Bonum Certa Men Certa

CNN Recites Patent Industry Propaganda

CNN



Summary: Deception about innovation and patents rears its ugly head in the national media, as expected

A few days ago we wrote about the patent bubble bursting, having emphasised on several occasions that the patent system benefits lawyers (sometimes opportunistic patent trolls) and monopolies, as well as the meta-industry of patent clerks. Rather than take pride in the looming destruction of intellectual monopolies , the CNN has published the same old spin from the interests it stands for.



TechDirt has already formulated this response:

Dear CNN: Patents Are Not A Proxy For Innovation



We've seen it over and over again in the press. They love to assume that the number of patents being filed is a proxy for innovation. There's just one (large) problem with that. Multiple studies have shown no connection between patents and innovation. But, don't tell that to the reporters at CNN who are fretting about how the "recession" has taken its latest victim: US Innovation. This is ridiculous on so many levels that even patent system defenders are disagreeing with CNN. First, CNN bases this on a minuscule 2.3% decline in patent filings, despite a massive growth in patent filings over the past fifteen years.


At Linux Today, one person responds to the CNN article (cited above) as follows: "Patent filings are a reflection of innovation? Really? My impression was that early this decade companies were encouraging employees to file patents on just about anything - the rationale being that companies need a vast patent portfolio in order to negotiate with (strongarm) other companies. In a company that I worked for people were even filing patents on trivial C macro definitions. Other than the rationale above, most patents are utterly worthless."

Another commenter takes it further (one among many similar comments): "As far as furthering the useful arts (or whatever the verbiage is), the most important thing that patents seem to be providing is a lively increase in the billable hours for patent attorneys working for patent trolls and corporations who have to defend against the bogus patents the PTO has issued. Patents for a new process to make steel? Yes. Issuing a patent for a way to make wind generators twice as efficient? Have at it. Patents for making minor alterations to a drug solely in order to extend the patent and keep the generics at bay or for a business process that most companies have been using for years but never thought to patent because, well, everyone is already doing that and, besides, it's expensive to obtain a patent? That's not promoting any useful arts. The vast majority of what you guys are approving is probably totally useless and easily shown to have prior art that would invalidate the patent. But that's OK in your mind. Just approve the patent and let the courts figure it out. How does that positively affect the economy? (The answer is obvious to most people with common sense.)"

And in October news that ought to demonstrate the destructive force of patents, the parasite known as Eolas [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] is suing "everyone" in Texas.

Everyone Gets Sued for AJAX Patent?



Internet technology provider Eolas Technologies Inc. is announcing a Texas federal lawsuit filed today to assert the company's intellectual property rights based on two groundbreaking patents, including one that has passed two separate reexaminations at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and resulted in a $565 million federal court judgment in 2004.


This madness must end. The Web too is being hindered by patents, including Apple's (an issue previously brought up here).

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