The Aftermath Of RIM-NTP: Other Patent Hoarders Emboldened

from the story?--we-need-a-story? dept

Now that the RIM-NTP case is over and the lawyers are counting the loot from a bunch of patents that are very likely to be rejected, it appears that (1) plenty of other patent hoarding firms can't wait to step into the limelight as the "next NTP" and (2) reporters who have been covering this case need to move onto some new patent hoarding company. Well, step right up Forgent, you're the next contestant on "Just How Screwed Up Is Our Patent System?!" The AP has an article all about Forgent's attempts to be the next patent hoarding company to get all the attention. There's absolutely nothing new in this story. We've covered Forgent extensively in the past. The company has done nothing to help innovation in the imaging space. They had some patents collecting dust that they retroactively decided could cover jpg compression technology, and went on a licensing kick, scoring millions of dollars. Of course, now, people are finally digging up some prior art -- but either way it highlights the problem of the patent system. This company did nothing to promote innovation. It did everything to hinder it. And the comments from the company about how this is "the American way" are ridiculous. Holding back others from innovating and improving the market is the American way? Unfortunately, this is the legacy of the RIM-NTP decision. More companies feel emboldened to not innovate, but simply patent and wait for others to innovate.

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  1. identicon
    Phil, 18 Mar 2006 @ 4:47am

    NTP and Forgent are produing anything useful!

    Angry Dude -- try to comprehend something.
    Intellectual Property laws don't exist just for the good of the innovator. In a totally free and open laissez-faire capitalist economy, where there was no governmental regulation of commerce, the inventor or author would have little incentive to innovate. In a world of wide-open freedom, anyone should be free to produce anything they choose, regardless of where the ideas come from. The problem is, of course that some ideas take considerable effort to transfer from the realm of imagination and inspiration over to the real physical world where a useful product can be brought to market. Intellectual Property laws exist for the sole reason of encouraging the creator to produce a marketable product, with the knowledge that he or she will make sufficient profit to justify the effort. If all intellectual property owners acted like NTP and Forgent, then intellectual property laws would never have been enacted in the first place. These laws are not designed to protect people who just want to sit on their ideas. Ideas are not like your grandmother's jewels which, if stolen from your home, you no longer have them. Ideas can be spread, and anyone can have them. If intellectual property laws were designed to protect ideas as if they were physical objects wherein it was forbidden to possess and utilize an idea if you did not think of it first, then intellectual property laws would never expire, just as possession of the family jewels never expires---The family jewel get passed on to your descendants for as many generations as the family members choose. Intellectual property law exist for the promotion of commerce. Period.

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