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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.

    Ta,
    MLS

    ;-)

    "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.