Patent Hoarding Goes Big Time

from the just-what-we-needed dept

It’s been a few years since we last wrote about former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold’s plans to create an “invention factory” where scientists would come together to invent stuff that can be patented. Over those two years, it appears that the business model has changed a bit. While they still are working on having those scientists invent stuff which will be patented, they’re apparently realizing that process is a bit slow. So, they’re also buying up a ton of patents with a $350 million bankroll. Yes, basically, they’re becoming a big money version of all those little patent hoarding shops: not doing any innovating themselves, but simply slow down innovation by setting up tollbooths on obvious ideas. Unfortunately, this suggests many people still haven’t understood the important distinction between invention and innovation. Given the amount of money that those little patent hoarding shops have been able to get, is it really any surprise that bigger players are moving into the market?

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Comments on “Patent Hoarding Goes Big Time”

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Nathan says:

No Subject Given

If this isn’t a sign of a patent ‘cold war’ then I don’t really know what is.

Now the question I have is, would this ‘consortium’ ever leverage this kind of patent portfolio against a large competitor, such as IBM, who is conspicuously absent from the contributing groups…

I hope at least one lawmaker in this country sits up and pays attention to what is going on here. I plan to write a nice lengthy letter to my Congressman regarding this. He claims he wants to help the economy, and if that’s true, overhauling the patent office would be a great first step.

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