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August 11, 2008


In its Small Business section, The Wall Street Journal today used three anecdotes to survey the patent scene. The article "Caught in the Crossfire," stated "the clash:" "Big companies that pay for patent licenses and small companies that generate revenue by licensing patents are increasingly at odds."

Avistar patiently sought a patent license from Microsoft. Microsoft replied by trying to put all 29 Avistar patents into reexamination. Avistar CEO Simon Moss: "We agree with corporate America that [abusive patent] behavior has to stop. But what's happening is the subtlety of that problem is not being analyzed, and the entrepreneurs, the innovators, are getting sucked into this problem." The Wall Street had inserted "patent troll" [] in the brackets, putting a pejorative in Moss' mouth, when Moss was referring to abusive patent assertion.

Like a spoiled child, Mark Chandler at Cisco Systems whines about infringing patents, citing a rise from facing two suits in 1998 to 32 cases presently, ignoring its gobbling other companies and its product spread since 1998. An entitlement attitude by mega-corporations of unfettered business is what is really driving the perceived problem with the patent system.

TPL Group develops and licenses semiconductor patents, and has been active in educational lobbying. Founder and chairman Dan Leckrone noted recent Supreme Court decisions that have already substantially shifted the patent playing field to large corporations. "These cases have created a disincentive to talk to patent owners and take a license."

Leckrone fears the proposed damages apportionment "would lower the deterrent value of patents and lead to more infringement." "Why buy the cow if you can get milk through the fence?"

Both presidential candidates mouth niceties on patent reform. McCain: "Congress's goal in crafting any patent legislation should be the protection of the entrepreneur who is in his or her garage right now designing the next life-changing innovation. [The patent system] has not kept pace with our fast-growing, technology-driven economy, and without comprehensive patent reform, inventors and entrepreneurs will be less inclined to produce new products and services that benefit all Americans and help grow our economy." From Obama's campaign: "He believes that invention and innovation, whether from small businesses or corporations, should receive uniform treatment."

Posted by Patent Hawk at August 11, 2008 1:20 PM | The Patent System


"From Obama's campaign: "He believes that invention and innovation, whether from small businesses or corporations, should receive uniform treatment."

Yeah, right, Bam-Bam knows everything about invention and innovation. Patents are still awarded to true inventors in this country and are appropriated by large corporations via draconian employment contracts. I guess Bam-Bam wants to fix this little corporate inconvenience by having corporations listed as inventors...

As for the brain-damaged old chap, he'd better stick to his main subject: how to win wars. The last two wars went very well for him...

Posted by: angry dude at August 11, 2008 8:15 PM