10.17.07

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Microsoft Signs Another Patent Deal Amid Calls for Remedies

Posted in Intellectual Monopoly, Law, Microsoft, Patent Covenant, Patents at 5:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It’s a broken system, but Microsoft just plays along with these self-serving rules

Microsoft has just entered another cross-licensing deal, this time with Olympus.

Computing powerhouse Microsoft Corp. revealed Monday that it has signed a broad patent cross-licensing agreement with digital camera manufacturer Olympus Corp.

Linux is not mentioned in this one particular story, which is probably a positive sign. However, software patents remain a heavy burden and they continue to be slammed. Just days ago, a man who proved redundancy in having software patents won a Nobel prize.

‘One recent subject of Professor Maskin’s wide-ranging research has been on the value of software patents. He determined that software was a market where innovations tended to be sequential, in that they were built closely on the work of predecessors, and innovators could take many different paths to the same goal. In such markets, he said, patents might serve as a wall that inhibited innovation rather than stimulating progress.’

In another interesting item on software patents, Groklaw borrows some interesting details about the patent troll that set its eyes on Linux.

Critics have called the company [Acacia] the ultimate “patent troll,” since it does not invent its own patents or market any products, making money solely through patent-licensing deals and lawsuits. The company has made a fortune in recent years compelling companies, especially in the technology sector, to take licenses for its patents or face costly litigation.

The company’s growing barrage of lawsuits have been celebrated on Wall Street… and Acacia’s stock price has tripled over the last three years….

It could also be an added push for patent reform in Washington, if patent-licensing shops are seen as creating an “innovation tax,” as tech heavyweights have alleged.

So, where’s that reform? Hurry up already.

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