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Doug Nebeker ("Doug")
Given Howard's recent post and certain troubling legal concerns for devs in the U.S., I'm wondering how many of those that read this forum are based in the U.S. Along the way it would be interesting to know where you are if not in the U.S. I know Australia, UK, Borneo, [Undisclosed Non-U.S. Location], Argentina, and Russian Federation seem to be represented, and just one U.S. person, from what I've seen this year (I'm probably forgetting some).
Any other U.S.'ers? If so, do you find these legal issues about patents a concern for you?
(If you are not in the U.S., feel free to recommend a local delicacy.)
I'm in the US. Overall, I try not to worry about patent issues too much. I suppose that any day, some troll could come out of the woodwork and try to ruin my life for violating their overly broad patent on "application displayed in a window". I don't know what the likelihood is of that happening though. I definitely won't be moving out of the country to avoid the issue.
Monday, April 15, 2013
Generally, you have to achieve some level of success before the trolls come after you. I do get a little worried sometimes that if I'm ever able to actually produce a hit software product, I'm going to have to deal with the trolls/leeches.
Actually, as a general rule, if you become wealthy/successful in the US you WILL be a target for nuisance lawsuits of all kinds.
Monday, April 15, 2013
Based in the UK. Our local delicacy is Haggis, so I guess that gives the game away.
Apparently the US does not allow the import of Haggis, though, so you won't be able to try the real thing unless you can smuggle it in from Canada or somewhere else where border controls are more lax.
As far as Patents are concerned, I don't pay much attention to them since my own products are not particularly ground-breaking. However, I can see that in very specialized fields, with software costing upwards of 30k and a relatively small market, then patents can help.
As an example, I'm currently working in the oil industry where well-bore logging and analysis are critical and unique techniques used in the well analysis can mean the difference between a sale and no sale.
The company has several patents but, since you cannot patent software as such in the EU, the patents are tied to hardware devices.
Smee: "Based in the UK. Our local delicacy is Haggis, so I guess that gives the game away."
Ah, yes. So where in Scotland are you?
I am in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada.
I have read all too much about the U.S. patent mess. Fortunately, I have not been directly affected by it.
I'm in the UK, near London, so I nominate jellied eels as a local delicacy.
As for patents, I tend to think that they are useless and do more harm than good. Things are so ludicrous now that it is likely that every piece of software written infringes on one or more patents. This is clearly not sustainable, or even useful to society.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
I left the US seven years ago, and took my business with me. It was a great decision, and I never have regretted it. I miss home sometimes, but it seems like the place I remembered no longer exists and it just keeps getting worse.
Some businesses need to be in the US. Most mISV will not fall into this category. For low ticket item downloadable software, I see no compelling reason to run a software business from the US. I know it is possible, and I did run a successful business for years out of NYC which is one of the priciest places in the country. But it just doesn't make any sense to do it. Unless for some reason you must be in America. In addition to the problems Howard mentioned. I have these gripes about the US.
1. US Labor is extremely expensive , on a worldwide scale. And you are not getting smarter or better programmers and engineers because they are in the US. Just more expensive. So, What would you rather have: 2 US programmers to build your next idea, 10 programmers for the same price as the two US guys, or just 2 programmers but at an 80% discount to US prices? The numbers are very compelling.
2. US Tax rates are outrageous. If you are a global company looking for a place to start a new business today, would you rather pay 12% of all of your future millions to Ireland, 10% in SouthEast Europe, 0% in certain Economic Development Zones. Or give 35% to 50% of every penny you will make to the United States who will give you nothing you can't get elsewhere in return. Here is what the numbers look like if your idea makes $5 million dollars in profit.
- Keep $4.5 million to $5.0 million in Europe
- Keep $2.5 million to $3.2 million in the US
3. All successful business in America are the target of frivolous lawsuits. This doesn't happen outside of the US. Frivolous lawsuits, ( and alien abductions ) are problems that afflict Americans only.
4. Office Space, Legal Costs, Accounting etc. All cost 5x to 10x as much in the US than in the developing world.
5. For me a lower cost structure takes a lot of the business pressures to make immediate cash away. The absence of such pressure allows us to focus on making the best product and service for our customers. We can do things for our customers that would be impossible to do profitably in the US. (At least not at the mISV level.)
6. Personal cost of living in the US is also much higher. I spend about 30% of what I used to when I lived in the US, and I have increased the amenities in my lifestyle, not decreased them.
The only thing that would compel me to come back to the US and start hiring Americans again is if they create a Zero or very low tax zone for foreign companies relocating to the US. But as long as they keep electing Socialist presidents that is not going to happen.
The second reply by Scott has a tip for avoiding litigation over intellectual property: "moving outside the US makes it so much harder to sue no one bothers" which lead to me posting this topic:
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