Bonum Certa Men Certa

You've Been a Naughty, Naughty Patent

Say No to Novell



There are those who wish to convince themselves that opposition to software patents is a matter of self interest. It does, however, sound different when economists speak about the morbid effects of software patentability, or even patents in general.

Eric S. Maskin and software patents



[...]

This work played a significant role in the debate on software patents as it pioneered a series of work that demonstrated that far from acting as a R&D incentive, patents act as a disincentive in domains where incremental innovation is important (such as software). Later work addressed the same issue from a qualitative perspective, showing that the nature of innovation targets is also affected by an increase in patentability in these industry: dominant players tend to adopt rent seeking behaviour by focusing on defensive innovation (innovation that makes more difficult for new entrants to enter the market or that enables them to increase the duration of market control through technical change that does not provide true user value)


As we stressed before, Burst.com has apparently been harassing Apple because of its successes with the iPod. This was a fine example of money sucking with the aid of junk patents [1, 2, 3, 4]. It turns out that Apple has just settled, just like Microsoft did.

Under the agreement, Apple will pay Burst.com US$10 million and get access to Burst.com’s patent portfolio, with some exceptions, Burst.com said in a press release.

[...]

Burst.com settled a similar case with Microsoft for US$60 million last year.


The Nokia-Qualcomm patent battle is another one we've had our eyes on [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] and here is the latest development.

Nokia had alleged infringement of patents on technology that made its telephones smaller and more efficient. Nokia had requested the ITC bar the importation of the infringing chips.

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