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TomTom CEO Explains Why Patents Are Waste of Time, Money

Posted in Patents, Videos at 5:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

There are some videos of ICT2008 at europa.eu where the CEO of TomTom says that they spent more money on patent litigation in 2005 than anything else combined.

media.ffii.org has this copy. At the end of the clip they also talk about patents. The CEO says: “Once we were successful, the part of technology and the cost and the amount of down again. I remember clearly in 2005, we spent more money on patent disputes, patent fights than all our technology development put together.”

Ogg Theora

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  1. Shane Coyle said,

    January 14, 2009 at 7:23 pm


    IBM apparently hasn’t reached the conclusion that patents are a waste of time and money.

    IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it earned 4,186 U.S. patents in 2008, becoming the first company ever to earn more than 4,000 U.S. patents in a single year. IBM’s 2008 patent issuances are nearly triple Hewlett-Packard’s and exceed the issuances of Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, Apple, EMC, Accenture and Google — combined.

    For context, they more than doubled up #4 Microsoft – 4186 to 2030.

    Then, they go on to say they’ll increase 50% the number of inventions they publish without seeking patents, in order to really underscore the schizophrenic approach IBM has taken publicly towards patents over the last few years, imo.

    IBM, of course sees it slightly differently:

    While IBM will continue to seek patents and will protect its intellectual property, its planned increase in publishing inventions will focus on those technology areas that will increase the build out of a new, smarter infrastructure. The evolution of IBM’s policy builds on prior efforts to stimulate innovation by pledging not to assert certain patent rights in the area of open source software, health care, education, the environment, and software interoperability.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 14, 2009 at 7:32 pm


    IBM is living in a bubble (or a patent closet) and it’s afraid that people will find out that it’s naked.

    These things are imaginary properties and the economic slump proved they are risky to rely on.

    It makes a nice tune to the investors though.

  3. DOUGman said,

    January 14, 2009 at 7:43 pm


    “I remember clearly in 2005, we spent more money on patent disputes, patent fights than all our technology development put together.”

    WOW…. thats just crazy…. I would not be a stock holder, after hearinf those words.


  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 14, 2009 at 7:45 pm


    Don’t buy TomTom, either. ;-)

    It uses the Linux kernel but totally snubs GNU/Linux users. There is also some gpl-violations history, but that’s resolved AFAIK.

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