Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 3rd Mar 2013 13:48 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless At TechCrunch, Jolla's CEO Marc Dillon explains why his company will focus on China, Finland, and the rest of Europe first, ignoring the US. "The US market is not on the radar as yet, as he says the patent landscape there 'raises a barrier' of entry to newcomers (he's especially critical of overly aggressive use of design patents)." Considering the patent mess in the US is only getting worse, expect to see more of this in the future. Jolla is making a wise decision by ignoring the US - as a young technology company, you're far better off focusing your attention elsewhere.
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Changing the future of USPTO
by Alfman on Sun 3rd Mar 2013 16:02 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

The USPTO is a very inefficient system, it serves to regulate innovation rather than openly embrace it. Newcomers are especially burdened by it. For a small software R&D company to take the patent system seriously mandates that it focuses a tremendous amount of energy on what's already been patented and leaves little time for actually developing things, which is what we really want to be focusing on. A company that does take the patents seriously will quickly find that engineers unknowingly implement patented algorithms all the time. The patent-conscious company will have to pay royalties to cover their own work, drop patented features all together, sufficiently mutate the engineer's algorithms until they are deemed not to infringe, or knowingly infringe and risk triple damages. None of these results are good for a small company, which is why most small US companies find the best approach is just to ignore the patent system all together and fly under the radar until they're sued.

So, as ano69 says, it makes a lot of sense for new technology companies to avoid the US market (not helpful for those of us who live here though).

But at the same time, the traits that make the patent system so poor are very useful at protecting the incumbents who get to use the system as a weapon against competitors. As vocivus stated, the patent system has a lot of weight behind it that caused it to become exactly what it is today. Even if we can collectively recognize it for the disaster that it is, it's not going to be fixed as long as the powerful corporations pushing for it continue to push. In their eyes the US patent system had a favorable outcome in eliminating Jolla from the US market.

Making real meaningful changes within the USPTO is going to need a lot more worldwide market pressure.

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