#yahoo

seldo
seldo:

Unless you’re a former Yahoo like me, nothing about this screenshot will jump out at you — but the little ® next to the logo, a long-standing symbol of pointless, unthinking corporateness, is gone from the Yahoo home page. It’s such a little thing, but getting the little things right is important. Maybe Marisa Mayer really can turn things around over there. (They’re even pulling them off the walls)

Subtle, but nice move.

seldo:

Unless you’re a former Yahoo like me, nothing about this screenshot will jump out at you — but the little ® next to the logo, a long-standing symbol of pointless, unthinking corporateness, is gone from the Yahoo home page. It’s such a little thing, but getting the little things right is important. Maybe Marisa Mayer really can turn things around over there. (They’re even pulling them off the walls)

Subtle, but nice move.

Twitter has drafted up what they’re calling the Innovator’s Patent Agreement (IPA). With it, the company is promising to only use their patents as the actual inventor intended — read: defensively, not offensively.

More specifically:

The IPA is a new way to do patent assignment that keeps control in the hands of engineers and designers. It is a commitment from Twitter to our employees that patents can only be used for defensive purposes. We will not use the patents from employees’ inventions in offensive litigation without their permission. What’s more, this control flows with the patents, so if we sold them to others, they could only use them as the inventor intended.

Excellent news. Twitter is promising to implement the IPA later this year and says that it will apply to all their patents past and present. Yes, this means things like Loren Brichter’s pull-to-refresh (which he’s excited about).

Hopefully other startups large and small will follow Twitter’s lead here. It would be really excellent if larger companies (*cough* Yahoo *cough*) did as well, but it’s hard to see that happening given the current state of things. This is a movement that will have to start from the ground up.

Big time kudos to Twitter for this.

lilly

lilly:

I’ve been thinking about the situation with Yahoo suing Facebook regarding some older patents, and observing the reactions online in blogs and on Twitter. I’ve been struck by how unanimous it’s been, and the emerging narrative that Yahoo has somehow crossed a line, that Internet companies don’t…

A smart take on the Yahoo/Facebook patent situation by John Lilly. I think he’s right, there’s more fueling the outpouring of hatred directed at Yahoo than just their patent maneuvers. BUT, I also think their maneuvers are particularly bullshit in this case. Look at what it is they’re suing Facebook over. It’s things that nearly all social services use. It’s obvious things. Things that existed before Yahoo patented them. 

Lilly is right that many other patent lawsuits are bullshit as well — particularly in software. But Yahoo is being unreasonably evil and stupid here. Why didn’t they sue, say, 5 years ago? Why aren’t they suing 200 other companies “infringing” their silly patents? 

It’s because, like Kodak, they’re dying. And these are the actions that a dying company resorts to. With Kodak, it’s obvious — they’re bankrupt. And people feel sort of sorry for them as a result. Yahoo is not bankrupt, so it’s not-so-obvious. But they are still very much dying. And they clearly know it, hence, the lawsuit.

Maybe we should feel bad for Yahoo here too. But we don’t yet. But we will someday in the not-too-distant future. The saddest thing now is that they probably really think this lawsuit will help save them. It won’t.

Brilliant

It’s becoming more and more apparent just how jackasserific Yahoo’s Facebook patent lawsuit really is. At least now some (soon-to-be-former) employees may directly benefit from the stupidity. 

(CrunchFund is happily an investor in Yammer because Sacks does awesome stuff like this.)