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
    giafly, 19 Mar 2006 @ 9:37am

    Dear Dungy

    "The phrase intellectual property does not appear in the U.S. Constitution, and for very good reason. The phrase is a lie. It turns ideas into land, and allows corporations who own the vast majority of patents and copyrights to control anyone who doesn't serve them."
    ZDNet

    Here's one reason why computer patents are bad

    When I travel, I use the public roads. If I see a private gateway, I keep out, and go by a different route. But when I write a computer program I cannot tell whether the methods I write are publicly useable, or which are protected by patent. If there were obvious gateways and "keep out" signs, I would easily implement my program in a different way that avoided any patent. But there aren't. So the patent troll can wait untill my program has been tested and documented and shipped to hundreds of customers before revealing his alleged claim, by which time it's very expensive to implement it in a different way, and cheaper to pay the troll.

    This does nothing to encourage programming, or faith in the law for that matter.

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