What A Waste: Taiwan Plans To Create A 'Patent Bank' To Protect Taiwanese Companies Against Patent Lawsuits

from the without-the-aggressive-suing? dept

Tim Swanson was the first of a few of you to pass on the news that the Taiwanese government is planning to put together a "patent bank" that would basically seek to buy up patents around certain technologies, and local Taiwanese firms share in the patent pool and effectively check patents out to use against others if threatened. Of course, this is similar to the original pitch that Intellectual Ventures made... and also similar to the claims of companies like RPX which basically tried to recreate the Intellectual Ventures model. Of course, IV also went on the offensive, rather than just the defensive. And, as Stephan Kinsella has pointed out, all the patent banks in the world won't save you if you get sued by a non-practicing troll who is immune from return patent lawsuits. Really all this demonstrates is how ridiculous the patent system is, when governments (and the article notes that South Korea and Japan have similar things) have to create special institutions to protect their own companies from the patent system. Shouldn't that raise questions about the patent system itself?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    AdamR (profile), Oct 11th, 2011 @ 10:23pm

    But does it come with free checking and no monthly debit card maintenance fees?

     

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

  2.  
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    Pixelation, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 11:02pm

    I'll see your Intellectual Ventures and raise you a Taiwanese government!

     

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

  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 11:27pm

    Patent Abolition FTW

    What a mess. First governments foolishly hand out government-granted monopoly privileges. Then they discover that was not such a hot idea, because the monopolies are damaging their economy. Hello Economics 101. Then they create a "patent bank" to attempt to mitigate the damage they themselves did. Alas, they then find out that their new "patent bank" is not going to work against patent trolls, who can go right on doing as much damage as they like.

    The patent system is going to go right on delivering no net benefits at all, plus it is going to cost more and more vast sums of money. The answer is to either abolish the thing altogether, or at least de-fang it by taking away the monopolies. When are the pollies going to wake up?

     

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  4.  
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    The eejit (profile), Oct 11th, 2011 @ 11:38pm

    Re:

    No, they pay you, and every time a patent of yours is used to successfully sue, you get a marginally higher percentage than the others who "bank" their patents.

     

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

  5.  
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    JustSomeGuy, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 11:48pm

    Er, I don't get it. If they want to protect Taiwanese companies from patents, why don't they just pass a law stating that foreign patents are not enforceable against those companies?

    I believe that's within their rights as a sovereign nation, no?

    They'll have to deal with any retaliatory action of course but that's a cost/benefit analysis operation.

     

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

  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 11:55pm

    Re:

    Patents are local, there are not universal conventions to protect a patent granted in Taiwan in the US. what they are talking about is buying US and European patents and make a super pool inside those markets.

     

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

  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 11:56pm

    Re:

    Other governments could in theory just create their own version of IV Ventures and sue Microsoft to extinction since Microsoft is the one of the logical forces behind it.

     

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

  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2011 @ 11:59pm

    This could get interesting.

    Imagine other countries forming a consortium to buy a lot of patents and create a bigger pool than the IV Ventures and sue each and every one remotely involved with them.

     

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

  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 12:01am

    Re:

    This could really hurt American manufacturers since if you don't give in to IV Ventures they sue and if you do give in the Consortium sues you LoL

     

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

  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 12:05am

    Re:

    They can also sign covenants and go after the sponsors of IV Ventures and harm their sales in Asia in one way or another, they are better organized than their American counterparts.

     

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

  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 12:29am

    The war is coming prepare for 2030 The End of Patents War.

     

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

  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 12:44am

    US blocks Huawei from public safety LTE trial
    http://www.totaltele.com/view.aspx?ID=468333

    This will be good.

    The US is getting scared and I believe the government will start to do some crazy things in the future.

     

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

  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 1:57am

    Re:

    You assume that once the said law passed, that'll prevent US companies sue "TW companies entering US market" with US granted patents?

    IMO, TW court does not have that power. The law would only be effective for the companies never bother to enter US market.

     

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

  14.  
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    abc gum, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 4:49am

    Re:

    "The US is getting scared and I believe the government will start to do some crazy things in the future."

    The future is now.

     

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

  15.  
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    Beta (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 5:50am

    It's so crazy...

    Wait a second... this just might work. A patent pool is a protection scheme, it allows the owner of the pool to shake down businesses for money-- but a government does that anyway. So a government-owned pool is sort of like a toxic waste dump, a place to put patents where they can't hurt anyone. Once the government is routinely buying new patents, it might have an incentive not to issue them carelessly. The next step might be either to require inventors to surrender their patents (something I disagree with on principle, but that might be a practical good in this case), or else raise the bar higher and higher until it's granting patents only for real and valuable inventions. Manufacturers would flock to Taiwan, other nations would follow suit, international treaties would merge the pools, and eventually the smarter member nations would realize that their patent offices are a pure cost and start pinching them off...

    I can dream, can't I?

     

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

  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 7:45am

    Re:

    pffft!!! I see your Taiwanese government, and I raise you an American corporation!

     

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

  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 7:46am

    Re: Re:

    and you can add to that a tax funded university as well.

     

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  18.  
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    staff, Oct 12th, 2011 @ 12:13pm

    another biased article

    “Patent troll”

    Call it what you will...patent hoarder, patent troll, non-practicing entity, etc. It all means one thing: “we’re using your invention and we’re not going to pay”. This is just dissembling by large infringers to kill any inventor support system. It is purely about legalizing theft.

    Prior to eBay v Mercexchange, small entities had a viable chance at commercializing their inventions. If the defendant was found guilty, an injunction was most always issued. Then the inventor small entity could enjoy the exclusive use of his invention in commercializing it. Unfortunately, injunctions are often no longer available to small entity inventors because of the Supreme Court decision so we have no fair chance to compete with much larger entities who are now free to use our inventions. Essentially, large infringers now have your gun and all the bullets. Worse yet, inability to commercialize means those same small entities will not be hiring new employees to roll out their products and services. And now some of those same parties who killed injunctions for small entities and thus blocked their chance at commercializing now complain that small entity inventors are not commercializing. They created the problem and now they want to blame small entities for it. What dissembling! If you don’t like this state of affairs (your unemployment is running out), tell your Congress member. Then maybe we can get some sense back in the patent system with injunctions fully enforceable on all infringers by all inventors, large and small.

    For the truth about trolls, please see http://truereform.piausa.org/default.html#pt.

     

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

  19.  
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    Beta (profile), Oct 12th, 2011 @ 2:33pm

    Re: another biased article

    I was puzzled by the fact that this comment seemed to have almost nothing to do with the article (the government of Taiwan a small inventor?) until I did a little searching and found the same comment posted verbatim at several other blogs.

    Is there a noun like "troll", but more pejorative?

     

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


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