Special Interests Look To Stop Patent Reform; Should Reformers Just Give Up?

from the and-so-it-goes dept

There is certainly plenty to complain about concerning Congress’ latest attempt at patent reform, but as expected the powerful “patent lobby” is making sure that any discussion is pretty much dead in the water. They’ve convinced Congress to delay the bill while complaining about the few good points in the bill, while ignoring many of the other bad points. Even worse, however, is the suggestion that tech companies should just give up trying to reform patent law. That seems to be the suggestion coming from a Canadian columnist who notes that, despite bad patents and bad patent law costing firms millions of dollars, the patent lobby is just too strong, and we’re all better off sucking it up and living with an innovation-stifling, money-wasting system instead. The suggestion is basically that fighting against the patent lobby is really expensive, so everyone should just stop and play the patent game. Of course, this ignores the tremendous costs and lost opportunities that will only help other nations out-innovate local economies.

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Comments on “Special Interests Look To Stop Patent Reform; Should Reformers Just Give Up?”

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Ryan (former techdirter in London) says:

Litigation Litigation!

Hey Mike,

I agree that litigation is stifling innovation in the US, a good example of this is in the financial services industry. London is (arguably) overtaking NYC as the financial global capital, the reason often assumed for this has been Sarbanes-Oxley. However, interestingly enough not only is S-B and other over regulation in the US an issue but increasingly companies are concerned about the very high litigation costs associated with doing business in the US. Hence, the new found appeal of London.

Something has to give on the litigation front, the US has become a litigation society and I’m not sure how that can now be corrected.

angry dude says:

Mike, you are such a piece of shit…
You keep lying and distorting reality all the time.

Small tech companies involved in real innovation are all AGAINST “patent reform”
Read congressional testimonies from Amberware, InterDigital etc .etc etc.

The piece in canadian newpaper was about the largest canadian tech companies RIM and Nortel – known serial patent infringers

If you talk to other tech companies from Canada you will hear something quite the opposite…

“Powerful patent lobby” you say… Ha-Ha-Har…….
Yeah, I’m also a memebr of that “powerful patent lobby”,
sitting in my basement typing this angry note for youre shitty blog.
Where is my fucking power dude ? The power promised to me by our Constitution ? Where is my fucking exslusive right ?
I don;t fucking see it

Shame on you Mike Keep sucking up to your corporATE sponsors

ehrichweiss says:

Re: angry "dude"

Can’t you just troll somewhere else? We’re trying to have an intelligent discussion here and all you do is come in with unsubstantiated claims filled with highly charged “emotional talk”. If you think the blog is shitty and yet you still keep reading it, you might consider that you are the piece of shit in this instance.

yangyang (profile) says:

It is undeniable that narrow-minded ignorant people think that by using offensive language and systematically criticizing the world around them they are vastly superior.
However, it is quite the opposite. This low-life race of inferior beings deep inside know they are just that and can only comfort themselves by displaying this kind of antisocial behavior.
I feel sorry for Angry Dude. He is the only person who does not realize just how stupid he is.

angry dude says:

I just can’t tolerate lies

Special interests in this particular case are big tech infringers tryng to push this piece of legislative shit through the congress at the expense of the rest of us: small tech inventors, high-tech startups, big pharma, traditional manufacturers, biotech, research universities etc, etc. etc

Get real, people, nobody other than a few tech behemots wants this legislation. Period.

g says:

Re: Im a small software developer, and I want patent r

Patents are good for the people who get them for FAR too long in the software industry. I dont think there should be patents at all in software, because the onus is on doing the work, not distributing the material.

Patents make more sense in say the pharma industry where the research is all the work, but then anyone can cheaply make pills. It makes sense to have patents here.

In software, and business plans/logic, patents do not make sense as it is the delivery of service that people pay for, and code and text are already covered under copyright and trademark as needed, so that you wont have other businesses take your direct work and apply it.

Do not believe that all small businesses are against patent reform. I think the smart ones know they need patents for the real world as it is today, but that reduced or eliminated patents for certain industries would help them out.

A compromise of a 4 year, or similarly very short period, software patent might work, as it does give the patent holder a window of monopoly, but can’t significantly hold the industry back for very long.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I just can’t tolerate lies

Ha! That would be amusing if you actually had any facts on your side. Instead, all of the evidence goes against you.

What’s amusing is we keep pointing out plenty of evidence about how the patent system is harmful, both specific cases and greater research.

Angry dude, in return, just curses at me and calls me names.

I’m sorry, but it’s hard to see how I’m lying or in the pocket of special interests when (a) I actually back up stuff I say (you might want to try it) and (b) there’s absolutely no benefit to us to be in anyone’s pocket. Why would we possibly lie? That doesn’t do us any good.

Charles Griswold (user link) says:

Re: I get on my knees and pray..

If “angry dude”‘s point is that even with the crappy system we can’t assume reform == good

If angrydude thinks that Mike believes that this legislation is all good and anyone opposed to it is a poopyhead, maybe angrydude needs to actually read the post instead of just flying off the handle and spewing hatred and profanity.

angry dude says:

Forgot something important

Yeah, I forgot to add something important:

China wants US patent reform too…

And for small software developer:
Dude, do you remember the company called Netscape ?
Yeah , you do ?
They had a great product called web-browser long before MS got seriously involved with internet thing…
Where are they now ? Those dudes did a lot of great development work, they just didn’t have any patents…

Canadian Guy says:

Phew! It's getting hot in here

I was going to post a comment about how I thought Mike might not have given a completely fair interpretation of Barry McKenna’s article in the Globe and Mail, and how I was slightly disappointed because Mike is usually WAY smarter and more nuanced in his posts. But wow did this comment thread ever get started on the wrong foot!

I don’t think that McKenna was actually *suggesting* that folks give up, he was merely *reporting* that some companies are facing a decision about whether to continue to fight (as Nortel seems to be), or to cave in to the patent trolls (as RIM did).

Joe Smith says:

Re: Phew! It's getting hot in here

I’ve read McKenna’s piece and I thought Mike was pretty fair to it. My reaction to the piece was that the Canadians had made a mistake by setting themselves up in conflict with Pharma and traditional manufacturing (3M). The problems Pharma, 3M and high tech have with patents are very different and it should have been possible to design a reform package they could agree on: do away with software patents, relief for high tech manufacturers who incorporate independently invented discoveries in complex products and longer protection for pharma with an explicit recognition that what you are really protecting is the investment in clinical trials.

Anonymous Coward says:

Idiot Dude

If the browser had been patented Microsoft simply would have bought the patent and the only browser we would have for the next 10 years would have been piece of crap IE. The web would be under the exclusive control of Billy boy and his goons. Yeah, that would have worked out well.

Also I own a recently started software company and I find the current patent system ridiculous and intolerable. I would rather make a success of my company by making better software than anyone else rather than suing people.

Problem-With-That-Thought says:

Idiot Dude by Anonymous Coward

Well I agree with you on that however, with our current system larger companies with stronger lawyers could ‘come up with’ a reason you are in violation of their patent they already had. They take you to court and over time (Win or Lose) they bankrupt you with injunctions and other legal tactics to prevent you from earning revenue while forcing you to fight a long and difficult battle with them, wearing down your emotional and more importantly monetary reserves.

Ignoring previous comments, We Need a complete overhaul of the patenting system. The system we have now is only going to drag new companies under due to the vagueness of the currently granted patents. When Microsoft thinks it can go after 230 some odd patents against the OSS community; we have a serious problem.

I don’t know how we’re going to fix it; but it needs to be fixed, badly. Otherwise every new company will have to automatically apply for a patent for any little thing it does and brace itself to defend it.

My thoughts…

…Just Begun The Patent Wars Have…

The infamous Joe says:

Fix it.

Man, that dude is so freakin’ *angry*. He’s like a blog commenting Avril Lavigne– so angry. 😛

Anyway, as far as I can see, in my admittedly limited knowledge, is that where the system fails is that it is designed to protect the little guy– the Ben Franklin who invents something in his basement– from big corporations, but instead has been perverted into doing the exact opposite. Again, I am speaking from limited knowledge so I could be about to say something foolish, but wouldn’t an excellent fix be to not allow a business entity to hold rights on a patent, but instead only individuals?

If I’ve said something stupid, just ignore me. 🙂

angry dude says:

Joe Smith, the anti-patent crusader

hey, little joe,

Maybe you can write a new patent legislation which would explicitly separate high-tech from pharma, “traditional” manufactorers from non-traditional ones,
research institutions from producing entities, domestic producers from Chinese copycats….
Sit down joe and write it… We’ll see you in 10-15 years, cause it;s gonna be a monumental piece of legislation, minimum 1000 pages..
it will take US Congtress another 10 years to read it and pass it into law…
Ah, don;t forget, little clueless Joe, to also write a workable definition of a “software patent” so the PTO examiners know how to distinguish one from “hardware patent”

Get busy, Joe, write this monumental piece, you can call it “Lemonade Joe’s Patent-Happyness-For-Everyone Treatise”

But seriously Joe go drink some cold lemonade and relax

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Joe Smith, the anti-patent crusader

Yea, you’re right. It’d be difficult for one person to write. Thats why the government has teams of people do it. Also, if something is gonna take a few years, its best not to even try in your opinion. God, glad you weren’t around in 1776…

angry dude whining: “Guys, it’s take forever to write our own government. Come on, it’s gonna take so long to fight a war. I mean, think about how long it takes for a ship to even get across the ocean. They’re not gonna read this declaration for awhile. We should just quit. I’m going home.”

angry dude says:

Joe Smith, a bad detective

Joe, you are a bad detective:
“Just an ordinary inventor (TM)” has nothing to do with me… It’s very clear just from the style of writing
Do you really think that I am the only disgruntled inventor posting angry comments in various patent-related blogs about the ongoing attempts by big tech corps to finish us all ?
Get real, Joe

shamed american says:

patents - oh the humanity

When America was still free….the adage was…”build a better mousetrap, and the public will beat a path to your door”

Nowadays…it’s build a better mousetrap, and the patent owner will send the feds/lawyers to beat down your door.

Our current patent system has been used to do some serious damage, economically, socially, and environmentally to this nation…frankly it needs to be scrapped so competition (“that evil sin” as Nelson Rockefeller called it, can be allowed to foster once again.

But if that happened, the truth would flow like the Colorado River after spring thaw, and they cannot have that.

I suppose we deserve this for not stopping this when it was time to, and when possible. Thank your grandparents for this.

angry dude says:

Re: stupid american

Dude, you are an idiot, a typical retard…

The adage nowadays is this:
Invent a better moustrap, patent it and show your prototype to some big corp,
The big corp will steal your patented design and start manufactoring it in China to fill all Walmarts in America with better mousetraps so idiots like you can buy them real cheap…

Yeah, US patent system is a damn shame, competition from China is a lot better. GO there dude…

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