What A Waste: Taiwan Plans To Create A 'Patent Bank' To Protect Taiwanese Companies Against Patent Lawsuits

from the without-the-aggressive-suing? dept

Tim Swanson was the first of a few of you to pass on the news that the Taiwanese government is planning to put together a “patent bank” that would basically seek to buy up patents around certain technologies, and local Taiwanese firms share in the patent pool and effectively check patents out to use against others if threatened. Of course, this is similar to the original pitch that Intellectual Ventures made… and also similar to the claims of companies like RPX which basically tried to recreate the Intellectual Ventures model. Of course, IV also went on the offensive, rather than just the defensive. And, as Stephan Kinsella has pointed out, all the patent banks in the world won’t save you if you get sued by a non-practicing troll who is immune from return patent lawsuits. Really all this demonstrates is how ridiculous the patent system is, when governments (and the article notes that South Korea and Japan have similar things) have to create special institutions to protect their own companies from the patent system. Shouldn’t that raise questions about the patent system itself?

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Comments on “What A Waste: Taiwan Plans To Create A 'Patent Bank' To Protect Taiwanese Companies Against Patent Lawsuits”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Patent Abolition FTW

What a mess. First governments foolishly hand out government-granted monopoly privileges. Then they discover that was not such a hot idea, because the monopolies are damaging their economy. Hello Economics 101. Then they create a “patent bank” to attempt to mitigate the damage they themselves did. Alas, they then find out that their new “patent bank” is not going to work against patent trolls, who can go right on doing as much damage as they like.

The patent system is going to go right on delivering no net benefits at all, plus it is going to cost more and more vast sums of money. The answer is to either abolish the thing altogether, or at least de-fang it by taking away the monopolies. When are the pollies going to wake up?

JustSomeGuy says:

Er, I don’t get it. If they want to protect Taiwanese companies from patents, why don’t they just pass a law stating that foreign patents are not enforceable against those companies?

I believe that’s within their rights as a sovereign nation, no?

They’ll have to deal with any retaliatory action of course but that’s a cost/benefit analysis operation.

Beta (profile) says:

It's so crazy...

Wait a second… this just might work. A patent pool is a protection scheme, it allows the owner of the pool to shake down businesses for money– but a government does that anyway. So a government-owned pool is sort of like a toxic waste dump, a place to put patents where they can’t hurt anyone. Once the government is routinely buying new patents, it might have an incentive not to issue them carelessly. The next step might be either to require inventors to surrender their patents (something I disagree with on principle, but that might be a practical good in this case), or else raise the bar higher and higher until it’s granting patents only for real and valuable inventions. Manufacturers would flock to Taiwan, other nations would follow suit, international treaties would merge the pools, and eventually the smarter member nations would realize that their patent offices are a pure cost and start pinching them off…

I can dream, can’t I?

staff says:

another biased article

?Patent troll?

Call it what you will…patent hoarder, patent troll, non-practicing entity, etc. It all means one thing: ?we?re using your invention and we?re not going to pay?. This is just dissembling by large infringers to kill any inventor support system. It is purely about legalizing theft.

Prior to eBay v Mercexchange, small entities had a viable chance at commercializing their inventions. If the defendant was found guilty, an injunction was most always issued. Then the inventor small entity could enjoy the exclusive use of his invention in commercializing it. Unfortunately, injunctions are often no longer available to small entity inventors because of the Supreme Court decision so we have no fair chance to compete with much larger entities who are now free to use our inventions. Essentially, large infringers now have your gun and all the bullets. Worse yet, inability to commercialize means those same small entities will not be hiring new employees to roll out their products and services. And now some of those same parties who killed injunctions for small entities and thus blocked their chance at commercializing now complain that small entity inventors are not commercializing. They created the problem and now they want to blame small entities for it. What dissembling! If you don?t like this state of affairs (your unemployment is running out), tell your Congress member. Then maybe we can get some sense back in the patent system with injunctions fully enforceable on all infringers by all inventors, large and small.

For the truth about trolls, please see http://truereform.piausa.org/default.html#pt.

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