12.06.13

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Patent Policy Change a Victory for Large Corporations, Real Reform Remains Elusive

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 8:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Patent extortion and litigation by proxy still permitted in the United States, even after the passage of a celebrated (by corporations) new bill

WHAT the press labels “anti-patent-troll bill” represents one of the problems we have been having; the problem is not trolls, it is large corporations abducting the grassroots movement against patents and using that movement to further their interests, which are to eliminate small entities, among other things.

In IRC, Snowleaksange asked: “why are democrats against loser pays? Sounds good to me.”

iophk responded: “The whole thing is a distraction against the core problem, which would be software patents themselves. About loser pays, it seems that it is mostly the large companies that win. Adding an additional fine to the small (legitimate) companies would kill some. If they lose, they just fold and the mothership spins up shell company n+1 [...] Some companies have 1000′s of shell companies. [...] Sure it can drag out in court if the plaintiff wants to but at the end of the day there are no assets to seize. Nothing to liquidate.”

That’s pretty much the problem in a nutshell. And scale is not an issue, either. Microsoft, for example, uses [uses 73877 proxies like Nokia] and perhaps Oracle/Apple to some degree. Watch the latest from Oracle and notice how “Microsoft, EMC, and Netapp filed a brief in favor of Oracle” in a case against Linux/Android. What we really need is a law that tackles patent extortion by the likes of Microsoft, their large proxies (like Nokia), and also non-practising entities (trolls). Challenging litigation based on scale would not take us there. This could be done at all scales in one fell swoop, but since Congress is owned and controlled by corporate cash, expect no major reform, not even by accident. ACTA only died in Congress because of unprecedented public backlash and now it’s back in TPP gown. It includes patents maximalism.

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