Microsoft's Changing Views On Patents; When You're Young You Need To Innovate; When You're Old You Need To Litigate
from the protectionism-at-work dept
Either way, Tim Lee has done an excellent job highlighting Bill Gate's very prescient prediction on software patents juxtaposed with Brad Smith's claims on the importance of the patent system:
Brad Smith, Microsoft general counsel, 2007: "Protection for software patents and other intellectual property is essential to maintaining the incentives that encourage and underwrite technological breakthroughs. In every industry, patents provide the legal foundation for innovation. The ensuing legal disputes may be messy, but protection is no less necessary, even so."
Bill Gates, Microsoft CEO, 1991: "If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today's ideas were invented and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today... A future start-up with no patents of its own will be forced to pay whatever price the giants choose to impose."