Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft's Patent Megatroll is Boosting for the USPTO

Nathan Myhrvold



Summary: The USPTO's database is given help from the world's largest patent troll, Intellectual Ventures

Microsoft's patent troll Nathan Myhrvold is mentioned in the following new post from O'Reilly (Microsoft partner). The post itself is not related to O'Reilly, but it seemingly gives praise to the world's largest patent troll, without taking into sufficient account the effect on others.



It goes without saying that Google, the Internet Archive, and Intellectual Ventures are 3 groups that don't often work together, and I think this illustrates the compelling public interest in making the patent database more broadly available.


As the first comment raises an important point about motives of Microsoft's patent troll, a followup from Carl Malamud soon arrives, which pretty much gives it away:

Intellectual Ventures bought all the commercial data feeds from USPTO which come on DVDs. That includes page images, applications, grants. They're one of a dozen vendors to have bought these roughly 1,000 DVDs of data.

Intellectual Ventures is simply putting the 1,000 DVDs on a disk drive, and making it available to people like the Internet Archive (Brewster got his disk last night) and Public.Resource.Org (we're expecting ours this week).

In addition to the data on the commercial products, there is additional information available on-line inside of the PAIR system. People have tried for a while to crawl PAIR, but the PTO infrastructure is so poor that it was quickly overloaded and they put in a CAPTCHA system. So, individuals have been able to access this additional info on a one-off basis, but bulk providers have been unable to incorporate it into their systems.

Our goal is to *not* be in the crawling PAIR business, but it is a decent stopgap, particularly when coupled with the bulk DVD data, and hopefully will motivate the PTO to take more positive steps to provide their own database directly to the public.


So Nathan Myhrvold is only promoting the USPTO, which is his welfare system. It's a case of self interests.

"[W]hat bizarre bedfellows," claims Glyn Moody, who also wrote this new post about the main financier of Intellectual Ventures, who in turn has his own patent-hoarding firm. Yes, it's about Bill Gates. For whatever reason, a convicted criminal is being held up as a role model.

If we're searching for an "IT wizard" to hold up as an example, why not look closer to home, and choose Sir Tim Berners-Lee? He not only invented the Web, he *gave it away*, as one of the most glorious acts of altruism we've seen in recent years, kick-starting technological, economic and social changes that are probably unmatched since the Industrial Revolution.

Isn't that something worth celebrating, and encouraging others to emulate? Or are we so mired in greedy materialism that we must instead hold up a man who not only accumulated a truly obscene amount of money by overcharging people for defective software through smart marketing, but is also founder of a company that was found to be a monopoly?


With regard to Bill Gates, he wasn't a programmer and he was ridiculed by colleagues when he tried to write code. He also sabotaged computers in his younger days in order to make business. It was always about money because that was his professional background, in part. Nowadays, he is using a tax-exempt body to generate more profit and eclipse a history of unlawful activity using public relations professionals.

How easy it must be to forget who contributed to science, as opposed to those who instead focused on profit. It's apparently about one who plundered the most, breaking the law all along. Glorification of the wealthy, no matter their deeds.

"He [Bill Gates] is divisive. He is manipulative. He is a user. He has taken much from me and the industry."

--Gary Kildall



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