by Mike Masnick
Mon, Dec 14th 2009 1:17am
We've discussed in the past how many large companies now view patent accumulation as something of a nuclear stockpiling technique. That is, if you accumulate enough patents, other large companies won't sue you for patent infringement, because you'll just sue them right back for infringing on your patents. As ridiculous (and obviously against the basis of the very patent system) as this is, it has certainly limited some patent lawsuits between large tech companies. But every so often, a nuclear battle breaks out. Earlier this year, Nokia, jealous over the success of the iPhone, sued Apple. Apple, of course, has bragged about all those patents it holds on the iPhone... so... the obvious next step has occurred, and Apple is lobbing back charges of patent infringement against Nokia. In the end, the two sides will probably work out some sort of settlement, but the whole process is a huge waste of time and resources. Wouldn't we all be better off if they just focused on competing in the marketplace by creating better products?
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