Venture Capital

by Mike Masnick

VCs Looking To Fund Patent Hoarders

from the uh-oh dept

EE Times is running a good article looking at the challenges facing the patent system -- but which includes two interesting tidbits about how some of these patent hoarding firms are trying to be seen in a more positive light. The first is that, while many people refer to patent hoarding firms as "patent trolls," these firms are now pushing the more friendly sounding "PLEC" name: "patent licensing and enforcement company." More interesting, though, is the news that a number of new venture funds are being formed solely for the sake of investing in these types of firms. As the article notes, this is only increasing the costs for everyone, making everyone feel they need to patent as much stuff as possible, as quickly as possible to protect themselves. It's the nuclear stockpiling situation we've discussed before. Everyone is spending all this money for defensive reasons that have little to nothing to do with innovation. Now, thanks to venture capital backing, it's likely to get even worse.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Antimatter, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 11:58am


    At some point people will start to see how ridiculous this is getting.

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

  2. identicon
    Mousky, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 12:10pm

    At some point? People are already seeing how ridiculous the whole intellectual property this is becoming. You have music and movie companies pushing DRM and saying that 'fair use' is a figment of our imagination. You have companies that do nothing but hoard patents and then sue companies who actually make products that are useful and beneficial. You have companies suing Google for copyright violation because they provide a link to an offending website and because Google has deep pockets. You have government officials extending the life of copyright beyond anything anyone originally envisioned to keep companies like Disney happy.

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

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 12:31pm

    Right On

    Yeah - anything you invent I should get for free.

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

  4. identicon
    Patents R Us, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 12:49pm

    Re: Right On

    I hold the patent on anonymously posting to message boards on electronic systems. Please send me $12,000 or prepare to be sued.

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

  5. identicon
    Moogle, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 4:54pm

    Someone help me come up with a phrase for these companies with the acronym PRICK. Then we can gripe about a bunch of PRICKs patenting every obvious idea under the sun.


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

  6. identicon
    Anwar, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 6:08am

    Paten Robbers Interested in Killing Capitalism

    how about that??

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

  7. identicon
    fade-in, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 8:52am

    Re: Right On

    If that's what it was all about, that would be one thing. But the distinguishing feature of the patent trolls is that the don't actually use the patents they are holding. If they stood to lose something because I stole their idea, then let them come sue me. But when they just sit there, holding back technology like the Micro$ofts of the world, then they deserve to be smacked.

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

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