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Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick




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. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2007 @ 10:53am

    Pointless...

    ...or not, the current system is stifling productivity and innovation in hi-tech fields. Like many other lawsuit activities the major cost seems to be born by the defenders, which makes them choose to simply pay the bullying patent holder if they can. Even more interesting is the patent stalemate which I'm reading more and more about; company A create a technology. Company B declares patent infringement, so demands royalties or court. Company A says forget it and takes route 3; don't license or sell the technology and shuts down the research. Company B, being a patent troll just sits on the technology (they probably don't even have a prototype) waiting for the next innovator with deeper pockets to come along Yeah, that's really good for the economy.

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