Nathan Myhrvold's Delusions: Patent Wars 'Vindicate' The Importance Of Patents

from the economically-clueless dept

Nathan Myhrvold, the founder of the world's largest patent troll, Intellectual Ventures, has been known to make ridiculous statements concerning patents in the past, but he's at it again. He's now claiming that the concerns and complaints about how patents hinder innovation are really just a vindication of his efforts. He was asked a question about all the criticism, including This American Life's brilliant expose on just how ridiculous patents are today -- which focused quite a bit on how Intellectual Ventures appears to be little more than a massively funded shakedown scheme -- and he responded by insisting that these criticisms were actually a good sign:
Not only do you have to be willing to fail, you have to be willing for people to ridicule you and call you names. And most great endeavors have exactly that.... When you change the status quo, people get upset, and there are very powerful vested interests that feel threatened by the idea of people who will just go an invent a lot of new stuff, and ask you to pay for it. Here’s the interesting thing: When we started Intellectual Ventures, it was even more true that there was all of this, and big technology companies were publicly saying, patents are terrible... If you look today, some of the most active litigants are big tech companies. Apple is out there very actively trying to protect the iPhone.... Intellectual property is actually more important to big companies every day, and I think that actually is vindication.
Let's unpack that a bit. Intellectual Ventures isn't "changing the status quo." It's doing the opposite, it's taking the "status quo" -- a completely broken law that gets lawyers and investors rich but massively hinders actual innovation -- and scaling it up to massively harmful proportions. Intellectual Ventures has done nothing to help drive innovation forward. It has only taken money out of the innovation economy. No one is threatened by inventors inventing new stuff. They're threatened by companies wielding a virtual nuclear weapon allowing them to demand money for doing the obvious. Patents that are broadly worded, having little to do with actual inventions, are wielded against the companies that actually innovate.

The fact that big companies are involved in patent battles doesn't vindicate Myhrvold. They've always been involved in patent battles. The only reason patents are important in the tech industry is because everyone else has them and you need them to avoid a bogus lawsuit from a competitor. Or, as Joel Grus insightfully paraphrased in the comments to the Geekwire article linked above:
"All those big companies that said patents were terrible? Now they’re trying to destroy each other with patents. Which somehow demonstrates that patents aren’t terrible!"
Using patents in lawsuits and patents being "useful" are two totally different things. Myhrvold must understand this. Either he doesn't care because scamming the system is making him filthy rich, or he's completely out of touch with how patents impact the tech industry.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    icon
    A Guy (profile), Apr 6th, 2012 @ 6:48pm

    The Cold War and Arms Races

    It's such a shame their wasn't a nuclear launch during the Cold War.

    The ensuing war and thermonuclear ice age would have vindicated the arms race by showing the irradiated survivors how useful the nuclear arms were.
    /sarc

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 6:57pm

    "he's completely out of touch with how patents impact the tech industry."

    yeah, patents are so bad that we are all using 286 computers and talking on Motorola brick cell phones.

    WTG in making your points Mike. Too bad reality doesn't agree with you.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 7:02pm

      Re:

      Is that really the best you can come up with? Sad.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 7:13pm

        Re: Re:

        Why? Because even after all the foot stamping and finger pointing, Mike cannot for the life of him explain why technology continues to move along at a stunning pace, nor can he explain why that pace continued to increase in the face of patents and copyright.

        By his standards, progress should have ground to a halt. It hasn't. So why?

         

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 7:16pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Why? Because your argument is the type of useless straw man that a six-year-old might put worth.

           

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

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 7:16pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            put forth*

             

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

            •  
              icon
              Zos (profile), Apr 6th, 2012 @ 7:25pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              @pink ac- While neither side can say with certainty where we'd be without patent trolling, we at least can sure as hell point out the hundred of millions of dollars that went into lawyers, settlements and judgements that sure as hell were never allowed to be spent making cool stuff.


              The long list of crushed startups litigated out of existence is similarly real.

              On the other hand all you've got is...um, wait, what exactly was your argument again? best of all possible worlds, trust me i'm from the government? herrp derp, derpderp. herp.

               

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

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 7:25pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Again, why?

            Mike argues theoretical, I am pointing to reality. I can point to a computer on the desk behind me that is less than 5 years old and effectively obsolete already. I can point to 3 or 4 year old cell phones that most of us would not get caught dead using. I can point to that wonderful analog big screen TV that you bought less than a decade ago that is now a boat anchor.

            Mike asserts that patents get in the way of everything, yet we are progressing at a breakneck pace. His arguments and reality aren't matching up. Making fun of someone who disagrees with him isn't exactly helping his case.

            Open your eyes. Try to make that match up with Mike's doom and gloom about patents. It's impossible to do.

             

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

            •  
              icon
              Zos (profile), Apr 6th, 2012 @ 7:27pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              see my comment above re: why your argument has no basis in reality. we can point to real damage being done, all you've got is "shit's pretty good for me, so this must be the best it can be"

               

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

              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 7:53pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Exactly, we have some stupid tech illiterate lawyer pointing to all of the advancements that non-lawyers have developed and claiming, "see, us lawyers aren't stopping innovation".

                Just because innovation happens in spite of patents hardly means that patents aren't getting in the way.

                He would have a point if the argument is that patents completely stop innovation, but that has never been the argument.

                 

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

            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 7:51pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Mike asserts that patents get in the way of everything, yet we are progressing at a breakneck pace. "

              and where is all this innovation coming from? It's mostly not the U.S.

               

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

            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 8:33pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              And, again, your argument is specious. Repeating it over and over isn't going to make it any less so.

              "Gasoline taxes discourage the purchase of gasoline."

              You: "WELL THEN WHY HASN'T EVERYONE STOPPED PURCHASING GASOLINE?"

              "Jail time discourages crime."

              You: "WELL THEN WHY ARE CRIMES STILL BEING COMMITTED?"

               

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

            •  
              icon
              Richard (profile), Apr 7th, 2012 @ 3:37am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Mike argues theoretical, I am pointing to reality.

              The reality earlier technologies points clearly to the problems of patents. James Watt used the patent system to hold up the industrial revolution for 20 years. The Wright brothers used the patent system to cripple US aviation to the extent that when the US entered WW1 in 1917 they had no competitive aircraft.

              The current advances of which you speak most likely are the result of the group of generous individuals who have NOT patented things that they could have (Tim Berners-Lee springs to mind here) or the products of countries in the far east that have less respect for IP than we do in the west (those products you speak of were made in China, wern't they?)

              Also, who is to say that we would not be still further advanced without patents?

               

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

              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 4:35am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                You are looking at specific examples, and failing to see the overall arc. That is pretty much cherry picking facts. Did the US not progress (and rapidly) in the period from 1900 to 1917?

                Remember: The entire personal computer revolution is barely 1 iteration of patent old, and yet we all have hugely fast computers, portable devices, laptops, and tons of other innovative devices. We have options in operating systems, tons of other software choices, hardware options, and the like. We have very strict patent laws and huge amounts of newer patents, and yet we continue to progress at an incredible rate.

                Sure, you can find "blockages" in individual cases. But he overall arc is one of continued and increase progress, and nothing is slowing it down. So remind us again why patents are so bad.

                 

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

                •  
                  icon
                  Richard (profile), Apr 7th, 2012 @ 5:34am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  You are looking at specific examples, and failing to see the overall arc. That is pretty much cherry picking facts.


                  No I am not - I mention only a few examples only becuse of lack of space. The reality is that every major technology I have looked at show the same pattern of patent abuse - the honourable exceptions being cases where the patent process was not followed for some reason (eg Sir Frank Whittle).

                  Did the US not progress (and rapidly) in the period from 1900 to 1917?

                  Because not everyone is a greedy control freak progress happens in spite of the patent system.

                   

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

                •  
                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 7:42am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  And the PC revolution exploded because IBM was late to the game and was forced to use components from 3rd party vendors to assemble their product that were also available to competitors when they entered the market. Then when Compaq successfully reverse engineered the ROM BIOS chip this allowed the market to open up driving the cost down. This caused the explosion in the market. All by BYPASSING it monopoly granted by protections on the ROM BIOS chip thru the use of clean room design. This is a perfect example of the exact opposite of your argument.

                   

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

                •  
                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 8:33am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "You are looking at specific examples, and failing to see the overall arc."

                  We provide many examples where patents hinder innovation. You haven't provided us with any specific examples of a good patent or of the patent system advancing innovation. Al you can say is "look at the overall picture, progress still happens" which no one is arguing against. But the overall picture doesn't show that patents are a good thing either, at least you haven't provided us with any reasons to believe so.

                  "But he overall arc is one of continued and increase progress"

                  That's because all future instances still benefit from all previous progresses made. Just because advancements happen anyways doesn't mean that patents don't get in the way.

                   

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

                  •  
                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2012 @ 4:07pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "We provide many examples where patents hinder innovation. You haven't provided us with any specific examples of a good patent or of the patent system advancing innovation. Al you can say is "look at the overall picture, progress still happens" which no one is arguing against. But the overall picture doesn't show that patents are a good thing either, at least you haven't provided us with any reasons to believe so."

                    The point is that all this progress happens WITH patents, WITH copyrights, and WITH trademarks. If they were truly the hinderance as painted, we would be stuck in a 20 to 75 year freeze cycle, while we waited for patents and copyrights on things to expire.

                    That's not the case, so clearly there is functionality, and they lead to orderly market places and promote progress.

                    You cannot deny what you can see with your own two eyes - unless you are too drunk on the kool aid to notice.

                     

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

                    •  
                      identicon
                      Dave, Apr 8th, 2012 @ 8:35pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Hinder != stop. You say there was still progress. Whoopee. No has said progress completely stops. Progress would be orders of magnitude faster without them. Just look at development in any area after the patent expires.
                      See:
                      http://www.thefreemanonline.org/featured/do-patents-encourage-or-hinder-innovation-t he-case-of-the-steam-engine/

                      Or just look at movies. When the patent on the original movie camera expired in 1907, movie production skyrocketed. In the years leading up the expiration, movie production plummeted, probably due to Edison sending out his 'goon squads' to smash unauthorized cameras.

                      Pick an industry. In almost every case, the industry does much MUCH better after the patents are gone. Why do we have these innovation killing monstrosities again?

                       

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

                •  
                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 9:18am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "Did the US not progress (and rapidly) in the period from 1900 to 1917?

                  Remember: The entire personal computer revolution is barely 1 iteration of patent old, and yet we all have hugely fast computers, portable devices, laptops, and tons of other innovative devices."

                  and much of the advancements for all this stuff is not being developed in the U.S. It was, back when the U.S. tech industry wasn't so strict with patents, but now that lawyers and patent trolls are getting involved the U.S. tech industry is slowly becoming the U.S. pharmaceutical industry, an industry that simply collects government imposed monopoly rents and contributes little towards advancement.

                  "We have very strict patent laws and huge amounts of newer patents, and yet we continue to progress at an incredible rate."

                  Yes, we continue to benefit from the progress of other countries that don't have such strict laws. That we adopt and 'steal' their technologies and benefit from them is hardly indicative of how great our patent system is.

                   

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

                  •  
                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 10:25am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "Yes, we continue to benefit from the progress of other countries that don't have such strict laws. That we adopt and 'steal' their technologies and benefit from them is hardly indicative of how great our patent system is."

                    Perhaps you can direct me to a list of countries that create cutting-edge products and do not have a patent system as a part of its national laws. Moreover, you do realize, of course, that about 1/2 of all patents that issue annually in the US are granted to foreign entities?

                     

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

                    •  
                      icon
                      Richard (profile), Apr 9th, 2012 @ 6:53am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Perhaps you can direct me to a list of countries that create cutting-edge products and do not have a patent system as a part of its national laws.

                      Thanks to the bullying of patent promoters there are now few. However in the past there were many - eg Italian pharma before 1978.

                      Read Boldrin and Levine and you will find many examples.

                       

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

                •  
                  icon
                  JMT (profile), Apr 7th, 2012 @ 5:21pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "Sure, you can find "blockages" in individual cases. But he overall arc is one of continued and increase progress, and nothing is slowing it down."

                  Nothing is slowing it down? Really? What about the millions, probably hundreds of millions, being spend by all the big tech players on patent litigation. Imagine if all these patent law suits simply disappeared. What do you think would then happen to all that money? Would these companies just leave it in the bank? Of course not! It would be spent on what these companies actually do: developing, innovating, engineering, and marketing products. How can you claim patents aren't slowing things down when so much money is diverted to lawyers because of them?

                   

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

                •  
                  identicon
                  dwg, Apr 9th, 2012 @ 7:03pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  The fallacy I hate the most is the conflation of the patent system with innovation. As in "The entire personal computer revolution is barely 1 iteration of patent old, and yet we all have hugely fast computers, portable devices, laptops, and tons of other innovative devices." As if these things occurred only because of the "iteration of patent" and not because--I don't know--the innovations themselves HELP PEOPLE DO THINGS. It's like propping up the pharma patent model simply because big pharma relies on it as a business model, rather than for any empirical reason. Face it: when people make stuff because they want to, it tends to be really, really good stuff. When they make it solely to turn a buck, it tends to be worse and they tend to make less of it. The latter are the people most likely to rely on the patent system, and the former would do their really strong work regardless of whether it made them rich or allowed them to simply make a living.

                  Incentivize should never have had to become a word.

                   

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

            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 7:04am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Just because some of the soldiers survive the war doesn't mean the war didn't happen or wasn't a bad thing.

               

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 7:59pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          It's telling that you would wait for progress to grind to a complete halt before considering that patents may be flawed.

           

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

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 10:13pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Far from grinding to a halt, the progress of mankind is accelerating. It's the key point here, no matter how much Mike tries to claim that progress is being blocked, we are still moving forward faster than any time in history.

            If this is hell, then I hate to think what people were living through before.

             

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

            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 12:44am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Accelerating because people are able to share the knowledge acquired when there is no longer true we get a problem, laws today are constantly being ignored because if we followed them to the letter nobody would do anything.

               

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

            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 4:15am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "the progress of mankind is accelerating."

              No thanks to you and no thanks to patents. That you can point to the advancements that others are making hardly makes you and your patents any useful.

               

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

              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 2:28pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Your answer seemed to be "faith based". Look around you, all the progress going on, and yet somehow the sky is falling and everything is about to grind to a halt.

                It's funny as heck watching you people deny reality.

                 

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

                •  
                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 2:40pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "and everything is about to grind to a halt."

                  Continue with the strawman arguments.

                  "It's funny as heck watching you people deny reality."

                  No one besides lawyers who benefit from our laws are denying reality. Reality is that patents have deterred innovation and there is plenty of evidence for this.

                   

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

                •  
                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 2:41pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Patents need evidence based justification. I have yet to see IP extremists provide any evidence that patents are good and there has been plenty of evidence suggesting how bad they are.

                   

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

              •  
                identicon
                dwg, Apr 9th, 2012 @ 7:05pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                It's accelerating despite being slowed by patent abuse just like the jobless rate is increasing at a slower rate than a year ago. Neither is a positive thing--just an off-set negative.

                 

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 10:40pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          You are mistaken. Those innovations have occurred *in spite* of patents, not because of them.

           

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 12:18am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Is not because of patents is in spite of patents that technology moves on at an stunning rate, except for drugs where research and development seems to have stopped in time.

           

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 12:40am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I think Mike does a pretty good job at highlighting a lot of the problems with patents, but if that is not enough for you how about looking at what a market without competition looks like?

          Quote:
          So far, the results have been disappointing. I’m a Comcast customer in Philadelphia, and my broadband connection gives me typical download speeds of less than 10 Mbps—not much different than I would have gotten in 2008. Verizon reached about 18 million households with its FiOS project and then stopped building, leaving cities like Baltimore and Boston with antiquated copper infrastructure, indefiniely. AT&T has shown no interest in upgrading U-Verse to an all-fiber network like FiOS. And in December, Verizon and Comcast effectively declared a truce in which Verizon would focus on wireless services and Verizon Wireless stores would begin hawking Comcast Internet services.

          http://www.forbes.com/sites/timothylee/2012/04/05/are-broadband-markets-stagnating/?

          P atents could have cost the US WW II, if it was not for Ford to battle against them and create a pool for development that was free.

          Quote:
          In the early years of automobile development, a group of capital monopolists owned the rights to a 2-cycle gasoline engine patent originally filed by George B. Selden.[7] By controlling this patent, they were able to monopolize the industry and force car manufacturers to adhere to their demands, or risk a lawsuit. In 1911, independent automaker Henry Ford won a challenge to the Selden patent. The result was that the Selden patent became virtually worthless and a new association (which would eventually become the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association) was formed.[7] The new association instituted a cross-licensing agreement among all US auto manufacturers: although each company would develop technology and file patents, these patents were shared openly and without the exchange of money between all the manufacturers.[7] By the time the US entered World War 2, 92 Ford patents and 515 patents from other companies were being shared between these manufacturers, without any exchange of money (or lawsuits).

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source

          Could you imagine how prepared the US would be if it just began the industrial revolution that Ford initiated with his auto-lines?
          You probably be speaking German today.

           

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

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 4:46am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Exactly, and look at big U.S. pharma, arguably one of the least innovative, if not the least innovative, industries around. They used to be innovative back before patents were not so predominant, but markets without competition, and markets who have patents and anti-competitive laws most deeply engrained in them for the longest, simply don't innovate.

            http://www.dklevine.com/general/intellectual/against.htm

            A lot of pharma and chem advancements were made during times, in places, without patents. The U.S. founding fathers were very skeptical of patents and IP, even Thomas Jefferson noted that countries without patents were at least just as innovative as those with them.

            "and it may be observed that the nations which refuse monopolies of invention, are as fruitful as England in new and useful devices."

            http://movingtofreedom.org/2006/10/06/thomas-jefferson-on-patents-and-freedom-of-ideas/

            Since patents have come to dominate pharma more and more in the U.S. (and abroad), innovation has substantially stifled. We hardly see any innovation in the field and most of the innovation you could point to doesn't originate from pharma. Tech advancements have occurred exactly because of patent relaxation in the field.

            Look at the taxi-cab industry, for instance, an industry plagued with anti-competitive laws. It has hardly advanced at all, instead, stealing the advancements of others. Someone else innovates and government established incumbents steal their innovation and lock them out the market.

            Look at gambling arenas, another area plagued with anti-competitive laws. Newcomers invent new ways for people to participate, like online gambling arenas, and the incumbent government-industrial complex shuts them down (ie: full tilt poker. Incumbent gambling arenas have initially lobbied against such online arenas, though now they are lobbying for them for themselves) and now those incumbent arenas want to steal the idea and create their own arenas where only they can legally compete.

            Look at cableco companies. Tivo markets a DVR early on and is basically later put at a disadvantage by government established cableco monopolists who come up with their own DVR and ensure that features like the guide only work well with their proprietary DVR. Incumbent government established cableco doesn't innovate but, instead, steals the innovations of others (and patents didn't do much to protect Tivo because they mostly protect incumbents).

            Anti-competitive laws hinder innovation and patents are anti-competitive in nature. There is little to no evidence that anti-competitive laws or patents promote innovation beyond faith based assertions by those who stand to benefit from these bad laws.

             

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

            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 4:50am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              and another example is the USPS who benefits from government established mailbox delivery monopolies. It hasn't advanced much at all, instead, it steals the advancements of those who don't benefit from such anti-competitive laws (ie: mail tracking was invented by the private sector and stolen by USPS).

              Anti-competitive laws harm innovation and patents are little more than innovation harming anti-competitive laws.

              Heck, most patents don't even make it to product and every patent that doesn't make it to product by the patent holder (and preferably the originator) is a bad patent.

               

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

              •  
                identicon
                abc gum, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 6:57am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "mailbox delivery monopolies" -- lol, I'm outraged.

                "mail tracking" -- now here is something truly deserving of monopoly rights because no one had ever thought of tracking things before.

                "Anti-competitive laws harm innovation and patents are little more than innovation harming anti-competitive laws" -- agreed

                "Heck, most patents" -- are bullshit

                 

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

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 10:14am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Incredible. Patents could have cost us a "win" in WWI and WWII. Too bad the concept of "sovereign immunity" is so misunderstood (assuming, of course, one submitting a comment is even aware of the concept).

             

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

          •  
            identicon
            dwg, Apr 9th, 2012 @ 7:06pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Same is true of WW I and airplanes.

             

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 4:23am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Hi, Nathan!

           

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 7:49pm

      Re:

      Lets not forget that much of the tech industry has initially advanced largely due to ignoring patents.

      Look at big pharma in the U.S., where patents have been engrained in them the longest. Most medical advances either happen A: at taxpayer money (with pharma later getting patents and producing what taxpayer dollars have initially contributed to the R&D of) or in other countries. The U.S. pharmaceutical industry is one of the least innovative industries.

      and even if we had still been using 286 computers, you can then come up with the argument that "patents have been so bad that we are still using abacuses to do math", which completely misses the point.

      and now, and for quite a while now, much of our new technology is being developed in parts of the world that don't take patents so seriously (ie: Japan, even though they do have a patent system, it's rather recent by comparison).

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 9:02pm

        Re: Re:

        Seriously, taxpayer money is the source of funding for most medical advances in the US? Such a broad pronouncement can certainly benefit from a credible citation.

        Other countries? Again, a credible citation is in order.

        Re Japan, I am not sure I would use "recent" for a body of law that was enacted in 1885. Perhaps stronger enforcement could be viewed as of relatively recent vintage, but the law itself is hadly that.

         

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 10:10pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Such a broad pronouncement can certainly benefit from a credible citation."

          What advancements have big pharma made beyond me too drugs? Very few. Where is the evidence of big pharma medical advancements in the U.S.? It's almost non-existent. You can't find much. It doesn't exist maybe because ... it's not happening.

          Most of the new tech around us does not originate from the U.S. Oh sure, the U.S. may have patents on some of it, but that hardly means that we were the first to manufacture it (and it's not like other countries are reading our patents from non-engineering law firms to figure out what to manufacture).

          I look at technological and medical advancements on, say, slashdot or any other blog, I see them either originating in Japan or being funded via a tax funded university. U.S. pharma doesn't advance much and hasn't advanced much. There is little evidence of their advancement. Where is the cure to aids? Clinical trials are being experimented at the university of Pennsylvania, for instance. Who will likely get the patents? Who will likely benefit from monopoly rents when they come out?

          The NIH contributes to R&D and initial research and pharma gets patents.

          Here

          http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20101207/18030712173/nih-wont-let-others-supply -life-saving-drug-even-though-genzyme-cant-make-enough.shtml

          The NIH funded this drug and who got patents? It happens all the time.

          "Carroll quotes another study, this one performed by Public Citizen in 2001, which showed that "U.S. taxpayer-funded researchers conducted 55 percent of the published research projects leading to the discovery and development of these drugs (and foreign academic institutions 30 percent)." In fact, drilling down even further into the data reveals that only one in seventeen papers come from the industry itself."

          http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110626/17115214866/priced-out-your-medication-must-be -all-that-expensive-big-pharma-rd.shtml

          Big pharma is useless, they're almost a complete deadweight to us. They're worse than useless, they're a hindrance. There is almost no evidence that patents help advance innovation.

          Also see

          http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100429/0214049233.shtml
          http://www.vjolt.net/vol8/issue1/ v8i1_a03-Locke.pdf

          http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110906/19274615832/if-your-business-strateg y-relies-suing-others-youre-not-business-youre-leech-system.shtml#c137

           

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

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 4:59am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

             

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

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 8:54am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Here is another quote

            "Big pharma productivity has been declining for 15 years “and it certainly doesn’t show any signs of turning upward,” NIH director Francis Collins tells The New York Times. “I am a little frustrated to see how many of the discoveries that do look as though they have therapeutic implications are waiting for the pharmaceutical industry to follow through with them” (read background on the proposal here and here)."

            http://www.pharmalot.com/2011/01/what-innovation-nih-moves-into-drug-development/

            The lack in U.S. pharmaceutical progress is obvious, many officials admit to this. Their 'solution' is to throw more money at the industry, make it more profitable, but that fails to see the problem. They wouldn't dare suggest that the problem is that patents are getting in the way, big pharma contributes too much in campaign contributions and the revolving door problem for any of these officials to do something like that.

            So far we have a pharmaceutical industry that benefits from government granted monopoly privileges, one that exaggerates its costs and refuses to allow independent auditors to audit their costs and to allow the public to see what they are spending their money on.

            "Taxpayer-funded research also cuts the cost and risk associated with developing new remedies, the study said. An internal National Institutes of Health document obtained by Public Citizen showed that taxpayer-funded scientists conducted 55% of the studies that led to the discovery and development of the top-five selling drugs in 1995."

            http://www.mindfully.org/Industry/Exaggerates-R&D-Costs.htm

             

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

            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 8:59am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              These people want an unregulated government established monopoly that's completely faith based, they don't want to provide us with the measures to audit their costs and to see how efficient these monopoly privileges are.

              The public doesn't owe big pharma a government established monopoly. If big pharma wants free market capitalism, abolish patents, if they want a government established monopoly, it should be heavily regulated and I want information on every receipt and everything they spend their money on. I want their books to be open to the public. They can't have it both ways, we should not tolerate a faith based system. The public has a right to know how well their government established monopoly privileges are working and how efficiently the privileged are spending their money.

               

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 10:14pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Which is still relatively recent compared to a few parts of Europe, or even North America for that matter (which has had patent laws before 1776).

          "In 1641, Samuel Winslow was granted the first patent in North America by the Massachusetts General Court for a new process for making salt."

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_patent_law#United_States

          I posted a more thorough response but it's still stuck in moderation.

           

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

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 10:25pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Oh, and (when the final post makes it up after moderation) this is what I was referring to

          http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2011/03/03/HIV-genetic-editing-treatment-described/UPI-9690129 9177400/

          and who will get the patents? Big pharma, despite the fact that the university funded this (though the university is a private one).

           

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

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 11:26pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Another good link.

            "The Taxpayer Assets Project also studied the funding of all cancer drugs that were discovered since the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) new drug program began in 1955 and approved for marketing by the FDA through 1992. Of the 37 cancer drugs, 92 percent, or 34 cancer drugs, were developed with federal funding.

            A more surprising finding of the Taxpayer Assets study concerned the pricing of the NMEs that received FDA approval from 1987 to 1991. The median wholesale cost (a completed treatment or a year, whichever was less) was $1,485 for the drugs that were developed without federal funding, and $4,480 for the drugs that were developed with federal funding. That is, the drugs that were developed with government funding were 3 times as expensive as the drugs developed without government funding. In 1991, the most recent year of the study, drugs developed with federal funding were over 11 times more expensive than drugs developed without federal funding. "

            http://prospect.org/article/other-drug-war

             

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

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 11:43pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

             

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

            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 4:37am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Techdirt is an opinion blog, not a factual account. You lose a lot of points when you try to act like Techdirt is an impartial source, rather than just an opinion blog.

               

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

              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 4:52am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                No one cares about your arbitrary point tracking methods.

                 

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

              •  
                identicon
                abc gum, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 7:03am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Funny - attacking one item out of many. What, answering the other posts too difficult for you?

                 

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

                •  
                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 9:50am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  No, he cites techdirt as a source in pretty much all of his diatribe. I can't be bothered to go back and hack apart a dozen opinion pieces to show how he is wrong or that there are other alternative answers that are just as likely.

                  It's call piling up the crap, and he did a really good job. Chris Dodd would be proud.

                   

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

                  •  
                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 10:08am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    While I do agree that the various links are not consistent with my use of the word "credible", I do have to give him credit for making a yeoman's effort to find support for his comments. He has expended a significant amount of time that I wish was the rule, and not the rare exception, in the comments to articles presented on this site.

                    Patents do not admit to the meme "They are monopolies, and monopolies are all bad...so there!" That is much too simplistic.

                     

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

                  •  
                    identicon
                    abc gum, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 12:19pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Q: answering the other posts too difficult for you?

                    A: "No, he cites techdirt as a source in pretty much all of his diatribe"

                    Yep - selective response is the choice of trolls - as we all can clearly see that TD is the only citation made amongst all the responses to your silly ass comment.

                     

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

                    •  
                      identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 2:33pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Selective reading skills is the response of choice for the defeated, I see.

                      Look, why would I want to go back and rehash any number of opinion posts on Techdirt? They are just that, opinions. If he (or she) has something to prove, he can support them with links to actual factual based reports, rather than someone's opinion.

                      I also point out that even a raging river can appear to be "stuck" on certain rocks. If you get close enough, and squint really hard, you can see the water getting stopped by a rock and say "look, the river isn't raging, look here!". In some narrow way, you would be correct, but as soon as you take a step back, you realize that it's a raging river, and that the water you thought was stuck is already 1000 feet past your point.

                      Citing a bunch of examples of "water stuck behind a pebble" really only proves the raging river is there. Why argue the pebbles, I am too busy enjoying the fast flowing rapids of development and advancement.

                      Why deny reality?

                       

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

                      •  
                        identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 4:56pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        I agree, the river of innovation continues despite the patent rocks that keep getting in the way and deterring the innovative process. No one argues that point here.

                         

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

                        •  
                          identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 7:48pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          No, I just think that the Techdirt SOP is to point at the water defected by the rocks, and say "the sky is falling". It isn't.

                          I really think that the best term I have seen this week on Techdirt is "faith based" posting. What Mike does in attacking patents is pretty much faith based. You and I can see with our own eyes the amazing progress of mankind. We can see how fast and how far we have gone in a short period of time, and how that all is likely to continue well beyond our lifetimes.

                          Rather than fall for the negativity of this faith based approach, I choose to stand back and marvel at reality.

                           

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

                          •  
                            identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2012 @ 8:03am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            "What Mike does in attacking patents is pretty much faith based."

                            Pointing to the lack of evidence that patents are any good and pointing to all of the many examples of bad patents and all of the evidence that patents are good is not faith based.

                            You still haven't provided any evidence that patents are socially beneficial and so it follows that your belief in their utility is faith based. My belief in their harm is evidence based.

                             

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

                            •  
                              identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2012 @ 8:03am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              "examples of bad patents and all of the evidence that patents are good is not faith based." that patents are bad *

                               

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

                            •  
                              identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2012 @ 9:44am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              "Pointing to the lack of evidence that patents are any good and pointing to all of the many examples of bad patents and all of the evidence that patents are good is not faith based."

                              Lack of evidence? We are living in the times of the great innovations of mankind, at a speed never seen before, in complexity never seen before, and in a time where patents, copyright, and trademarks are significant parts of the landscape. It's a pretty solid conclusion that they work in the long run, we continue to advance as a people in ways that our grandparents could never have imagined.

                              You can repeat that there is no evidence over and over again, but you live with it every day.

                               

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

                          •  
                            identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2012 @ 8:06am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            "No, I just think that the Techdirt SOP is to point at the water defected by the rocks, and say "the sky is falling"."

                            We're just pointing out that, even though innovation still continues, patents slow the process down and so we should maybe either get rid of them or reduce their scope so that they don't get in the way.

                             

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

                          •  
                            identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2012 @ 9:44am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            The sky may not be falling in the whole world just in Europe and the US, the financial sky is long gone and IP laws only accentuate the problems.

                            We don't need more monopolies we need more freedom so the next generation can start building the next economic engine, that is what patents kills.

                             

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

                          •  
                            identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2012 @ 4:16am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            Then start marvelling at the reality that we don't need SOPA.

                             

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

                  •  
                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 2:48pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "I can't be bothered to go back and hack apart a dozen opinion pieces to show how he is wrong or that there are other alternative answers that are just as likely."

                    That there maybe other alternative speculative answers that you think might be just as likely is not an evidence based system, it's a speculation faith based system. Patents need justification, not other possible alternative explanations as to how they aren't hindering innovation and how they might be helping it. That's not good enough. You want us to have faith that these other alternative explanations are true, the fact that someone can come up with an alternative explanation to something hardly justifies accepting that explanation and using its possibility as a basis for granting government monopolies.

                    Anyone can think of alternative explanations to just about anything. Cars drive not because they have an engine that follow precise laws of physics, but because undetectable magic fairies follow them around and cause them to drive. There is an alternative explanation. Lets all now accept it.

                    That someone can think of an alternative explanation to something doesn't justify giving someone a monopoly privilege. I want an evidence based system to grant these privileges by because I am sacrificing my rights in the process.

                    "I can't be bothered to go back and hack apart a dozen opinion pieces"

                    You're just lazy, like most IP extremists. Typical IP extremist attitude, you expect people to take you seriously and you expect to make money without doing any work. Which is what IP is really about, allowing incumbents to collect monopoly rents and contribute little towards advancements. Predicable and not unexpected.

                    You're a paid shill. No one here takes you seriously, we're not dumb. Most of the people here are more intelligent and knowledgeable than you are, we're more studious and willing to go through the trouble to learn materials and click through links and cross reference our materials. Unlike IP extremists. Don't think you're fooling anyone here. You're not.

                     

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

                    •  
                      identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 3:53pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "You're a paid shill. No one here takes you seriously, we're not dumb. "

                      If you think I am a paid shill, then you are the dumbest person in the room (and that says a lot, you are competing with Marcus).

                       

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

                      •  
                        identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 4:04pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        How so, Mike has pointed out that IP extremists on this blog have had hostmasks originating from law firms that benefit from patents. So it's not far fetched at all.

                        You may not be directly paid to post, but you probably benefit from patents in some way (other than the alleged public benefits that patents are supposed to promote of course).

                         

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

                        •  
                          identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 9:11pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          You are still wrong.

                          Sucks to be you.

                           

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

                          •  
                            identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2012 @ 8:06am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            If you say so ...

                             

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

                            •  
                              identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2012 @ 9:47am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              Let go dude, this one is not worth it, he is Marcu's stalker and it is a good thing you are being anonymous or he would harass you like he does others.

                               

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

              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 7:27am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                You should patent the process of not clicking on links contained within a referenced article.

                 

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

  •  
    icon
    Mega1987 (profile), Apr 6th, 2012 @ 7:03pm

    what's next in this patent war?
    Covert operation made by the companies "secret" army to sabotage one another?
    Hire hackers, crackers and decodes to acquire the competition's research and make it their own?
    A shootdown at town square?

    Wasting resources that can help you employees by INCREASING their salary/wage is gone to these UNETHICAL methods are such good ideas...

    No wonder why people don't spend too much with our current market condition... Ever increasing expenses but salary still at least 5-10 years late in raise...

    Good Job, you money making fools... You're not making our whole life SO much easier...

     

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

  •  
    icon
    iamtheky (profile), Apr 6th, 2012 @ 7:33pm

    or

    he doesn't care because scamming the system is making him filthy rich, and he does not care in the least how patents impact the tech industry.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 7:41pm

    It's a shame that the government established (broadcasting and cableco) mainstream media cartels have either been supportive of IP or have been ignoring all of the problems and criticisms of it. The mainstream media has truly been a social disservice to us all.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 7:57pm

    Don't you see Mike? It's just like how our exploding prison population shows our judicial system is running perfectly. It makes perfect sense!

     

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

  •  
    icon
    lavi d (profile), Apr 6th, 2012 @ 8:59pm

    Makes You Wonder

    Is Nathan jealous of Bill's billions?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 6th, 2012 @ 10:46pm

    I think it is clear to anyone who looks at those business people that they don't care about what they say, they just throw everything on the wall and see what sticks there.

    Is not about beliefs, morals, the greater good, honesty or any of those silly things is about staying in the game at any cost, if this was a football game he would be calling out rules that don't benefit him and his team and praising the rules that do and inverting his position when the same rules invert their results.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Apr 7th, 2012 @ 12:20am

    "Apple is out there very actively trying to protect the iPhone"

    No actually Apple is trying to keep others for being successful in a marketplace. The iPhone is a great example because you can make a piece for piece copy of the device, but you can't use the other portions that make an iPhone an iPhone... iTunes.

    Rounded corners on icons really shouldn't matter, but there is a patent!!

     

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

  •  
    icon
    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Apr 7th, 2012 @ 3:48am

    How strange...

    When you change the status quo, people get upset, and there are very powerful vested interests that feel threatened by the idea of people who will just go an invent a lot of new stuff, and ask you to pay for it.
    [snip]
    and big technology companies were publicly saying, patents are terrible... If you look today, some of the most active litigants are big tech companies.
    How completely suprising that if one sets up a system where attacking others is encouraged and being a nice guy corporately just gets you sued lots that corporations would use the system whether they thought it was good or not.

    If you play liar dice and decide it's wrong to lie you lose. When liar dice is the only game in town and you have to play, you lie or lose your shirt.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    grumpy (profile), Apr 7th, 2012 @ 8:03am

    "Not only do you have to be willing to fail, you have to be willing for people to ridicule you and call you names."

    They laughed at Da Vinci. They also laughed at the village idiot. Nathan Myhrvold, you might not be what you think you are.

     

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

  •  
    icon
    wvhillbilly (profile), Apr 7th, 2012 @ 9:31am

    Patent abuse

    Patents encourage innovation? Let's take a look at that.

    Suppose there had been software patent 25 years ago like there are today. There would be NO Internet, NO PC or other computers like we have today (no less than Bill Gates himself said this), none of the software we have today, just continual nuclear warfare between patent holders each trying to shut the other down or extort them into bankruptcy.

    Now we have the spectacle of trolls and parasites like Mr. Myhrvold erecting toll gates on every bridge and highway along the software path, abusing the legal system using bogus patents to extort money out of legitimate inventors and getting rich on the hard work of others.

    It would only take a very simple law to put a stop to most if not all of this foolishness: If you don't practice the actual invention the patent covers, the patent is unenforceable.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2012 @ 6:23am

      Re: Patent abuse

      "Suppose there had been software patent 25 years ago like there are today. There would be NO Internet, NO PC or other computers like we have today (no less than Bill Gates himself said this), none of the software we have today, just continual nuclear warfare between patent holders each trying to shut the other down or extort them into bankruptcy."

      Your failed assumption is that nobody would work around the issue. That's just not likely at all.

      Patents are like a single section of fence in the middle of an empty field. Only the stupidest of sheep spend their time stuck behind the fence. The rest of us see that it ends THERE and THERE, and simply walk around it.

      To assume all of mankind would stop dead because of a patent is just not something supported by reality.

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2012 @ 9:42am

        Re: Re: Patent abuse

        Exactly that is why I encourage everybody to just disrespect IP law in general is a granted monopoly after all and all granted monopolies are bad specially economically, since there is no way to make money out of IP law for anybody else, then lets start at least using the knowledge without financial gain but for the creation of wealth of everybody which is the desired result anyways.

         

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

      •  
        identicon
        Mike Dimmick, Apr 10th, 2012 @ 5:56am

        Re: Re: Patent abuse

        The problem you have here is that it is just impossible to find all the patents that affect what it is you're trying to do, understand them, and to work around all of them. Further, the US has a 'treble damages' rule for 'wilful infringement'. It costs you 3x as much as the actual assessed damages if they can prove you looked at the patent. It's far better not to look.

        Patents are written in legalese rather than technical language that has meaning to someone working in the field. Further, the only enforceable part of the patent is the Claims section (NOT the diagrams), and they are read blind - they are not read in the context of the whole application. The meanings of words are essentially defined by the jury and can often be stretched far outside any reasonable definition. This is how Paice Technologies was able to claim royalties from Toyota for the hybrid system used in the Prius despite the Paice patents specifically referencing and pointing out the differences from the mechanical construction used in the Prius (which had been patented by TRW in the early 1970s). Even if you think you've avoided a patent, the litigation could still extend the claims to cover what you did.

        This makes the patent system, which is supposed to encourage inventors to disclose their inventions so that others can use them and base new inventions on them in return for fair compensation for a limited time, completely useless. You cannot practically research ways of accomplishing something - even after the patents have expired the database is still useless. It's so bad that patent examiners cannot determine whether a new application is actually covered by previous ones.

        To make the system useful it must be far better organized, meaning we have to employ curators to organize the content, and the bar for getting a patent must be far higher to eliminate near-pointless extensions that just waste everyone's time and resources. It must no longer be harmful just to research. Ideally we should know up front how much it will cost to use a given technique, so that we can make a judgement of whether to use the patented technique (and pay the royalties), or to investigate other ways of doing it. All patents must be licensed under fair and non-discriminatory terms (no blocking your competitors!) And the terms used in a patent must either be completely defined or they must have the meanings commonly understood within the field - no retrospectives.

         

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

  •  
    identicon
    izzitme101, Apr 7th, 2012 @ 11:03am

    http://niederfamily.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/goliath-v-david-aac-style.html

    If anyone can convince me this patent is a good thing, ill give you a months worth of my wages.

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2012 @ 6:59am

      Re:

      You make the mistake of confusing "this patent" with all patents, the patent system, etc. There will always situations that are not good, but the point isn't that any single patent or patent holder is good or bad, but if the system overall works.

      Step back from that tree, you might see the forest.

       

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

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 8th, 2012 @ 2:12am

    The only reason tech is progressing is that they can beat each other over the head with patents. The I won't sue you, if you won't sue me method.

    This doesn't work in the case of Intellectual Vulture err.. Ventures Patents, you need to pay up or we will sue you. Racketeering 101, even worse than the mafia because it's perfectly legal.

    No company should be allowed to have patents unless they are actively using them.

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Apr 9th, 2012 @ 3:13pm

    What’s Hot And New In Patent Racketeering?

    You know how Intellectual Ventures usually doesn’t like to heavy anyone directly, it tends to pass off the patents to shell companies headquartered in East Texas with empty offices and no known personnel, who are then represented by legal firms who do all the actual heavying?

    I have a term for this: how about “patent laundering”?

     

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

  •  
    identicon
    Bambi, May 3rd, 2012 @ 10:12am

    Where is Eddie?

    Can someone tell Edward Jung to call me. Why is he banned from Seattle for now? He used to take me on all those fun trips using comapny funds. Hey, what's wrong with that?? I miss that crazy tiger.

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This