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?
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Nathan, 15 Nov 2004 @ 6:04am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2004 @ 12:26pm

      Re: No Subject Given

      "I plan to write a nice lengthy letter to my Congressman regarding this."

      You better put lots of money in that envelope.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Advertisment

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord

The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...

Loading...
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.