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Bryan's Blog 2005/12/31
From Software Patents to Silly Trademarks
Many will know that I'm against software patents - I still like the claim (can't remember the source) that every few lines of java probably infringes someone's patent. The thing that most annoys me is that patent armouries would appear to be acquired for use by the big players to out bluff the little players, who simply can't afford to fight (why else would Microsoft be patenting things which are patently not patentable?)
It appears that this is a silliness that has wider application:Stuff is reporting the strange case of a kiwi winemaker not being able to use the name kiwi on their label in Europe, because, wait for it - a French winemaker has rights to the trademark! Similarly, some British company has rights to the name Aotearoa.
In the former case it turns out that the NZ winemaker has used the word kiwi on a label in Europe before the French one, so would probably win in court but can't afford to fight. Sound eerily familiar to the software patent world? In the latter case, the Maori word for New Zealand (that's right, the indigenous people's name for their country) has been trademarked by a company in the old world. That doesn't seem fair either ...
by Bryan Lawrence : 2005/12/31 (permalink)
The Penultimate Broadband Post
Finally, just over three years after I started trying to get ASDL broadband home, it has happened ... this last saga has taken six weeks from inception, including two actual engineer visits and two that didn't happen. I can see why they want a one year contract!
Anyway, it turns out that despite living about 7km from the exchange we have a nice clean piece of wire and an SNR of 12 dB for the 512 kB/s service. I can live with this (I'll summarise the pros and cons wrt to satellite and why I made this change in a later posting).
While the systems that interface BT broadband to BT wholesale are clearly appalling and let the people who front them down, the people themselves have been great. The bloke who came yesterday was very helpful and professional (and made sure that what he left in terms of cabling was what we wanted, not what our legacy was).