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. icon
    Mike (profile), 17 Mar 2006 @ 6:50pm

    Re: techdirt is patently ignorant

    Angry dude,

    You keep claiming we're ignorant, and then give huge generalizations with no support.

    Forgent bought a patent and sat on it. It was only just as the patent was expiring that they figured out a way to stretch it to claim that it covered jpgs. It's not the "jpeg patent." The company never had anything to do with the development of jpegs and never did anything to move the body of art forward. So again, please explain how that helps innovation.

    Saying it's none of our [cursing] business, doesn't help your case. It's not support. It just makes you look childish.

    MicroSoft and Intel an patent pirates - they steal whatever IP they can steal from small entities.

    That's a pretty broad generalization. Have they done that? Sure. Doesn't mean they always do. And, if you actually took the time to read what we write, we have no problem condemning the actions of large companies when it comes to patents as well.

    "Patent trolls" or IP-holding companies are agents of justice -they do to those big companies what they really deserve and actually promote the progress by helping small inventors to monetize their patented inventions.

    This makes no sense. First of all, I usually try to avoid the term patent troll, but since you like it so much...

    The point of the patent system is NOT about "justice" and giving big companies what they "deserve." It's to promote innovation. That is NOT the same as helping small inventors monetize inventions. It's all about bringing products to market. I know you disagree, but the point of patents is about increasing overall societal good, and that's done by bringing products to market -- NOT hoarding a patent and suing those who actually do develop products indepedently.

    It's not "ignorance" as you repeatedly claim. It's simply a difference of opinion. There are incentives and disincentives created by the patent system. You believe the incentives outweigh the disincentives -- though, you are also biased, as you are a small patent holder (which, you STILL refuse to show us). We believe the disincentives outweigh the incentives. I'm more than willing to discuss those points civilly.

    Calling us ignorant doesn't help the debate. Maybe it makes you feel better, but it doesn't do much to enhance your credibility (that along with your refusal to simply supply a patent number, whether or not we're too stupid to understand it).

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