11.27.09

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Study: Intellectual Monopolies (Patents) Vastly Dominated by… the Monopolies

Posted in Europe, IBM, Intellectual Monopoly, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 5:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO backlash

Summary: A not-so-overly-alarmist reminder of how monopolies are taking over society using self-serving laws and establishments, including the patent office

WE frequently repeat the fact that the patent system benefits monopolies, patent trolls, and lawyers who are sometimes patent trolls too*. Somebody has just shared nice new proof (a study) that agrees with what we showed before — that there is increasing concentration of power in the US patent system, meaning that very few powerful companies devise it as a protectionist measure to prevent market entry by competitors.

The findings of this study are summarised by Justin Gray, an intellectual monopoly assistant for Foley & Lardner LLP (those who help one scientist or patent troll fight with another scientist for profit, mostly by lawyers). It’s summarised as: “Top 150 “Customers”: Increasing Domination of the Patent System”

This implies that it keeps getting worse. An accompanying presentation which covers this study can be found here [PDF]. Gray prepared/delivered it jointly with Harold Wegner just a few days ago.

Slide 3 says:

Increasing Concentration

Within the coming decade it may be estimated that just 150 companies will account for 50% of all American patents granted, while just the top ten companies will soon account for 20 %  of all patents granted

Right now, more than 40% of all patents are said to have been granted to the top 100 among those awarded. Tough luck, eh? Well, maybe that’s just how this system is supposed to work. After all, IBM is happy about it and Microsoft disliked the system (when it was still a small company), later describing itself as an IP champion and singing praises of patents (when it became a monopoly that sneakily gained ownership of other people’s ideas).

Glyn Moody shares this new piece which has just been published in The Guardian (UK). Going under “The Manchester Manifesto”, the key message expressed there is that “science is shackled by intellectual property”

The myth is that IP rights are as important as our rights in castles, cars and corn oil. IP is supposedly intended to encourage inventors and the investment needed to bring their products to the clinic and marketplace. In reality, patents often suppress invention rather than promote it: drugs are “evergreened” when patents are on the verge of running out – companies buy up the patents of potential rivals in order to prevent them being turned into products. Moreover, the prices charged, especially for pharmaceuticals, are often grossly in excess of those required to cover costs and make reasonable profits.

IP rights are beginning to permeate every area of scientific endeavour. Even in universities, science and innovation, which have already been paid for out of the public purse, are privatised and resold to the public via patents acquired by commercial interests. The drive to commercialise science has overtaken not only applied research but also “blue-skies” research, such that even the pure quest for knowledge is subverted by the need for profit.

Digital Colonisation

Leila Deen and Lord Mandelson
“Business secretary Peter Mandelson is slimed by an environmental protestor outside the Royal Society on Carlton House Terrace, Pall Mall after allegations of ‘favours for friends’ over the Heathrow third runway decision” [Courtesy of “Plane Stupid”, via Wikimedia]

A similar trend seems to be occurring in the field of copyright, which in turn stifles art and creativity. According to this, Mandelson may be violating the Magna Carta (think about the US Constitution for parallels).

Again, the Secretary of State can make anyone do anything, or pay anything, without due process, preserving livelihood, lawful judgment. It’s the exact opposite of the ‘anything by which any part of these concessions or liberties might be revoked or diminished’ being ‘null and void and we will at no time make use of it’ clause.

I’m not a lawyer, but I’ll take the drafting of Geoffrey de Mandeville and the other 24 Barons from 1215 over Peter Mandelson and Sion Simon.

For a thorough legal discussion, read Lillian Edwards post, then sign the petition and join the Open Rights Group.

According to The Register, there may also be a violation of EU law in this particular bill.

The Government’s Digital Economy Bill could be in breach of EU laws, according to an internet law expert. Professor Lilian Edwards has also warned that the Bill could make it impossible to operate a free wireless network legally.

Mandelson’s Digital Economy Bill is being slammed by Cory Doctorow, who rightly argues that Mandelson defends the analogue age with such an outrageous bill. From The Guardian:

There’s a lot to hate about Peter Mandelson’s controversial Digital Economy Bill, but there’s one provision that perfectly captures the absolute, reality-denying absurdity of the whole enterprise. That titbit is the provision that holds the Bill’s most drastic measures in reserve, only to be used if Britain’s illegal filesharing doesn’t drop off by 70% within a year of the main part of the Bill coming into force.

Also in The Guardian we find this reasonable article about the situation that the British government is in. It is too deep in the pockets of the ‘content’ industry (Luddites), which treats individual people as “naughty consumers” who deserve to be repressed.

ISPs disagree with content companies and government over where the costs of prevention should fall. Last month, BT and Carphone Warehouse, TalkTalk’s parent, estimated policing broadband would cost about £2 a line a month. The latest estimate from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (which is piloting the bill through Parliament) is lower – in the region of £3 to £10 a notification (ISPs think the number is closer to the lower of those).

The billionaires behind intellectual monopolies are clearly fighting against the people. They use crooked politicians to get their way. People must unite and fight back against intellectual monopolies, or else we may all return to neo-feudalism, in the digital sense. The ACTA makes it an international issue by canceling borders [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13].
____
* They discovered that patent trolling is profitable too, just like Haliburton found out that war — not just oil — can be exceptionally profitable. The “father of patent” trolling, Ray Niro, was a lawyer [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8].

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3 Comments

  1. dyfet said,

    November 27, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    Gravatar

    Welcome to Feudalism 2.0.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Oh, no. Not another “2.0″.

    dyfet Reply:

    Couldn’t resist :)

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