The Macalope Daily: Taking sides

“Thirty years from now when you’re sitting around your fireside with your grandson on your knee, and he asks you, ‘What did you do in the great Patent Wars of 2011?’ You won’t have to say, ‘Well, I shoveled [expletive] in Louisiana.’” - George S. Patton

There’s been a lot of hubbub about patents this year. They’re like this year’s Cabbage Patch Kids or Tamogotchi or tactical thermonuclear weapon. You’d better be on the patent-holding side or woe betide unto you. Loser.

Sadly for Google, its mom wasn’t willing to line up at 6:00 a.m. in front of the Toys-R-Us. Or the Soviet Academy of Sciences at the end of the Cold War, as the case may be.

The Macalope took some flack in the comments on Saturday, because he poked fun at Google’s laughable complaints about Microsoft and Apple suing Android hardware manufacturers. So, he spent some of his well-earned vacation time thinking about this whole situation while drinking umbrella-adorned beverages by the ocean and having his antlers massaged by nymphs.

That’s not a euphemism, by the way.

Anyway, he doesn’t want to be talking out of both sides of his floppy-drive mouth about this. When the history of this great battle is written, he wants people to know where he stands. Well, sir, what shall it be? Shall it be for liberty or for the tyranny of a broken patent system?! Don’t wait for the translation, answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’!

(The Macalope buys trite uses of famous quotations by the bushel down at Earl’s Trite Uses of Famous Quotations Shack off I-75 in Sarasota.)

Well, really, you can be against Lodsys and for Apple. But it doesn’t really matter. The Macalope’s position on this is about the same as that of Watts Martin, who nicely sums up some of the differences and concludes thusly:

…I’m not sure I’m on Apple’s “side,” both as someone who doesn’t like software patents in general and as someone who generally likes Apple’s products.

The Macalope doesn’t fell like he really has a dog in this Google/Microsoft/Apple fight. He frankly doesn’t support dog-fighting at all. Or cock fighting. (That is a euphemism, by the way.) But he doesn’t think you have to be rooting for someone to find it funny that one of the teams is complaining about the rules of the fight.

Still, if forced into absolutes, he’d gladly trade the dissolution of the Lodsys suit for the dissolution of Microsoft and Apple’s claims against Android hardware manufacturers. It’s not like Apple really needs the help of the courts to fight Android—it’s already taking all the profit. The Macalope worries more about independent developers getting extorted by idea squatters than three giant companies fighting with each other.

[Editors’ Note: Each week the Macalope skewers the worst of the week’s coverage of Apple and other technology companies. In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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