Sad to see Modista die

Monday 11th January, 2010

I should state at this point that these are personal opinions, not those of my employer.

While the first reaction when a potential competitor folds is to celebrate, that reaction is both immature and short-sighted. Not only is it a sad state of affairs that one company can destroy another using just the costs of the patent infringement process (regardless of whether the patent is valid or the infringment is demonstrable), but since competition is the fire that drives progress and innovation; seeing competition fold for any reason other than poor products is always disappointing.

Daniel Tunkelang has a eulogy of Modista over on the Noisy Channel.

Respect to AJ Shankar, Arlo Faria, and any others on the team; you guys did some impressive work.

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Mobile barcodes

Thursday 20th March, 2008

Just came across this really interesting idea for a bar-code driven product wiki. The killer use case is that you could take a snap of a product’s bar code with your mobile phone camera and within seconds be reading what other people say about it, news articles, reviews, etc. It’s very compelling.

I suspect that patent holders would come running, but surely there’s a reasonable case for this patent (6,993,573) being denied, as granting it would create a monopoly equivalent to all hyperlinks being controlled by a single source.