by Mike Masnick
Thu, Mar 20th 2008 11:53pm
Update: Made some updates to this post as I misread the original article, suggesting that it was Limelight, not Level 3, that bought the patents. Earlier this month, we wrote about Akamai's patent lawsuit against competitor Limelight. Akamai had dominated the content delivery network space for many years, but Limelight and others have made serious inroads lately, putting a ton of competitive pressure on Akamai. Akamai's response to sue for patent infringement is exactly the sort of societal negative that shows how the patent system harms society. To reinforce that, it appears that, rather than just further innovating, others are now spending money that could have (and should have) gone to research and development on buying up its own patent portfolio to act as a nuclear stockpile to fight off Akamai. In this case, Level 3 (not Limelight, as originally stated in this post), is buying up patents from IBM. End result? Lots of money wasted on patents and patent infringement lawsuits, less innovation in the space and less competition. How can that possibly be a result that promotes the progress?
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