VCs Looking To Fund Patent Hoarders

from the uh-oh dept

EE Times is running a good article looking at the challenges facing the patent system — but which includes two interesting tidbits about how some of these patent hoarding firms are trying to be seen in a more positive light. The first is that, while many people refer to patent hoarding firms as “patent trolls,” these firms are now pushing the more friendly sounding “PLEC” name: “patent licensing and enforcement company.” More interesting, though, is the news that a number of new venture funds are being formed solely for the sake of investing in these types of firms. As the article notes, this is only increasing the costs for everyone, making everyone feel they need to patent as much stuff as possible, as quickly as possible to protect themselves. It’s the nuclear stockpiling situation we’ve discussed before. Everyone is spending all this money for defensive reasons that have little to nothing to do with innovation. Now, thanks to venture capital backing, it’s likely to get even worse.

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Comments on “VCs Looking To Fund Patent Hoarders”

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Mousky (user link) says:

At some point? People are already seeing how ridiculous the whole intellectual property this is becoming. You have music and movie companies pushing DRM and saying that ‘fair use’ is a figment of our imagination. You have companies that do nothing but hoard patents and then sue companies who actually make products that are useful and beneficial. You have companies suing Google for copyright violation because they provide a link to an offending website and because Google has deep pockets. You have government officials extending the life of copyright beyond anything anyone originally envisioned to keep companies like Disney happy.

fade-in says:

Re: Right On

If that’s what it was all about, that would be one thing. But the distinguishing feature of the patent trolls is that the don’t actually use the patents they are holding. If they stood to lose something because I stole their idea, then let them come sue me. But when they just sit there, holding back technology like the Micro$ofts of the world, then they deserve to be smacked.

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