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04.12.11

Microsoft-backed Patent Troll, Intellectual Ventures, Takes More Toll and Lobbies the Government

Posted in Bill Gates, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 8:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nathan Myhrvold

Summary: Intellectual Ventures, the patent-hoarding and patent-trolling operation which was set up by Bill Gates and his friend Nathan Myhrvold, is still causing a lot of trouble

THE world’s largest parent troll, Intellectual Ventures, has just created/’manufactured’ another patent deal rather than create/manufacture a product. The Seattle press (source favourable to Microsoft) quotes: ‘”Dashwire deal is kind of a unique one,” said Joe Chernesky, VP and general manager of global licensing sales at Intellectual Ventures. “They’re a smaller company and a component of the deal is access to our portfolio. A separate component to that deal is that they’ve acquired some patents from us to help them build out their patent portfolio and more aggressively defend themselves from companies with certain patents against them.”‘

“To Microsoft, “bad” patents are those which cause trouble to Microsoft and “good” ones basically remove Microsoft’s competition from the market or make that competition a Microsoft cash cow.”Actually, to say that they’re “a smaller company” is deceiving because these are not companies (no more than the mafia is), these are just legal firms that comprise extortion, litigation, and generally market distortion. Microsoft would like people to think that its backing of Intellectual Ventures is a case of “respecting IP” or something along those lines, but as the i4i case helps demonstrate, that’s just total nonsense. Microsoft knowingly ignores patents that stand in its way until it gets pulled into the courtroom, in which case it wants those patents removed. To Microsoft, “bad” patents are those which cause trouble to Microsoft and “good” ones basically remove Microsoft’s competition from the market or make that competition a Microsoft cash cow.

As we showed earlier this month, Intellectual Ventures and Microsoft both lobby to make the patent system worse (regarding this bill which they derail or distort by funding lobbyists). They help create a pyramid scheme or a bubble which they know will burst sooner or later, leaving those at the bottom broke and allowing those at the top to sweep up all those who are way down at the bottom. Here is a new article titled “Welcome to the age of sub-prime patents – or mutually assured litigation”:

US Outlook: Remember the chaos that ensued when mortgages stopped being a contract between you and your bank, and instead became financial chips bought and sold by gamblers on the world’s markets?

Funny things started happening. People who shouldn’t have gotten loans got them, the housing market became twisted out of shape, and a host of financial intermediaries, from corrupt mortgage brokers to reckless Wall Street bankers, managed to get filthy rich without adding a penny of value to the real economy.

Now consider the US patent system. An explosion in the number of patents being filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office, up from 312,000 a decade ago to 509,000 last year – an increase of almost two-thirds – is, sad to say, only partly a result of the increasing innovation of American business.

It’s not about innovation, it’s about protectionism; Intellectual Ventures protects its bottom line and also protects the bank accounts of Microsoft and Bill Gates (for reasons we explained before). The whole operation is a racket which needs to be dismantled. Instead, this insane doctrine expands overseas, due in part to lobbying from Microsoft which now puts in New Zealand the trap and the same trick as in Europe. As Jan Wildeboer has just put it:

New plan for NZ: Software Patents NO, but when embedded OK. http://ur1.ca/3ttq3 #notgood #swpat

He links to this new article about patents in New Zealand:

New Zealand and Australian inventors and patent attorneys are being invited to respond to a proposal for a single body to regulate patent attorneys in both countries.

Calling for comments on a discussion paper, New Zealand Commerce Minister Simon Power and Australian Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr say it is important that government regulations take into account the needs of the patent attorneys and innovators who use them.

In New Zealand, software patents are to be phased out, under amendments to the Patents Act, but devices that contain embedded software will be able to be patented.

This is not good enough and we explained Microsoft’s role it at the end of 2010. They still manage to spread the patent bubble to other continents. It’s obvious who benefits.

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