's out of the bag, quickly filing a patent, and thus having your cake and eating it too. Extra bonus points if you get the PTO to grant a patent based on an application that's vague enough to be useless as a basis for recreating the claimed invention. (Especially common with business method and software patents.)

The real way to break the back of trade secrecy is to make noncompete, nondisclosure, and similar agreements unenforceable. These are restraint of trade and of freedom of speech, rights that were supposed to be inalienable (so one could not sign them away, sell them, etc.). As such they are also just as anticompetitive as patent and copyright law.

Render those kinds of contracts moot, and trade secrets naturally leak out when people move from job to job.

It should be noted that the huge explosion in computer/tech innovation in Silicon Valley has been found by scientists to have resulted from the lack (at that time) of software patents combined with noncompetes and similar being unenforceable in California (at that time).

In another five years, ten years tops, the same Chinese companies whose ONLY capability is labor rates will either finally be forced to invent or they will go out of business.

Forced to invent. Without patents. Competition will incentivize them to invent. Thank you for (once again) playing directly into my hands. :)

"Besides, do you really think this patent would get so much criticism and flaming from techheads if it was not obvious to techheads? I.e., to one "skilled in the art"?"

[irrelevancies]

Who gives a shit about the exact wording of the patent? What matters is a) what technologies it's applied to and b) that those technologies would have been "invented" without a patent, indeed already had been invented and this was simply a novel (but fairly obvious) combination of pre-existing technologies.

Interesting though how you keep defending this patent (by attacking all attacks on this patent) even after spending a while strenuously denying defending this patent.

cookies or their equivalent only get one line in claims that are 10 or 15 lines long.

Software patents are gotten by baffling the PTO examiners, none of whom are software geeks, with bullshit. This tends to mean instead of writing one line of concise tech jargon that anyone with a bit of PHP and Unix under his belt can turn into a working implementation in no time, you write fifteen lines of bafflegab to make it sound like what you're trying to patent is rocket science. The sad thing is, the PTO falls for it hook, line, and sinker, because they a) exist and b) don't bother to hire webheads to evaluate web-related patents, etc.

So, cookies are "obvious" (though they had to be non-obvious at some point)

Not once they were invented and in use in the wild. At that point cookies went beyond even "obvious" and became "prior art".

what about the other items in the claims in combination with the cookies?

Like what? The session ID? The server-side database of customer shipping addresses and CC#s? All of these things are familiar concepts to anyone skilled in the web-commerce arts, and not only are, but were in 1997. And there's nothing nonobvious about combining all of this stuff, either. It's as if you already had red jujubes and black jujubes on the market, and striped red-and-white candy canes, and you went ahead and patented a "method and process for manufacturing" red-and-black striped jujubes. Maybe it was novel but it sure as hell wasn't nonobvious.

You have addressed one, teeny, tiny little part of the claims without addressing any of the rest of the claims, which form the bulk of the claims. [insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

I have addressed everything worth addressing, and the patent is so obviously bad it's astonishing that you (or anyone) continues to defend it unless you're being paid to defend it by someone with a stake in it, or have such a stake yourself.

As for "begging," I have gone as far as I can to get a substantive position from you.

You've been viciously rude. You might catch more flies with honey, as they say. Nonetheless I have posted a "substantive position". If you think there's some specific thing in the patent that still needs addressing, quit beating around the bush and ask directly. Repeat whatever claim in the patent you think hasn't been addressed, verbatim, here and ask your question.

Otherwise, why don't you do us all a big favor and shut the hell up.

It is apparent that giving you multiple opportunities to state your facts for you position will not work. I can only assume that [insult deleted].

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

I have indeed stated my facts and my position. What "will not work" is you posting patent nonsense (no pun intended) and hoping nobody will notice and rebut you this time.

Until [insult deleted] like you wake up and realize that their [insult deleted], you will get ignored and things will get worse.

No, you're the stupid one and the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

I don't respond well to threats.

You are not helping one bit.

Haven't you figured out why, yet? It's because I'm the enemy. I'm not supposed to help you. I'm supposed to defeat you, by criticizing and ultimately destroying the patent system that you try so hard to defend. And so far I'm winning, because the facts are on my side.

If I were you, I'd give serious consideration to the phrase "if you can't beat them, join them". I don't know what your shadowy employers are paying you to push their pro-patent position in web forums, but I do know that you couldn't pay me enough to embarrass myself in public by posting the kind of nonsense you keep posting and then keeping on getting back into the ring for another round of severe punishment while staying "on message". Especially not if I got convinced that my employers were wrong and their opponents were correct. Then I'd be being paid to lie, to deceive the public. Basically to knowingly participate in false advertising and, arguably, fraud.

No thanks. If I were you I'd seriously reconsider continuing in your present line of "work".

Worse, you are hurting the people who are trying to effect some measure of change.

As I said above, I'm the enemy. Though I don't agree I'm hurting any people. The cause of ratcheting up IP until it has even more of a stranglehold on innovation than it already does -- THAT I'm hurting, and I'm proud of it. People on your side that are getting hurt are getting hurt by backing the wrong side, by embarrassing themselves in public (as you are doing), and by sticking to old business models instead of embracing disruptive innovation. (And then hypocritically complaining that it's their opposition that seek to stifle innovation. Look in the mirror, bud.)

Why don't you go "help" the people saving the whales or donate blood or go live with your friends in a compound in Montana? [insults deleted].

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Who was the first person to name call? Beeswax.

No, you called me a liar earlier than that.

Who was the first person to use ad hominem arguments? Beeswax - he first used the word stupid and then followed that up with liar, without even once having a fact to back him up.

You lie. I may have first used those words, but that's because I was man enough to come right out and say it. You'd been implying both insults about me, but in a cowardly manner, for ages by then.

And I do indeed have facts to back me up. You say things that are incorrect, and you keep repeating the same incorrect things long after being corrected. That makes you at best incapable of learning (stupid) and at worst intentionally dishonest (a liar).

Who has presented facts in their arguments? The anonymous person.

That'd be me, of course. You still have no idea what my name is, whereas your own attempt at anonymity was laughably mediocre, Lonnie.

(4) [insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

(5) [another lie deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Who, when pressed for details, attempts to use diversionary tactics to move the argument away from dealing with substantive issues?

You.

Who is the first person to make vicious, nasty and wanton attacks?

You.

Who is the first person to take imagined offense where there is none?

Oh, there's been plenty of real offense. I doubt either of us has taken imagined offense.

Who is a [insult deleted]? Beeswax.

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Who routinely acts like a [insult deleted], even while calling others by that name? Beeswax.

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

(11) Who is clearly an [insult deleted] as well as being a [insult deleted]? Beeswax.

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Asswax:

Your obnoxious post is too lengthy to even provide a response for all the details. Of course, it completely sinks under its own weight, so there is little I could do to blow it apart any further, but one thing caught my eye that you said...

"Irrelevant. Once they entered the market and undercut Fedders by 30%, Fedders had two choices:

1. Lower their own prices, and if necessary increase their manufacturing efficiency.

2. Go bankrupt.

Stupidly, they apparently chose the latter.

You may rail about "how were they supposed to make back their R&D expenses?"; well, they certainly didn't do so by effectively ceding the market to a competitor instead of, well, trying to actually compete. Option 1 above offered them the chance to do so and option 2 did not.

And don't try to claim that the Chinese company had a greater manufacturing efficiency that couldn't have been duplicated by Fedders."

I never claimed the Chinese factory had a greater manufacturing efficiency. In fact, it is likely that they did not. However, I notice that you ignored, as you often tend to do, that Fedders was the one who had greater overhead partially because Fedders was the company who spent all the money on competing; i.e., Fedders came up with the innovative, breakthrough product that captured the market. However, Fedders was unable to price their product high enough to recapture three years of investment in a single year before a Chinese company copied the product.

What you also seem to have not discussed is what happens next. The Chinese company still has no capability to make a better product. Fedders no longer appears interested in making breakthrough window air conditioners. In fact, no one seems to be. It appears that once Fedders was burned that other companies are not interested in advancing the state-of-the-art for window air conditioners. It may be that the latest generation was so good that there is insufficient financial benefit to trying to replace that generation, for now. Whatever the reason, it is clear that the loss of intellectual property to a Chinese company has severely stifled development in this area. Sure, you get really cheap decade-old technology, but that is where technology will stay, at least for now.

Too bad that Fedders could not recoup their investment so that they could afford to develop the next generation of window air conditioner. Who knows what we might have today. But, as I said before, this outcome is what you choose.

Oh...by the way, YOU called me a liar first...scumbag. If you do not believe me, go look at your 8:51 post on March 12. That was the first time anyone called anyone a liar, and guess who it was? You, my wormy, obnoxious, non-friend.

Alonniemouse really does seem to be a glutton for punishment:

[insult deleted]:

Your [insult deleted] post is too lengthy to even provide a response for all the details. Of course, it [insult deleted], so there is little I could do to blow it apart [rest deleted].

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Let's interpret the above: 1. Lonnie is a lazy bastard, 2. Lonnie can't beat the logic in my post, and therefore 3. Lonnie will flame me with ad hominems instead.

What a great guy this Lonnie is. I just don't ever want him on any debate team I'm a part of. Not only would he get that team beat, he'd probably get it disqualified and sanctioned for unsportsmanlike conduct or something. I'd rather be on a basketball team with some klutz that was all thumbs; at least he could be a blocker or something and the rest of us could make sure he never actually had to touch the ball.

I never claimed the Chinese factory had a greater manufacturing efficiency.

Of course you did, if not in so many words. But you strongly implied that they had lower manufacturing costs than Fedders at several points in your last 2 diatribes here.

Fedders was the one who had greater overhead

Overhead is irrelevant. Marginal cost is what matters when companies get into a price war, and when it comes to amortizing capital or R&D costs or whatnot, well, whatever margins they can make will simply have to do.

Nothing makes R&D costs magically special, either. Car companies have to build factories, and that's also massively expensive. They have to cover those expenses somehow, and they have to do it out of their margins -- there's no "factoryright" analogue of copyrights and patents whereby building a factory gets you some time-limited monopoly to incentivize factory-building and help with cost recovery from same; yet companies make do and build new factories all the time without "factoryright". They can do R&D without copyright and patent, too, and if those were repealed tomorrow, they would.

I should also note that R&D isn't always that expensive. For instance, in the case of your favorite patent, I'm sure it didn't take anywhere near a million bucks (or even a hundred) to "research and develop" one-click web-site ordering. Five minutes of some $40/hour web developer's time, and use of equipment that was already a sunk cost, perhaps. Your lunch today probably cost more than the R&D expenses behind the infamous one-click patent. The PTO's application fees certainly did.

Fedders was the company who spent all the money on competing; i.e., Fedders came up with the innovative, breakthrough product that captured the market.

And then didn't hang on to their lead. Why? Not for lack of patents. I can think of at least THREE things they could have done that don't involve patents:

1. Lower prices. Get into a price war with their still-unnamed competitor. Live off thinner margins for a while.

2. Innovate some more. Stay one step ahead of the copycats instead of resting on their laurels.

3. Position themselves as a luxury brand, and their competitor as producing cheaply-manufactured knockoffs that will be noisier and less reliable. Segment the market and take the high end. Give up some volume, make it up by retaining fat margins or even raising the price some more.

Improving their manufacturing process to make it as cheap as their competition's would have been useful whichever of those choices they made, though it would have been most essential in case 1.

However, Fedders was unable to price their product high enough to recapture three years of investment in a single year before a Chinese company copied the product.

I'm not sure if you're saying that they misunderstood how markets, supply-and-demand, price elasticity, and the like work, or you're proving that you misunderstand those things.

Whatever.

The Chinese company still has no capability to make a better product.

Why not? Is R&D magically only possible on this side of the Great Wall? If so, I'd sure like to see you prove that. Especially given that all the standard historical references claim that gunpowder was invented on the other side of it. I suppose you're going to argue that they are all, every last one of them, wrong about that. And about fireworks. And Confucianism. And you'll claim that there was no originality in the design of Ming pottery. And...

Fedders no longer appears interested in making breakthrough window air conditioners. In fact, no one seems to be.

Have you considered that perhaps there's very little room for further improvement? There are thermodynamic limits on the maximum efficiency of cooling devices, and it may be that the existing technology is already coming close to those limits. (I'm not saying it is, necessarily, just that I don't know that it isn't. Regardless, perhaps we're close to the practical limit, if not the theoretical one, already, and so the technology is mature.)

It appears that once Fedders was burned that other companies are not interested in advancing the state-of-the-art for window air conditioners.

If that is the case, then it's a shame that so many have misread what happened to Fedders as meaning "innovation doesn't pay" rather than "being run by someone without a good nose for business doesn't pay", to the point that some random Internet wit (me) can spot at least two business mistakes Fedders made, nevermind an MBA who would undoubtedly spot at least two more somewhere.

It may be that the latest generation was so good that there is insufficient financial benefit to trying to replace that generation, for now.

At least you are cognizant of that possibility. I had been beginning to wonder.

Whatever the reason, it is clear that the loss of intellectual property to a Chinese company has severely stifled development in this area.

Nobody "lost" any "intellectual property" to anyone, unless maybe the Chinese company stole it from its rightful "owners" (everyone) by patenting it themselves (hello, prior art?).

Fedders lost market share by letting a customer undercut them on price and not responding in any meaningful way, to hear you tell it.

That has nothing to do with patents or innovation.

Too bad that Fedders could not recoup their investment so that they could afford to develop the next generation of window air conditioner.

They could afford it when they were on top of the market, and they didn't do it then; why? Perhaps if they had they'd have been able to hold onto their market-leading position. (See what's behind Door #2, above.)

Besides, even if Fedders no longer can afford to do so, whoever is the current market leader can. Why aren't they? Oh, yeah, because as market leader they have little incentive to unless competition is nipping right at their heels.

This may be why Fedders screwed up -- until a competitor was not only nipping at their heels but surpassing them, they rested on their laurels, and when one did, they panicked.

Who knows what we might have today. But, as I said before, this outcome is what you choose.

No, it's what some Fedders executives chose by not picking any of the three options I noted above, and by not improving their manufacturing process.

Oh...by the way, [calls me a liar]...[insult deleted]. If you do not believe me, go look at your 8:51 post on March 12. That was the first time anyone called anyone a liar, and guess who it was? You, my [insult deleted], [insult deleted], non-friend.

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

As for my 8:51 post on March 21 (not 12)? The part you seem to be referring to says:

You keep talking about how the patent covers something that "everbody knows." Yet, your summary [calls me a liar].

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

I was calling you a liar back, in response to your having called me one. I may have been the first to use the exact word "liar", but you'd definitely called me one (if not using that exact word) in an earlier post on the same date.

And as for "non-friend", it is to laugh. I just told you I'm not only your "non-friend", in fact I'm the enemy. I aim to destroy your arguments and your precious patent system, just as you aim to destroy those opposed to the patent system. "Non-friend", indeed!

Asswax:

With respect to your lying ass, the entire quote was...

"Yet, your summary in fact does not cover what the claims read; the claims are much more narrow than you claim."

Where does it say that you are a liar? Obviously you ARE LYING, because no where does it say that.

[Ad hominem arguments deleted.]

Stacking lies on top of lies will avail you nothing.

[Diversionary ad hominem attach deleted.]

Your lies avail you nothing.

"I never claimed the Chinese factory had a greater manufacturing efficiency.

Of course you did, if not in so many words. But you strongly implied that they had lower manufacturing costs than Fedders at several points in your last 2 diatribes here."

lol...Now you even ADMIT your lies. Good. You are on the road to recovery. Next, we work on getting you to avoid ad hominem attacks.

Efficiency is not the same as lower overhead because of a failure to perform research and development and having lower labor costs. In fact, it is very possible, and perhaps even likely, that Fedders was MORE EFFICIENT than the Chinese company, but a substantially lower overhead and substantially lower labor costs are difficult to overcome.

"Fedders was the one who had greater overhead

Overhead is irrelevant. Marginal cost is what matters when companies get into a price war, and when it comes to amortizing capital or R&D costs or whatnot, well, whatever margins they can make will simply have to do."

Where did you learn cost accounting? Costs for any company include fixed costs (overhead) and variable costs. Fixed costs include laboratories, engineers, sales personnel, etc. If you have laboratories and engineers, your fixed costs will naturally be higher than a company that has neither. Only an ignorant fool will say that only marginal cost will affect price. Or are you thinking that if you lose a little on each unit you will make it up in volume? That has worked for SOOOOO many companies.

"Nothing makes R&D costs magically special, either. Car companies have to build factories, and that's also massively expensive. They have to cover those expenses somehow, and they have to do it out of their margins -- there's no "factoryright" analogue of copyrights and patents whereby building a factory gets you some time-limited monopoly to incentivize factory-building and help with cost recovery from same; yet companies make do and build new factories all the time without "factoryright". They can do R&D without copyright and patent, too, and if those were repealed tomorrow, they would."

I look forward to your proof that companies will continue to spend billions on R&D and engineering without patents. Good luck with that.

As for your point about R&D costs, true, nothing magical about them. On the other hand, patents help gain higher margins that permit recovery of those costs.

"I should also note that R&D isn't always that expensive. For instance, in the case of your favorite patent, I'm sure it didn't take anywhere near a million bucks (or even a hundred) to "research and develop" one-click web-site ordering."

I have no idea. Software patents are not my area of expertise. I too doubt it took much time and cost to develop. On the other hand, a new diesel engine design can take tens of millions and half a decade or more to develop. Once developed, they could be reverse-engineered in a year or less.

"Your lunch today probably cost more than the R&D expenses behind the infamous one-click patent."

I doubt that. My lunch today cost around $3. Just where do you think I eat, or can AFFORD to eat. I am not some high-priced toadie who can afford to have a two martini lunch. I leave that to power players like yourself.

"Fedders was the company who spent all the money on competing; i.e., Fedders came up with the innovative, breakthrough product that captured the market.

And then didn't hang on to their lead. Why? Not for lack of patents."

They were working on the next generation air conditioner, but their inability to pay for the cost of the previous design killed them. On the other hand, with patents they would have recouped their costs and been able to complete the next generation design.

"I can think of at least THREE things they could have done that don't involve patents:

1. Lower prices. Get into a price war with their still-unnamed competitor. Live off thinner margins for a while."

Actually, they did that while laying off engineers and cutting back production stuff. But they could not sustain that. They had loans they had to pay off for R&D costs as well as fixed overhead for laboratories and factory space that was there regardless of costs.

And I do not know the name of the Chinese company. I do not know whether Fedders knew who they were. I know the story I got from several Fedders engineers who were caught in the layoff was the same, so it certainly seems quite credible.

"2. Innovate some more. Stay one step ahead of the copycats instead of resting on their laurels."

I have told you, several times now, slow learner, that they were working on the next generation air conditioner. The air conditioner market does not respond well to minor innovation. However, consumers seem to respond well to air conditioners that offer significant changes, and that is what Fedders appeared to be aiming for.

"3. Position themselves as a luxury brand, and their competitor as producing cheaply-manufactured knockoffs that will be noisier and less reliable. Segment the market and take the high end. Give up some volume, make it up by retaining fat margins or even raising the price some more."

Unfortunately, the window air conditioner market is not well positioned for luxury users. Good suggestion, though.

As for the "noise" issue, that was one of the things that they put into the new design, and one of the things that was copied. As for segmenting, go look at window units. Because of the ubiquitous nature of central air conditioning units, window air conditioners appeal to a relatively narrow range of the population and segmenting works much less well than elsewhere.

"Improving their manufacturing process to make it as cheap as their competition's would have been useful whichever of those choices they made, though it would have been most essential in case 1."

They had already done as much as they could in the facility they had. You might be interested to know that Fedders still sells window units, but they no longer put money into developing them. They just buy cheap Chinese units and re-sell them. As I pointed out before, there is no longer any advancement in this area.

"However, Fedders was unable to price their product high enough to recapture three years of investment in a single year before a Chinese company copied the product.

I'm not sure if you're saying that they misunderstood how markets, supply-and-demand, price elasticity, and the like work, or you're proving that you misunderstand those things."

Guess my MBA, with a 4.0, I might add, was worthless.

Yes, I do understand these things. Fedders had several million dollars in development costs they had to amortize. In addition, they laboratories that incurred cost, they had engineers. So, not only did they have all their sunk costs, they had significant cost in capabilities that required funding - or elimination. Fedders prided itself on their innovation, which came from these capabilities, so they were faced with hard choices. Cut everything to bare bones and try to compete one-on-one - which they did, and failed - or drop out of the business altogether. They eventually dropped out, and later began buying window units from China. However, they are no longer putting any money into the units and, last I checked, neither are the Chinese companies. They continue to build the units designed a decade ago. The technology is in limbo.

"The Chinese company still has no capability to make a better product. Why not? Is R&D magically only possible on this side of the Great Wall?"

Of course not. The Chinese company could develop laboratories and the ability to develop a better product, but there has been no incentive to do so. However, with the Chinese emphasis on patents I suspect that is changing. Patents will be a big driver for Chinese companies to spend a lot more on driving new invention - and I am just as sure that window air conditioner unit technology will begin to advance again, just in China instead of the United States.

"Fedders no longer appears interested in making breakthrough window air conditioners. In fact, no one seems to be.

Have you considered that perhaps there's very little room for further improvement? There are thermodynamic limits on the maximum efficiency of cooling devices, and it may be that the existing technology is already coming close to those limits. (I'm not saying it is, necessarily, just that I don't know that it isn't. Regardless, perhaps we're close to the practical limit, if not the theoretical one, already, and so the technology is mature.)"

The engineers from Fedders I spoke with told me that they combined many new features in the new unit. It was more efficient, used some kind of smart-fan technology, was quiet, did something marvelous with condensation units, and some other stuff I no longer recall. I agree, the technology is "mature," but someone seeking to make a leap forward in technology might, with several years of research and some really creative thinking, come out with unexpected improvements. I suspect that with Chinese putting more emphasis on patents that Chinese companies will put forward more investment in this area. I look forward to see what their patent system will achieve.

"It appears that once Fedders was burned that other companies are not interested in advancing the state-of-the-art for window air conditioners.

If that is the case, then it's a shame that so many have misread what happened to Fedders as meaning "innovation doesn't pay" rather than "being run by someone without a good nose for business doesn't pay", to the point that some random Internet wit (me) can spot at least two business mistakes Fedders made, nevermind an MBA who would undoubtedly spot at least two more somewhere."

Yes, they made a number of mistakes. The first one was that they neglected to protect significant design improvements with patents. The second was underestimating how quickly their product could be reverse engineered by a Chinese company. Their third mistake was assuming that Chinese companies, like American companies historically had, would be uninterested in copying their technology. Serious mistakes.

"It may be that the latest generation was so good that there is insufficient financial benefit to trying to replace that generation, for now. At least you are cognizant of that possibility. I had been beginning to wonder."

You know, you too can be a pretty intelligent person when you are not busy imagining insults.

"Whatever the reason, it is clear that the loss of intellectual property to a Chinese company has severely stifled development in this area.

Nobody "lost" any "intellectual property" to anyone, unless maybe the Chinese company stole it from its rightful "owners" (everyone) by patenting it themselves (hello, prior art?)."

Fedders developed the new technology. They lost control of the technology to a Chinese company. Serious mistake. Patents would have at least allowed them the opportunity to get their investment back.

"Fedders lost market share by letting a customer undercut them on price and not responding in any meaningful way, to hear you tell it.

That has nothing to do with patents or innovation."

Fedders lost market share by letting a COMPETITOR copy their product and, because the competitor did not incur the same costs in reverse engineering the product that Fedders did, being able to charge significantly less for it. The only way that Fedders would have been able to be competitive would be to drop all their capabilities to the level of the Chinese company, but they considered those capabilities as part of the company's competitive advantage, which may have been true, but only when coupled with patents. Otherwise, they might as well have sent their plans out - which they effectively did anyway.

"Too bad that Fedders could not recoup their investment so that they could afford to develop the next generation of window air conditioner.

They could afford it when they were on top of the market, and they didn't do it then; why? Perhaps if they had they'd have been able to hold onto their market-leading position. (See what's behind Door #2, above.)"

Actually, they were in a leading position in the market when they took their great leap forward. Unfortunately, you could say they were victims of their own success. The new units were extremely desirable. Just as unfortunately, the Chinese company could produce them as well as they could, so all the new design did is, in the hand of their Chinese competitor, help lost market share even faster.

"Besides, even if Fedders no longer can afford to do so, whoever is the current market leader can. Why aren't they? Oh, yeah, because as market leader they have little incentive to unless competition is nipping right at their heels."

Several companies are making units, but they all seem satisfied to compete on price rather than technology. Go look at window units. Designs are converging and little is happening in the way of advancement. Of course, there is little investment in this area, so little wonder. However, with China's improved patent system it will be interesting to see whether that changes.

"This may be why Fedders screwed up -- until a competitor was not only nipping at their heels but surpassing them, they rested on their laurels, and when one did, they panicked."

Actually, you may have a point here. They were steadily losing market share and forsaw losing a leadership position. Their reaction - spending several years to develop a step function improvement in window units - was probably a good move. However, they should also have taken some other steps. Patents would have been a good step.

You could argue that they were too focused on step function improvements rather than "incremental" improvements, but the step function improvements garnered, though only temporarily, increased market share. Of course, step function improvements take a lot longer than "incremental" improvements.

"Who knows what we might have today. But, as I said before, this outcome is what you choose.

No, it's what some Fedders executives chose by not picking any of the three options I noted above, and by not improving their manufacturing process."

You have hit the limit of my knowledge. I know they cut costs dramatically, including laying off engineers, support staff and factory people, but I do not know what other steps they may have taken.

"Oh...by the way, [calls me a liar]...[insult deleted]. If you do not believe me, go look at your 8:51 post on March 12. That was the first time anyone called anyone a liar, and guess who it was? You, my [insult deleted], [insult deleted], non-friend."

Yes, it was March 21. That was the first time anyone called anyone a liar, and that person was YOU.

"You keep talking about how the patent covers something that "everbody knows." Yet, your summary [calls me a liar].

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true."

Ah, yes. There is the paranoid Beeswax we all know. Of course, no where did I call you a liar in the place you claim. Sad that you INFERRED that from what I said.

"I was calling you a liar back, in response to your having called me one. I may have been the first to use the exact word "liar", but you'd definitely called me one (if not using that exact word) in an earlier post on the same date."

You are imagining things, again. Go take your medications.

"And as for "non-friend", it is to laugh. I just told you I'm not only your "non-friend", in fact I'm the enemy. I aim to destroy your arguments and your precious patent system, just as you aim to destroy those opposed to the patent system. "Non-friend", indeed."

Awwww...I feel the love. You realize the irony is that the harder you try to destroy the system, the stronger it gets. So, do me a favor and stop trying. The system is already too strong and needs reined in. Either that, or do something different, because whatever you are doing is not working.

Alonniemouse pulled down his pants and dumped:

[insult deleted]:

With respect to your [calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

You claimed that my summary was a lie. That means you called me a liar, liar.

[insult deleted][calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted][calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"Of course you did, if not in so many words. But you strongly implied that they had lower manufacturing costs than Fedders at several points in your last 2 diatribes here."

[calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Efficiency is not the same as ... having lower labor costs.

No, but if you can hire cheaper labor and don't, that's inefficient (from a business perspective). You're paying more to manufacture each unit than you really need to. How can you possibly claim that that isn't a manufacturing inefficiency?

"Overhead is irrelevant. Marginal cost is what matters when companies get into a price war, and when it comes to amortizing capital or R&D costs or whatnot, well, whatever margins they can make will simply have to do."

Where did you learn cost accounting? Costs for any company include fixed costs (overhead) and variable costs.

I know this, of course, but it's entirely beside the point. The point is that when you sell a manufactured item for $X, you subtract out the marginal cost per item $Y and wind up with margins, $Z. All your operating expenses that don't scale up with items manufactured have to be amortized out of $Z.

When there's a price war, you have to lower your price, position yourself as having a superior (or perhaps a luxury) product, or go under. Your margins $Z get smaller, but the lower prices mean your volume should go up, so you can generally still amortize your non-marginal costs. Danger arises when your marginal costs are higher than the price point your competitor is selling at. Then there are two possible situations:

1. Their marginal costs aren't better than yours; they're selling at a loss. The general rule here is whoever has the deeper pockets wins, because whoever runs out of money first loses. Price your goods so you lose money the slowest; if your price is higher than theirs you lose market share and thus volume, but if you're taking a loss on each item sold, that may not be a bad thing. But can you recapture the lost market share when the other side exhausts itself and raises prices again?

2. Their marginal costs are lower than yours. You need to lower yours, somehow.

This is the unassailable calculus of price wars. What fixed costs still need amortizing, etc. etc. etc., is simply not relevant to the above. If you do the wrong thing, you're screwed; if the other company is bigger, you're probably screwed.

Fixed costs include laboratories, engineers, sales personnel, etc. If you have laboratories and engineers, your fixed costs will naturally be higher than a company that has neither. [insult deleted]

No, you're the stupid one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Fixed costs don't grow per item sold (by definition) so as long as you are making positive margins on each sale, you CAN make it up on volume, if your volume is high enough. For instance, if each widget costs $6 for you to make and you sell them for $8, you get $2 for each widget that doesn't go to parts and labor. That $2 can go toward your fixed expenses, and if your volume is high enough, each month you'll have more $2s than needed to pay that month's fixed expenses, and you're turning a profit. The bigger your fixed expenses or the smaller your margins the higher your volume needs to be.

If you're selling the $6-to-make widgets for $4, then you're in trouble. If your competition is selling them for $5, you need to find a way to make them more cheaply. If you can make them $4 to make and sell for $4.50 though, you're golden.

"Nothing makes R&D costs magically special, either. Car companies have to build factories, and that's also massively expensive. They have to cover those expenses somehow, and they have to do it out of their margins -- there's no "factoryright" analogue of copyrights and patents whereby building a factory gets you some time-limited monopoly to incentivize factory-building and help with cost recovery from same; yet companies make do and build new factories all the time without "factoryright". They can do R&D without copyright and patent, too, and if those were repealed tomorrow, they would."

I look forward to your proof that companies will continue to spend billions on R&D and engineering without patents. Good luck with that.

They continue to spend billions on factories and retoolings without "factoryrights", don't they?

As for your point about R&D costs, true, nothing magical about them. On the other hand, patents help gain higher margins that permit recovery of those costs.

And "factoryrights" would help gain higher margins that permit recovery of factory-building costs. So what? We don't have, or apparently need, "factoryrights", and we don't need patents. Or copyrights.

"I should also note that R&D isn't always that expensive. For instance, in the case of your favorite patent, I'm sure it didn't take anywhere near a million bucks (or even a hundred) to "research and develop" one-click web-site ordering."

I have no idea. Software patents are not my area of expertise.

Then why have you been defending one at every turn lately, and accusing everyone criticizing it of precisely the same sort of ignorance you have just admitted to yourself?

You're a hypocrite, Lonnie.

I too doubt it took much time and cost to develop.

Well, there you go, then. If the sole reason for patents is to enable recouping of R&D costs, but the one-click "technology"'s R&D costs could have been recovered by simply buying 17" instead of 19" monitors for the developers or by digging in the CEO's sofa cushions for lost change or something, then there is no justification for the one-click patent.

On the other hand, a new diesel engine design can take tens of millions and half a decade or more to develop.

And then we're back to the "factoryrights" argument. If we don't need "factoryrights" -- and we don't -- then why do you think we need patents?

"Your lunch today probably cost more than the R&D expenses behind the infamous one-click patent."

I doubt that. My lunch today cost around $3.

So did the R&D for the one-click patent.

Just where do you think I eat, or can AFFORD to eat. I am not some high-priced toadie who can afford to have a two martini lunch. I leave that to power players like yourself.

WTF? I'm the computer programmer and you're the patent attorney. If anyone's making enough to have a "two-martini lunch" it is you.

They were working on the next generation air conditioner, but their inability to pay for the cost of the previous design killed them.

Perhaps they should have released more incremental improvements in between. Or reduced their manufacturing costs. Or ...

On the other hand, with patents they would have recouped their costs and been able to complete the next generation design.

While shutting everyone else out of the market and making it impossible for anyone but the very wealthy to have A/C. Yay.

"1. Lower prices. Get into a price war with their still-unnamed competitor. Live off thinner margins for a while."

Actually, they did that while laying off engineers and cutting back production stuff.

Idiots. They needed to make their manufacturing cheaper, lowering the marginal cost per unit, and raise sales volume, instead.

"2. Innovate some more. Stay one step ahead of the copycats instead of resting on their laurels."

I have told you, several times now, [insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

they were working on the next generation air conditioner.

Not quickly enough, it seems.

"3. Position themselves as a luxury brand, and their competitor as producing cheaply-manufactured knockoffs that will be noisier and less reliable. Segment the market and take the high end. Give up some volume, make it up by retaining fat margins or even raising the price some more."

Unfortunately, the window air conditioner market is not well positioned for luxury users.

Then there was nobody already occupying the high end and Fedders was free to grab it. Figuring out how would have been a no-doubt-soluble problem for marketing.

Because of the ubiquitous nature of central air conditioning units, window air conditioners appeal to a relatively narrow range of the population and segmenting works much less well than elsewhere.

And you got your degree in marketing where?

They had already done as much as they could in the facility they had.

Then they needed to change facility. Or have had a different one to begin with.

"I'm not sure if you're saying that they misunderstood how markets, supply-and-demand, price elasticity, and the like work, or you're proving that you misunderstand those things."

[self-aggrandizement deleted]

Moron.

Yes, I do understand these things.

Obviously not, if you continue to erroneously believe that the only solution was patents. Or do you believe that? Maybe you're simply lying, paid to say patents are necessary no matter whether you actually think so or not.

"The Chinese company still has no capability to make a better product. Why not? Is R&D magically only possible on this side of the Great Wall?"

Of course not.

Well, there you go, then.

However, with the Chinese emphasis on patents I suspect that is changing.

Well, there you go, then. Patents will stifle innovation in China just as they've stifled it here. Bunch of communist idiots.

The engineers from Fedders I spoke with told me that they combined many new features in the new unit. It was more efficient, used some kind of smart-fan technology, was quiet, did something marvelous with condensation units, and some other stuff I no longer recall. I agree, the technology is "mature," but someone seeking to make a leap forward in technology might, with several years of research and some really creative thinking, come out with unexpected improvements.

And there might be a Santa Claus.

Yes, they made a number of mistakes. The first one was that they neglected to protect significant design improvements with patents.

No. That was not among their mistakes.

Have you learned nothing from our exchange?

The second was underestimating how quickly their product could be reverse engineered by a Chinese company.

I'm fascinated, by the way, that a Chinese company that you claim has no laboratories or engineers is apparently capable of quickly reverse engineering a novel design. How, exactly, did they do that, Lonnie? Or are you lying again, about one thing or another?

"At least you are cognizant of that possibility. I had been beginning to wonder."

[insult deleted]"

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Fedders developed the new technology. They lost control of the technology to a Chinese company.

They were never entitled to the sort of "control" you seem to think they should have had.

Patents would have at least allowed them the opportunity to get their investment back.

Don't be ridiculous, Lonnie. With a hypothetical patent, Fedders could have priced their units high enough to pay those R&D costs faster, but who would have bought them? Past a certain point the added amount on the price tag would have outweighed the savings in electricity from whatever efficiency improvements there were and consumers would have not switched from the older units. The price elasticity isn't there; above a certain point volume would drop fast enough that they'd make less money the more they jacked the price up. I doubt they could have gone much higher than whatever they were selling at anyway. Whether with cheap, efficient units (no patent) or even cheaper, less efficient units (with a patent in the picture), some other company was going to undercut them.

[misquotes me]

Fedders lost market share by letting a COMPETITOR copy their product and, because the competitor did not incur the same costs in reverse engineering the product that Fedders did, being able to charge significantly less for it.

Do not misquote me again. Your post contained supposed "quoted material" that did not occur in the post that you followed up to nor summarize material that did. That is incorrect. Stop being dishonest.

I guess I'll have to explain it to you in very simple language, Lonnie; you're really that stupid.

Let's make a concrete scenario. A makes widgets. They have banked $1 million. They spend $500,000 on R&D to make a better widget and start selling it. Each costs them $6 to make and they sell them for $8. They also have ongoing month-to-month expenses of $1000.

For each widget they sell, they make $2 more than the marginal cost of producing one additional widget, so they have to sell 500 widgets a month to cover their expenses. At that volume, of each $8 from selling a widget $6 goes to pay for the parts and labor and $2 towards that month's $1000 of overhead.

For each widget above 500 they sell that month they get to pocket the $2. So if they sell 256,000 widgets in a year, costs and operating expenses leave them with a net of $250,000 and they make back the R&D expenses in two years.

If B enters the picture selling the same widgets for $7 apiece after one year (assume they're not selling at a loss), things change a bit. Their bank balance is back up to $750,000, but now their volume starts to drop. A's best move: lower their widget prices to $7, maybe a bit lower. They will now have to sell 1000 a month to cover their overhead but the alternative is to lose market share to B. In particular, if everyone buys B's brand if their widgets are a buck cheaper, A won't be able to make even the 500 sales they need each month to cover overhead if they stick to the $8 price-point.

If B has lower overhead than A, but the market has enough buyers to cover the sum of their overheads with their margins, then this situation can still continue stably; A may bank less each month than B but both are in the black on a month-to-month basis and A will eventually reach and exceed a balance of $1 million again.

If B lowers their price to $5, then A is in bigger trouble, because A cannot sell at that price for long with their widgets costing $6 apiece to make, nor can they sell at a higher price and cede so much of the market that they're in danger of not even being able to cover their monthly expenses. One solution is to segment the market; if A can capture a particular niche part of the market that's big enough, while ceding the rest to B, A can stay afloat and remain profitable.

Another is to consider that B probably is able to make their widgets for $4 apiece and figure out how they do it that cheaply and duplicate it. That may mean A has to value-engineer their widgets, or that they have to pay lower wages to laborers, or that they have to copy some process improvement. No matter. If it's possible for B, it's possible.

Then they price at $5, or even $4.50 and make it up on volume, and we're back to the earlier situation, one in which A can again eventually fill that account up to $1 million or more.

"They could afford it when they were on top of the market, and they didn't do it then; why? Perhaps if they had they'd have been able to hold onto their market-leading position. (See what's behind Door #2, above.)"

Actually, they were in a leading position in the market when they took their great leap forward.

No, they weren't. You said earlier, and I quote:

Now, let us talk about incentive. There is a company called Fedders, which produces air conditioners. In the later 1990's they were losing market share in the window air conditioner market to China...

So which was it? They were in a leading position in the market, or they were losing market share? Make up your mind!

My suspicions grow that you're basically making the whole thing up. Oh, maybe there's a real company named Fedders in roughly this line of work, but much of the detail in your story is probably bogus, given that it seems to change from one post of yours to the next.

Unfortunately, you could say they were victims of their own success. The new units were extremely desirable. Just as unfortunately, the Chinese company could produce them as well as they could, so all the new design did is, in the hand of their Chinese competitor, help lost market share even faster.

Because they responded incorrectly to what happened. Above is a scenario detailing the correct response. Note that A only gets into trouble if B lowers their price below A's marginal cost per widget; even if they have lower monthly overhead but the same (or higher) marginal cost A can stay afloat. If they lower their price further, then A needs to segment the market or lower their manufacturing costs.

So if the Chinese company merely had lower overhead, Fedders could have merely lowered their price. If they had lower manufacturing costs or were selling at a loss, Fedders needed to both lower their price and lower their manufacturing costs. According to you, the latter was the case but Fedders only lowered their price, not their manuacturing costs. Oops.

Several companies are making units, but they all seem satisfied to compete on price rather than technology.

See above: perhaps this is simply a market where price trumps "technology". If so, all the patents in the world wouldn't have made a difference, as described above.

"This may be why Fedders screwed up -- until a competitor was not only nipping at their heels but surpassing them, they rested on their laurels, and when one did, they panicked."

Actually, you may have a point here. They were steadily losing market share and forsaw losing a leadership position. Their reaction - spending several years to develop a step function improvement in window units - was probably a good move. However, they should also have taken some other steps. Patents would have been a good step.

No, lowering their manufacturing expenses would have been a good step.

You could argue that they were too focused on step function improvements rather than "incremental" improvements, but the step function improvements garnered, though only temporarily, increased market share. Of course, step function improvements take a lot longer than "incremental" improvements.

That's why you need both. Imagine a car manufacturer with one model, released in 1965, that uses leaded gasoline; that's what they sell until 1978, and then they start selling a model that uses unleaded; and they add an aerodynamic model in 1990 and a hybrid in 2005.

Real, competitive car companies don't do this; they have multiple new models every year with various mostly-superficial differences from the previous year's and only occasional major new improvements under the hood.

Fedders might have done well to emulate real car companies rather than that fictitous, one-model-every-few-decades one.

"No, it's what some Fedders executives chose by not picking any of the three options I noted above, and by not improving their manufacturing process."

You have hit the limit of my knowledge.

At least you're now prepared to admit this.

I know they cut costs dramatically, including laying off engineers, support staff and factory people, but I do not know what other steps they may have taken.

They cut the wrong costs. Their monthly overhead wasn't where big savings could be made; their per-unit manufacturing costs were, and the Chinese company had demonstrated that those costs could definitely be slashed by as much as 30%.

Yes, it was March 21. That was the first time anyone called anyone a liar, and that person was YOU.

It may have been the first time in this exchange that anyone explicitly used the exact word, "liar", but it was not the first time someone suggested or stated that someone else had lied. You had already, at least once, claimed, or strongly implied, that I had lied. Falsely claimed or implied, for I had of course done no such thing.

Ah, yes. There is the [insult deleted] Beeswax we all know. Of course, [calls me a liar].

No, you're the crazy one and the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"I was calling you a liar back, in response to your having called me one. I may have been the first to use the exact word "liar", but you'd definitely called me one (if not using that exact word) in an earlier post on the same date."

You are [insult deleted], again. [insult deleted].

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Awwww...I feel the love. You realize the irony is that the harder you try to destroy the system, the stronger it gets.

Keep telling yourself that, if it helps you sleep better at night. But when one day the system collapses, you're out of a job, and you had not positioned yourself to jump to another one when the world finally decided it had no further use for patent attorneys, don't say I didn't warn you.

Beeswax dropped his biggest, stinkiest pile of crap ever, and it smells spicy...ewwwww..

[Beeswax statement of paranoid delusion deleted.]

"You claimed that my summary was a lie. That means you called me a liar, liar."

I told you that your summary was factually wrong. That is not calling you a liar. To read that I called you a liar when I pointed out that you were wrong is called "paranoia." Severe paranoia is called "psychosis." When either of these is extreme, it is called insanity.

[Deleted Beeswax statements that fail to further or support any arguments.]

"Of course you did, if not in so many words. But you strongly implied that they had lower manufacturing costs than Fedders at several points in your last 2 diatribes here."

Since you deleted my original statements, and these posts have gottent too lengthy for me to find them, I will, being the nice person I am rather than a vicious, snotty, moron, will repeat my point:

The Chinese company did have lower costs to copy the window unit than to develop the unit in the first place. The Chinese company also had lower labor costs. The Chinese company also had lower fixed overhead since they did not have the engineeering faciliities that Fedders did.

[Deleted Beeswax statements that fail to further or support any arguments.]

"Efficiency is not the same as ... having lower labor costs.

No, but if you can hire cheaper labor and don't, that's inefficient (from a business perspective). You're paying more to manufacture each unit than you really need to. How can you possibly claim that that isn't a manufacturing inefficiency?"

Because labor is not the only factor in cost, as you know very well.

""Overhead is irrelevant. Marginal cost is what matters when companies get into a price war, and when it comes to amortizing capital or R&D costs or whatnot, well, whatever margins they can make will simply have to do."

Where did you learn cost accounting? Costs for any company include fixed costs (overhead) and variable costs.

I know this, of course, but it's entirely beside the point. The point is that when you sell a manufactured item for $X, you subtract out the marginal cost per item $Y and wind up with margins, $Z. All your operating expenses that don't scale up with items manufactured have to be amortized out of $Z.

When there's a price war, you have to lower your price, position yourself as having a superior (or perhaps a luxury) product, or go under. Your margins $Z get smaller, but the lower prices mean your volume should go up, so you can generally still amortize your non-marginal costs. Danger arises when your marginal costs are higher than the price point your competitor is selling at. Then there are two possible situations:

1. Their marginal costs aren't better than yours; they're selling at a loss. The general rule here is whoever has the deeper pockets wins, because whoever runs out of money first loses. Price your goods so you lose money the slowest; if your price is higher than theirs you lose market share and thus volume, but if you're taking a loss on each item sold, that may not be a bad thing. But can you recapture the lost market share when the other side exhausts itself and raises prices again?

2. Their marginal costs are lower than yours. You need to lower yours, somehow.

This is the unassailable calculus of price wars. What fixed costs still need amortizing, etc. etc. etc., is simply not relevant to the above. If you do the wrong thing, you're screwed; if the other company is bigger, you're probably screwed."

I see you are focused on different numbers and a different way of accounting. Let us take a simple example.

Each company makes 1,000 units of product. Company A can make each unit for $10. Company B can make each unit for $8.

In addition to the costs of production, Company A has sales and administrative costs of $10,000. They have engineering costs of $50,000.

Company B also has sales and administrative costs of $10,000, but because they rely on copying the products of others, they have engineering costs of $10,000.

In order for Company A to break even, they have to sell each unit at $16. This is derived by dividing overhead costs of $60,000 by 1,000 units.

In order for Company B to break even, they have to sell each unit at $10.00. Company B, which does no new product development, can make a profit at a level much less then Company A.

However, Company B will only drive Company A out of existence, not advance the technology, IF Company B is permitted to copy Company A's developments without restriction. Company A will do quite fine as long as it is allowed to be the technology leader and given enough technology rent to keep its engineers and engineering facilities working.

"Fixed costs include laboratories, engineers, sales personnel, etc. If you have laboratories and engineers, your fixed costs will naturally be higher than a company that has neither."

[Deleted Beeswax statements that fail to further or support any arguments.]

"Fixed costs don't grow per item sold (by definition) so as long as you are making positive margins on each sale, you CAN make it up on volume, if your volume is high enough. For instance, if each widget costs $6 for you to make and you sell them for $8, you get $2 for each widget that doesn't go to parts and labor. That $2 can go toward your fixed expenses, and if your volume is high enough, each month you'll have more $2s than needed to pay that month's fixed expenses, and you're turning a profit. The bigger your fixed expenses or the smaller your margins the higher your volume needs to be.

If you're selling the $6-to-make widgets for $4, then you're in trouble. If your competition is selling them for $5, you need to find a way to make them more cheaply. If you can make them $4 to make and sell for $4.50 though, you're golden."

In your scenario, this is true. However, the problem is that engineering costs, laboratories, testing and prototypes are expensive and represent significant overhead. If you can avoid all that by copying your competitor's latest product, you will always be cheaper, if all other factors are equal.

"Nothing makes R&D costs magically special, either. Car companies have to build factories, and that's also massively expensive. They have to cover those expenses somehow, and they have to do it out of their margins -- there's no "factoryright" analogue of copyrights and patents whereby building a factory gets you some time-limited monopoly to incentivize factory-building and help with cost recovery from same; yet companies make do and build new factories all the time without "factoryright". They can do R&D without copyright and patent, too, and if those were repealed tomorrow, they would."

I look forward to your proof that companies will continue to spend billions on R&D and engineering without patents. Good luck with that.

They continue to spend billions on factories and retoolings without "factoryrights", don't they?"

Of course, but patents on the devices built on those factories give them the protection they need to be reimbursed. You will also note that factory technology is generally patented by the companies that developed that technology.

"As for your point about R&D costs, true, nothing magical about them. On the other hand, patents help gain higher margins that permit recovery of those costs.

And "factoryrights" would help gain higher margins that permit recovery of factory-building costs. So what? We don't have, or apparently need, "factoryrights", and we don't need patents. Or copyrights."

Non-sequitur. In fact, many of the devices used in factories are patented, so there is a kind of "factoryright," as you called it.

"I should also note that R&D isn't always that expensive. For instance, in the case of your favorite patent, I'm sure it didn't take anywhere near a million bucks (or even a hundred) to "research and develop" one-click web-site ordering."

I have no idea. Software patents are not my area of expertise.

Then why have you been defending one at every turn lately, and accusing everyone criticizing it of precisely the same sort of ignorance you have just admitted to yourself?

[Deleted Beeswax statements that fail to further or support any arguments.]

You have failed to show even one time where I have supported the one-click patent, though I have asked you over and over and over. I was merely asking questions. In response, you attacked like a rabid pig.

"I too doubt it took much time and cost to develop.

Well, there you go, then. If the sole reason for patents is to enable recouping of R&D costs, but the one-click "technology"'s R&D costs could have been recovered by simply buying 17" instead of 19" monitors for the developers or by digging in the CEO's sofa cushions for lost change or something, then there is no justification for the one-click patent."

*sigh* Why are you repeating this argument? I am neither for or against the one-click patent. I merely want to know the answers to some question.

"On the other hand, a new diesel engine design can take tens of millions and half a decade or more to develop.

And then we're back to the "factoryrights" argument. If we don't need "factoryrights" -- and we don't -- then why do you think we need patents?"

Because those who would rather not spend millions on developing a new engine would just copy the engine of their competitor at significantly lower cost.

However, since factories build patented inventions, there actually is a kind of factoryright.

"Your lunch today probably cost more than the R&D expenses behind the infamous one-click patent."

I doubt that. My lunch today cost around $3.

So did the R&D for the one-click patent."

lol...Your factual evidence for that?

"Just where do you think I eat, or can AFFORD to eat. I am not some high-priced toadie who can afford to have a two martini lunch. I leave that to power players like yourself.

WTF? I'm the computer programmer and you're the patent attorney. If anyone's making enough to have a "two-martini lunch" it is you."

Oh, please. I am not an attorney. I am a technical guy, like you, only in hardware. I used to be a programmer, though. Programmed in WATFOR, WATFIV, Fortran 77, Fortran 90, Fortran IV, FLECS, PL-1, Basic, Assembly, and machine language. I miss programming.

"They were working on the next generation air conditioner, but their inability to pay for the cost of the previous design killed them.

Perhaps they should have released more incremental improvements in between. Or reduced their manufacturing costs. Or ..."

As with many mechanical devices today, incremental improvements are more and more difficult. Mechanical devices are highly integrated devices where changing one subsystem requires changing another, which requires changing another, which requires changing another. To gain a real improvement you frequently have to design from the ground up. I believe, based on public releases, that diesel engines are taking 3 to 5 years to design.

"On the other hand, with patents they would have recouped their costs and been able to complete the next generation design.

While shutting everyone else out of the market and making it impossible for anyone but the very wealthy to have A/C. Yay."

Why would that be? The previous technology, copied to death, is readily available and cheap. You have your choice of the cheap, older technology, and the slightly more expensive newer technology. Everyone gets to choose what they want. Yeah!

""1. Lower prices. Get into a price war with their still-unnamed competitor. Live off thinner margins for a while."

Actually, they did that while laying off engineers and cutting back production stuff.

Idiots. They needed to make their manufacturing cheaper, lowering the marginal cost per unit, and raise sales volume, instead."

They tried, and had limited success, but in the end they were unable to cut as deep as the copier did.

[Deleted Beeswax statements that fail to further or support any arguments.]

"they were working on the next generation air conditioner.

Not quickly enough, it seems."

Three years seems like a reasonable time frame to develop a new air conditioner. Incremental improvements might be interesting, but they do not command much market share if costs are very far from what can be had. Fedders was just never going to make it there.

""3. Position themselves as a luxury brand, and their competitor as producing cheaply-manufactured knockoffs that will be noisier and less reliable. Segment the market and take the high end. Give up some volume, make it up by retaining fat margins or even raising the price some more." Unfortunately, the window air conditioner market is not well positioned for luxury users.

Then there was nobody already occupying the high end and Fedders was free to grab it. Figuring out how would have been a no-doubt-soluble problem for marketing."

As I pointed out before, the moment you move into a "luxury" range, people aim for central air units. Window air conditioners are just not seen as "luxury" items and no amount of wishful thinking will change that.

"Because of the ubiquitous nature of central air conditioning units, window air conditioners appeal to a relatively narrow range of the population and segmenting works much less well than elsewhere.

And you got your degree in marketing where?"

Webster University, Webster City, Missouri.

"They had already done as much as they could in the facility they had.

Then they needed to change facility. Or have had a different one to begin with."

Nice to say when you are no longer in a position to make those sorts of changes.

[Deleted Beeswax statements that fail to further or support any arguments.]

"Yes, I do understand these things.

Obviously not, if you continue to erroneously believe that the only solution was patents."

There is pretty much only one solution to protecting a product that requires multiple years to develop that can be reverse-engineered in a year.

"Or do you believe that? Maybe you're simply lying, paid to say patents are necessary no matter whether you actually think so or not."

No, I have read the objective studies that show the value of patents. Perhaps not as they are currently being practiced, but the laws are changing and restoring patents to the position they previously had.

""The Chinese company still has no capability to make a better product. Why not? Is R&D magically only possible on this side of the Great Wall?"

Of course not.

Well, there you go, then."

Of course, they have not developed the capability to perform that R&D, but they see themselves as copiers, not innovators.

"However, with the Chinese emphasis on patents I suspect that is changing.

Well, there you go, then. Patents will stifle innovation in China just as they've stifled it here. Bunch of communist idiots."

Seems like there is a ton of innovation in this country. If innovation is being "stifled" so much, then why is innovation so significant?

I saw several recent surveys showing that the U.S. has dropped to ninth in terms of innovation, and several people claimed that patents had done that. However, when you read the reason for the ranking, you quickly find that the biggest factors were national debt, public debt, the availability of investment income, and other factors. Patents were not mentioned even once.

"The engineers from Fedders I spoke with told me that they combined many new features in the new unit. It was more efficient, used some kind of smart-fan technology, was quiet, did something marvelous with condensation units, and some other stuff I no longer recall. I agree, the technology is "mature," but someone seeking to make a leap forward in technology might, with several years of research and some really creative thinking, come out with unexpected improvements.

And there might be a Santa Claus."

And where is your factual response here? By the way, there is no Easter Bunny either.

"Yes, they made a number of mistakes. The first one was that they neglected to protect significant design improvements with patents.

No. That was not among their mistakes."

And your evidence for that? It is fairly evident that Fedders was killed because their technology was easier to copy than develop.

Have YOU learned nothing from our exchange?

"The second was underestimating how quickly their product could be reverse engineered by a Chinese company.

I'm fascinated, by the way, that a Chinese company that you claim has no laboratories or engineers is apparently capable of quickly reverse engineering a novel design. How, exactly, did they do that, Lonnie? Or are you lying again, about one thing or another?"

lol...I did not say they have NO engineers. However, they do not need mechanical engineers or electrical engineers to reverse engineer a manufactured design. A group of manufacturing engineers and, if necessary, a consultant, could easily reverse engineer a design.

As for laboratories, it is quite true that Chinese product have a higher failure rate than the products they are copied from. As the Chinese are getting hit by warranty costs they will learn that they actually need to know something about the products they copy.

[Deleted Beeswax statements that fail to further or support any arguments.]

"Fedders developed the new technology. They lost control of the technology to a Chinese company.

They were never entitled to the sort of "control" you seem to think they should have had."

Really? I thought patents gave that kind of control. Am I missing something?

"Patents would have at least allowed them the opportunity to get their investment back.

Don't be ridiculous, Lonnie. With a hypothetical patent, Fedders could have priced their units high enough to pay those R&D costs faster, but who would have bought them? Past a certain point the added amount on the price tag would have outweighed the savings in electricity from whatever efficiency improvements there were and consumers would have not switched from the older units. The price elasticity isn't there; above a certain point volume would drop fast enough that they'd make less money the more they jacked the price up. I doubt they could have gone much higher than whatever they were selling at anyway. Whether with cheap, efficient units (no patent) or even cheaper, less efficient units (with a patent in the picture), some other company was going to undercut them.

Did you miss the point where I said Fedder's product was a huge success in the market place? They regained lost market share and sold units far exceeding what they thought they would. Obviously their pricing was well in line with what people would pay, given the new technology they incorporated.

[Deleted Beeswax statements that fail to further or support any arguments. Beeswax makes yet another pejorative statement in lieu of facts; he tends to do that BECAUSE HE ONLY HAS FANTASY. Beeswax is a legend in his own mind, and a liar, and moron, and he is terminally STUPID.]

I deleted your lengthy scenario. You obviously chose numbers to "prove" your point rather than finding actual data from real companies.

"Now, let us talk about incentive. There is a company called Fedders, which produces air conditioners. In the later 1990's they were losing market share in the window air conditioner market to China...

So which was it? They were in a leading position in the market, or they were losing market share? Make up your mind!"

Oh, my. Surely your are not that stupid?

Company A has 80% of a market. All other companies have 20% of a market. Company A is in a leading position.

Company A loses 5% market share per year. After 4 years, Company A has 60% of the market.

Company A is still in a leading position in the market, and they were losing market share.

"My suspicions grow that you're basically making the whole thing up. Oh, maybe there's a real company named Fedders in roughly this line of work, but much of the detail in your story is probably bogus, given that it seems to change from one post of yours to the next."

No, my story has never changed. There is only one story, and there is only one Fedders.

http://www.fedders.com

http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/2008/02/fedders_pay_packages_draw_ire.html

"Unfortunately, you could say they were victims of their own success. The new units were extremely desirable. Just as unfortunately, the Chinese company could produce them as well as they could, so all the new design did is, in the hand of their Chinese competitor, help lost market share even faster.

Because they responded incorrectly to what happened. Above is a scenario detailing the correct response. Note that A only gets into trouble if B lowers their price below A's marginal cost per widget; even if they have lower monthly overhead but the same (or higher) marginal cost A can stay afloat. If they lower their price further, then A needs to segment the market or lower their manufacturing costs.

So if the Chinese company merely had lower overhead, Fedders could have merely lowered their price. If they had lower manufacturing costs or were selling at a loss, Fedders needed to both lower their price and lower their manufacturing costs. According to you, the latter was the case but Fedders only lowered their price, not their manuacturing costs. Oops."

Even if manufacturing costs were identical, Fedders would never have been able to keep up with a Chinese company that had R&D capability.

"Several companies are making units, but they all seem satisfied to compete on price rather than technology.

See above: perhaps this is simply a market where price trumps "technology". If so, all the patents in the world wouldn't have made a difference, as described above."

Yet, the Fedders unit in the 1990's did great with new technology. Fantastically great. So great that the Chinese noticed that no patents protected the design. They copied the unit, put it on the market the following year, and with a few dollars in price difference took the market. Game, set and match.

"This may be why Fedders screwed up -- until a competitor was not only nipping at their heels but surpassing them, they rested on their laurels, and when one did, they panicked."

Actually, you may have a point here. They were steadily losing market share and forsaw losing a leadership position. Their reaction - spending several years to develop a step function improvement in window units - was probably a good move. However, they should also have taken some other steps. Patents would have been a good step.

No, lowering their manufacturing expenses would have been a good step."

Which they tried. It is well documented on the internet. They even tried moving manufacturing to Asia, but too little, too late. Fedders is in chapter 11 bankruptcy; a long road that began when they failed to protect their technology.

"You could argue that they were too focused on step function improvements rather than "incremental" improvements, but the step function improvements garnered, though only temporarily, increased market share. Of course, step function improvements take a lot longer than "incremental" improvements.

That's why you need both. Imagine a car manufacturer with one model, released in 1965, that uses leaded gasoline; that's what they sell until 1978, and then they start selling a model that uses unleaded; and they add an aerodynamic model in 1990 and a hybrid in 2005."

Those changes are not incremental, they are expensive and significant. Each required hundreds of millions in development. Toyota's hundreds of millions of investment in hybrids is well documented.

"Real, competitive car companies don't do this; they have multiple new models every year with various mostly-superficial differences from the previous year's and only occasional major new improvements under the hood."

Actually, real, competitive car companies do not have multiple new models every year. In fact, most car companies rarely change models. They do change design, about every 3 - 5 years.

"Fedders might have done well to emulate real car companies rather than that fictitous, one-model-every-few-decades one."

Fedders was on a three-year cycle, as I pointed out, not decades as you threw in. Incidentally, car companies are also on three year cycles, in case you had failed to notice.

"Yes, it was March 21. That was the first time anyone called anyone a liar, and that person was YOU.

It may have been the first time in this exchange that anyone explicitly used the exact word, "liar", but it was not the first time someone suggested or stated that someone else had lied. You had already, at least once, claimed, or strongly implied, that I had lied. Falsely claimed or implied, for I had of course done no such thing."

No, you inferred from my statements. I did not imply. You falsely claimed, as you usually do, that I said you lied. I do not generally call people liars. In general, there are no lies, only superior facts. Of course, you facts are non-existent, so they cannot be superior or inferior, they just are not.

[Deleted Beeswax statements that fail to further or support any arguments.]

"Awwww...I feel the love. You realize the irony is that the harder you try to destroy the system, the stronger it gets.

Keep telling yourself that, if it helps you sleep better at night. But when one day the system collapses, you're out of a job, and you had not positioned yourself to jump to another one when the world finally decided it had no further use for patent attorneys, don't say I didn't warn you."

I am an engineer, thank you, not a patent attorney. I do not wish to be a patent attorney. I believe I will have no problems staying gainfully employed as an engineer, unless we eliminate patents and China copies everything we develop. You can pretty much write off the U.S. after that.

While you are sitting here spouting nonsense, the Chinese are filing 700 or 800 thousand patent application a year in China. When the world's biggest country has a patent system with more applications than all the other countries of the world put together, that is a problem. Yet, you seem to be claiming that the system if falling apart. The system in the U.S. is moderating, but it remains stronger than it was 20 years ago. It will take a fair amount of moderating for it to weaken.

Alonniemouse failed to make his appointment with the lavatory, and deposited this here instead:

Beeswax [vicious insult deleted]. [insult deleted].

NO! You're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"You claimed that my summary was a lie. That means you called me a liar, liar."

I told you that [vicious insults deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

I do not fail. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"Of course you did, if not in so many words. But you strongly implied that they had lower manufacturing costs than Fedders at several points in your last 2 diatribes here."

[vicious insult deleted]

No, you're the stupid one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

The Chinese company did have lower costs to copy the window unit than to develop the unit in the first place.

Fixed costs are irrelevant to a discussion about who had the lower marginal costs.

The Chinese company also had lower labor costs.

So you admit that they had lower manufacturing costs. Your argument hangs by a thread; it falls unless you can successfully argue that Fedders was somehow, as if by magic, incapable of lowering its own manufacturing costs to match.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"if you can hire cheaper labor and don't, that's inefficient (from a business perspective). You're paying more to manufacture each unit than you really need to. How can you possibly claim that that isn't a manufacturing inefficiency?"

Because labor is not the only factor in cost, [implied insult deleted]

I never claimed that it was. The point is that there was nothing contributing to the Chinese company's hypothetically lower marginal cost per unit that Fedders could not duplicate.

"Overhead is irrelevant. Marginal cost is what matters when companies get into a price war, and when it comes to amortizing capital or R&D costs or whatnot, well, whatever margins they can make will simply have to do."

Where did you learn cost accounting? Costs for any company include fixed costs (overhead) and variable costs.

I did not claim otherwise.

Where did you learn economics? Marginal cost is what determines the price point at which a manufacturing company can't remain profitable. If they sell for even a few pennies higher than marginal cost, in volume, they will generally make enough on each sale to cover their nonmarginal costs and then line their pockets.

"This is the unassailable calculus of price wars. What fixed costs still need amortizing, etc. etc. etc., is simply not relevant to the above. If you do the wrong thing, you're screwed; if the other company is bigger, you're probably screwed."

I see you are focused on different numbers and a different way of accounting. Let us take a simple example.

Each company makes 1,000 units of product. Company A can make each unit for $10. Company B can make each unit for $8.

In addition to the costs of production, Company A has sales and administrative costs of $10,000. They have engineering costs of $50,000.

Company B also has sales and administrative costs of $10,000, but because they rely on copying the products of others, they have engineering costs of $10,000.

In order for Company A to break even, they have to sell each unit at $16. This is derived by dividing overhead costs of $60,000 by 1,000 units.

Here's where Lonnie proves he flunked grade-school arithmetic.

In order for Company B to break even, they have to sell each unit at $10.00. Company B, which does no new product development, can make a profit at a level much less then Company A.

Ignoring the copious math errors Lonnie made, this argument falls apart when one considers that in the real world the volumes wouldn't be 1000 units but millions, and the amortization of the fixed costs would disappear down into the nth decimal place. Differences in the fixed costs might barely affect the price by a penny or two, while differences in the marginal costs will still have full effect, e.g. a buck less marginal cost per item lets the price be dropped by a full dollar. That full dollar can then cover a LOT of increased fixed costs relative to the competitor.

So first let's fix the math in the above: the overhead per item is $60 for A and $20 for B, not $6 and $2. Now let's plug in a more realistic volume for a low-margin, high-saturation manufactured good, say, 1,000,000. Those numbers become $0.06 and $0.02. Now the price points that are sustainable are: A $10.06 B $8.02. Not such a big difference now, and nearly all of it attributable to B's more efficient manufacturing. Now suppose A copies that; it becomes A $8.06, B $8.02. Wow. Consumers will be flocking to B over A to save less than a nickel. Now suppose A makes a further process improvement or whatever and cuts its marginal costs to $7.50 per item. Now it's A $7.56, B $8.02 and A clearly wins on price despite larger overhead. That extra $40,000 on engineering staff shaving $2.50 off the marginal price per item more than pays for itself!

And if it does not do so, then the market is clearly signaling that that extra $40,000 is being wasted and really is better off allocated elsewhere.

So Lonnie is really second-guessing the market here. The last person to do that on a large scale was Khrushchev, and we saw just how well that worked out when the Berlin Wall fell.

Lonnie, a word of advice: if you're going to try conning people, in this political climate you'll have a lot more luck trying to sell people bridges than trying to sell them five year plans, OK?

Company A will do quite fine as long as it is allowed to be the technology leader

So you're arguing that A should have a government granted title to remain the technology leader because it spends more on engineering? Then perhaps the government should be issuing patents based on size of engineering staff. But that's not how the patent system actually works. NTP's engineering staff is smaller than RIM's by a factor of about infinity, yet NTP got some ridiculous broad, vague patent and used it to take RIM to the cleaners to the tune of over half a billion dollars.

The patent system does not incentivize having an engineering staff and advancing the state of the art; as NTP v. RIM showed, it incentivizes having a staff of lawyers (to write and file patents) and no products of your own (so there's no chance you infringe any patents yourself).

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"If you're selling the $6-to-make widgets for $4, then you're in trouble. If your competition is selling them for $5, you need to find a way to make them more cheaply. If you can make them $4 to make and sell for $4.50 though, you're golden."

In your scenario, this is true.

Well, there you go, then.

If you can avoid all that by copying your competitor's latest product, you will always be cheaper, if all other factors are equal.

IF all other factors are equal. The point is that with engineering staff you ought to be able to stay ahead of competitors in process (reducing marginal costs), in product (sustaining market share), or both. If you still manage to do neither, so their product is as good as yours and their marginal costs as low as yours, then that engineering staff is failing. You have failed and the market will react accordingly. Your precious patent system (which you'd been denouncing an hour ago! but here you are trying to defend it again) keeps losers in the marketplace an artificially long time. We don't need, or benefit from, this market distortion.

They continue to spend billions on factories and retoolings without "factoryrights", don't they?"

Of course

Well, there you go, then.

but patents on the devices built on those factories give them the protection they need to be reimbursed.

No; else companies without patents would not be able to afford to build factories, yet the manufacturing capital of the world these days is China, with notoriously weak patent protections. In fact, there's an inverse correlation across nations and through historical time between patent strength and manufacturing strength! This disproves any claim that patents help defray the costs of factories and strongly hints that patents inhibit manufacturing.

Now China is, stupidly, shooting itself in the foot by strengthening its patent system. The inevitable result will be for the center of world manufacturing to shift elsewhere again, perhaps to India which also has a large labor pool and still has weak "IP". (Currently it's being lambasted by pharma companies for having weak patents.)

And "factoryrights" would help gain higher margins that permit recovery of factory-building costs. So what? We don't have, or apparently need, "factoryrights", and we don't need patents. Or copyrights."

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"Then why have you been defending [a software patent] at every turn lately, and accusing everyone criticizing it of precisely the same sort of ignorance you have just admitted to yourself?"

[insult deleted]

I do not fail. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

I was merely asking questions.

You criticized everyone who criticized the one-click patent. That's the action of a vicious guard dog: trained and conditioned to defend its master (in this case, the one-click patent) but not very bright.

In response, you [insult deleted]

No! None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"Well, there you go, then. If the sole reason for patents is to enable recouping of R&D costs, but the one-click "technology"'s R&D costs could have been recovered by simply buying 17" instead of 19" monitors for the developers or by digging in the CEO's sofa cushions for lost change or something, then there is no justification for the one-click patent."

*sigh* Why are you repeating this argument?

Because you still don't get it and I will keep trying to drill it into your head until either you do, or you give up and shut up on the topic.

I am neither for or against the one-click patent.

Your actions say otherwise.

I merely want to know the answers to some question.

OH RLY? Then why don't you listen to the answers to those questions? Instead, you plug your ears, verbally assault the guy who answered them, and then repeat the questions ad infinitum.

Oh, I know why: because you don't like the answers.

Well, tough. You might as well rail against fate for gravity's acceleration at earth's surface being 9.81m/s^2. In fact that would be more productive than asking people what the number was, and anytime they answered 9.81m/s^2, flaming them and then asking the same person again.

Saner, too.

"And then we're back to the "factoryrights" argument. If we don't need "factoryrights" -- and we don't -- then why do you think we need patents?"

Because those who would rather not spend millions on developing a new engine would just copy the engine of their competitor at significantly lower cost.

So? If someone wants to copy, let them copy. If they want to advance the state of the art (say, so as to increase their market share) let them advance the state of the art.

However, since factories build patented inventions, there actually is a kind of factoryright.

Only in Lonnie's Fantasy World. Lots of companies have factories that use no patented processes and manufacture no patented goods; e.g. manufacturers of items whose technology and manufacturing methods have been more or less perfected. Furniture companies, for example. According to Lonnie, these companies are magically able to pay for building factories because of patents, even though they don't use patents? WTF?

"So did the R&D for the one-click patent."

lol...Your factual evidence for that?

My own estimation: if someone had asked me how to streamline web site ordering back then, I'd have taken about two seconds to come up with the answer of combining persistent client-side cookies with a server-side customer d-base and there you have it, the one-click process "invented" with an amount of time that even in my case costs less than a buck.

If Amazon's costs in "inventing" one-click ordering were any higher, they got ripped off by someone.

"WTF? I'm the computer programmer and you're the patent attorney. If anyone's making enough to have a "two-martini lunch" it is you."

Oh, please. [calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

I used to be a programmer, though. Programmed in WATFOR, WATFIV, Fortran 77, Fortran 90, Fortran IV, FLECS, PL-1, Basic, Assembly, and machine language. I miss programming.

Traitor. You should not be defending any software patent if this is true. (I note how obsolete that language list is. No Clojure, Smalltalk, or Java. Not even C++, Scheme, or Common Lisp. Not even C or Pascal!)

"They were working on the next generation air conditioner, but their inability to pay for the cost of the previous design killed them.

Perhaps they should have released more incremental improvements in between. Or reduced their manufacturing costs. Or ..."

As with many mechanical devices today, incremental improvements are more and more difficult.

Excuses, excuses. The marketplace doesn't accept excuses, as Fedders discovered. And only entitlement-minded, pro-patent whiners like you think it should be otherwise.

Mechanical devices are highly integrated devices where changing one subsystem requires changing another, which requires changing another, which requires changing another.

I'd argue that someone who claims experience in computer programming should be aware of the concept of "modularity", but that list of languages you named pretty much predates widespread support for modularity in programming environments, so it looks like you left the scene early enough that you really might have a valid excuse for your ignorance. This time. :P

"While shutting everyone else out of the market and making it impossible for anyone but the very wealthy to have A/C. Yay."

Why would that be?

That's the effect that patents have, via monopoly pricing. Duh.

"Idiots. They needed to make their manufacturing cheaper, lowering the marginal cost per unit, and raise sales volume, instead."

They tried, and had limited success, but in the end they were unable to cut as deep as the copier did.

Then they failed and the market dealt with them accordingly, while the copier succeeded. C'est la vie.

Their inability (or was it unwillingness) to "cut as deep" to reduce marginal costs obviously has nothing to do with their fixed costs, though.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"Not quickly enough, it seems."

Three years seems like a reasonable time frame to develop a new air conditioner. Incremental improvements might be interesting, but they do not command much market share

They don't need to -- just preserve it against the competitors' encroachment.

"Then there was nobody already occupying the high end and Fedders was free to grab it. Figuring out how would have been a no-doubt-soluble problem for marketing."

As I pointed out before, the moment you move into a "luxury" range, people aim for central air units. Window air conditioners are just not seen as "luxury" items and no amount of wishful thinking will change that.

A competent marketing department, of course, would use methods other than "wishful thinking". Most likely they would use the one known as "advertising" with its proven ability to influence what consumers consider "luxury" items.

"And you got your degree in marketing where?"

[bogus response deleted]

Yeah, and I'm the Pope.

"Then they needed to change facility. Or have had a different one to begin with."

Nice to say when you are no longer in a position to make those sorts of changes.

I'm just the messenger. How to deal with this was their problem, and they failed to solve it adequately. Patents have nothing to do with it, much as they have nothing to do with the vast majority of business failures. (And those they do have anything to do with, they tend to have caused.)

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"Obviously not, if you continue to erroneously believe that the only solution was patents."

There is pretty much only one solution to protecting a product that requires multiple years to develop that can be reverse-engineered in a year.

But there are solutions to maintaining market share and profitability other than "protecting" a product. Just ask Dasani. They manage to charge $$$ for something most people can get for free. How? Market segmentation, in their case, plus convenience (you can get Dasani while out on the town), bundling (a free, reusable bottle with every purchase!), and other things. Without having to stifle their free competition.

They're a success story. Fedders isn't, and if it had resorted to stifling competition, it still wouldn't have been.

"Or do you believe that? Maybe you're simply lying, paid to say patents are necessary no matter whether you actually think so or not."

No, I have read the objective studies that show the value of patents.

Which was what? Minus a trillion dollars? The studies did show that patents are a drag rather than a benefit. It's been reported here repeatedly.

Perhaps not as they are currently being practiced, but the laws are changing and restoring patents to the position they previously had.

Bullshit. Patents need abolishing, not reform.

"Well, there you go, then."

Of course, they have not developed the capability to perform that R&D

Why would they? Apparently they have no competition right now, so no incentive to improve their product.

"Well, there you go, then. Patents will stifle innovation in China just as they've stifled it here. Bunch of communist idiots."

Seems like there is a ton of innovation in this country. If innovation is being "stifled" so much, then why is innovation so significant?

It would be much higher without patents.

I saw several recent surveys showing that the U.S. has dropped to ninth in terms of innovation, and several people claimed that patents had done that. However, when you read the reason for the ranking, you quickly find that the biggest factors were national debt, public debt, the availability of investment income, and other factors. Patents were not mentioned even once.

The reason according to who? Most likely it's a bunch of these factors, including patents and the number Bush did on the economy.

"And there might be a Santa Claus."

And where is your factual response here?

Sorry, all I have in response to that sort of nonsensical wishful thinking is sarcasm. If you want a factual response you shall have to make actual reasoned arguments instead of just blue-sky speculation of a thermodynamically-implausible nature.

"No. That was not among their mistakes."

And your evidence for that?

This enormous webpage is now composed as follows: roughly 33% of it is my evidence for that, to go with the 33% consisting of your ad homs and other nonsense and the 33% that's quoted text.

"It is fairly evident that Fedders was killed because their technology was easier to copy than develop."

Evident to a madman like yourself, perhaps. You still haven't come anywhere near proving this contention.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"I'm fascinated, by the way, that a Chinese company that you claim has no laboratories or engineers is apparently capable of quickly reverse engineering a novel design. How, exactly, did they do that, Lonnie? Or are you lying again, about one thing or another?"

lol...I did not say they have NO engineers."

Backpedaling time. All my opponents in debates seem to do that eventually.

However, they do not need mechanical engineers or electrical engineers to reverse engineer a manufactured design. A group of manufacturing engineers and, if necessary, a consultant, could easily reverse engineer a design.

Nonsense, at least if the intent is to be able to actually manufacture duplicates rather than just understand how it works.

As for laboratories, it is quite true that Chinese product have a higher failure rate than the products they are copied from. As the Chinese are getting hit by warranty costs they will learn that they actually need to know something about the products they copy.

So, there is a benefit to having engineers and R&D even if you don't have patents?

I declare victory. End of thread.

[insult deleted]

I do not fail. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"They were never entitled to the sort of "control" you seem to think they should have had."

Really?

Really.

I thought patents gave that kind of control. Am I missing something?

The fact that patents are an unethical mercantile privilege rather than a right.

"Don't be ridiculous, Lonnie. With a hypothetical patent, Fedders could have priced their units high enough to pay those R&D costs faster, but who would have bought them? Past a certain point the added amount on the price tag would have outweighed the savings in electricity from whatever efficiency improvements there were and consumers would have not switched from the older units. The price elasticity isn't there; above a certain point volume would drop fast enough that they'd make less money the more they jacked the price up. I doubt they could have gone much higher than whatever they were selling at anyway. Whether with cheap, efficient units (no patent) or even cheaper, less efficient units (with a patent in the picture), some other company was going to undercut them."

Did you miss the point where I said Fedder's product was a huge success in the market place?

That was with a non-patent-inflated price. In the hypothetical world where they got a patent, they'd have jacked up the price, using the monopoly rents enabled by the patent to pay those R&D costs you were moaning they couldn't pay without the hypothetical patent.

[calls me a liar, among other things]

No, you're the liar, and the idiot, and the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

I deleted your lengthy scenario.

Your loss. But I will remind you (and the audience) that you said this the next time you ask whinily for evidence or falsely claim that I don't answer questions or furnish evidence.

"So which was it? They were in a leading position in the market, or they were losing market share? Make up your mind!"

Oh, my. [vicious insult deleted]

No, you're the stupid one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"My suspicions grow that you're basically making the whole thing up. Oh, maybe there's a real company named Fedders in roughly this line of work, but much of the detail in your story is probably bogus, given that it seems to change from one post of yours to the next."

[calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"If the Chinese company merely had lower overhead, Fedders could have merely lowered their price. If they had lower manufacturing costs or were selling at a loss, Fedders needed to both lower their price and lower their manufacturing costs. According to you, the latter was the case but Fedders only lowered their price, not their manuacturing costs. Oops."

Even if manufacturing costs were identical, Fedders would never have been able to keep up with a Chinese company that had R&D capability.

So? You seemed to think Fedders was entitled to win because it had R&D capability. In the hypothetical world where their competitor had the same capability, you ought logically not favor either anymore. You seem worried that without patents R&D-capable companies will consistently lose to non-R&D-capable competitors, but in that case a hypothetical scenario where one R&D-capable company loses to another R&D-capable company is a nonissue.

"See above: perhaps this is simply a market where price trumps "technology". If so, all the patents in the world wouldn't have made a difference, as described above."

Yet

Yet nothing. If this is simply a market where price trumps "technology", all the patents in the world wouldn't have made a difference.

"This may be why Fedders screwed up -- until a competitor was not only nipping at their heels but surpassing them, they rested on their laurels, and when one did, they panicked."

Actually, you may have a point here.

Well, there you go, then.

"No, lowering their manufacturing expenses would have been a good step."

Which they tried.

Not my fault if they screwed up. Obviously it was possible to manufacture the things cheaper -- someone was doing so. If Fedders tried to do likewise but did not succeed, then they did not deserve to retain a market-leading position, all your protestations to the contrary, and had they done as you suggested and artificially held onto such a position using a patent, that would have been cheating; it would have distorted the market in a way that rewarded an inefficient manufacturer and punished an efficient one. That would not have been a good thing, especially in this era of global warming concerns.

They even tried moving manufacturing to Asia, but too little, too late.

Note the epitaph on the Fedders tombstone: "Too litte, too late" rather than "didn't get a patent".

"That's why you need both. Imagine a car manufacturer with one model, released in 1965, that uses leaded gasoline; that's what they sell until 1978, and then they start selling a model that uses unleaded; and they add an aerodynamic model in 1990 and a hybrid in 2005."

Those changes are not incremental, they are expensive and significant. Each required hundreds of millions in development. Toyota's hundreds of millions of investment in hybrids is well documented.

Exactly. I was describing a hypothetical "Fedders of car manufacturing" that makes and markets new models only when they have non-incremental changes.

"Real, competitive car companies don't do this; they have multiple new models every year with various mostly-superficial differences from the previous year's and only occasional major new improvements under the hood."

Actually, [calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Every car company advertises new models yearly. New models, plural. Ford alone has a 2010 Taurus, a 2010 Focus, and a 2010 Ranger, and they will undoubtedly have a 2011 Taurus, a 2011 Focus, and a 2011 Ranger that differ slightly from the corresponding 2010 models. Ford no doubt has more than just Tauruses, Focuses, and Rangers too. And something similar will be going on with GM, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Saturn, Kia, Mercedes, BMW, and on and on and on.

This is well-known among the car-buying public. That you would accuse me of lying for simply stating some general and indisputable knowledge about the automobile market is frankly incredible. You really must realize you're on the verge of defeat to be that desperate.

"Fedders might have done well to emulate real car companies rather than that fictitous, one-model-every-few-decades one."

Fedders was on a three-year cycle, as I pointed out, not decades as you threw in.

My "decades" was in reference to car companies. The point was that Fedders did not have incremental improvements between major design revisions, unlike car companies. The exact cycle length for the major revisions is irrelevant.

Incidentally, car companies are also on three year cycles, in case you had failed to notice.

No, they are on one year cycles for incremental tweaks and take longer than three years, typically, between major technological breakthroughs.

"It may have been the first time in this exchange that anyone explicitly used the exact word, "liar", but it was not the first time someone suggested or stated that someone else had lied. You had already, at least once, claimed, or strongly implied, that I had lied. Falsely claimed or implied, for I had of course done no such thing."

[calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

In general, there are no lies, only superior facts.

Spoken like a true lunatic.

Of course, you [insult deleted]

Of course not. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

I do not fail. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"Keep telling yourself that, if it helps you sleep better at night. But when one day the system collapses, you're out of a job, and you had not positioned yourself to jump to another one when the world finally decided it had no further use for patent attorneys, don't say I didn't warn you."

[calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

unless we eliminate patents and China copies everything we develop. You can pretty much write off the U.S. after that.

I don't think so. Rather the reverse: China will eat the US in the marketplace if it has cheaper, generic everything and the only things you can buy in the US, due to patents, are either trés expensive or obsolete.

Oh, the US will use trade injunctions to bar the import of the Chinese generics? Big deal, when the US domestic market won't be the bulk of the market for this stuff in another ten years -- the Chinese domestic market will be.

Protectionism does not work, except maybe in the very short term. It is a repeated lesson of history. Repeated because schmucks like you refuse to learn from it.

While you are sitting here spouting nonsense, the Chinese are filing 700 or 800 thousand patent application a year in China.

How sad. It looks like China's going to sink its budding new economy under the dual burden of continued pseudo-communist government disruption and patents. And here it had looked like they had a shot at being the next superpower. I guess between the poor management in both the US and China it's going to wind up being India instead, or perhaps even Brazil.

When the world's biggest country has a patent system with more applications than all the other countries of the world put together, that is a problem.

Yeah, I'd say a government that drinks the Kool-Aid on behalf of a population of 1.2 billion is a problem, alright. Time to overthrow that government.

Yet, you seem to be claiming that the system if falling apart. The system in the U.S. is moderating, but it remains stronger than it was 20 years ago. It will take a fair amount of moderating for it to weaken.

You're measuring its strength solely by the state of the law, and ignoring the state of the politics. That's like measuring the mechanical strength of a stone wall without bothering to note the erosion of the soil beneath the foundation, undermining the entire structure.

Maybe the thing will still be in one piece after it falls off the cliff and sinks to the bottom of the sea, instead of in fragments; maybe the patent system will stay rigidly "strong" right up until it's abolished (or rendered rapidly irrelevant by nanotechnology and subsequent Napsterization) instead of being phased out. Unfortunately, that would actually result in a worse disruption of business.

Beeswax had stomach cramps and was unable to make it to the toilet and dropped a load here instead...

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"The Chinese company also had lower labor costs.

So you admit that they had lower manufacturing costs. Your argument hangs by a thread; it falls unless you can successfully argue that Fedders was somehow, as if by magic, incapable of lowering its own manufacturing costs to match."

Not true. Fedders MIGHT have been able to lower their manufacturing costs, but as long as their fixed costs were substantially higher than their Chinese competitor, Fedders was never going to reduce their selling price to be below their Chinese competitor.

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"I never claimed that it was. The point is that there was nothing contributing to the Chinese company's hypothetically lower marginal cost per unit that Fedders could not duplicate."

If you have an engineering department, test labs, and other costs relating to development of new products, and you plan to continue doing that kind of work, then no matter what Fedders did they were never going to be able to lower their total cost of doing business to a level lower than their Chinese competitor.

"Where did you learn economics? Marginal cost is what determines the price point at which a manufacturing company can't remain profitable. If they sell for even a few pennies higher than marginal cost, in volume, they will generally make enough on each sale to cover their nonmarginal costs and then line their pockets."

Then you must be including fixed costs in the marginal costs. If true, then there was no way that Fedders would be able to lower their marginal cost to a company that had virtually no engineering capability and no development capability.

"Ignoring the copious math errors Lonnie made, this argument falls apart when one considers that in the real world the volumes wouldn't be 1000 units but millions, and the amortization of the fixed costs would disappear down into the nth decimal place. Differences in the fixed costs might barely affect the price by a penny or two, while differences in the marginal costs will still have full effect, e.g. a buck less marginal cost per item lets the price be dropped by a full dollar. That full dollar can then cover a LOT of increased fixed costs relative to the competitor."

Oh great master, you will have to enlighten me about my math errors, though I double checked my work.

I also note that you did not point out your factual information as to the volumes Fedders had nor did you point out the percentage of their cost that was attributable to fixed costs. In other words, you are arguing with vaporware, again.

Oh, and if you think fixed costs cause price differences in pennies, then you have obviously not watched the news much in the last two years. There are numerous studies that show that the difference in fixed costs between GM and Toyota is somewhere in the neighborhood of $2500. If you call that pennies, I call you deluded.

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"So you're arguing that A should have a government granted title to remain the technology leader because it spends more on engineering? Then perhaps the government should be issuing patents based on size of engineering staff. But that's not how the patent system actually works. NTP's engineering staff is smaller than RIM's by a factor of about infinity, yet NTP got some ridiculous broad, vague patent and used it to take RIM to the cleaners to the tune of over half a billion dollars."

Showing that RIM was obviously not very bright considering that within days after RIM caved to extortion that the USPTO invalidated all of NTP's patents.

"The patent system does not incentivize having an engineering staff and advancing the state of the art; as NTP v. RIM showed, it incentivizes having a staff of lawyers (to write and file patents) and no products of your own (so there's no chance you infringe any patents yourself)."

You do not need patents to extort people. RIM was foolish and they paid for their foolishness. The NTP patents were worth nothing, as the USPTO proved.

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"If you can avoid all that by copying your competitor's latest product, you will always be cheaper, if all other factors are equal.

IF all other factors are equal. The point is that with engineering staff you ought to be able to stay ahead of competitors in process (reducing marginal costs), in product (sustaining market share), or both. If you still manage to do neither, so their product is as good as yours and their marginal costs as low as yours, then that engineering staff is failing. You have failed and the market will react accordingly. Your precious patent system (which you'd been denouncing an hour ago! but here you are trying to defend it again) keeps losers in the marketplace an artificially long time. We don't need, or benefit from, this market distortion."

You know that is not true. Complex products take years to develop, and months to copy. A copier will always be in a better position than a developer no matter how good the developer is.

And I have never "denounced" the patent system. You are lying, again.

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"but patents on the devices built on those factories give them the protection they need to be reimbursed.

No; else companies without patents would not be able to afford to build factories, yet the manufacturing capital of the world these days is China, with notoriously weak patent protections."

Actually, China's domestic patents are equal to those in the U.S. If you infringe patents in China, it is a criminal offense. Tsk, tsk. Off to prison you go. Their system may have had weak protection, but that has changed.

"In fact, there's an inverse correlation across nations and through historical time between patent strength and manufacturing strength! This disproves any claim that patents help defray the costs of factories and strongly hints that patents inhibit manufacturing."

I would love to see the study that shows this relationship.

"Now China is, stupidly, shooting itself in the foot by strengthening its patent system. The inevitable result will be for the center of world manufacturing to shift elsewhere again, perhaps to India which also has a large labor pool and still has weak "IP". (Currently it's being lambasted by pharma companies for having weak patents.)"

Well, we will have to see, won't we?

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"You criticized everyone who criticized the one-click patent. That's the action of a vicious guard dog: trained and conditioned to defend its master (in this case, the one-click patent) but not very bright."

No, I merely asked questions. I may have criticized people who avoided answering my questions, but that is not the same as criticizing people who criticized the one-click patent. I always try to seek fact over rhetoric, and so far all you seem to have is rhetoric.

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"I am neither for or against the one-click patent.

Your actions say otherwise."

Still waiting for you to show mere where those supposed actions are. Your previous link went to a page of comments. I actually scrolled through and found not one single case were I was FOR the one-click patent.

"I merely want to know the answers to some question.

OH RLY? Then why don't you listen to the answers to those questions? Instead, fyou plug your ears, verbally assault the guy who answered them, and then repeat the questions ad infinitum."

Because I have not seen any answers, only irrelevant non sequiturs.

"Oh, I know why: because you don't like the answers."

You have to have an answer to either like or dislike...

"Well, tough. You might as well rail against fate for gravity's acceleration at earth's surface being 9.81m/s^2. In fact that would be more productive than asking people what the number was, and anytime they answered 9.81m/s^2, flaming them and then asking the same person again. "

Oh my goodness. You have presented an actual fact. I think this was your first. You could have many more. I wish you every success.

""And then we're back to the "factoryrights" argument. If we don't need "factoryrights" -- and we don't -- then why do you think we need patents?"

Because those who would rather not spend millions on developing a new engine would just copy the engine of their competitor at significantly lower cost.

So? If someone wants to copy, let them copy. If they want to advance the state of the art (say, so as to increase their market share) let them advance the state of the art."

Because the developers would not be able to stay in business.

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"I used to be a programmer, though. Programmed in WATFOR, WATFIV, Fortran 77, Fortran 90, Fortran IV, FLECS, PL-1, Basic, Assembly, and machine language. I miss programming.

Traitor. You should not be defending any software patent if this is true. (I note how obsolete that language list is. No Clojure, Smalltalk, or Java. Not even C++, Scheme, or Common Lisp. Not even C or Pascal!)"

(a) I am not defending any software patent and you have yet to show that I have.

(b) Hey, I am old. I have not programmed in a long time. I became a hardware guy.

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"Mechanical devices are highly integrated devices where changing one subsystem requires changing another, which requires changing another, which requires changing another.

I'd argue that someone who claims experience in computer programming should be aware of the concept of "modularity", but that list of languages you named pretty much predates widespread support for modularity in programming environments, so it looks like you left the scene early enough that you really might have a valid excuse for your ignorance. This time. :P"

Modularity does not work well for complex, interrelated systems. If you change one module, then you may well have to change all of them. That is what happened for the 2010 diesel engines. Well documented. Look it up.

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""And you got your degree in marketing where?"

Yeah, and I'm the Pope."

Congratulations. By the way, close call with that lady that jumped the rope, eh?

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""I'm fascinated, by the way, that a Chinese company that you claim has no laboratories or engineers is apparently capable of quickly reverse engineering a novel design. How, exactly, did they do that, Lonnie? Or are you lying again, about one thing or another?"

lol...I did not say they have NO engineers."

Backpedaling time. All my opponents in debates seem to do that eventually."

No, I did not backpedal. Learn to read.

"However, they do not need mechanical engineers or electrical engineers to reverse engineer a manufactured design. A group of manufacturing engineers and, if necessary, a consultant, could easily reverse engineer a design. Nonsense, at least if the intent is to be able to actually manufacture duplicates rather than just understand how it works.

As for laboratories, it is quite true that Chinese product have a higher failure rate than the products they are copied from. As the Chinese are getting hit by warranty costs they will learn that they actually need to know something about the products they copy.

So, there is a benefit to having engineers and R&D even if you don't have patents?"

Someone has to do the copying. Of course, while it might take 100 engineers, an R&D facility and millions in testing and prototypes to come up with a new design, two or three engineers could reverse engineer many products in weeks and have a copy within months. In fact, it is done all the time.

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"Did you miss the point where I said Fedder's product was a huge success in the market place?

That was with a non-patent-inflated price. In the hypothetical world where they got a patent, they'd have jacked up the price, using the monopoly rents enabled by the patent to pay those R&D costs you were moaning they couldn't pay without the hypothetical patent."

The window unit market is quite competitive. Fedders' price was consistent with what was on the market. However, you can't beat a company that has no development costs.

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"I deleted your lengthy scenario.

Your loss. But I will remind you (and the audience) that you said this the next time you ask whinily for evidence or falsely claim that I don't answer questions or furnish evidence."

Your made-up scenario was no more factual than the tooth fairy. Actually, the tooth fairy might be more factual.

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"Every car company advertises new models yearly. New models, plural. Ford alone has a 2010 Taurus, a 2010 Focus, and a 2010 Ranger, and they will undoubtedly have a 2011 Taurus, a 2011 Focus, and a 2011 Ranger that differ slightly from the corresponding 2010 models. Ford no doubt has more than just Tauruses, Focuses, and Rangers too. And something similar will be going on with GM, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Saturn, Kia, Mercedes, BMW, and on and on and on."

Insignificant changes that generally do not influence the car-buying public. In fact, car makers announce their model changes and sales of that product dip in anticipation of the new model, which occurs about every three years. My 2004 F-150 is quite similar to the 2010 F-150. The grill has changed with some minor interior changes, but nothing that warrants a change to the newer vehicle.

"Incidentally, car companies are also on three year cycles, in case you had failed to notice.

No, they are on one year cycles for incremental tweaks and take longer than three years, typically, between major technological breakthroughs."

Incremental tweaks are the same as washing your walls, and just as relevant. Those incremental changes impress no one and have minimal influence on the car buying public, if any. However, if you have a study that shows those insignificant changes have an effect, please show me.

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Keep it up Beeswax. You substitute opinions for facts even more than you had been and you were doing that a ton before. However, it makes my responses easier. I just point out your delusions and move on.

If this is a war of wits, you have come with only half of what you need.

I think this thread is done.

Beeswax had stomach cramps and was unable to make it to the toilet and dropped a load here instead...

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"The Chinese company also had lower labor costs.

So you admit that they had lower manufacturing costs. Your argument hangs by a thread; it falls unless you can successfully argue that Fedders was somehow, as if by magic, incapable of lowering its own manufacturing costs to match."

Not true. Fedders MIGHT have been able to lower their manufacturing costs, but as long as their fixed costs were substantially higher than their Chinese competitor, Fedders was never going to reduce their selling price to be below their Chinese competitor.

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"I never claimed that it was. The point is that there was nothing contributing to the Chinese company's hypothetically lower marginal cost per unit that Fedders could not duplicate."

If you have an engineering department, test labs, and other costs relating to development of new products, and you plan to continue doing that kind of work, then no matter what Fedders did they were never going to be able to lower their total cost of doing business to a level lower than their Chinese competitor.

"Where did you learn economics? Marginal cost is what determines the price point at which a manufacturing company can't remain profitable. If they sell for even a few pennies higher than marginal cost, in volume, they will generally make enough on each sale to cover their nonmarginal costs and then line their pockets."

Then you must be including fixed costs in the marginal costs. If true, then there was no way that Fedders would be able to lower their marginal cost to a company that had virtually no engineering capability and no development capability.

"Ignoring the copious math errors Lonnie made, this argument falls apart when one considers that in the real world the volumes wouldn't be 1000 units but millions, and the amortization of the fixed costs would disappear down into the nth decimal place. Differences in the fixed costs might barely affect the price by a penny or two, while differences in the marginal costs will still have full effect, e.g. a buck less marginal cost per item lets the price be dropped by a full dollar. That full dollar can then cover a LOT of increased fixed costs relative to the competitor."

Oh great master, you will have to enlighten me about my math errors, though I double checked my work.

I also note that you did not point out your factual information as to the volumes Fedders had nor did you point out the percentage of their cost that was attributable to fixed costs. In other words, you are arguing with vaporware, again.

Oh, and if you think fixed costs cause price differences in pennies, then you have obviously not watched the news much in the last two years. There are numerous studies that show that the difference in fixed costs between GM and Toyota is somewhere in the neighborhood of $2500. If you call that pennies, I call you deluded.

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"So you're arguing that A should have a government granted title to remain the technology leader because it spends more on engineering? Then perhaps the government should be issuing patents based on size of engineering staff. But that's not how the patent system actually works. NTP's engineering staff is smaller than RIM's by a factor of about infinity, yet NTP got some ridiculous broad, vague patent and used it to take RIM to the cleaners to the tune of over half a billion dollars."

Showing that RIM was obviously not very bright considering that within days after RIM caved to extortion that the USPTO invalidated all of NTP's patents.

"The patent system does not incentivize having an engineering staff and advancing the state of the art; as NTP v. RIM showed, it incentivizes having a staff of lawyers (to write and file patents) and no products of your own (so there's no chance you infringe any patents yourself)."

You do not need patents to extort people. RIM was foolish and they paid for their foolishness. The NTP patents were worth nothing, as the USPTO proved.

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"If you can avoid all that by copying your competitor's latest product, you will always be cheaper, if all other factors are equal.

IF all other factors are equal. The point is that with engineering staff you ought to be able to stay ahead of competitors in process (reducing marginal costs), in product (sustaining market share), or both. If you still manage to do neither, so their product is as good as yours and their marginal costs as low as yours, then that engineering staff is failing. You have failed and the market will react accordingly. Your precious patent system (which you'd been denouncing an hour ago! but here you are trying to defend it again) keeps losers in the marketplace an artificially long time. We don't need, or benefit from, this market distortion."

You know that is not true. Complex products take years to develop, and months to copy. A copier will always be in a better position than a developer no matter how good the developer is.

And I have never "denounced" the patent system. You are lying, again.

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"but patents on the devices built on those factories give them the protection they need to be reimbursed.

No; else companies without patents would not be able to afford to build factories, yet the manufacturing capital of the world these days is China, with notoriously weak patent protections."

Actually, China's domestic patents are equal to those in the U.S. If you infringe patents in China, it is a criminal offense. Tsk, tsk. Off to prison you go. Their system may have had weak protection, but that has changed.

"In fact, there's an inverse correlation across nations and through historical time between patent strength and manufacturing strength! This disproves any claim that patents help defray the costs of factories and strongly hints that patents inhibit manufacturing."

I would love to see the study that shows this relationship.

"Now China is, stupidly, shooting itself in the foot by strengthening its patent system. The inevitable result will be for the center of world manufacturing to shift elsewhere again, perhaps to India which also has a large labor pool and still has weak "IP". (Currently it's being lambasted by pharma companies for having weak patents.)"

Well, we will have to see, won't we?

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"You criticized everyone who criticized the one-click patent. That's the action of a vicious guard dog: trained and conditioned to defend its master (in this case, the one-click patent) but not very bright."

No, I merely asked questions. I may have criticized people who avoided answering my questions, but that is not the same as criticizing people who criticized the one-click patent. I always try to seek fact over rhetoric, and so far all you seem to have is rhetoric.

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"I am neither for or against the one-click patent.

Your actions say otherwise."

Still waiting for you to show mere where those supposed actions are. Your previous link went to a page of comments. I actually scrolled through and found not one single case were I was FOR the one-click patent.

"I merely want to know the answers to some question.

OH RLY? Then why don't you listen to the answers to those questions? Instead, fyou plug your ears, verbally assault the guy who answered them, and then repeat the questions ad infinitum."

Because I have not seen any answers, only irrelevant non sequiturs.

"Oh, I know why: because you don't like the answers."

You have to have an answer to either like or dislike...

"Well, tough. You might as well rail against fate for gravity's acceleration at earth's surface being 9.81m/s^2. In fact that would be more productive than asking people what the number was, and anytime they answered 9.81m/s^2, flaming them and then asking the same person again. "

Oh my goodness. You have presented an actual fact. I think this was your first. You could have many more. I wish you every success.

""And then we're back to the "factoryrights" argument. If we don't need "factoryrights" -- and we don't -- then why do you think we need patents?"

Because those who would rather not spend millions on developing a new engine would just copy the engine of their competitor at significantly lower cost.

So? If someone wants to copy, let them copy. If they want to advance the state of the art (say, so as to increase their market share) let them advance the state of the art."

Because the developers would not be able to stay in business.

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"I used to be a programmer, though. Programmed in WATFOR, WATFIV, Fortran 77, Fortran 90, Fortran IV, FLECS, PL-1, Basic, Assembly, and machine language. I miss programming.

Traitor. You should not be defending any software patent if this is true. (I note how obsolete that language list is. No Clojure, Smalltalk, or Java. Not even C++, Scheme, or Common Lisp. Not even C or Pascal!)"

(a) I am not defending any software patent and you have yet to show that I have.

(b) Hey, I am old. I have not programmed in a long time. I became a hardware guy.

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"Mechanical devices are highly integrated devices where changing one subsystem requires changing another, which requires changing another, which requires changing another.

I'd argue that someone who claims experience in computer programming should be aware of the concept of "modularity", but that list of languages you named pretty much predates widespread support for modularity in programming environments, so it looks like you left the scene early enough that you really might have a valid excuse for your ignorance. This time. :P"

Modularity does not work well for complex, interrelated systems. If you change one module, then you may well have to change all of them. That is what happened for the 2010 diesel engines. Well documented. Look it up.

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""And you got your degree in marketing where?"

Yeah, and I'm the Pope."

Congratulations. By the way, close call with that lady that jumped the rope, eh?

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""I'm fascinated, by the way, that a Chinese company that you claim has no laboratories or engineers is apparently capable of quickly reverse engineering a novel design. How, exactly, did they do that, Lonnie? Or are you lying again, about one thing or another?"

lol...I did not say they have NO engineers."

Backpedaling time. All my opponents in debates seem to do that eventually."

No, I did not backpedal. Learn to read.

"However, they do not need mechanical engineers or electrical engineers to reverse engineer a manufactured design. A group of manufacturing engineers and, if necessary, a consultant, could easily reverse engineer a design. Nonsense, at least if the intent is to be able to actually manufacture duplicates rather than just understand how it works.

As for laboratories, it is quite true that Chinese product have a higher failure rate than the products they are copied from. As the Chinese are getting hit by warranty costs they will learn that they actually need to know something about the products they copy.

So, there is a benefit to having engineers and R&D even if you don't have patents?"

Someone has to do the copying. Of course, while it might take 100 engineers, an R&D facility and millions in testing and prototypes to come up with a new design, two or three engineers could reverse engineer many products in weeks and have a copy within months. In fact, it is done all the time.

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"Did you miss the point where I said Fedder's product was a huge success in the market place?

That was with a non-patent-inflated price. In the hypothetical world where they got a patent, they'd have jacked up the price, using the monopoly rents enabled by the patent to pay those R&D costs you were moaning they couldn't pay without the hypothetical patent."

The window unit market is quite competitive. Fedders' price was consistent with what was on the market. However, you can't beat a company that has no development costs.

[Beeswax statement of paranoia deleted.]

"I deleted your lengthy scenario.

Your loss. But I will remind you (and the audience) that you said this the next time you ask whinily for evidence or falsely claim that I don't answer questions or furnish evidence."

Your made-up scenario was no more factual than the tooth fairy. Actually, the tooth fairy might be more factual.

[Beeswax statement of paranoia deleted.]

[Beeswax statement of paranoia deleted.]

[Beeswax statement of paranoia deleted.]

[Deleted Beeswax opinion substituted for facts.]

[Deleted Beeswax opinion substituted for facts.]

[Deleted Beeswax opinion substituted for facts.]

[Deleted Beeswax opinion substituted for facts.]

[Deleted Beeswax opinion substituted for facts.]

[Deleted Beeswax opinion substituted for facts.]

[Deleted Beeswax opinion substituted for facts.]

[Beeswax statement of paranoia deleted.]

[Beeswax statement of paranoia deleted.]

"Every car company advertises new models yearly. New models, plural. Ford alone has a 2010 Taurus, a 2010 Focus, and a 2010 Ranger, and they will undoubtedly have a 2011 Taurus, a 2011 Focus, and a 2011 Ranger that differ slightly from the corresponding 2010 models. Ford no doubt has more than just Tauruses, Focuses, and Rangers too. And something similar will be going on with GM, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Saturn, Kia, Mercedes, BMW, and on and on and on."

Insignificant changes that generally do not influence the car-buying public. In fact, car makers announce their model changes and sales of that product dip in anticipation of the new model, which occurs about every three years. My 2004 F-150 is quite similar to the 2010 F-150. The grill has changed with some minor interior changes, but nothing that warrants a change to the newer vehicle.

"Incidentally, car companies are also on three year cycles, in case you had failed to notice.

No, they are on one year cycles for incremental tweaks and take longer than three years, typically, between major technological breakthroughs."

Incremental tweaks are the same as washing your walls, and just as relevant. Those incremental changes impress no one and have minimal influence on the car buying public, if any. However, if you have a study that shows those insignificant changes have an effect, please show me.

[Beeswax statement of paranoia deleted.]

[Beeswax statement of paranoia deleted.]

[Beeswax statement of paranoia deleted.]

[Beeswax statement of paranoia deleted.]

[Beeswax statement of paranoia deleted.]

[Beeswax statement of paranoia deleted.]

[Beeswax statement of paranoia deleted.]

[Beeswax statement of paranoia deleted.]

[Beeswax statement of paranoia deleted.]

[Deleted Beeswax opinion substituted for facts.]

[Deleted Beeswax opinion substituted for facts.]

[Deleted Beeswax opinion substituted for facts.]

[Deleted Beeswax opinion substituted for facts.]

Keep it up Beeswax. You substitute opinions for facts even more than you had been and you were doing that a ton before. However, it makes my responses easier. I just point out your delusions and move on.

If this is a war of wits, you have come with only half of what you need.

I think this thread is done.

Alonniemouse needs to see a psychiatrist for posting the following nonsense twice:

Beeswax [vicious insult deleted]

No, no, a thousand times no! None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the dishonest one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"So you admit that they had lower manufacturing costs. Your argument hangs by a thread; it falls unless you can successfully argue that Fedders was somehow, as if by magic, incapable of lowering its own manufacturing costs to match."

[calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

As long as their fixed costs were substantially higher than their Chinese competitor, Fedders was never going to reduce their selling price to be below their Chinese competitor.

Nonsense. Their fixed costs per month divided by their sales volume per months would have been pennies, while they remained market leader; all they had to do is lower marginal costs by a similar number of pennies.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

If you have an engineering department, test labs, and other costs relating to development of new products, and you plan to continue doing that kind of work, then no matter what Fedders did they were never going to be able to lower their total cost of doing business to a level lower than their Chinese competitor.

Sure they were, if they maintained high sales volume and lowered marginal costs. See above.

Then you must be including fixed costs in the marginal costs.

Of course not; that would be nonsensical.

Oh great master, you will have to enlighten me about my math errors, though I double checked my work.

Already done.

[implies that I've been dishonest]

No, I have not. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Oh, and if you think fixed costs cause price differences in pennies, then you [insult deleted].

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

There are numerous studies that show that the difference in fixed costs between GM and Toyota is somewhere in the neighborhood of $2500.

Those are car manufacturers. And they are adding onto the price tags of items costing tens of thousands of dollars. The equivalent on a $40 air conditioner, proportionally, would be on the order of $2.50, but I expect the amount to be lower than even that, given that car manufacture is a lot more complicated (and, furthermore, a lot more regulated for road-safety reasons).

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Showing that RIM was obviously not very bright considering that within days after RIM caved to extortion that the USPTO invalidated all of NTP's patents.

Hindsight is always 20/20. And could they have functioned even for a few more days with that injunction in effect?

"The patent system does not incentivize having an engineering staff and advancing the state of the art; as NTP v. RIM showed, it incentivizes having a staff of lawyers (to write and file patents) and no products of your own (so there's no chance you infringe any patents yourself)."

You do not need patents to extort people.

Irrelevant.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"IF all other factors are equal. The point is that with engineering staff you ought to be able to stay ahead of competitors in process (reducing marginal costs), in product (sustaining market share), or both. If you still manage to do neither, so their product is as good as yours and their marginal costs as low as yours, then that engineering staff is failing. You have failed and the market will react accordingly. Your precious patent system (which you'd been denouncing an hour ago! but here you are trying to defend it again) keeps losers in the marketplace an artificially long time. We don't need, or benefit from, this market distortion."

[calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

And I have never "denounced" the patent system. [calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Your comment here at 03/28/2010 07:32 AM quoted me and responded as follows:

"There have been tons of studies, many reported here, that show unequivocally that patents do not do what they were supposed to do. They should be repealed."

I agree with that point of view.

Don't bother denying you ever wrote that; it's there in this site's record, and in case you can somehow delete it, it's also in Google's cache.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"No; else companies without patents would not be able to afford to build factories, yet the manufacturing capital of the world these days is China, with notoriously weak patent protections."

Actually,

Actually, nothing. If you were correct, companies without patents would not be able to afford to build factories, yet the manufacturing capital of the world these days is China, with notoriously weak patent protections.

[threat deleted]

I don't respond well to threats.

"In fact, there's an inverse correlation across nations and through historical time between patent strength and manufacturing strength! This disproves any claim that patents help defray the costs of factories and strongly hints that patents inhibit manufacturing."

I would love to see the study that shows this relationship.

Then read more of this site, and of the book Against Intellectual Monopoly.

Go on. You know you want to.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"You criticized everyone who criticized the one-click patent. That's the action of a vicious guard dog: trained and conditioned to defend its master (in this case, the one-click patent) but not very bright."

[calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"Your actions say otherwise."

[calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

You keep saying over and over again that if only I'd read the actual claims as written in the one-click patent, I'd find that they were narrow and the patent really was worthy of being granted. If that load of BS does not constitute you defending the one-click patent, then I don't know what is!

"OH RLY? Then why don't you listen to the answers to those questions? Instead, you plug your ears, verbally assault the guy who answered them, and then repeat the questions ad infinitum."

[calls me a liar]

[insult deleted]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"Oh, I know why: because you don't like the answers."

You have to have an answer to either like or dislike...

And I do. And your behavior made it quite clear that you don't like it.

"Well, tough. You might as well rail against fate for gravity's acceleration at earth's surface being 9.81m/s^2. In fact that would be more productive than asking people what the number was, and anytime they answered 9.81m/s^2, flaming them and then asking the same person again."

Oh my goodness. [insult deleted]

No! None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"If someone wants to copy, let them copy. If they want to advance the state of the art (say, so as to increase their market share) let them advance the state of the art."

Because the developers would not be able to stay in business.

Sure they could, by staying ahead of the competition. Why are software and fashion developers able to stay in business, even if the software is open source and even though clothes cannot be copyrighted?

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"Traitor. You should not be defending any software patent if this is true. (I note how obsolete that language list is. No Clojure, Smalltalk, or Java. Not even C++, Scheme, or Common Lisp. Not even C or Pascal!)"

[calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"I'd argue that someone who claims experience in computer programming should be aware of the concept of "modularity", but that list of languages you named pretty much predates widespread support for modularity in programming environments, so it looks like you left the scene early enough that you really might have a valid excuse for your ignorance. This time. :P"

Modularity does not work well for complex, interrelated systems. If you change one module, then you may well have to change all of them.

Proof positive that Lonnie does not understand modularity. By definition, if you have proper modularity, then if you change one module you generally won't have to change any others.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Congratulations. By the way, close call with that lady that jumped the rope, eh?

Non-sequitur.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"Backpedaling time. All my opponents in debates seem to do that eventually."

[calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the illiterate one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"So, there is a benefit to having engineers and R&D even if you don't have patents?"

[Lonnie admits it]

Well, there you go, then.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"That was with a non-patent-inflated price. In the hypothetical world where they got a patent, they'd have jacked up the price, using the monopoly rents enabled by the patent to pay those R&D costs you were moaning they couldn't pay without the hypothetical patent."

The window unit market is quite competitive. Fedders' price was consistent with what was on the market.

But with a patent, either it wouldn't have been or the patent would not have improved their ability to defray R&D costs.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"Your loss. But I will remind you (and the audience) that you said this the next time you ask whinily for evidence or falsely claim that I don't answer questions or furnish evidence."

[calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"Every car company advertises new models yearly. New models, plural. Ford alone has a 2010 Taurus, a 2010 Focus, and a 2010 Ranger, and they will undoubtedly have a 2011 Taurus, a 2011 Focus, and a 2011 Ranger that differ slightly from the corresponding 2010 models. Ford no doubt has more than just Tauruses, Focuses, and Rangers too. And something similar will be going on with GM, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Saturn, Kia, Mercedes, BMW, and on and on and on."

[Lonnie backpedals some more, admits they make yearly changes]

Well, there you go, then.

"No, they are on one year cycles for incremental tweaks and take longer than three years, typically, between major technological breakthroughs."

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Those incremental changes impress no one and have minimal influence on the car buying public, if any.

Then why, pray tell, do they make them? It costs quite a bit to make them. Factories have to be retooled, R&D has to be done, etc.; obviously, the companies find it worth it. The natural inference is, the changes DO have influence on the car buying public -- or, at least, they would if not all of the car companies made such changes simultaneously.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Keep it up Beeswax. You [calls me a liar] I just point out your [insult deleted] and move on.

No, you're the liar and the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[vicious insult deleted]

No, you're the stupid one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

I think this thread is done.

Is that a promise?

Beeswax takes a break from his incontinence issues to post some more bizarre stuff:

In order to simplify this post, I have deleted all of the following:

- All of Beeswax's lies. - All of Beeswax's statements of paranoia. - All of Beeswax's snide, irrelevant comments. - All of Beeswax's statements of opinion in response to facts. - All of Beeswax's schizophrenic statements. - All of Beeswax's fantasies.

Of course, that does not leave a lot left.

"As long as their fixed costs were substantially higher than their Chinese competitor, Fedders was never going to reduce their selling price to be below their Chinese competitor.

Nonsense. Their fixed costs per month divided by their sales volume per months would have been pennies, while they remained market leader; all they had to do is lower marginal costs by a similar number of pennies."

Of course this statement is untrue (i.e., YOU MADE IT UP BASED ON ZIP; you had not a SINGLE FACT to support your statement) or after a decades of cost cutting they would not be going bankrupt. They went from being the "king of the window air conditioner unit" to a nothing company, and it all started because they essentially gave away their newest technology. Not a very bright move.

[I deleted repeated fantasy based on Beeswax's imagination.]

"Oh great master, you will have to enlighten me about my math errors, though I double checked my work.

Already done."

You lie, again. You have not shown a single math error.

"There are numerous studies that show that the difference in fixed costs between GM and Toyota is somewhere in the neighborhood of $2500.

Those are car manufacturers. And they are adding onto the price tags of items costing tens of thousands of dollars. The equivalent on a $40 air conditioner, proportionally, would be on the order of $2.50, but I expect the amount to be lower than even that, given that car manufacture is a lot more complicated (and, furthermore, a lot more regulated for road-safety reasons)."

roflmao...You are an idiot. Worse, you are a complete idiot. Since when have you seen a $40 window air conditioner? How about never. You had plenty of opportunity to at least present a fact here and instead you just pulled a random number out of your skanky ass.

The cost of window units ranges anywhere from about $100 to somewhere around $800. Below is a link to a reference.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_4_15?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=air+conditioner+window&sprefix=air+conditioner

You are also underestimating the complexity of a window air conditioner, but that is no surprise. You know, I thought I was going to see if you had anything worthwhile to say, but given that you can't even look up a simple number, then why should I bother? I provide links and you ignore them - convenient for you. I provide logic and you ignore that. Essentially, you do not argue the points, you just make up fantastic stories and what should be rather than what is. Effectively, YOU HAVE NO ARGUMENTS. You got zilch.

"Those incremental changes impress no one and have minimal influence on the car buying public, if any.

Then why, pray tell, do they make them? It costs quite a bit to make them. Factories have to be retooled, R&D has to be done, etc.; obviously, the companies find it worth it. The natural inference is, the changes DO have influence on the car buying public -- or, at least, they would if not all of the car companies made such changes simultaneously.'

Oh my lord. You had yet another chance to support your position and you did not. Facts:

- As an example, the Ford F-150 was essentially unchanged between 2004 and 2008. - The interior of the F-150 for the 2009 model is identical to the 2004 model.

Where are the "incremental" changes? No where.

- The only noticeable change on the 2009 F-150 was the front grill. The hood remained the same, meaning that there was no re-tooling and virtually no R&D. The redesigned grill cost roughly the same as the original. So the negligible incremental change was, with respect to the cost of a truck, negligible.

Why did they make the change? Are you living under a rock or do you own a Toyota? I bet you do. You know Toyotas are great cars. You know what they say about Toyotas? You can't stop a Toyota.

Anyway, why did they make the change? Well, gee, it is not like it has been all over the news and the internet. Ford wanted a grill design that tied all their vehicles together. Duh. Geez, why don't you read about something besides your psychiatric needs?

You have brought opinion, innuendo, ad hominem, diversionary tactics, non sequiturs and not a lot else.

Deleted the remainder of Beeswax's nonsense post.

Incidentally, for all of you who are against IP, you need to get Beeswax off your team. He makes you all look like the same insane moron that she is.

Alonniemouse spat:

Beeswax [vicious insult deleted]:

NO! None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

In order to simplify this post, I have deleted all of the following:

- [calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

- All of Beeswax's [insult deleted].

No, you're the crazy one. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

- All of Beeswax's [insult deleted]. - All of Beeswax's [implied insult deleted].

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

- All of Beeswax's [severe insult deleted]. - All of Beeswax's [insult deleted].

No, you're the lunatic. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"Nonsense. Their fixed costs per month divided by their sales volume per months would have been pennies, while they remained market leader; all they had to do is lower marginal costs by a similar number of pennies."

[calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

They went from being the "king of the window air conditioner unit" to a nothing company, and it all started because they essentially gave away their newest technology.

No, it all started because a competitor developed a more efficient (lower cost-per-item) manufacturing method and Fedders didn't follow suit.

[vicious insult deleted]

No, you're the lunatic. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"Already done."

[calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"Those are car manufacturers. And they are adding onto the price tags of items costing tens of thousands of dollars. The equivalent on a $40 air conditioner, proportionally, would be on the order of $2.50, but I expect the amount to be lower than even that, given that car manufacture is a lot more complicated (and, furthermore, a lot more regulated for road-safety reasons)."

roflmao...You are an [insult deleted]. Worse, you are a complete [insult deleted].

No, you're the moron. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[calls me a liar, in a gratuitously scatological manner]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

You are also [insult deleted], but that is no surprise. You know, I thought I was going to see if you had anything worthwhile to say, but given that you [insult deleted], then why should I bother?

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

I provide links and you ignore them

Liar.

[implies that I've been dishonest][insult deleted][calls me a liar]. You got zilch.

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"Then why, pray tell, do they make them? It costs quite a bit to make them. Factories have to be retooled, R&D has to be done, etc.; obviously, the companies find it worth it. The natural inference is, the changes DO have influence on the car buying public -- or, at least, they would if not all of the car companies made such changes simultaneously."

Oh my lord. [calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Where are the "incremental" changes? No where.

Evidently somewhere, or they wouldn't have advertised 2008 F-150s as if these were a distinct product from 2007 F-150s. The differences might not be obvious -- slight fuel-economy boosts under the hood, slight changes to exterior contours -- but they're there.

- The only noticeable change on the 2009 F-150 was the front grill. The hood remained the same, meaning that there was no re-tooling and virtually no R&D. The redesigned grill cost roughly the same as the original. So the negligible incremental change was, with respect to the cost of a truck, negligible.

All we have, of course, is your word for this, particularly regarding the costs.

Why did they make the change?

You tell me! In your theory, such a change would be worthless, and even if it only cost a few tens of thousands of dollars a company wouldn't have wasted that money on something worthless.

Ergo, your theory is wrong, and by extension, it'll be wrong about Fedders too.

Are you [insult deleted]?

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Ford wanted a grill design that tied all their vehicles together. [insults deleted]

So you claim. A minute ago you claimed not to know. Regardless, it has something to do with competing with their rivals, and making their vehicles more distinctive and their brand identity more visible would fit neatly into that. So you've basically just shot down your own theory.

Oh, and none of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

You have [vicious insult deleted].

Deleted the remainder of Beeswax's [insult deleted] post.

No, no, a thousand times no! None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Incidentally, for all of you who are against IP, you need to [rude demand deleted]. [vicious insult deleted][erroneous guess about my sex deleted].

No, you're the idiot and the lunatic. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

We do not take orders from you.

Beeswax, behaving like an intestinal parasite, provided nothing of value; which is typical.

[Deleted Beeswax denials of his lies.]

[Deleted Beeswax denials of his psychosis.]

[Deleted Beeswax protestations of persecution.]

[Deleted Beeswax denials of his schizophrenia.]

[Deleted Beeswas denials of his paranoia.]

"They went from being the "king of the window air conditioner unit" to a nothing company, and it all started because they essentially gave away their newest technology.

No, it all started because a competitor developed a more efficient (lower cost-per-item) manufacturing method and Fedders didn't follow suit."

You keep asking me for proof, and you provide none. I interviewed several engineers from Fedders. I got exactly the same story from each. Their situation became drastically worse when they permitted technology they developed to be taken by Chinese manufacturers. From there, it was the beginning of the end, as it would be for any company who develops highly complex products with a significant mechanical component and fails to patent the novel portions.

"Where are the "incremental" changes? No where.

Evidently somewhere, or they wouldn't have advertised 2008 F-150s as if these were a distinct product from 2007 F-150s. The differences might not be obvious -- slight fuel-economy boosts under the hood, slight changes to exterior contours -- but they're there."

Ford did not advertise the 2008 F-150 as new; they just advertised the 2008 F-150 as the "2008 F-150." Why? Because THEY DID NOT CHANGE THE TRUCK. Duh.

"The only noticeable change on the 2009 F-150 was the front grill. The hood remained the same, meaning that there was no re-tooling and virtually no R&D. The redesigned grill cost roughly the same as the original. So the negligible incremental change was, with respect to the cost of a truck, negligible.

All we have, of course, is your word for this, particularly regarding the costs."

If you do not believe me, a person who has worked in vehicle related design and engineering for nearly two decades, then ask someone else. The grill change was simple, clever and cheap. Actually, considering the complexity of the previous grill, I wondered whether they might have saved money on the design.

"Why did they make the change?

You tell me! In your theory, such a change would be worthless, and even if it only cost a few tens of thousands of dollars a company wouldn't have wasted that money on something worthless."

Ergo, your theory is wrong, and by extension, it'll be wrong about Fedders too."

Ummm...No. The question was a rhetorical one. I provided the explanation directly after. You attempt to cleverly separate my explanation from my rhetorical question. Everyone sees through your vain attempt to make it appear as though I said something I did not. You have been caught in an effort to make a lie from the truth. Nice job. You not only lie, you want to make it appear as though others lie. You are the worst kind of scum.

Incidentaly, my "theory" is not a theory, it is fact, which I pointed out to you at length, as noted below.

"Ford wanted a grill design that tied all their vehicles together.

So you claim. A minute ago you claimed not to know. Regardless, it has something to do with competing with their rivals, and making their vehicles more distinctive and their brand identity more visible would fit neatly into that. So you've basically just shot down your own theory."

First, I never claimed not to know. I asked a rhetorical question, which you do not seem to understand, and then I answered the question.

Second, just exactly what theory did I shoot down? You have completely failed to specify. I am unsurprised. Thus far you have failed at everything in this exchange of posts. You are a failure.

"We do not take orders from you."

So, now you are speaking for everyone? Somehow I doubt anyone on this web site will acknowledge that you speak for them or that they want to have anything to do with a frothing at the mouth, ranting, rabid, lying, dog.

Plus, I would not want to confuse the orders you get from your psychiatrist and your social worker.

Alonniemouse just doesn't know when to quit:

Beeswax, [vicious insult deleted]

No! None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the lunatic. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the lunatic. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the lunatic. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"No, it all started because a competitor developed a more efficient (lower cost-per-item) manufacturing method and Fedders didn't follow suit."

You keep asking me for proof, and you provide none.

Of course; it's your job to support your assertions with evidence, not mine. Do your own damn homework! If you can. Personally, I have my doubts whether you're making less than half this shit up.

I interviewed several engineers from Fedders.

Or so you claim.

Their situation became drastically worse when

Correlation in time does not prove causation.

"Evidently somewhere, or they wouldn't have advertised 2008 F-150s as if these were a distinct product from 2007 F-150s. The differences might not be obvious -- slight fuel-economy boosts under the hood, slight changes to exterior contours -- but they're there."

Ford did not advertise the 2008 F-150 as new; they just advertised the 2008 F-150 as the "2008 F-150."

They advertised it as the "2008 F-150", not the "2007 F-150". New name, new something. We don't know what but it's there.

"All we have, of course, is your word for this, particularly regarding the costs."

If you do not believe me, a person who has worked in vehicle related design and engineering for nearly two decades

Or so you claim. Last week you were a computer hardware geek and ex-programmer. The week before that, a patent attorney. Make up your damn mind!

Actually, considering the complexity of the previous grill, I wondered whether they might have saved money on the design.

Long term, they might have. In the short run, changing anything in a mass-manufactured product tends to cost something.

"In your theory, such a change would be worthless, and even if it only cost a few tens of thousands of dollars a company wouldn't have wasted that money on something worthless."

Ergo, your theory is wrong, and by extension, it'll be wrong about Fedders too."

Ummm...[calls me a liar].

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[calls me a liar][vicious insult deleted]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"Incidentaly, my "theory" is not a theory, it is fact"

It is a theory, one that you keep asserting as fact but cannot prove. Hence your frequent resort to ad hominem attacks when challenged.

"So you claim. A minute ago you claimed not to know. Regardless, it has something to do with competing with their rivals, and making their vehicles more distinctive and their brand identity more visible would fit neatly into that. So you've basically just shot down your own theory."

[calls me a liar][insult deleted]

No, you're the liar and the moron. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Second, just exactly what theory did I shoot down?

The theory that incremental change has no influence on consumers, which you posited two or three of your posts ago. Then you go and mention marketing-related purposes for one of those incremental changes. No influence, my left butt cheek.

You have [insult deleted]. I am unsurprised. Thus far you have [vicious insults deleted].

No! None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"We do not take orders from you."

So, now you are speaking for everyone? [vicious insults deleted]

On this particular matter? You betcha. I feel quite secure in my belief that you have zero authority over anyone else at this site.

Now fuck off.

Oh, and by the way, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Beeswax hair glue let go in high wind and landed here:

[Deleted Beeshit - aka Beeswax lies.]

[Deleted Beeshit - aka Beeswax paranoid statements.]

[Deleted Beeshit - aka Beeswax ad hominem statements.]

[Deleted Beeshit - aka Beeswax psychotic statements.]

"I interviewed several engineers from Fedders.

Or so you claim."

Yes, I do claim. Now, I can actually understand why you do not believe me, because chronic liars find it difficult to know when others are telling the truth. However, the fact remains that I did interview the engineers, and the fact is that they told me the same story about Fedders' failure to protect their new technology. You may challenge their belief, but the fact that you call me a liar just shows I can give you no credibility for anything you say.

"Their situation became drastically worse when

Correlation in time does not prove causation."

On the other hand, correlation COULD be evidence of causation.

"Evidently somewhere, or they wouldn't have advertised 2008 F-150s as if these were a distinct product from 2007 F-150s. The differences might not be obvious -- slight fuel-economy boosts under the hood, slight changes to exterior contours -- but they're there."

Ford did not advertise the 2008 F-150 as new; they just advertised the 2008 F-150 as the "2008 F-150."

They advertised it as the "2008 F-150", not the "2007 F-150". New name, new something. We don't know what but it's there."

You are the one making the assertion. Prove it.

""All we have, of course, is your word for this, particularly regarding the costs."

If you do not believe me, a person who has worked in vehicle related design and engineering for nearly two decades

Or so you claim. Last week you were a computer hardware geek and ex-programmer. The week before that, a patent attorney. Make up your damn mind!"

Dickweed, I have NEVER, not even ONCE, claimed I was a patent attorney. It would be illegal for me to do so. You, on the other hand, have claimed, in so many words, you are a jerkoff, and I find I agree with you.

I also never claimed I was a "computer hardware geek." I said I had changed from software to hardware, but I did not specify the kind of hardware. YOU assumed (making and ass of yourself, again) that I meant computer hardware.

I have also worked in the aerospace industry. And I have been in the military. Make fun of those too, asshole, while sitting in front of your computer in the dark, eating potato chips and trying to keep your zits from popping onto your display.

"Actually, considering the complexity of the previous grill, I wondered whether they might have saved money on the design.

Long term, they might have. In the short run, changing anything in a mass-manufactured product tends to cost something."

Of course. There had to be cost for the tooling of the new grill. However, they could easily have kept the same attachment points as the old grill. Since the size of the new grill was the same as the old grill, the new grill should have fit in the same place on the assembly line as the old grill. So the only cost would be the tooling for the new grill, which I would guess as being around $500k, based on the size of the grill. That would come out to about $1.60 per truck. Insignificant.

"Incidentaly, my "theory" is not a theory, it is fact"

It is a theory, one that you keep asserting as fact but cannot prove. Hence your frequent resort to ad hominem attacks when challenged."

lol...Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. I have noticed that every time you are challenged you whine about ad hominem attacks at the same time you make yours, then you claim your challenger is lying, then you make paranoid statements, and generally do anything other than answering your challenger. I have seen you make such posts against at least four other people, so your posts in response to me are hardly uncharacteristic of your bizarre, anti-social and highly aggressive behavior. So, just keep on talking about ad hominem attacks, you case study for a psychiatry journal.

No, you're the liar and the moron. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true."

Ah, yes. You tend to resort to such responses when you are able to respond in any sort of intelligent fashion.

"Second, just exactly what theory did I shoot down?

The theory that incremental change has no influence on consumers, which you posited two or three of your posts ago. Then you go and mention marketing-related purposes for one of those incremental changes. No influence, my left butt cheek."

Okay, dipshit, let us go back and re-visit my "theory." If my theory is correct, that either Ford did not introduce incremental changes or that incremental changes, if introduced, did not influence buyers, then sales should drop each year until a new model is introduced.

Ford kept the same model from 1997-2004. They then introduced a new model in the latter half of 2004, and that model was the same model until 2008. Now, let's take a look at the numbers. 2000 876,716 2001 823,681 2002 813,701 2003 845,586 2004 939,511 2005 901,463 2006 796,039 2007 690,589 2008 515,513 2009 413,625

Oh, my. It looks like the F-150 had steadily falling sales until the new model was introduced in 2004, at which time sales jumped. Since then, sales have been falling steadily, again. In 2009 Ford made some minor changes, including the grill. Gee, it looks like those "incremental" changes had a HUGE affect on sales. Would you care to take a bet on what happens when Ford finally introduces a real new model, versus an incrementally changed model?

Now, you and your left butt cheek, which have provided zero evidence regarding anything, can just go screw each other, butthead.

Oh, and as far as authority is concerned, I would not believe you if you told me steak came from cows.

Go suck on it, perennial jerk.

Beeswax hair glue let go in high wind and landed here:

[Deleted Beeshit - aka Beeswax lies.]

[Deleted Beeshit - aka Beeswax paranoid statements.]

[Deleted Beeshit - aka Beeswax ad hominem statements.]

[Deleted Beeshit - aka Beeswax psychotic statements.]

"I interviewed several engineers from Fedders.

Or so you claim."

Yes, I do claim. Now, I can actually understand why you do not believe me, because chronic liars find it difficult to know when others are telling the truth. However, the fact remains that I did interview the engineers, and the fact is that they told me the same story about Fedders' failure to protect their new technology. You may challenge their belief, but the fact that you call me a liar just shows I can give you no credibility for anything you say.

"Their situation became drastically worse when

Correlation in time does not prove causation."

On the other hand, correlation COULD be evidence of causation.

"Evidently somewhere, or they wouldn't have advertised 2008 F-150s as if these were a distinct product from 2007 F-150s. The differences might not be obvious -- slight fuel-economy boosts under the hood, slight changes to exterior contours -- but they're there."

Ford did not advertise the 2008 F-150 as new; they just advertised the 2008 F-150 as the "2008 F-150."

They advertised it as the "2008 F-150", not the "2007 F-150". New name, new something. We don't know what but it's there."

You are the one making the assertion. Prove it.

""All we have, of course, is your word for this, particularly regarding the costs."

If you do not believe me, a person who has worked in vehicle related design and engineering for nearly two decades

Or so you claim. Last week you were a computer hardware geek and ex-programmer. The week before that, a patent attorney. Make up your damn mind!"

Dickweed, I have NEVER, not even ONCE, claimed I was a patent attorney. It would be illegal for me to do so. You, on the other hand, have claimed, in so many words, you are a jerkoff, and I find I agree with you.

I also never claimed I was a "computer hardware geek." I said I had changed from software to hardware, but I did not specify the kind of hardware. YOU assumed (making and ass of yourself, again) that I meant computer hardware.

I have also worked in the aerospace industry. And I have been in the military. Make fun of those too, asshole, while sitting in front of your computer in the dark, eating potato chips and trying to keep your zits from popping onto your display.

"Actually, considering the complexity of the previous grill, I wondered whether they might have saved money on the design.

Long term, they might have. In the short run, changing anything in a mass-manufactured product tends to cost something."

Of course. There had to be cost for the tooling of the new grill. However, they could easily have kept the same attachment points as the old grill. Since the size of the new grill was the same as the old grill, the new grill should have fit in the same place on the assembly line as the old grill. So the only cost would be the tooling for the new grill, which I would guess as being around $500k, based on the size of the grill. That would come out to about $1.60 per truck. Insignificant.

"Incidentaly, my "theory" is not a theory, it is fact"

It is a theory, one that you keep asserting as fact but cannot prove. Hence your frequent resort to ad hominem attacks when challenged."

lol...Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. I have noticed that every time you are challenged you whine about ad hominem attacks at the same time you make yours, then you claim your challenger is lying, then you make paranoid statements, and generally do anything other than answering your challenger. I have seen you make such posts against at least four other people, so your posts in response to me are hardly uncharacteristic of your bizarre, anti-social and highly aggressive behavior. So, just keep on talking about ad hominem attacks, you case study for a psychiatry journal.

No, you're the liar and the moron. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true."

Ah, yes. You tend to resort to such responses when you are able to respond in any sort of intelligent fashion.

"Second, just exactly what theory did I shoot down?

The theory that incremental change has no influence on consumers, which you posited two or three of your posts ago. Then you go and mention marketing-related purposes for one of those incremental changes. No influence, my left butt cheek."

Okay, dipshit, let us go back and re-visit my "theory." If my theory is correct, that either Ford did not introduce incremental changes or that incremental changes, if introduced, did not influence buyers, then sales should drop each year until a new model is introduced.

Ford kept the same model from 1997-2004. They then introduced a new model in the latter half of 2004, and that model was the same model until 2008. Now, let's take a look at the numbers. 2000 876,716 2001 823,681 2002 813,701 2003 845,586 2004 939,511 2005 901,463 2006 796,039 2007 690,589 2008 515,513 2009 413,625

Oh, my. It looks like the F-150 had steadily falling sales until the new model was introduced in 2004, at which time sales jumped. Since then, sales have been falling steadily, again. In 2009 Ford made some minor changes, including the grill. Gee, it looks like those "incremental" changes had a HUGE affect on sales. Would you care to take a bet on what happens when Ford finally introduces a real new model, versus an incrementally changed model?

Now, you and your left butt cheek, which have provided zero evidence regarding anything, can just go screw each other, butthead.

Oh, and as far as authority is concerned, I would not believe you if you told me steak came from cows.

Go suck on it, perennial jerk.

Alonniemouse felt the need to projectile vomit twice:

Beeswax [nonsense deleted]:

[calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the lunatic. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the lunatic. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"Or so you claim."

Yes, I do claim. Now, I can actually understand why you do not believe me, because [vicious insult deleted].

No. It's because you keep changing your story. You're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

the fact is that they told me the same story about Fedders' failure to protect their new technology.

Even if you really did talk to such people, and even if they did attribute Fedders's problems to their not "protecting" their technology, they are hardly business experts. They couldn't be trusted to correctly identify the cause of the problem any more than a lay person could.

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"Correlation in time does not prove causation."

On the other hand, correlation COULD be evidence of causation.

And it could be evidence of elves. :P

You've got nothing.

"They advertised it as the "2008 F-150", not the "2007 F-150". New name, new something. We don't know what but it's there."

[suggests that I might be lying]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Come off it. You yourself said they called it the "2008 F-150"! Then when I simply repeat that fact and draw an obvious conclusion, suddenly that fact is in dispute? You really are desperate.

"Or so you claim. Last week you were a computer hardware geek and ex-programmer. The week before that, a patent attorney. Make up your damn mind!"

[vicious insult deleted], [calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

You, on the other hand, have claimed, in so many words, you are a [insult deleted], and I find I agree with you.

That's a damned lie! I never claimed any such thing.

[insult deleted]

None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

I also never claimed I was a "computer hardware geek."

Did too.

I said I had changed from software to hardware

And now you even admit it, two seconds after denying it! You're schizo.

[insult deleted]

No, you're the ass. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

I have also worked in the aerospace industry. And I have been in the military.

And let me guess: you've walked on the moon, seen Elvis, and even spent a while as an Elvis impersonator? I suppose you also own your own diamond mine and when not filing or suing over patents, designing the next generation ASUS motherboard, or building F-18s, you indulge hobbies such as grandmaster-level chess, running four-minute miles, and solving problems in quantum gravity in your spare time?

You really are full of yourself. What a lunatic!

Go crawl back under your rock.

Make fun of those too, [insult deleted], while sitting in front of your computer in the dark, eating potato chips and trying to keep your zits from popping onto your display.

Why are you describing yourself?

None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"Long term, they might have. In the short run, changing anything in a mass-manufactured product tends to cost something."

Of course. There had to be cost for the tooling of the new grill.

Well, there you go, then.

"It is a theory, one that you keep asserting as fact but cannot prove. Hence your frequent resort to ad hominem attacks when challenged."

[insults deleted]

Well, there's a sensible response. Not.

None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[numerous lies deleted], then you [insult deleted].

No, you're the lunatic. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

I have seen you make such posts against at least four other people

No, those weren't "four other people", those were you, you nymshifting coward.

so your posts in response to me are hardly uncharacteristic of your [vicious insults deleted]

No, you're the lunatic. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"No, you're the liar and the moron. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true."

Ah, yes. You tend to resort to such responses when you are able to respond in any sort of intelligent fashion.

That is the most intelligent way to respond to your ad hominem lies. Whenever you post one of those, you've failed to actually say anything about the matter actually under dispute (such as the one-click patent, regarding which you were so embarrassed you'd managed to steer the discussion completely away from it, or at least so you'd thought) so I needn't say anything about that matter. On the other hand, I obviously can't let an incorrect, hostile public assertion about me pass unchallenged either. So I state categorically that it isn't true and move on.

"Your theory that incremental change has no influence on consumers, which you posited two or three of your posts ago. Then you go and mention marketing-related purposes for one of those incremental changes. No influence, my left butt cheek."

Okay, [insult deleted], let us go back and re-visit my "theory."

Been there, done that. You were wrong, you even admitted it, and none of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

If my theory is correct, that either Ford did not introduce incremental changes or that incremental changes, if introduced, did not influence buyers, then sales should drop each year until a new model is introduced.

Sorry, Lonnie, no can do. The implication doesn't go in the direction you'd need it to: even if incremental changes did influence buyers, one expects that sales might still drop between larger changes, if the influence of larger changes is, as only seems reasonable, larger than the influence of smaller changes. It just will drop less than with no incremental changes at all.

[insults deleted]

No, you're the butthead. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Oh, and as far as authority is concerned, [calls me a liar].

[vulgar suggestion deleted], [insult deleted].

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Children, children! Is there really any need for this?

Jeez. I wouldn't have thought there'd be any dispute that the one-click patent is evil, even from the pro-patent crowd. I'd think the pro-patent types would be embarrassed by it and try to disassociate themselves from it, and they certainly wouldn't damage their own credibility by defending it publicly.

Well, whatever. Once you two douchebags are done hosing down the site with testosterone, perhaps you'll at least concede that, whatever you may think about other patents, the one-click patent and ones like it are terrible?

Suzzle:

Good heavens, you would take away from my fun? Admittedly, Beeswax is such an easy target because he is compelled to respond, but he is funnier than any sitcom. I also have to give him credit, he is fairly sharp, even if obnoxious.

Anyway, regarding the one-click patent, I am clueless. I read the claims, but I am unsure of exactly what they mean. I was hoping someone could explain, based on the claims, why it was obvious. Somehow, dogbreath (aka Beeswax) claimed that meant I was defending the patent. He is wrong, as usual, but that is beside the point. Just what is it about the claims that makes them so immediately obvious?

I will stop baiting Beeswax. I laugh so hard at his replies that I am probably enjoying them too much anyway. No one should have that much fun.

Now they're veritably crawling out of the woodwork. Halloween come early this year??

Suzzle spewed:

[insult deleted]!

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Is there really any need for this?

Duty calls.

Jeez. I wouldn't have thought there'd be any dispute that the one-click patent is evil, even from the pro-patent crowd. I'd think the pro-patent types would be embarrassed by it and try to disassociate themselves from it, and they certainly wouldn't damage their own credibility by defending it publicly.

Our Lonnie here is from the nuttiest fringe of the pro-patent crowd. Probably even his own side want nothing to do with him.

Well, whatever. Once you two [insult deleted] are done hosing down the site with testosterone, perhaps you'll at least concede that, whatever you may think about other patents, the one-click patent and ones like it are terrible?

None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Alonniemouse expectorated:

Good heavens, you would take away from my fun? Admittedly, Beeswax is [insult deleted]. I also have to give him credit, he is fairly sharp, even if [insult deleted].

I am certainly sharp; but none of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Anyway, regarding the one-click patent, I am clueless.

This admission of Lonnie's is duly noted for the record.

[insult deleted][calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Just what is it about the claims that makes them so immediately obvious?

I've explained that repeatedly, but you refuse to take your finders out of your ears and stop singing "la la la" for long enough to listen.

I will stop

Alas, we've heard promises like this from you before and you've been 0 for 7 or so in honoring them. Somehow I think it's more likely you'll soon be chalked up as being 0 for 8 than 1 for 8. A straight estimation of the odds says there's an 87.5% chance you're lying.

[vicious insult deleted]

NO! None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Beeswax:

"Just what is it about the claims that makes them so immediately obvious?

I've explained that repeatedly, but you refuse to take your finders out of your ears and stop singing "la la la" for long enough to listen."

Okay, here is claim 1. Why is it, as you have stated, obvious? Remember that this application was filed in 1997. The reason I am curious is that hundreds of pieces of prior art were submitted during the re-examination, and with thousands of pages of references reviewed in depth, a team of examiners were unable to find anything that made this claim obvious.

1. A method of placing an order for an item comprising:

under control of a client system,

displaying information identifying the item purchasable through cart model; and

in response to only a single action being performed, sending a request to order the item along with an identifier of a purchaser of the item to a server system;

under control of a single-action ordering component of the server system,

receiving the request;

retrieving additional information previously stored for the purchaser identified by the identifier in the received request; and

generating an order to purchase the requested item for the purchaser identified by the identifier in the received request using the retrieved additional information;

and

fulfilling the generated order to complete purchase of the item

whereby the item is ordered without using the shopping cart model.

Alonniemouse proves himself a liar once again:

"I've explained that repeatedly, but you refuse to take your finders out of your ears and stop singing "la la la" for long enough to listen."

Okay, here is claim 1. Why is it, as you have stated, obvious? Remember that this application was filed in 1997. The reason I am curious is that hundreds of pieces of prior art were submitted during the re-examination, and with thousands of pages of references reviewed in depth, a team of examiners were unable to find anything that made this claim obvious.

The examiners were incompetent, the examiners were lazy, or the examiners were corrupt.

1. A method of placing an order for an item comprising:

under control of a client system,

displaying information identifying the item purchasable through cart model;

Displaying information to a browser via http was not "new or nonobvious".

in response to only a single action being performed, sending a request to order the item along with an identifier of a purchaser of the item to a server system;

Sending an HTTP GET with an accompanying HTTP cookie was not "new or nonobvious".

under control of a single-action ordering component of the server system,

Giving a particular bit of software on the server a fancy name does not magically make something patentable.

receiving the request;

Opening port 80 on your web server is not "new or nonobvious".

retrieving additional information previously stored for the purchaser identified by the identifier in the received request;

Databases are not "new or nonobvious". E-commerce sites maintaining a database of purchasers was not "new or nonobvious" and in fact businesses keeping track of customer accounts can hardly be considered anywhere close to "new" or "nonobvious". Using an HTTP cookie to maintain a persistent session/login at a site is also not "new or nonobvious". Nor were they in 1997.

generating an order to purchase the requested item for the purchaser identified by the identifier in the received request using the retrieved additional information;

Combining an HTTP request with database data looked up based on an HTTP cookie in order to serve a page or take some other server-side action was not "new or nonobvious". Plenty of web sites were already doing such things. Any web forum does something similar. Most e-commerce sites already did something similar, only without one-click ordering.

and

fulfilling the generated order to complete purchase of the item

whereby the item is ordered without using the shopping cart model.

And here the reference to "the shopping cart model" is especially telling. It shows that not only did plenty of web sites then already exist that used "the shopping cart model", but the patent's filers knew about these.

Guess how "the shopping cart model" works? When you first click "add to cart" at such a site, the site responds to your request with a new page that includes guess what? Yeah, an HTTP cookie with a session identifier. On the server, a corresponding database table row is created with the identifier as key field and the initial shopping cart contents (the one selected item). Further "add to cart" actions by the user, accompanied by the session identifier cookie, update this field, and "proceed to checkout" generates an order form based on the cart contents.

The ONLY differences between this and one-click ordering are:

1. The session cookie is changed to a login cookie with a login/password pair used to sign in -- combining one non-novel thing (the "shopping cart model") with another (site logins) that are fairly obvious things to combine.

2. The order form information that tends to not vary (from one order to the next by a particular customer) is persisted server-side. Plenty of sites already kept customer/user info and persisted them; sites with logins stored e.g. personalization data. Again, combining two non-novel things in an obvious way.

3. So now all the information needed to charge for and ship an item is already known by the time the user clicks "add to cart", so why not simply change "add to cart" to "buy now" and make it immediately process the transaction? Again, pretty darn obvious.

This was the obvious, natural progression of the state of the art in 1997. There is nothing new or nonobvious here.

Indeed, with reference to point 2 above businesses maintaining customer accounts long existed; credit card companies had been doing so for decades and banks for centuries at the time. Not using databases and HTTP cookies, maybe, but using new, but now commonplace record-keeping tools to maintain records of a non-new type is hardly "new and nonobvious".

Even if you believe in the purpose behind the patent system and think patents are wonderful, you should not believe that the "one-click patent" was worthy of being granted.

And of course if you're at all intelligent you'll realize that the whole concept of "intellectual property" is morally, intellectually, and economically bankrupt.

Beeswax:

Thank you for your comprehensive explanation.

Considering your detailed explanation, I agree with the conclusion you made that the patent should have been obvious.

I was going to ask a rhetorical question in response, but I realized I knew the answer. My rhetorical question was going to be why this information could not be presented in the re-examination. Then I remembered that this was an ex parte re-examination and the challenger could only present limited information. The details you provided may not have been well documented in 1997.

I wonder whether Barnes & Noble will appeal this decision. I think they can. Once they move into the courts, the information you provided would be admissable in testimony. Perhaps you could be the expert for Barnes & Noble.

Again, thank you very much for your clear explanation.

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