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  • Jul 12th, 2011 @ 7:14am

    It is theft, yes.

    I'm only surprised you didn't make the point more forcefully, Mike. As Stephan Kinsella has pointed out, a patent can be viewed as a (coercive, potential) transfer of partial ownership of the tangible property of others to the patentee. That, along with the fact that a patent is a “no independent invention defence” right, already makes something of a mockery of “natural rights” arguments in their favour. Add to that the high rate of independent (re-)invention (+ inadvertent infringement) and the conspicuous lack of evidence for a substantial overall positive economic/welfare effect, and I think it certainly is reasonable to view the granting and enforcement of software patents as (legalised) theft - and be very angry about it.

  • Mar 11th, 2009 @ 4:26am

    Focus (as plh)

    PDC have done exactly what they would be expected to do and - sadly - have every right to do. This is not abuse of the patent system, it's abuse by the patent system.

  • Mar 10th, 2008 @ 10:20am

    (untitled comment) (as plh)

    "I have never seen (and am certain I will never see) a patent so generic and broad in scope that it will stifle innovation in any specific area of technology."

    Dear Santa,

    I have been a good boy this year and I like books. But please NO books about patents or industrial history - especially not about steam engines or radio or powered flight.



    "I most certainly did not see innovation in new transistor structures and methods for making such structures, as well as in electronic systems employing transistors, grind to a halt."

    That's a variation on the Campbell-Kelly/Merges/Mann straw man argument (about patent thickets rather than individual patents not having *completely* stifled software innovation).

    Doc: How are you feeling plh?

    plh: Never better thanks, Doc.

    Doc: Hmm... Okay - I'm going to prescribe you this powerful experimental drug. It's thought that it may be beneficial for people with serious heart conditions.

    plh: But Doc - there's nothing wrong with my heart!

    Doc: Well maybe there is and maybe there isn't - but you could develop a problem at any time. It's best to be on the safe side.

    plh: Errr right... You said it's a powerful drug. What about side effects?

    Doc: Well apparently it has caused liver damage, aneurisms, respiratory paralysis and a few other problems in some older patients, but you're still young and fit - you should be okay for now.

    plh: Okay, thanks Doc.