Showing posts with label patent trolls. Show all posts
Showing posts with label patent trolls. Show all posts

Monday, June 10, 2013

"Obama goes Troll Hunting " says the Economist

Medium length article in the Economist saying that Obama is cracking down on patent trolls.  But is he really?  They mention the "America Invents Act" passed  back in 2011.  Now the Economist says new anti troll policies will allow courts to zap the filers of "frivolous" patent suits, demand that the name of the real owner of the patent be revealed in court, and to demand more documentation from plaintiffs upon filing suit.
    Obama can do some of this by executive order, but he will need some acts of Congress (which he doesn't have) to impliment most of it.
  Plus, this isn't going to work.  The patent problem is caused by a patent office that allows incredible numbers of  things that should never be eligible for a patent to obtain one.  They allow patents upon "business methods" which has created a massive lawsuit over "one-click or two-click".  They allowed someone to patent the idea of putting a web purchase into a web shopping cart with a single mouse click.  Which is ridiculous.  It is an obvious idea that will come immediately to the mind of anyone "skilled in the art".  They allow patents on software, which they didn't use to do.  They allow patents on arbitrary arrangements of information, such as the QWERTY  keyboard layout, and the ASCII code.  Yesterday's patent fight between Apple and Samsung revolved around patents upon arbitrary codes and protocols used in wireless networking.  In order for devices to talk to each other, there has to be some agreement about codes, languages and protocols,  Without such agreement, the devices won't understand each other . Right now we allow trolls to rip off companies for using the agreed upon codes, languages and protocols.
   Right now the patent troll situation is so bad that companies assume they will be sued by a troll as soon as they make enough money to be worth suing.  They estimate the legal costs in right along with research and development costs and marketing costs.  This tax upon the creative by the lawyers slows the pace of innovation and only makes the lawyers rich. It doesn't help inventors.  It punishes startups and favors the big companies.
  We need to make it harder to get patents.  Before granting a patent there should be a comment period where anyone can submit objections to granting it.  There ought to be a review board that can toss out BS patents.  We should no longer allow business methods patents or software patents, and we should invalidate all such patents currently standing.  Patents should only be granted to individuals, never companies.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Feds holding hearing on Patent Trolls

And about time.  In the industry you have to budget substantial money for lawyers.  Any thing your company makes will draw a troll, waving some obscure patent that should never have been granted, and demanding money or he will sue.  The biggest score by trolls so far is $600 million extorted at lawyer point from the Blackberry makers back in 2006. 
   Trolls feed armies of lawyers, a noxious life form, and raise the price of everything. 
   This could be fixed.  Change the law to allow challenging the validity of the patent at patent infringement trials.  Most of the infamous patent cases revolved around truely awful patents, ones which were well known ideas (prior art) or so obvious that anyone "skilled in the art" would immediately do things that way 'cause its the obvious way to do things.  We ought to clamp down on the patent office and insist that patents not be issued unless the idea is really new, really clever, and non obvious.  We should stop "business methods" patents, and software patents.  It is unreasonable to have lawyers quibbling over a patent on using one click to make a purchase on a website.