Universities Get Into Patent Trolling Game; Sue Over Bluetooth

from the pay-up,-pay-up,-pay-up dept

Can't get far these days without running into yet another pointless patent lawsuit. The latest comes from the University of Washington, which has asked a research foundation to sue Nokia, Samsung and Matsushita, claiming all three are daring to offer Bluetooth technology without first licensing the technology from them. And people wonder why standards bodies these days dissolve into deadlocked stagnation for years. It's all about the patents. No one wants to give up on the version of the standard that might include some tiny bit of their own (probably overly broad and obvious) patented technology, because it's just so damn lucrative. The end result is that it slows down or kills various useful standards that would help move industries forward. Once again, that seems to go entirely against the purpose of the patent system.

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  1. icon
    Mike (profile), 3 Jan 2007 @ 11:50pm

    Re: Re: Maybe not all bad...

    Given the general pendulum nature of how patents have been historically viewed in this country I would think it wouldn't be a sound decision to assert that patents are ment to do anything.

    This is entirely false. The purpose of the patent system is clearly laid out in the Constitution: to promote the progress of useful arts and science.

    While it's true that the view of patents has changed drastically over the years, our patent system was set up to do one thing and one thing only. The fact that it does not do that (and often hinders that) should be a problem. To dismiss complaints against the patent system because at one time it was a way for the Queen to reward her friends and cash in is pretty pointless.

    We accept the idea that promoting innovation is a good thing. If you don't, then that's a different discussion. That said, if the patent system is designed to do something other than promote innovation, that should be discussed separately, because it goes beyond the Constitutional mandate of the patent system.

    I also strongly disagree with your assertion that the framers were very pro-patent. As we've discussed at length, both Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin were very wary about the potential problems the patent system creates.

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