by Mike Masnick
Thu, Sep 20th 2007 5:18pm
We've talked about how patents have become a sort of nuclear stockpiling system, where companies hoard a bunch of patents for defensive purposes, mainly to keep competitors from lobbing patent claims at them -- knowing that the original company would just toss a bunch of patent claims right back. However, sometimes that detente breaks down and nuclear war ensues. You can see exactly that in the ongoing three way patent battles between Qualcomm, Broadcom and Nokia. We've been covering some of the individual skirmishes in posts here over the past few years, but the link here pretty much sums up how nuts things are. There are lawsuits in courts all over the country, followed by counter suits from the opposing companies in many of those courts as well. On top of that, there are reviews going on at the International Trade Commission, which has increasingly become a second chance way for companies to fight patent battles. If someone can explain how all of this helps to promote innovation, we'd appreciate it.
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