by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
dilbert, patent trolls, scott adams

universal uclick

Dilbert Takes On Patent Trolls; Will Congress?

from the a-fix-is-needed dept

Last summer, we were pleasantly surprised to see Scott Adams use Dilbert to highlight some of the absurdity of the patent system. It looks like Scott Adams has decided to tackle the subject again, with a specific focus on the rise of patent troll firms. Considering how frequently we see information and data showing just how much patent trolling costs the economy, it would be nice to make more people aware of the issues. Getting the issue covered on the Dilbert site seems like a good first step.

By the way -- I had intended to embed the Dilbert comic with this story, but it appears that Universal Uclick has decided to go ahead and maximalist up the joint -- removing the previously available embedding feature. This is pretty surprising for a web property -- especailly one with Scott Adams involved... Its not like embedding it is more likely to lead to people infringing on that particular patent...

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  1. icon
    Alana (profile), 16 Jul 2012 @ 11:43pm

    Replace "Even the playing field" With "Nuking the playing field" to be more accurate.

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

  2. identicon
    Beech, 17 Jul 2012 @ 1:17am


    I think if this Dilbert strip does bring about the much needed reform it will be one of the saddest happenings in the history of man.

    Don't get me wrong, the patent system needs a good rework. It will be sad because even with all of the experts, and lawsuits, and all the other evidence of a broken and sad system, a friggin' COMIC strip is what changed it. I mean, isn't that horrible? "Well, our leaders and the public at large have ignored our greatest minds for decades...the only hope that remains is to send them a slightly humorous doodle. THAT'LL shake things up."

    What's really REALLY sad is that I see it working.

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

  3. identicon
    Grant, 17 Jul 2012 @ 1:31am

    Re: Sad

    political cartoons have been a valuable tool in bringing about political change since the birth of this country. Because even back then everybody knew the only way to explain a complicated and nuanced concept to a politician in a way that they would understand it, was through cartoons.

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

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Jul 2012 @ 2:01am

    Patent Abolition

    It is Scott Adams vs the patent bar. Who will win? Alas, politicians are terrible at simplifying the law. They are always looking for a deal which supposedly keeps everybody happy. The net result is usually to make things worse for the public. Abolishing the patent system would force the patent bar to practice some other line of law. The patent lawyers will fight like cats to avoid that. Politicians will have people screaming at them from both sides. They will descend into indecision and cowardice. Nothing much can be expected unless they clearly understand that NOT abolishing the patent system will cost them their political careers. Come on, you American voters, do your duty.

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

  5. icon
    gab4moi (profile), 17 Jul 2012 @ 3:44am

    Maybe the Universal Uclickers need to have a visit from Dilberts evil HR Director...

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

  6. icon
    justok (profile), 17 Jul 2012 @ 5:24am

    Where there's a widget

    There's a widget thang at

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

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Jul 2012 @ 5:43am

    Re: Where there's a widget

    I'd rather not play with Dilbert's thang...

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

  8. identicon
    Winston Smith, 17 Jul 2012 @ 7:18am

    Doubleplus ungood.

    Oh dear... "maximalist" is a verb now? :(

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

  9. identicon
    CaitlinP, 17 Jul 2012 @ 7:21am

    Yet Another fun Topic

    The only unfortunate thing, I think, is that if Congress does take up Patent reform, it's going to get tossed around like a beach ball covered in seaweed: no one is going to want to run with it for very long.
    Not only that but, god forbid, Hollywood might make the claim that patent or copyright reform would be a threat to National security. And then it'll get holed up in a corner somewhere while the rest of the public starts screaming at them to do something.
    I think the only way any kind of reform will happen is if we start grabbing Pitchforks and torches.

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

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Jul 2012 @ 8:19am

    Re: Doubleplus ungood.

    How's oceania this time of year?

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

  11. icon
    ltlw0lf (profile), 17 Jul 2012 @ 10:20am

    Re: Doubleplus ungood.

    Oh dear... "maximalist" is a verb now? :(

    The language is fluid, things do change, but I believe the correct word should have been maximalize. Mike was being cute. I like it though, it works for me.

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

  12. icon
    Jeff (profile), 17 Jul 2012 @ 12:45pm

    To answer the question

    No they won't - their continued employment guarantees they won't...

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

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Jul 2012 @ 5:46pm

    Re: Re: Doubleplus ungood.

    Just checked the Shorter Oxford. Maximalist and maximize are there. Maximalize is not.

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

  14. identicon
    Art, 17 Jul 2012 @ 8:03pm

    Patents and copyrights = Complete waste of time and money. Read: "Against Intellectual Monopoly" by Boldrin and Levine. See:

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

  15. identicon
    staff, 18 Jul 2012 @ 7:24am

    more dissembling

    Masnick and his monkeys have an unreported conflict of interest-

    They sell blog filler and "insights" to major corporations including MS, HP, IBM etc. who just happen to be some of the world’s most frequent patent suit defendants. Obviously, he has failed to report his conflicts as any reputable reporter would. But then Masnick and his monkeys are not reporters. They are patent system saboteurs receiving funding from huge corporate infringers. They cannot be trusted and have no credibility. All they know about patents is they don’t have any.

    “Patent troll”

    Call it what you will...patent hoarder, patent troll, non-practicing entity, shell company, etc. It all means one thing: “we’re using your invention and we’re not going to pay or stop”. This is just dissembling by large infringers and their paid puppets to kill any inventor support system. It is purely about legalizing theft. The fact is, many of the large multinationals who defame inventors in this way themselves make no products in the US or create any American jobs and it is their continued blatant theft which makes it impossible for the true creators to do so.

    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.

    Those wishing to help fight big business giveaways should contact us as below and join the fight as we are building a network of inventors and other stakeholders to lobby Congress to restore property rights for all patent owners -large and small.

    For the truth about trolls, please see

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

  16. identicon
    Random Troll, 18 Jul 2012 @ 9:53am

    Get comics

    Try Darkgate Comics Slurper...
    download/link/past-the-URL, all seem to work

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

  17. icon
    Gary Mont (profile), 18 Jul 2012 @ 2:02pm

    Copyright-Troll Companies

    When exactly, did blackmail and extortion become a legal business model?? Is this another bit of the GWBush legacy?

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

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2012 @ 10:04pm

    Re: more dissembling

    I tried to find the truth, but all I found was GeoCities.

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

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