The Delusions Of Nathan Myhrvold

from the misrepresenting-the-truth dept

Nathan Myhrvold may not have done much of note yet with Intellectual Ventures, but he sure is good at getting press attention. It seems to come in waves, too, with multiple stories popping up all around the same time. So, after last week's Malcolm Gladwell-penned story on Myrhvold that accidentally made the case for why Intellectual Ventures isn't needed, PC World is running an unintentionally hilarious interview with Myrhvold, where he says some of the most ridiculous things, and the interviewer doesn't call him on a single one. When asked whether or not there's a patent litigation "crisis" Myrhvold notes:
"If I compare the number of lawsuits to the number of patents that exist, it's down. If I compare it to the number of patent holders, it's down. Patent litigation has grown, but it's actually grown less fast than lots of other things have grown."
That's misleading in many different ways. He basically is trying to hide the massive growth in patent lawsuits (and monetary awards) by claiming that if you look at the ratio of lawsuits to patents, that's down. But that's misleading, because the sheer number of patents and patent applications has exploded due to some changes to patent laws, as well as court decisions that widely expanded the scope of patents. Add to that some ridiculous lawsuit outcomes, rewarding insane amounts of money for questionable patents, and the patent office gets overwhelmed with more applications. That the percentage of lawsuits to patents has gone down is fairly meaningless, when the absolute numbers are pretty clear.
"Lots of technology companies that are gigantic today weren't gigantic five or 10 years ago. They were little startups that grew like weeds. Or they were a company that acquired little startups. Many of these companies took whatever it took to become successful. Along the way, they probably copied lots of other people's ideas. And the reason they complain about patent litigation and claim that there's a problem is, they know they stole lots of stuff. And they're afraid someone's going to ask them for the money, and they'd prefer not to pay."
Notice that he doesn't provide a single example. Notice that he conflates "theft" with "infringement." Notice that he doesn't even consider the idea that there was likely independent invention. Notice that he doesn't admit that it was competition, not patents, that drove much of this innovation. Notice that he doesn't seem to mind the idea that someone who lost in the marketplace deserves money from those who won.
"It's very hard to come and say, "Look, I've become a billionaire personally, and my company has got a $100 million market capitalization, and we did this by copying lots of ideas from universities and small companies we never paid. But we'd like a free pass." So instead, you say, "Oh my God, there's this catastrophe, patent litigation is threatening to stop all innovation." What evidence is there of it? There's none."
And here Myhrvold is either outright lying or he's ignorant (he can let us know which one). First of all no one has ever said that patent litigation is threatening to stop all innovation. They've just said that it is slowing the pace of innovation. And there's plenty of evidence to support that, despite Myhrvold's claim that there's none. James Bessen and Michael Meurer just came out with a whole book detailing much of the evidence, and David Levine and Michele Boldrin also have a book with even more evidence. Did Myhrvold simply not know about these? Or is he lying to PC World?

Then he's asked about whether or not it's okay for someone to get a patent and then not do anything with it, to which he responds:
I would say, yes, there's nothing wrong with that. And the analogy I would use is, it'd be like saying, "Is it OK for someone to buy a chunk of the business and never show up there?" And the answer is, yes. We call them venture capitalists or shareholders. To have a system of taking risk and building valuable companies, you have to have people that are financiers or have other specialized roles.
That sounds nice, but that analogy doesn't work in the slightest. Patent hoarding isn't like an investor or a shareholder. It's about someone holding onto a patent and then popping up and suing when someone else does something. A shareholder or an investor is a win-win relationship based on a fair transaction. A company gets some money, and the shareholder gets some equity. Patent hoarding is quite different. It's about holding onto a patent and then using it to legally threaten someone else or prevent them from doing work and then demanding money out of them after the fact. To equate that with an investor is simply incorrect.

I'm sure Myhrvold is a smart guy -- and he may truly believe that he's helping inventors and changing the world -- but he's either being purposely misleading or he's ignorant when it comes to patents and how they interact with the economy.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Ron (profile), May 13th, 2008 @ 1:41pm

    It's A Shame

    Before Myhrvold took his leave from MS to search for dinosaurs in Montana, I attended a conference where he gave one of the keynote speeches. The first half was about how the Diplodocus tail was actually used as a whip. He was animated, arresting, fascinating (actually showed his proficiany with a bull whip). Frankly I don't recall what the technology portion of his talk was except that I found it almost as interesting. But, now it sounds like he's spent too much time in the Bad Lands getting his brains baked. Really a shame

     

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  2.  
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    angry dude, May 13th, 2008 @ 1:55pm

    Look who's talking

    "he's either being purposely misleading or he's ignorant when it comes to patents and how they interact with the economy."

    Sounds like Mike Masnick to me...

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2008 @ 2:15pm

    What were you expecting from IDG- the designated PR company for Microshaft. They just print the releases.

     

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  4.  
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    sonofdot, May 13th, 2008 @ 2:16pm

    Re: Look who's talking

    I thought it sounded more like you.

     

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    WarOtter (profile), May 13th, 2008 @ 2:24pm

    Oh my...

    This whole interview sounds like commentary from some old MST3K episode.

    Crow T. Robot FTW!

     

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  6.  
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    Asian Tigers, May 13th, 2008 @ 2:34pm

    Does it really matter?

    What a dumb business model. All he is doing is expediting the speed of innovation overseas.

    1. Come up with idea
    2. Apply for patent
    3. Do nothing about it
    4. Put straightjacket on legitimate U.S. innovation
    5. Idea goes overseas (both directly and indirectly)

    How does he plan on combating "infringement" of ideas overseas? A cease and desist letter? lol

    There is a reason why some of the most innovative firms in the world refrain from filing public patents until material progress is made (prototype, etc.) on the idea. Having a head start to execute the idea before the competition catches wind is greatly more important than filing a patent.

    If IV actually comes up with a good idea, expect overseas competition to happily act on that idea. In fact, don't be surprised if an overseas competitor decides to use these IV patents as a way to source new ideas.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2008 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Look who's talking

    STFU troll

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2008 @ 2:51pm

    Re: Look who's talking

    Either debate rationally, or go away. Quit trolling. You're pathetic, and you have no life, if you have time to waste on trolling. Make the world a better place. Go kill yourself.

    I mean it. look back on your life, and name one thing you accomplished, just one success, one thing where you didn't wind up giving up halfway through, or getting rejected due to poor execution. Name one big thing you did with your life.

    You're nothing more then a puppet, brainlessly mouthing the same words over and over again to pretend relevancy and importance, when actually all you are doing is being worthless. Name one person who's opinion you've actually changed. All you've done here is piss people off at you, and hence at the position you claim to support. You've done your position more harm then good. Do you want to convince us that your position is correct? Use good rhetoric.

    Oh, wait, you can't because you're uneducated, and probably near illiterate to. You are an utterly worthless member of our society, with a job that is unrewarding, a degree (if you have one) that's barely worth the paper it's written on, and a life that's in shambles. You escape your wretched life in a fantasy world here on the internet where you pretend to be potent, but you even fail at potency here.

    You are a weak, impotent, castrated man who doesn't even know the first thing about standing up for yourself, or standing up for what's right, and you take out your passive aggressive rage here on us. Well, I'm sick and tired of it, and if this post pushes you one step closer to ending your pathetic existence I will not feel guilty. If you're going to fantasize about potency, go do it somewhere where you don't get in the way of the real adults speaking. Like WOW or Everquest or something. Or can you not even afford those?

    Either way, just go away, and leave us alone.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2008 @ 2:56pm

    Re: Re: Look who's talking

    That's a burn, but you're probably guilty of the same for putting in the time to write it.

     

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    angry dude, May 13th, 2008 @ 3:14pm

    I'm talking?!? WTF?

    I'm usually too busy taking it in the butt to hold down a real job...

     

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    TW Burger, May 13th, 2008 @ 3:20pm

    Nathan Myhrvold does sound like a person of intelligence that has no common sense. Someone I knew called these types "educated to the point of being useless".

    My opinion: Patent litigation is threatening to stop a great deal of innovation in the USA. It is, however, a great help to China.

     

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    Lucretious, May 13th, 2008 @ 3:35pm

    #8

    Cut-n-paste from generic rant page FTW!

     

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  13.  
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    Pathway Foods, May 13th, 2008 @ 3:38pm

    Re: Re: Look who's talking

    Hey now, Brown Cow.

    Is it just me or is there a bunch of noobs that just showed up?

    Learn the rules of the forum and *debate* with Angry Dude. Another thread called him an estranged Uncle. He's been here since 2003. Try lurching a little more.

     

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  14.  
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    Hank, May 13th, 2008 @ 3:39pm

    Re: Re: Look who's talking

    That was a really long drawn out example of hypocrisy. The irony is that you ended up making yourself look like a complete fool instead of leaving the attention on the other guy. I give you an A for effort though, or was it an A for anger. Doesn't matter, thanks for the laugh.

    You should come by www.agatheringofidiots.com and write some comments. My buddies will find it entertaining.

     

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    Hank, May 13th, 2008 @ 3:49pm

    political future......

    is this guy Nathan Myhrvold a politician? He's pretty good at dodging issues and creating analogies that have nothing to do with the subject.

    Look out for this guy to run for congress in the near future. He's fit right in.

    Anyway, back on subject; I think Asian Tiger makes a very good point. While we fumble around with patent issues here in the US other countries are running away with our ideas and making good money from them.

    And, realistically a patent is only as good as the law suites your pocket book can afford. There is a company in Germany that has copied one of our products (with an international patent) but it's more costly to fight the infringement in Germany that it is to just compete with them. Even closer to home there is a company in San Diego that copied one of our other patented products but a law suite would cost us more than the small amount of business they are taking from us.

     

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    MLS, May 13th, 2008 @ 3:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Look who's talking

    No, it is not just you. Many of the comments here and in response to other articles in large measure reflect the extent of misinformation that exists pertaining to patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, unfair competition and related law.

    It would be helpful to spur intellectually honest debate for people to extend the courtesy of trying to understand the issues before launching into invective.

     

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  17.  
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    Student, May 13th, 2008 @ 4:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Look who's talking

    Ohhh, nice advertisement. You all have a bit too much free time on your hands. Back to studying for my degree.

    (Quick break to refresh mental energy when studying for finals+snarky comment due to frustration with studying=priceless)

     

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  18.  
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    Lionel Mandrake, May 13th, 2008 @ 5:09pm

    Re: Delusions?

    Having worked quite closely with some of the most unique idiots/geniuses in the Silicon Valley, I've found that there's often a fine line between the two: idiots & geniuses. So then, that disheveled, antisocial, drooling jackass over in the corner of the room might actually be the next iPhone designer.(wait, that describes the iPhone designer already)

    Myhrvold's scheme to have his team's organized multi-genius babblings recorded and vetted by a building full of PhD's seems to be a rational extension of Edison's idea factory.

    Anyway, after reading the (typically) glowing profile of Myhrvold in a recent New Yorker (the Innovation issue), I learned that he has a real, life size, T Rex skeleton set up in his living room. I'd fold against those cards. That is so cool.....

     

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  19.  
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    angry dude, May 13th, 2008 @ 5:21pm

    Re: Re: Look who's talking

    Thanks for compliments.. but no thanks

    I am sticking around, dude

    BTW, haven't you noticed that so-called "patent reform" failed miserably in US Senate ?
    This was in large part due to the concerted effort of many many individuals (including myself)
    Do you really think that posting shitty comments on shitty internet blogs is the only thing I do?
    Get a life dude

     

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  20.  
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    Micheal Redfort Green, May 13th, 2008 @ 5:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Look who's talking

    Call me a newb, but why are you so against patent reform? 'cause it seems pretty clear from the numbers and statistics that there's an itsy bitsy problem with how patents are currently being processed. like, maybe they need examiners who know more about the field in question, and patents that have more sections then the bare minimum.

     

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  21.  
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    Moron in a hurry, May 13th, 2008 @ 6:28pm

    Just asking

    Anyone care to explain why it is ok for company to earn money solely from patent litigation and nothing else ?

    How exactly do these companies benefit society ?

    If there is no benefit to society, why are they tolerated ?
    They seem to be very much like a leech.

     

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    angry dude, May 13th, 2008 @ 8:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Look who's talking

    Dude,

    The "patent deform" was not about patent quality at all

    It was all about legalizing theft, or making it a manageable cost of doing business by large multinationals

     

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    angry dude, May 13th, 2008 @ 8:16pm

    Re: Just asking

    Hm....

    If you think that inventors are leeches just because they don't manufacture their inventions on mass scale then you have a serious judgement problem, dude

    Yeah, leeches like Thomas Edison, Nicholas Tesla, Edwin Armstrong, Bob Kearns, Ray Damadian, Gordon Gould, Brent Townshend etc. etc. etc.

    Come on now, you are not serious, are you ???

    The real question you should ask is this: how come that those inventors of novel and useful inventions have to resort to contingency law firms in order to protect their patent rights ?
    Maybe the blame is on the other side - large multinationals who routinely try to get away with stealing new technology from small guys, until some rich lawyer like Ray Niro (aka "patent troll") starts beating the crap out of them in courts ?

    It's the real face of capitalism
    Gotta love it dude

     

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  24.  
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    Moron in a hurry, May 13th, 2008 @ 8:26pm

    Re: Re: Just asking

    Sorry - I was not entirely clear. I was not asking about those who invent.
    I was asking about those who accumulate patents which they had nothing to do with.

     

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  25.  
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    Carpe Free Market, May 13th, 2008 @ 8:34pm

    Re: Re: Just asking

    In real capitalism (Free market) Patents and IP can not exist. If you want to protect your 'goods' you have to pay for the protection yourself.

    In semi-government controlled markets IP becomes a possibility.

     

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  26.  
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    angry dude, May 13th, 2008 @ 8:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Just asking

    Ok

    Then ask those large tech multinationals why they ALWAYS reject licensing offers for new inventions from independent inventors all the while making profits by (illegally) utilizing those same patented inventions in their products ?

    Like I said, gotta love capitalism dude

     

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  27.  
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    Carpe Free Market, May 13th, 2008 @ 8:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Just asking

    *shrug* And why are the small time innovators squashed by patent lawsuits?

    Anyway, you seem to not understand what capitalism is. Capitalism is free market with minimal government intervention. Patents are government intervention. hell, if you want to get right down to it highways and police are government intervention. Theoretically Capitalism will address any market inefficiencies it's self, whereas any government intervention causes market inefficiencies. This is most noticeable with highways and freight prices. Trains are a more efficient method of shipping goods... when a country isn't crisscrossed with government maintained roads. If it were not for the government building roads we would be less dependent on fossil fuel because we would use cars left. The government caused damage by interfering.

    Similarly police can, in certain situations, be damaging because it causes market inefficiencies. on the other hand, police and fire departments are things which tend to be regulated in our government to prevent competition: Imagine if when trying to apprehend a suspect cops started shooting at each other to get the reward, or fire-men broke into brawls in front of burning buildings... still, theoretically if they were privatized, the cops would get there a lot quicker. Same for fire DPD.

     

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  28.  
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    angry dude, May 13th, 2008 @ 9:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just asking

    Patents are prescribed by the Founding Fathers in the original US Constitution as a way to promote the progress in money-driven capitalistic society

    Have a problem with patents and copyrigths ?
    Petition your congressional representatives to change US Constitution

    We'll see how it goes :-)))

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 13th, 2008 @ 9:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just asking

    If they are to promote progress, shouldn't we disband them since they are doing the opposite at the present time?

     

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    Mike (profile), May 13th, 2008 @ 11:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just asking

    Patents are prescribed by the Founding Fathers in the original US Constitution as a way to promote the progress in money-driven capitalistic society

    Have a problem with patents and copyrigths ?
    Petition your congressional representatives to change US Constitution


    This has been explained to angry dude in the past, so I'm not sure why he repeats it -- other than to repeatedly show off that he doesn't care about reality.

    You're reading the Constitution incorrectly. The clause says that patents are okay *if* they promote the progress of science and the useful arts. If they're not doing that, then the founding fathers were clearly not okay with them. And the evidence suggests that in most cases, they are not doing so.

    All of this has been explained to angry dude in the past, and I'm not sure why he ignores it every time and continues to post his false statements. Cognitive dissonance or something.

     

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  31.  
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    Wesley Parish, May 14th, 2008 @ 3:58am

    rewarding losers

    That just about encapsulates the current status of patentry in the US and which various concerned parties are trying to infect various trading partners with.

    When I was considering patents etc, in the early nineties, one thing that did concern me was the likeliehood that applying for a patent was applying for a timesink to drain away the energy I would otherwise have had for developing the pickup. One thing I did not consider was that if the idea was worth anything, a bigger company could easily have bankrupted me with a faux-patent on the same thing, sued me for whatever I made out of the idea, then took the idea and buried it. I was aware that big companies were a major risk, in the same way that a supertanker in a threat to a small yacht when it tries to share the same small wharf.

    Of course, the one thing I frankly never imagined, was that patents would serve as a means to reward the losers in commercial competition, that someone who has independently developed a simple idea in software, could be bailed up and robbed in broad daylight for outcompeting his competition - merely because the bigger competition has the money to grease the palms of the patent office and thus the judiciary. Losers shouldn't be punished for losing, outside of their field of competition, but they shouldn't be rewarded for losing either. What an incentive for expatriating your business - knowing that you're safe from patent piracy.

     

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  32.  
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    stv, May 14th, 2008 @ 6:02am

    blogs are pointless

    "If I compare the number of lawsuits to the number of patents that exist, it's down. If I compare it to the number of patent holders, it's down. Patent litigation has grown, but it's actually grown less fast than lots of other things have grown."

    Your attack of Nathan’s above statement is unsupported. He is stating the number of patent suits is up only because there are more patents out there. If you look at the stats it is a reasonable position: e.g. take a look at PWC’s 2008 Patent Litigation Study. The rest of your article is just more of the same. This is why I don’t read blogs. All people do is rant about things they don’t understand...or don’t care to.

     

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  33.  
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    Fushta, May 14th, 2008 @ 6:19am

    Re: It's A Shame

    It really is a shame. Myhrvold, A self-proclaimed intellectual, desires to be taken seriously by the "community" yet perpetuates his ignorance (or purposeful sneakery) by continually using words like "lots," and "probably." Some of the most vague words in the English language, right up there with "might," and "mabye." Way to say something, without actually saying anything.

    Mike says, "I'm sure Myhrvold is a smart guy." Surely, in jest.

     

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  34.  
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    angry dude, May 14th, 2008 @ 6:33am

    Just tell me idiots

    who is smarter:

    1) Dr. Myhrvold earned a doctorate in theoretical and mathematical physics and a master's degree in mathematical economics from Princeton University. He also has a master's degree in geophysics and space physics and a bachelor's degree in mathematics, both from UCLA.

    or

    2)Mike has a bachelor's degree in Industrial and Labor Relations and an MBA -- both from Cornell University.


    Huh ?

     

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  35.  
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    Sir Awesome, May 14th, 2008 @ 7:08am

    Re: Just tell me idiots

    I'd say the person who is not speaking outside his field. You don't ask a physicist about biology.

    You don't ask a PHD in theoretical and mathematical physics, and a clear 'mathy person' about labor Relations and business. Mike is talking in his field. Myhrvoid is speaking outside his field (mathematical economics has little to do with IP and patents, and far more to do with statistics). Still it is a bit closer then asking a physicist about biology, and more like asking a veterinarian about cellular genetic biology.

     

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  36.  
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    Sir Awesome, May 14th, 2008 @ 7:10am

    Re: Just tell me idiots

    Oh, and getting a degree from UCLA usualy means, mostly you could afford to go to UCLA. Cornell has a good reputation too, I think, and UCLA is more of a tech and physics school last I checked then a business school.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2008 @ 8:27am

    Some observations:

    1. The provision that ultimately came to be Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 (The Patent and Copyright Clause) was one of the very few provision that passes unanimously. It is useful to bear in mind that the drafters of the US Constitution were well aware of the excesses associated with monopolies under the English system.

    2. The provision does not mandate that such laws be enacted. What it does is provide Congress the power to enact such laws.

    3. The word "progress" is susceptible to several meanings.

    4. As the initial person in charge of the "Patent Board" (I do not recall it original formal title) even Jefferson did admit being surprised by what he observed to be the beneficial effect of the incentive for invention associated with patent law.

    5. In pre-Consitution discussions between Madison and/or Adams (I do not immediately recall which) and Jefferson, the issue between them was not about the wisdom of patents and copyrights per se, but whether or not they should reflect the English system of what in essence was perpetuity and inheritability versus limited terms of years for each.

    6. Each system, i.e., does have inherent excesses to varying degrees that should always be the subject of healthy debate, but I daresay that most practitioners of the law are more concerned with the unbrideled growth of copyright law. Patent infringement is a civil matter. It has no criminal provisions associated therewith. Copyright infringement has taken a decidedly differnt turn, embracing both civil and crimainal penalties, with the criminal penalties seemingly growing at a cancerous rate.

    7. If "draconian" is to be used in relationship with US Intellectual Property law, experience informs me that it is most aptly applied to trade secret and copyright law, each of which involve both civil and criminal law.

    5. Intellectual Ventures (IV), with which Myhrvold is associated, is in its infancy. It professes a "business plan" that involves taking "ideas" from their conception to production, with IV providing the "ideas" and others providing the various skill sets necessary for eventually presenting a product to the market. Maybe that will change in the future into something resembling what a small group of "patent collectors" and their financiers are doing, but it has thus far shown no inclination to embark down such a path.

    6. Angry Dude is correct in referring to patent reform proposals before Congress (note: the bill has been taken off the legislative calendar for this session of Congress) as "patent deform". In large measure the so-called Patent Reform Act of 1997 was crafted by lobbyists and legal counsel for large corporations for their exclusive benefit. Anyone else who may benefit is coincidental, and most certainly not an intended outcome.

    The above are merely representative of some of what I believe to be the considerations that largely get lost in the anti-IP rhetoric. In my view, much of the rhetoric is engendered on the basis of hearsay that in the majority of instances is based upon an imperfect understanding of what patent and copyright law actually covers.

     

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  38.  
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    angry dude, May 14th, 2008 @ 8:30am

    Re: Re: Just tell me idiots

    "Mike is talking in his field"

    Huh ????????????????????????????????????????????????

    everybody and his dog knows that Mikey doens't know shit about patents (and unfortunately will never learn)

    Myhrvold has his name on dozens of patents

    gee, techdirt lemmings are just hopeless

    have a nice day punks

     

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  39.  
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    MLS, May 14th, 2008 @ 8:31am

    Re:

    I neglected to use the initials for my name in my above comments.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2008 @ 11:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Look who's talking

    I blame the schools.

     

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  41.  
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    SomeGuy, May 14th, 2008 @ 11:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just asking

    We'll see how it goes :-)))

    Well, it's happened 27 times before...

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    SomeGuy, May 14th, 2008 @ 11:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Just asking

    That's kind of Angry Dude's point: in real capitalism, anyone can 'steal' from inventors and undercut the other guy. And in that light, it is kind of a bad thing. In another light, real capitalism is open to real competition which drives real advances by everyone involved, because if you don't make advancements to differentiate yourself from the competition, you'll lose. Inventors aren't SOL in real capitalism, they just have to find a way of monetizing their expertise without a government-backed protection. In the end, society wins because the best product is brought to the market, by definition.

     

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  43.  
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    SomeGuy, May 14th, 2008 @ 11:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Just tell me idiots

    Filing and being awarded a patent doesn't mean you know anything about how they do work, let alone how they should work or what the consequences of our current system is. You can hold that Mike doesn't know what he's talking about if you want, but you can't really claim that simply holding a patent (or twelve) makes someone an expert on patent law. That's why patent holders hire lawyers, after all.

     

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  44.  
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    Sir Awesome, May 14th, 2008 @ 11:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Just tell me idiots

    Mike is talking about Business. He has a degree in buisness. Myhrvold has a degree in glorified statistics. Buisness is more then just glorified statistics

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2008 @ 11:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Just tell me idiots

    And you also do not know what YOU are talking about. Hello lemming.

     

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  46.  
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    angry dude, May 14th, 2008 @ 11:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Just tell me idiots

    Mikey's talking bullshit here on this blog and he has a bs degree... ops sorry that's an MBA

     

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  47.  
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    angry dude, May 14th, 2008 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Just tell me idiots

    Well, you just don't understand the purpose of patents

    The only purpose of patents is to encourage inventors to publish information about their inventions and discoveries, that's all, nothing more and nothing less

    Without patents any information about commercially useful inventions would be tightly guarded as a trade secret, just like in the middle ages

     

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  48.  
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    Cloony, May 14th, 2008 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just tell me idiots

    Well, a bachelor's is bullshit. A masters is more shit, and a P.H.D is piled higher and deeper.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2008 @ 3:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Look who's talking

    Do you really think that posting shitty comments on shitty internet blogs is the only thing I do?
    Actually, I suspect that everything you do is "shitty".

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2008 @ 3:50pm

    Re: blogs are pointless

    This is why I don’t read blogs.
    I believe that about as much as I do the rest of your comments.

     

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  51.  
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    Mike (profile), May 15th, 2008 @ 4:24am

    Re:

    1. The provision that ultimately came to be Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 (The Patent and Copyright Clause) was one of the very few provision that passes unanimously. It is useful to bear in mind that the drafters of the US Constitution were well aware of the excesses associated with monopolies under the English system.

    Not quite sure what that has to do with the discussion here. We've already established that the framers were well aware of the abuses -- which is why they had a lot of back-and-forth conversation about the risks of including this clause in the document.

    2. The provision does not mandate that such laws be enacted. What it does is provide Congress the power to enact such laws.

    Again... has anyone argued otherwise?

    3. The word "progress" is susceptible to several meanings.

    Which you and I have debated in the past. I still don't see how you can interpret the entire clause "progress of the science and useful arts" without the economic component. But, perhaps that's just my economics education speaking. Frankly, I don't see how there can be progress in either science or the useful arts if it's not economic progress.

    4. As the initial person in charge of the "Patent Board" (I do not recall it original formal title) even Jefferson did admit being surprised by what he observed to be the beneficial effect of the incentive for invention associated with patent law.

    Indeed -- while still making it clear that patents should be difficult to get, not easy. Jefferson also was not in possession of stacks upon stacks of evidence of how patents have held back innovation... A few anecdotal stories are not the equivalent of thorough economic research.

    5. In pre-Consitution discussions between Madison and/or Adams (I do not immediately recall which) and Jefferson, the issue between them was not about the wisdom of patents and copyrights per se, but whether or not they should reflect the English system of what in essence was perpetuity and inheritability versus limited terms of years for each.

    Um. Actually, that's simply not true. They discussed both the overall concept and how it should be set up. Banning such monopolies altogether was most definitely a part of the discussion.

    6. Each system, i.e., does have inherent excesses to varying degrees that should always be the subject of healthy debate, but I daresay that most practitioners of the law are more concerned with the unbrideled growth of copyright law. Patent infringement is a civil matter. It has no criminal provisions associated therewith. Copyright infringement has taken a decidedly differnt turn, embracing both civil and crimainal penalties, with the criminal penalties seemingly growing at a cancerous rate.

    I've seen about equal concern on both issues. However, in the long run, I think most people realize that patents have a much larger *economic* impact, and thus it's a much more important issue. The number of people concerned with it seems like a rather meaningless statistic, doesn't it?

    7. If "draconian" is to be used in relationship with US Intellectual Property law, experience informs me that it is most aptly applied to trade secret and copyright law, each of which involve both civil and criminal law.

    I see nothing wrong with applying it to the patent system as well.

    5. Intellectual Ventures (IV), with which Myhrvold is associated, is in its infancy. It professes a "business plan" that involves taking "ideas" from their conception to production, with IV providing the "ideas" and others providing the various skill sets necessary for eventually presenting a product to the market. Maybe that will change in the future into something resembling what a small group of "patent collectors" and their financiers are doing, but it has thus far shown no inclination to embark down such a path.

    I thought we did number 5 (and 6 and 7) already? :) Indeed, we don't know how IV will turn out, but considering how often we're seeing Myhrvold defend patent trolling (often using factually incorrect statements), I'd say it's worth pointing out.

    I'll note that you do not defend his false statements.

    6. Angry Dude is correct in referring to patent reform proposals before Congress (note: the bill has been taken off the legislative calendar for this session of Congress) as "patent deform". In large measure the so-called Patent Reform Act of 1997 was crafted by lobbyists and legal counsel for large corporations for their exclusive benefit. Anyone else who may benefit is coincidental, and most certainly not an intended outcome.

    MLS, I'm rather surprised at you resorting to silly name calling such as "patent deform." I have already made clear I was opposed to this bill as well, but I think it's rather childish to call it patent deform. As for it being crafted by lobbyists, again I don't deny that. That's part of why I think it was so problematic.

    But, that doesn't change the fact that there are very serious problems with the patent system that should be addressed.

    You keep coming here and saying that you are trying to clear up all the things I get wrong -- but then you don't actually point to anything I get wrong. You just make statements that have little to do with what we're discussing.

    It's not particularly convincing.

     

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  52.  
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    Chip Venters, May 15th, 2008 @ 6:14am

    Re: Re: Just asking

    You are on it angry dude. The idiocy of Masnick's views on patents shows a lack of historical knowledge and perspective and just plain inexperience in the real world of business. Nathan Myhrvold was the CTO at Microsoft....he knows how it works at these large companies when it comes to patents and intellectual property. Masnick is WAY on the sidelines, speculating nefarious intent from anyone or anything he doesn't understand. Mike...just because you do not understand something does not make it evil.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 15th, 2008 @ 6:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Just asking

    Sucking up to AD. - HA ha .. oh wait, this is satire right ?

    oh and btw, AD does not like M$ either - just thought I'd pass it on.

     

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  54.  
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    MLS, May 15th, 2008 @ 8:49am

    Patent "Deform"

    Your #6:

    This is most certainly not name calling. It is a term that has been used by many practitioners and academics alike who are familiar with many of the problems associated with patent law and its current implementation and repeatedly note that virtually none of the so-called "reform" provisions address any of the professed needs underlying "reform".

    Just one last thing to bear in mind. Legal scholars have closely studied the give and take associated with the crafting of the US Constitution's terms. Recall that the Articles of Confederation was entire silent on the matter of patents and copyrights, and under it several states (if not most) had already enacted legislation providing for and granting such rights. The US Constitution was in this regard an attempt to bring this subject under a single umbrella. BTW, it is correct to note that the principal question leading to the patent and copyright clause did involve perpetuity/inheritability versus limited times. It is fair to say that nobody really disputed the abuses by the English Crown in its award to the favored few of patents for what might be considered staple articles of commerce, and they were simply inconsistent with the goals of the nascent United States. The encouragement of science and the useful arts were recognized as being an entirely different matter altogether.

    Do try to keep in mind that many of my comments are not specifically directed to the contents of articles, but to try and provide additional information to some who provide posts that clearly manifest a misunderstanding of what the law involves.

    The many failings of the reform proposals have been noted and discussed in great detail on Dennis Crouch's Patently-O blob, which I understand you do read with some regularity.

    Your #7:

    It is surprising that you see no problem in applying criminal measures to patents as well, particularly when I see numerous DOJ and Congressional references to enhancement of copyright protection being deemed necessary to prevent "theft". Yes, "theft. The DOJ even has educational documents for its criminal prosecution division repeatedly drumming this word into the heads of prosecutors. The PRO IP bill you mention in another article is replete with this same term.

    If you believe patents stifle innovation under the current patent system, I can only begin to imagine what your comments would be should criminality become associated with patent law as well.

     

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  55.  
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    MLS, May 15th, 2008 @ 10:06am

    Copyright

    Re me comments concerning criminality associated with copyright and trade secret law, you may find the contents of the first copyright act (1790) interesting in the sense that it crafted to penalties. One, of course, is the award of damages in civil court for lost sales, etc. The other is a fine payable to the government, the beginning of what I call "criminality".

    A copy of the original act, in "Old English" can be found at:

    http://www.earlyamerica.com/earlyamerica/firsts/copyright/centinel.html

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 15th, 2008 @ 4:17pm

    MLS: 7. If "draconian" is to be used in relationship with US Intellectual Property law, experience informs me that it is most aptly applied to trade secret and copyright law, each of which involve both civil and criminal law.

    MM: I see nothing wrong with applying it to the patent system as well.

    MLS: It is surprising that you see no problem in applying criminal measures to patents as well, particularly when I see numerous DOJ and Congressional references to enhancement of copyright protection being deemed necessary to prevent "theft". [...]

    MLS, I believe that there might exist for the average native speaker of English the potential for understanding that MM was agreeing with you that the system can be reasonably described as draconian. Perhaps it would be best in terms of demonstrating your credibility on this matter for you to have clarified this before jumping to a conclusion that would logically appear to fundamentally contradict MM's arguments as evidenced at great length on this website. You silly prat.

     

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  57.  
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    Mike (profile), May 15th, 2008 @ 4:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Just asking

    The idiocy of Masnick's views on patents shows a lack of historical knowledge and perspective and just plain inexperience in the real world of business.

    What's historically ignorant about what I have written? I'm the one who has pointed to the historical evidence suggesting that patents don't help innovation (must I do that again). What was ignorant about that?

    As for business, I am running a business that is doing quite well, and part of that business is helping other businesses understand their business opportunities. And our customers seem happy with the results. So, I understand that you won't hire us, but that's your loss. Luckily, I don't need to rely on your approval to be successful in business. :)

    Masnick is WAY on the sidelines, speculating nefarious intent from anyone or anything he doesn't understand. Mike...just because you do not understand something does not make it evil.

    I never said it was evil or that there was nefarious intent. Please don't make assumptions.

    I simply point out the historical evidence of why patents tend to do more harm than good. I'm sure Myhrvold believes in what he's doing, and thinks he's doing it for a good reason. But that doesn't make him right.

     

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  58.  
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    Mike (profile), May 15th, 2008 @ 4:39pm

    Re: Patent "Deform"

    This is most certainly not name calling. It is a term that has been used by many practitioners and academics alike who are familiar with many of the problems associated with patent law and its current implementation and repeatedly note that virtually none of the so-called "reform" provisions address any of the professed needs underlying "reform".


    Oh come on. Calling a patent reform proposal "patent deform" is clearly playing name games. It's the equivalent of calling patent holders "patent trolls." I would think you'd be above it.

    It is surprising that you see no problem in applying criminal measures to patents as well

    Um. I said I thought it was appropriate to apply the term draconian to patent law -- I said nothing about making patent infringement a criminal offense.

     

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  59.  
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    U ain't got no-body., May 15th, 2008 @ 6:37pm

    It seems you have little basis to truly understand the problem.

    I have worked in both research and development and in the patent department in several of the world's largest product makers. I was lead architect for several products that nearly all of us have used once in a while. It is appalling to see how little respect these companies have for anything that is invented by others. They send their engineers to conferences and standards meetings and they come back and incorporate the innovations they learn into products with little to no concern about who truly invented it. Is this "independent invention" as Mike refers to it, or is it "theft" as Nathan proposes? The key point is they know it was not invented by them, the law allows it be protected as a property right, but they use it anyway.

    Another point: all three Fortune 500 companies I worked for had a strict policy of NOT allowing any patent searches when designing products, since it could trigger triple damages in an eventual patent case due to "willful infringement". The policy actually stated that at all three places. So is someone going to tell me they really don't know they are stealing?
    Yeah, right.

    The hilarious part of this is that the 'infringers" will continue to try to weaken the patent laws until a few years from now. They will then be screaming for the laws to be strengthened because all of the Chinese copied products will hit our streets, they will be left with little to protect their "innovations". Historically, this is why we ended up with a United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (formed in 1982) to hear patent cases and a ITC proceeding to exclude infringing products from being imported. This was because of all of the "cheap Japanese products" that hit our streets in the late 70's and early 80's.

    Property rights are very interesting. You apparently think other's rights are unjust, but think that your rights are sacred. Mike, what would you think if everyone started using your words without attribution? Fortunately, there is little chance of that :-)

    I also think Mike is actually jealous of Nathan because people actually care about what Nathan says :-)

    One final question: Mike, if Nathan's company is not even needed, why has Nathan raised so much money, reportedly most from those same companies that are being the patent reform efforts? They apparently think it is needed...

     

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  60.  
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    Mike (profile), May 15th, 2008 @ 8:06pm

    Re: It seems you have little basis to truly understand the problem.

    They send their engineers to conferences and standards meetings and they come back and incorporate the innovations they learn into products with little to no concern about who truly invented it. Is this "independent invention" as Mike refers to it, or is it "theft" as Nathan proposes? The key point is they know it was not invented by them, the law allows it be protected as a property right, but they use it anyway.

    You miss the point. Why should it matter who came up with the idea first. As we pointed out last week, who came up with it first is meaningless, since there is so much multiple invention at the same time.

    The whole point is all that matter is who successfully gets it to market in a successful way. So I don't see why we shouldn't learn from others and look to improve on what others have done. They have every right to then take those improvements and improve on them as well.

    That's called competition and innovation -- which is what I thought we all wanted.

    No?

    Another point: all three Fortune 500 companies I worked for had a strict policy of NOT allowing any patent searches when designing products, since it could trigger triple damages in an eventual patent case due to "willful infringement". The policy actually stated that at all three places. So is someone going to tell me they really don't know they are stealing?

    Yeah, we've discussed that as well. Doesn't that trouble you? Doesn't that show that the patent system is NOT being used for the purpose that's been stated. Doesn't it show that the whole myth that the patent system is to "disclose" ideas is clearly untrue because people are now afraid to even look at it?

    And yes, the fact that they won't look at patents DOES suggest that they're not stealing. If they were copying the idea (which is infringement, not theft, btw) wouldn't they want the details of how to do it, which the patent provides? The reason for not looking is to *prove* that the invention was independent.

    The hilarious part of this is that the 'infringers" will continue to try to weaken the patent laws until a few years from now. They will then be screaming for the laws to be strengthened because all of the Chinese copied products will hit our streets, they will be left with little to protect their "innovations". Historically, this is why we ended up with a United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (formed in 1982) to hear patent cases and a ITC proceeding to exclude infringing products from being imported. This was because of all of the "cheap Japanese products" that hit our streets in the late 70's and early 80's.

    You mean *better* Japanese products. Yes, the complaints were because there was real competition for the first time. As the research has repeatedly shown, stronger IP laws come *after innovation* which is exactly the opposite of what's supposed to happen. They're supposed to create incentives for innovation, but that's not happening.

    Property rights are very interesting. You apparently think other's rights are unjust, but think that your rights are sacred. Mike, what would you think if everyone started using your words without attribution? Fortunately, there is little chance of that :-)

    No, actually, go right ahead. PLEASE reuse my words. It will only get me more attention and potentially hurt your reputation. I'm really getting sick of people accusing me of this. I've said it repeatedly, and there are about a dozen sites that do exactly what you claim. Since you're apparently new around here (repeating all the old debunked arguments) you can go here to see me talking about it a while ago:

    http://www.techdirt.com/article.php?sid=20070412/183135#c612

    Or I'll just repeat it for you:

    Yup. And as we've said repeatedly, we have no problem with people taking our content and reposting it. It's funny how many people come here, like yourself, and assume you've found some "gotcha." You haven't. There already are about 10 sites that copy Techdirt, post for post. Some of them give us credit. Some of them don't. We don't go after any of them.

    Here's why:

    1. None of those sites get any traffic. By itself, they offer nothing special.

    2. If anything, it doesn't take people long to read those sites and figure out that the content is really from Techdirt. Then they just come here to the original source. So, it tends to help drive more traffic to us. That's cool.

    3. As soon as the people realize the other sites are simply copying us, it makes those sites look really, really bad. If you want to risk your reputation like that, go ahead, but it's a big risk.

    4. A big part of the value of Techdirt is the community here. You can't just replicate that.

    5. Another big part of the value of Techdirt is that we, the writers, engage in the comments. You absolutely cannot fake that on your own site.

    So, really, what's the purpose of copying our content, other than maybe driving a little traffic our way?

    So, if you really want to, I'd suggest it's pretty dumb, but go ahead.

    Btw, are you going to admit that you were wrong in what you said? I have a consistent opinion on copyright and patents (which are different than tangible property).

    Where's the apology for being wrong?

    One final question: Mike, if Nathan's company is not even needed, why has Nathan raised so much money, reportedly most from those same companies that are being the patent reform efforts? They apparently think it is needed...

    He raised it by lying to them. http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20060626/1011256.shtml

    He changed the business plan after raising the money.

     

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  61.  
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    U ain't got no-body, May 16th, 2008 @ 7:21am

    Re: Re: It seems you have little basis to truly understand the problem.

    Mike, if this is your attempt at "debunking" the arguments, you have missed your goal. You sound just like the same old tired drivel I used to spout when I was working at a product company and knowing that I was lying about our supposed "innovations".

    You say, "Doesn't that trouble you? Doesn't that show that the patent system is NOT being used for the purpose that's been stated. Doesn't it show that the whole myth that the patent system is to "disclose" ideas is clearly untrue because people are now afraid to even look at it?"

    You show your ignorance here. Innovators publish at conferences and standards because they have or can file patents. Just because people are not reading the actual patent document does not mean the patent system has not given the incentive to publish with protection. I recall many rushed internal efforts to get patents filed before a submission at a conference or standards body. It is i not untrue or a myth at all. It is a very real way of doing business at every fortune 500 company. Innovate, patent, publish. Exactly what the founding fathers had in mind.

    Having worked there, I know they do not look at other's patent because we *KNOW* they are stealing it, but only having knowledge of the actual patent invokes the treble damages. If the law were changed to be similar to copyright, where merely publishing gives you rights, then it would likely cause more respect for inventors.

    I believe that there is very little simultaneous independent invention. You claim it happens often. In my 30 years inside product companies, I did not see it that way at all. Most companies are "innovating" only in small steps toward furthering their current product base. Nearly all disruptive innovations come from outside their system. The product companies have no choice but to co-opt those inventions and use them if they are to compete and grow their product lines. Nearly all do it knowing they my have to pay for it later. They even have their legal department do risk analysis on it and figure it as a acceptable way to do business. Reminds me of the risk analysis Ford did on the Pinto, they knew it would kill a few people, but the cost of paying them off was less than the cost of retooling, Ah, the joys of free enterprise...

    When I was within the product companies, we had to build competitive products, knowing we are taking other's inventions, but failed to do even the smallest attempt to respect the rights of others. Those same corporations then use their own patents, they often buy other's patents, or use any other legal means at their disposal to put down competition, especially from the small upstart that is eating their lunch in the marketplace. When the large product producer does it, it is viewed as protecting their 'innovations". Then when the true innovator has nothing left but his patent, he is vilified when he does the same.

    I give you one real example. While I was at one of these companies, we designed a new memory controller using a paper from a major university as the design basis. Three years later the professor came with a patent in hand and asked for a small donation. The company spent more than the asked donation to try and recreate history such that the true inventor and the university would not come back. IS this one of your examples of "independent invention"? Yeah right.

    I have worked in the trenches and have been asked to help them in their attempts to not respect the laws and rights of true inventors. If you really think this is not happened all the time, you are very naive.

    You can spout all you want about your view of the issues from the outside, but they lack the perspective and burden of knowing what is really going on inside.

    I believe the true problem is that the patent laws are treated like many other laws. They ignore them when they can and use them when they feel threatened. Small inventors and innovators have little choice but patent and sue since the large product makers will use every available way available to crush them if the innovators even start to take any market share. meanwhile they consciously use other's innovations and simply call it a "measured risk". two of the three companies I was at even had a "watch list" where they had their attorneys watching other companies that they knew had patents that could be used against the products they had knowingly incorporated the other's innovations into, That doesn't bother you?

    Innovation does occur often. A well run and enforced patent system would allow innovators to be respected. I do not think that patent lawsuits are in any way an efficient system. The only one who wins is the one with the deepest pockets and the attorneys. However, as long as there is wholesale theft of property continuing out there, something needs to be used.

    Your response about this blog was not the real scenario. I agree that someone stealing from here would be insignificant :-) I am sure that if the unlikely happened and you wrote a manuscript that you submitted to an editor, who changed the name to his own, and it became a bestseller, you would not stand by and let them take all the gains in the spirit of free enterprise.

    You also missed the point on the Fed Circuit and ITC. They instituted those stronger IP laws because they *had* innovated and patents were how they had protected themselves. If the issue had been purely foreign competition, import levies would have been sufficient to control the problem.

    Finally, you said, "He raised it by lying to them. He changed the business plan after raising the money." Another very naive comment. First off, this would never happen. They would simply back out and claim breach of contract and ask for their money back. Second, you must be unaware of the SEC filings mentioned in the WSJ showing follow on funds he has raised using presumably the same investors. You think it is because they still believe he is working off the old business plan? Or maybe he has lied to a whole new set of investors who didn't hear about the previous fund. Yeah right.

    Yes, I may be new here, but I am far from new to this issue. None of your debunking holds any water because it is based on incorrect speculation and not based on facts.

     

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  62.  
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    Mike (profile), May 16th, 2008 @ 1:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: It seems you have little basis to truly understand the problem.

    You show your ignorance here. Innovators publish at conferences and standards because they have or can file patents. Just because people are not reading the actual patent document does not mean the patent system has not given the incentive to publish with protection. I recall many rushed internal efforts to get patents filed before a submission at a conference or standards body. It is i not untrue or a myth at all. It is a very real way of doing business at every fortune 500 company. Innovate, patent, publish. Exactly what the founding fathers had in mind.

    I'm not sure how that supports your point in the slightest. What does that have to do with the importance of patents? Basically you're saying the system is this way because the system is this way. It makes no point on whether or not the system is helpful in promoting the progress.

    Having worked there, I know they do not look at other's patent because we *KNOW* they are stealing it, but only having knowledge of the actual patent invokes the treble damages. If the law were changed to be similar to copyright, where merely publishing gives you rights, then it would likely cause more respect for inventors.

    Yikes. 200 years of evidence suggests the opposite, but okay. Have you looked at the history of countries that had a non-reviewed patent system?

    Anyway, the point of the patent system has *nothing* to do with "respect for inventors." It's about incentives for progress. Those two things are separate.

    I believe that there is very little simultaneous independent invention.

    The research suggests the exact opposite -- but yes, let's trust a nameless nobody giving anecdotal evidence rather than the peer reviewed research.

    You claim it happens often.

    I don't claim it, I pointed to the research that shows it's true.

    Most companies are "innovating" only in small steps toward furthering their current product base.

    That IS what innovation is. Big disruptive changes are rare, and usually are not "big bang" changes anyway -- but the result of a bunch of those small innovations.

    Nearly all disruptive innovations come from outside their system. The product companies have no choice but to co-opt those inventions and use them if they are to compete and grow their product lines.

    Isn't that called competition? Isn't that what we want to encourage? Doesn't it continue to drive innovation?

    I, too, have worked for Fortune 500 companies, and have seen it in action. And I've also worked for small companies, and seen it in action. And it helps drive progress forward. Competition is a good thing -- why are you so afraid of it?

    I give you one real example. While I was at one of these companies, we designed a new memory controller using a paper from a major university as the design basis. Three years later the professor came with a patent in hand and asked for a small donation. The company spent more than the asked donation to try and recreate history such that the true inventor and the university would not come back. IS this one of your examples of "independent invention"? Yeah right.

    Yup, because of your one little example, then obviously all of the research is false. Yeah, right, indeed.

    Again, though, this isn't about respect -- this is about progress. Your company help progress by getting a product to market. That's what the system is supposed to encourage. Why are you so upset by it?

    You can spout all you want about your view of the issues from the outside, but they lack the perspective and burden of knowing what is really going on inside.

    Um. Yeah, ok. Just assume that anyone who disagrees with you has no real world experience. That'll make you look that much more stupid when you're wrong.

    Small inventors and innovators have little choice but patent and sue since the large product makers will use every available way available to crush them if the innovators even start to take any market share.

    Except, historically that's also incorrect. Small companies tend to be nimbler, faster, more creative. That's why you see Google outrun Microsoft. Microsoft outrun IBM. YouTube outrun Google. Being small and nimble is an advantage. Being big often makes you slower and makes it more difficult to change and react because you have legacy issues to deal with. Yes, sometimes a big company wins -- but that's competition. Well run smaller companies can beat bigger companies if they're smart. It's got nothing to do with patents.

    Innovation does occur often. A well run and enforced patent system would allow innovators to be respected.

    Can you point to the clause in the Constitution that explains where patent law is about respect? It's not. It's about promoting the progress.

    I am sure that if the unlikely happened and you wrote a manuscript that you submitted to an editor, who changed the name to his own, and it became a bestseller, you would not stand by and let them take all the gains in the spirit of free enterprise.

    Well, you're again talking about something different: plagiarism rather than copyright. But, in that case, it could be dealt with by fraud laws, rather than IP laws. Besides, it would be easy enough to show that whoever changed the name had done so -- and the resulting publicity would destroy his reputation while giving me plenty of free publicity for my book.

    Cool!

    You also missed the point on the Fed Circuit and ITC. They instituted those stronger IP laws because they *had* innovated and patents were how they had protected themselves. If the issue had been purely foreign competition, import levies would have been sufficient to control the problem.

    Yes, but patents are not about post innovation protection. They are there to serve one purpose: increased incentives for innovation. And the evidences (mounds of it) suggests it does not do that.

    If you want to create laws that are for "respect" or protectionism, that's one thing -- but that's not what the patent laws are intended for.

    You think it is because they still believe he is working off the old business plan? Or maybe he has lied to a whole new set of investors who didn't hear about the previous fund. Yeah right.

    Many of the investors have refused to continue to support his plans and are upset by where the company has gone. Other investors who see that patent hoarding makes good money have bought in. That's not surprising. It's rent seeking -- and most anyone will tell you that rent seeking of this nature is destructive to the economy.

    Yes, I may be new here, but I am far from new to this issue. None of your debunking holds any water because it is based on incorrect speculation and not based on facts.

    Heh. Funny that you say that, when I'm the one who presented an argument based on a ton of research (both historical and comparative) and yours was based on "well I once saw....". Sorry, buddy, a couple of misleading anecdotes combined with a not understanding the purpose of the patent system isn't exactly convincing.

    I'll stick with the evidence.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    Merlin Sprague, Dec 3rd, 2009 @ 6:10pm

    IV's business model

    Boy, these guys! Kind of like the early days of the internet when people like this went around reserving URLs they suspected might be of use to large companies, then extorting (yes, extorting) huge sums to relinquish those URLs. There's a word for an organism that takes but does not give: Parasite.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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