05.25.15

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Large Corporations Call the Shots in US Patent Reform

Posted in Bill Gates, Microsoft, Patents at 9:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Clinton family
Monarchs funded by industry

Summary: A reminder of where we stand on the issue of patent ‘reform’ in the US and who is controlling or shaping it

REMEMBER when Nokia was giving patents to Android-hostile trolls like MOSAID (with Microsoft’s confirmed involvement in the transaction)? Well, Florian Müller (funded by Microsoft) entirely omits Microsoft’s role. Some trolls are serving the agenda of much larger companies (they act as proxies), so clearly enough (to a prudent observer), it’s not only trolls who are the problem. It’s an institutional problem.

Nevertheless, the PATENT Act which we wrote about before is still hailed by legal and corporate media as the solution, despite its inability to deal with or tackle big trolls (like Microsoft). Some GOP-leaning sites even protect the small trolls (see “Small inventors step up fight to block patent overhaul law”) although it’s correctly stated that the “legislation only helps big companies”.

They are now trying the “startup” angle to shoot down the PATENT Act and its sibling, the Innovation Act. One article from David Pridham (posted also in The Hill) says: “The proposed Innovation Act (HR 9) is supposed to target only patent trolls. But as the National Venture Capital Association and 144 major universities warn, the bill’s poorly drafted provisions actually will undermine the startups and small businesses responsible for nearly all breakthrough innovation and job growth in the United States.”

“It is not true that startups would be hurt, unless they built their business on a house of cards (or patent applications).”It’s true that these changes “target only patent trolls.” It is not true that startups would be hurt, unless they built their business on a house of cards (or patent applications).

lawyers from IAM used the same kind of angle to discredit any reform, claiming that the system is “stacked [...] against the small inventor” (or stacked in favour of large corporation).

See the article “A devastating blow to Wisconsin’s innovators”. It’s that same talking point again.

“Most notably,” it says, “the law will install extensive new documentation requirements for patent lawsuits. Lawmakers want to increase the burden of bringing a case to court in order to discourage frivolous suits. But the law won’t only raise the difficulty of filing an unfounded suit, it also will make it harder for legitimate patent holders to protect their intellectual property in court. Inventors will be required to file hundreds of pages of technical paperwork just to start a lawsuit.”

“It was reported some years ago that Gates and his mate Nathan Myhrvold (the world’s biggest patent troll) had both been lobbying the government regarding patent law.”That’s just overrated. Small companies (except trolls) cannot use patents against large companies because they simply don’t have enough patents; they can be sued in retaliation by the large companies. When we saw the words “Partying for Innovation” in this new press release about “Happy Patent Day” we were reminder of this old myth that patents are supposed to help the “small guy” or the “poor inventor”. It ought to be evident by now that the real goal of today’s patents (and the law which accompanies them) is to protect large corporations, including those which use trolls as their assault drones/attack dogs. Why is law being tilted so profoundly in favour of large corporations? Look no further than prominent politicians like the Clintons. As Timothy B. Lee showed the other day, “Both sides of the patent reform debate have been showering Hillary Clinton with cash” (because they can afford to bribe politicians).

“On Friday night,” wrote Lee, “Hillary Clinton revealed the names of the various companies and trade groups that have collectively given her millions of dollars in speaking fees since the beginning of 2014. Looking through the list, one thing that stood out to me was how many of the payments came from companies with a strong interest in the patent reform debate.”

The corrupt patent system is a result of a corruptible political system. It’s not pleasant to hear, but anyone still believing that arguments will be judged based on merit rather than based on payments is clearly not paying attention. Bill Gates himself is exceptionally close to the Clintons — to the extent of having staff intersections at the highest of levels. Profits are paramount, no matter the means. A book about Microsoft’s genesis (Barbarians Led by Bill Gates, a book composed by the daughter of Microsoft’s PR mogul) explained that Bill Gates “had told Eller on a number of occasions that he longed to do a deal with the Russians because they were well educated and their labor was cheap.” That was before Gates lobbied the government (where he has enormous influence/control) for cheaper labour to come from abroad. It was reported some years ago that Gates and his mate Nathan Myhrvold (the world’s biggest patent troll) had both been lobbying the government regarding patent law. Millions were spent. Gates himself makes a huge fortune out of patents. It’s not speculation but a fact we habitually cover.

“It’s much ‘safer’ to blame the “trolls”, using them as a scapegoat that distracts patent debates from much bigger culprits.”Plutocrats’ control of politics is key here and as the plutocrats’ paper, Forbes (regular glorifier of Gates), told us the other day: “Of great concern is the issue of patent trolls. Every year, companies that don’t actually make or sell any products bring frivolous lawsuits against companies ranging from Google and Pfizer to the smallest of startups—alleging patent infringement. Despite the fact that these cases are nearly always dismissed when the patent holders fight back, defending against them can be prohibitively expensive. And as a result, they also distract from innovation.”

Actually, of even greater concern are large corporations and the plutocrats who run them, but don’t expect Forbes to speak negatively about them. Corporate media doesn’t view itself as ‘authorised’ to do that. It’s much ‘safer’ to blame the “trolls”, using them as a scapegoat that distracts patent debates from much bigger culprits.

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