09.22.09

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Patents Roundup: Intellectual Monopolies Under Attack, IBM and Patent Trolls Get Miserable

Posted in Deception, IBM, Intellectual Monopoly, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 8:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Breakthrough

Summary: Intellectual Monopoly lawyers feel threatened by awakening to the truth about patents; IBM and patent trolls go too far to defend their harmful practices

AS WE pointed out before, patent unrest is being noticed and online/paper publications of patent lawyers (like IAM) do react and they are concerned. Here is the latest post from IAM which echoes this concern:

In the next IAM, which goes to the printers this Wednesday, we are running a letter from Adam Liberman, the current president of LES International. He got in touch with us on the back of the Broken Brand story we ran in the last issue of the magazine, which dealt with the negatve perceptions that IP so often creates within the business world, the political class and among the general public. Liberman acknowledges that there is a serious problem and makes a few suggestions as to how the IP community can set things straight.

[...]

Regular readers of this blog will not be surprised to learn that I think Liberman is absolutely correct. I sense that a growing number of people within the big and diverse IP community are also coming to understand just how serious things have become. We already have the IP Brand Development Group, but this is only a start. The simple truth is that there is a great IP story out there just waiting to be told. What we need is a concerted campaign to make sure that this happens. If it doesn’t, the IP backlash is only going to get stronger.

Another Web site about patents and lawyers writes about patents that may really kill people [1, 2, 3]. This causes unrest and hostility towards intellectual monopolies — and rightly so. Here are the thoughts of Mike Masnick on this subject:

Appeals Court Says Patenting Basic Medical Diagnostic Process Is Just Fine

[...]

Doctors were pretty freaked out by this idea that you could patent a method that seemed like basic science. While a lower court agreed, the appeals court has gone the other way and said that the method is patentable. The patent holders insisted that this patent was necessary because if it didn’t get the patent it “would likely have a chilling effect on future medical discovery.” That, of course, is ridiculous.

One company that continues to promote intellectual monopolies — including monopolies on software algorithms — is IBM. Cringely has taken IBM to task by stating what IBM is doing to the public with its big bag of patents:

IBM’s greatest threat is its ability to stifle innovation. The way the company is off-shoring jobs and minimizing the value of its support workers demonstrates this. The threat will be when a group of smart folks in China or India realize how things could be done better, then starts taking work away from IBM. They will have access to an army of IBM foreign workers, too, who will bring customer contacts with them.

On the other hand, this application is also typical of an IBM patent. There are many aspects to implementing such a training process — data gathering, information management, software, hardware, etc. — and IBM has patented every part. So if anyone makes a something similar, IBM could sue. If you create gaming software to teach almost anything to almost anyone, this patent may trump you.

And that’s what patents are about — they are about stifling competition rather than just providing an incentive to make real progress (a euphemism to ‘sell’ patents to the public).

To make matters worse, those who pillage and plunder most effectively in this broken system are not scientists but mere lawyers — those who establish themselves a business as patent trolls. One person who spoke against them was dragged into the courtroom [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] and he is now being defended by Masnick:

Patent Troll Tracker Trial: Defamation Or A Chance To Silence A Voice Some Patent Lawyers Didn’t Like

[...]

As you hopefully recall, back in late 2007, a wonderful, informative and useful blog suddenly popped up on the scene, highlighting some of the worst abuses of the patent system by shell corporations suing companies that were actually innovating.

The patent systems need more critics, less trolls, less applications, and a much narrower scope which takes ethics and economics into consideration.

“Small Software companies cannot afford to go to court or pay damages. Who is this software patent system for?” —Marco Schulze, Nightlabs Gmbh

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