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by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
lobbying, patents, reform

broadcom, qualcomm

Patent Battles Now More About Lobbying Than What's Best For Innovation

from the funny-how-that-works dept

Patents are supposed to be about promoting innovation. But these days it's clear that the original purpose of patents has long since been disconnected from the program. In fact, if you want to see how bad it's become, here are two separate stories that highlight how decisions over patents are increasingly all about lobbyists, rather than actually figuring out what's best for innovation (though, I guess you could say that for all politics these days). However, read this Washington Post article on the silly Qualcomm/Broadcom patent fight, that we've covered before, where apparently both sides knew that the whole fight was about hiring lobbyists to get Congressional Representatives to support its side. Nowhere in that discussion do they bring up what's actually right and what's best for the country (in fact, the article notes that Broadcom's win will probably mean new mobile phones are about to get more expensive), but it's all about whose lobbyists were more effective. Meanwhile, we ignored the story last week about the House passing the latest patent reform attempt, because it's meaningless until it gets Senate approval as well -- and as for whether or not the Senate approves it... well, once again, that seems to be up to the various lobbyists who are now scrambling. Again, it's amusing to see either side on this debate argue that it's "big companies" against "little guys." It's big companies on one side against big companies on the other -- and the real question being bandied about is who is going to be able to better exploit the system -- not what's best for innovation.

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  • identicon
    angry dude, 13 Sep 2007 @ 7:57am

    Whoa, Mike finally makes some sense...

    Can't leave this one without a comment.

    yeah, as Mike correctly notes this whole patent reform fight is mostly between big pharma (rep money donors) and BIG tech (dem donors) (Please, don't confuse BIG tech with small tech)
    Lobbyists on both sides are lining their pockets with green paper..
    Lost in this process is the basic truth that most of the progress comes not from big money-making enterproses, but from research universitues, R&D labs and individuals.
    Patent system was designed to "promote the progress of science", not to make additional profits for the large multinational tech companies.

    In my world, selling million copies of IPod is NOT promoting the progress, but discovering an effective auduo compression scheme for MP3 does promote a progress..
    I bet most of techdirt readers will disagree...
    What can I do... IPod generation....

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Sep 2007 @ 7:16pm

    This is a new development? Where have you been, Mike?

    Angry Dude has his facts right.

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

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