Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 25th Jul 2011 22:25 UTC, submitted by _txf_
Legal Forbes' Timothy B. Lee has dug up a remarkable piece of history regarding IBM and Sun Microsystems that's an almost one-to-one copy of the situation between Microsoft and Android. Thirty years ago, IBM knocked on Sun's door. We've got some patents, IBM said. Please pay up.
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"cash cow"
by jack_perry on Mon 25th Jul 2011 22:40 UTC
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The USPTO became the federal government's cash cow.

I'd like to see actual numbers on that. According to the IRS, the 2009 FY budget was financed by roughly 50% taxes (income, social security, medicare, etc) and roughly 40% borrowing. The rest is excise fees and the rest, & I know from experience that immigration fees are steep, because USCIS is required to operate in such a way that immigration fees pay for the processing of the corresponding forms.

So unless I see real numbers, I'd guess that USPTO provides a fraction of a percent of income to Uncle Sam. That doesn't sound like either a cash cow, or a reason not to reform it.

(This doesn't mean that they don't -- I just want to see the numbers.)

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