Inventor Vindicated, Vilified After Verdict Against eBay
from the missing-the-point dept
While many were surprised that a jury found eBay guilty of patent infringement, the owner of those patents claims that he’s now receiving death threats and other angry communications for his victory against eBay (which may still be overturned by the current judge or on appeal). The guy claims: “It bugs me that the debate is so uninformed. Patents help the little guy; they help the startup firm. If the patent system isn’t there for protection, then innovation is dead. The big guys are just going to come in and crush small inventors.” It sounds like he’s making sense until you start to think about it. eBay wasn’t a big company when they started. In fact, this guy claims he came up with the idea before they existed. He just failed to capitalize on it and is now whining about it. Just because he’s a bad business person and someone else figured out how to make money on an idea, doesn’t mean he deserves a legal handout. Also, there’s no evidence that eBay actually stole the idea from him. If this guy is so intent on “innovating” where is his online auction firm? It’s nowhere, because instead of innovating, he’s trying to go around licensing his patent and scrounge off the success of those who actually did innovate. Update: On a very similar topic, SF Gate is running an article about people who use “offensive blocking patents” in this exact manner. They specifically patent an idea they have no intention of doing anything with in the hopes of suing big companies later on. How does this help encourage innovation?