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Re: Patent stupidity

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____/ Homer on Wednesday 10 Aug 2011 09:34 : \____

> Verily I say unto thee that Roy Schestowitz spake thusly:
>> ____/ Homer on Wednesday 10 Aug 2011 08:04 : \____
>>> Top 5 Tech Companies by Patent Portfolio:
>>> IBM			26,000 (40,000 worldwide)
>>> Microsoft		20,000
>>> Oracle		20,000
>>> Apple		 3,000 (one year ago)
>>> Google		 2,000
>>> http://venturebeat.com/2011/07/29/google-ibm-patents/
>>> http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/03/08/counting-patents-apple-google-htc/
>>> Top 5 Tech Companies by Market Cap. (Billions USD):
>>> Apple		346.74
>>> Microsoft		214.32
>>> IBM			203.76
>>> Google		185.15
>>> Oracle		139.81
>>> http://www.google.com/finance
>>> So Google is worth 45 Billion USD more than Oracle, but has just 1/10
>>> th the number of patents (half of which it only just acquired from
>>> IBM this month, so that market cap. was actually built upon _1/20 th_
>>> of Oracle's patents).
>>> Meanwhile, the most valuable tech. company, Apple, is also the one
>>> with the second /least/ amount of patents, and the company with by
>>> /far/ the most patents, IBM, is worth 143 Billion USD /less/ than
>>> Apple.
>>> So the purpose of patents is...?
>> Trophies with potential to ban the competition or tax it.
> Yes, but if that's the case then it's clearly not working, since some of
> the most valuable companies are those with the least patents, and vice
> versa.
> So purely in practical terms, what's the point?
>> Patents were originally for /publication/ relating to physical
>> inventions.
>> What's the benefit to the public? The /publication/ part is made
>> obsolete by the Internet.
> Patents were never secret, indeed they're specifically only granted in
> exchange for publication, but publication does not grant other parties
> any rights to actually use those inventions, regardless of the fact that
> it's now easier to find them, thanks to the Internet.
> Patents are privileges granted to induce the willingness to share
> supposedly unique knowledge, in exchange for a state-sponsored,
> artificial but temporary monopoly on that knowledge, so that one may
> financially benefit from it exclusively, to an extent sufficient enough
> to satisfy one's purely financial motives.
> Or more bluntly, it's a bribe to make greedy people do something they'd
> otherwise be unwilling to do, with the inevitable consequence of
> encouraging opportunists to peddle trivia.
> But if the purpose of patents is profiteering, then shouldn't there be,
> you know, some actual, demonstrable /profit/ from those patents? But
> from the above table it's clear there isn't actually any correlation
> between patents and the financial success of the person or company
> holding them.
> So again, purely in practical terms, given that patents are supposed to
> be a practical solution to a practical problem, what's the point?

This is of course a rhetorical question. I'm in the process of writing a blog post which
has some of the following new links (I try to keep this stuff out of COLA as it's
not exclusively about Linux and the debate is important nonetheless):

Software patents: Lots of whining, but reform unlikely


"Itâs fairly obvious that patents are the new tactical nukes in the technology industry. Companies want to grab patents largely to defend lawsuits than actually create 
anything. The companies with the most patents win.

"Short of some cross industry disarmament policyâsomething that wonât happenâthere will have to be some reform on the patent front."


Patent Troll Lawyers Smacked Down, Made To Pay Sanctions, For Mass Lawsuits Followed By Quick Settlement Offers


'Separately, the court clearly noted the "non-practicing entity" part of the business in pointing out that, "As a non-practicing entity, Eon-Net was generally immune to 
counterclaims for patent infringement, antitrust, or unfair competition because it did not engage in business activities that would potentially give rise to those claims."'


Google-Microsoft spat could be tiny step toward patent reform


"The public row between Microsoft and Google continues, with both Microsoft and Google issuing new responses to one another over Google's original accusation of patent 
bullying. The basic gist is this: Google says Microsoft's invitation for Google to join the Novell patent consortium was a "false 'gotcha!'" that would have put Android at a 
disadvantage, while Microsoft asserts that Google merely wanted to assert the same patents against others. Both parties say that the other has not directly addressed their core 


A rather radical plan to limit/channel patent trolls



Brad Feld: Time To Really Deal With The Broken Software Patent System


"There have been two dynamite stories on NPR recently â the first on The American Life titled When Patents Attack! and one on Planet Money titled The Patent War. If you have an 
interest in this area, the two are well worth listening to.

"In the past week, the discussion exploded starting with a post from Google titled When patents attack Android. The word âpatentâ shows up in 20 of the Techmeme River articles 
from the last week. Martin Fowler, a software developer, had a well thought out article titled SoftwarePatent. And they kept coming."


Malta: Patenting And Copyright Of Software - With Particular Reference To Maltese Law, EU Law And US Law


- -- 
		~~ Best of wishes

Dr. Roy S. Schestowitz (Ph.D. Medical Biophysics), Imaging Researcher
http://Schestowitz.com  | GNU/Linux administration | PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
Editor @ http://techrights.org & Broadcaster @ http://bytesmedia.co.uk/
GPL-licensed 3-D Othello @ http://othellomaster.com
Non-profit search engine proposal @ http://iuron.com
Contact E-mail address (direct): s at schestowitz dot com
Contact Internet phone (SIP): schestowitz@xxxxxxxxx (24/7)
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