If Your Business Strategy Relies On Suing Others, You're Not A Business, You're A Leech On The System

from the face-facts dept

Canadian patent troll Wi-LAN has a long history as trying to tax any and all wireless innovation with patent threats. With the news that it's suing a bunch more companies -- including Apple, HTC, HP, Dell, Sierra Wireless and others, the company is merely cementing its reputation as a taxer of innovation, rather than a builder of anything useful. The company doesn't seem shy about this. As the link above notes, the company seems to brag about this "business" strategy:
What's more, Skippen said he believes "that our past investment in litigation could generate a significant return in the future. Our record revenues and earnings in the first quarter signal the beginning of that return to WiLAN and its shareholders."
It's hard to read such a comment and not feel sickened by the pure net loss on the economy and innovation from such leeches. Any company whose business model focuses on litigation is not contributing positively to society and innovation. There are times to file a lawsuit, but when that becomes central to your business model, something is broken.

The very core of a functioning capitalist system is that companies make transactions in which there's a buyer and a seller, and both sides come away from the transaction feeling better off. The buyer values the product or service more than the money paid, and the seller values the money more. That's good business. Any time you involve a lawsuit to force someone to pay, you're doing exactly the opposite of that and you're setting up a system that is not working to benefit everyone, but is actively using the force of the courts to try to force a company to "buy" something it has no interest in buying. It's not good for the economy and it's not good for innovation.

Filed Under: business, economics, patents, strategy
Companies: wi-lan


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Sep 2011 @ 11:52pm

    Re: Re:

    "The United States spent a record $264 billion on R&D in 2000"

    http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/20/5/202.long

    The industry on the other hand spent something like $10 billion.

    You believe Cuba is strong on IP?
    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/health/2011-09/07/c_131111574.htm

    Do you believe India and Brazil are strong on patents?

    There are more than 100 pharmaceutical companies present in India including major players like Merck, Novartis, J&J and AstraZeneca. Besides these, multi-national medical giants such as Dr. Reddy’s, Ranbaxy and Glen mark have set their research bases in India to take leverage of the comprehensive healthcare facilities. Being the 4th largest drug manufacturer on earth, India boasts of 85+ FDA approved research facilities. Also, India will soon have the offices of world-renowned healthcare organizations such as FDA, DIA and CDISC.

    http://www.healthtechnica.com/blogsphere/2011/01/03/medical-research-in-india/

    Not to mention that India is at the forefront of telemedicine, with initiatives that already are in place in large scales.
    http://www.telemedindia.org/

    Anti-cancer drug discovery and development in Brazil: targeted plant collection as a rational strategy to acquire candidate anti-cancer compounds.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10884497

    "Brazil's investment in transgenic animals shows how opposition to such technologies in the United States is opening opportunities elsewhere."
    http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/26582/

    Not to mention the Chinese and Russians.

    I want to find the quote of a Brazilian drug manufacture that said "Yes we copied it is not against the law in Brazil" when asked if they copyed a drug from an American manufacturer.

    You think those people are incompetent?

    * Brazil is the world’s largest producer of oranges, with 27% of world production
    * Brazil produces 53% of all orange juice consumed in the world
    * One in two of FCOJ drunk in the world comes from Brazil, and one in four comes from the Brazilian company Cutrale
    * The state of São Paulo is responsible for 98% of Brazil’s production; there the industry employs 400,000 people and has 10 processing plants and 19,000 groves
    * Brazil now has 700,000 hectares of orange groves while Florida is down to 280,000
    * Brazil now exports 1.2 million tons of frozen concentrate a year. How much is that? 60,000 truck loads!
    * One firm, Cutrale, controls about 40% of Basil’s orange juice processing capability and has annual revenues of around US$1 billion.
    * Cutrale, because it is the largest, is the most reviled. In Brazil it is criticized because it keeps prices low for the producers. In the US, where it owns plants, it generates complaints for keeping wages low.


    Keep dreaming and someone will kick your ass.
    http://www.brazilmax.com/news.cfm/tborigem/fe_business/id/7

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