An reader whom we spoke to, who also prefers to remain unnamed, has shared the following bits of insight with us.
From Louis Villa:
…if you want to see what the most advanced patent trolls are thinking, this paper (co-written by a brilliant stanford IP prof and Nathan Myhrvold of Intellectual Ventures, formerly Microsoft) is a really interesting read. It deserves much broader coverage and interest than it has received.
So, this is what they are thinking when it comes to “patent reform”; by no means do they want to abolish the patent regime over pure software and generic ideas, they just want the patent trolls out. On the other side, we, the Free Software Community should fight for a complete abolishment of software patents. We must discourage the EU authorities from legalizing software patents, so the US can take that as a model and not the reverse, where trans-national corporations are trying to export the corrupt patent regime to Europe and elsewhere with the aid of WIPO. If the problem becomes global it will be much harder to correct afterwards.
In this video you can watch Steve B. cynically asking for patent reform, but “not throwing the baby along with the bathwater”. This is what he refers to:
The only thing is that is an interesting part about patents in Ballmer’s video starts from minute 1:00 on (the first minute is a question by someone from Vodafone).
“The solution is straightforward: require publication of patent assignment and license terms. Doing so won’t magically make the market for patents work like a stock exchange; there will still be significant uncertainty about whether a patent is valid and what it covers. But it will permit the aggregate record of what companies pay for rights to signal what particular patents are worth and how strong they are, just as derivative financial instruments allow markets to evaluate and price other forms of risk. It will help rationalize patent transactions, turning them from secret, one-off negotiations into a real, working market for patents. And by making it clear to courts and the world at large what the normal price is for patent rights, it will make it that much harder for a few unscrupulous patent owners to hold up legitimate innovators, and for established companies to systematically infringe the rights of others”
As stated by Louis Villa:
‘reform’ by itself will not be sufficient to protect anyone, since trolls with a dozen strong patents will be just as threatening as trolls with hundreds of patents of unknown quality.
We MUST defend the latest software-patents-free area of the western world before the WIPO tries to take over the EU and tries to standardize the corrupt US patent regime in Europe as well (also as a stop in the middle of the way towards trying impose patents to China, as a requisite to allow that country into the WTO, but that is another story).
To fight the FUD and make people wake and be aware of the colossal TRAP for our future that Microsoft is trying to lay in front of us.
We thank the anonymous contributor for this analysis and welcome further commentary.