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MIT Study Says Patent Trolls Kill Innovation

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Susan Rambo
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Interesting
Susan Rambo   6/19/2014 12:22:15 PM
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Timely post in light of the Supreme Court decision on software patents.

lakehermit
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Rush to legislate
lakehermit   6/19/2014 12:45:13 PM
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"From 2004 through 2012, patent lawsuits in the U.S. more than doubled, from around 2,500 to over 5,000 annually" It is now well known that the increase in lawsuits is in large part a result of the AIA legislation passed by Congress. Instead of decreasing patent infringement lawsuits as intended, it actually caused an increase. See http://www.sgrlaw.com/resources/trust_the_leaders/leaders_issues/ttl31/1779/. It is a classic example of a lobbyist driven rush to legislate by Congress without considering the long term effects of that legislation. Congress almost did it again this year but the lobbyist proposed legislation was stopped when other more pressing matters came up.

Pablo Valerio
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Re: Interesting
Pablo Valerio   6/19/2014 1:02:51 PM
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Thank you Susan, I knew about the decision when finishing the piece. I believe it is a good decision, a step forward to regulate something that has become a big deterrant for legitimate innovation. 

betajet
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CEO
Woo Hoo!
betajet   6/19/2014 1:31:47 PM
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Here's the .pdf of the Alice v. CLS bank decision.

The summary quote:
The question presented is whether these claims are patent-eligible under 35 U. S. C. §101, or are instead drawn to a patent-ineligible abstract idea. We hold that the claims at issue are drawn to the abstract idea of intermediated settlement, and that merely requiring generic computer implementation fails to transform that abstract idea into a patent-eligible invention.

A unanimous decision!

C VanDorne
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CEO
Startling conclusion!
C VanDorne   6/19/2014 1:40:55 PM
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So...lawyers stifle innovation and retard progress?  Wow.  You mean that if you put a leach on a host the host will be impaired.  Shocking.

Okay, maybe I shouldn't be so cynical.  I'm glad somebody put some empirical evidence behind what seems all too obvious.  After all, it's not called the "Department of Business Prevention" for nothing.

Then again, the optimist in me compels me to ask my US colleagues if these trolls are actually doing America a favor.  Maybe not the Americans we'd like to see (us) but at least some Americans.  Over the last 20 years, in our lust for low-cost manufacturing, we have sent a boatload of manufacturing and technical IP (future dollars) over to Asia, specifically China.  Maybe if a portion of that coin re-shores then we can at least call that a win for the home team?  Even though we in the technical or manufacturing sector aren't scoring the runs can we at least be happy for the other hitters on the team?  In another sports analogy, it's kind of like a Redskins fan cheering for the Giants in the SB because it's a little less painful than watching the Patsy's run away with another one.

Is that too much of a stretch?

C VanDorne
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CEO
Startling conclusion!
C VanDorne   6/19/2014 1:40:57 PM
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So...lawyers stifle innovation and retard progress?  Wow.  You mean that if you put a leach on a host the host will be impaired.  Shocking.

Okay, maybe I shouldn't be so cynical.  I'm glad somebody put some empirical evidence behind what seems all too obvious.  After all, it's not called the "Department of Business Prevention" for nothing.

Then again, the optimist in me compels me to ask my US colleagues if these trolls are actually doing America a favor.  Maybe not the Americans we'd like to see (us) but at least some Americans.  Over the last 20 years, in our lust for low-cost manufacturing, we have sent a boatload of manufacturing and technical IP (future dollars) over to Asia, specifically China.  Maybe if a portion of that coin re-shores then we can at least call that a win for the home team?  Even though we in the technical or manufacturing sector aren't scoring the runs can we at least be happy for the other hitters on the team?  In another sports analogy, it's kind of like a Redskins fan cheering for the Giants in the SB because it's a little less painful than watching the Patsy's run away with another one.

Is that too much of a stretch?

Pablo Valerio
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Blogger
Re: Startling conclusion!
Pablo Valerio   6/20/2014 7:11:52 AM
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I'm not against lawyers and patent lawsuits, there are both necessary to protect legitimate IP and innovation. But patent trolls are a different issue. The Obama administration has been trying to help small companies fight litigation against them and considers this a very serious threat to innovation.

"How big of a problem are patent trolls? Consider this: last year [2012] we estimate that patent trolls sent out over 100,000 demand letters, threatening everyone from Fortune 500 companies to corner coffee shops and even regular consumers to pay a settlement or face a day in court. The number of these suits has exploded in recent years. " Gene Sperling, Former Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, wrote on the White House blog last year.

He introduced a White House report on the impact of PAEs showing that "In the last two years [2011-2012], the number of lawsuits brought by patent trolls has nearly tripled, and account for 62% of all patent lawsuits in America. All told, the victims of patent trolls paid $29 billion in 2011, a 400% increase from 2005 — not to mention tens of billions dollars more in lost shareholder value."

 

C VanDorne
User Rank
CEO
Re: Startling conclusion!
C VanDorne   6/20/2014 3:42:19 PM
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ATLA, Lawyers Guild, etc. donate too much money to BHO and his party for him to seriously do anything about it.  Treat that one like the "red line" on Syria and don't hold your breath.

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