Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 24th Oct 2013 11:25 UTC

So, there's a new patent reform bill in the US that is supposed to put an end to "patent trolls".

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), has introduced a bill [PDF] that directly attacks the business model of "patent trolls." The bill has a real chance at passing, with wide backing from leadership in both parties.

Don't believe all the cheers online - this bill is a disaster. What it essentially does is make it very hard for smaller companies to file patent lawsuits. While this does, indeed, make it harder for small patent trolls to operate, it has the side effect of shifting the balance of power even more in favour of the larger companies. Additional costs and legal legwork are a huge hindrance for small companies, but entirely inconsequential for large companies which employ the same patent trolling tactics as actual patent trolls, such as Apple's software and design patent abuse or Microsoft's mafia practices regarding Android.

With this bill, it will become a lot harder for a small, innovative startup with a great idea to protect itself against the big players. I would call that an unintended side effect, were it not that I am a huge cynic and know perfectly fine that this is anything but 'unintended'.

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RE: Comment by Nelson
by silviucc on Thu 24th Oct 2013 13:20 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
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Samsung spends $13 BILLION on marketing alone, if they thought they had a chance in hell of invalidating Microsoft's patents they'd be in court. Maybe they are legitimate after all. This fantasy you all live in where two dozen licensees don't reinforce the strength of a patent arsenal is pathetic.

Microsoft merely licenses out its R&D, much like ARM does. Be glad they do that and don't seek injunctions or we'd only see Samsung's phones in a galaxy far, far, away.

If Microsoft had balls and the patents they keep waiving, mafia style like, in front of various manufacturers held anything else but bullshit they would go after Google. They are the ones making Android. Instead they extort money from the manufacturers that use Android. Not that I would say oh poor defenceless Samsung could not fight big bad MS. Seems they choose not to. Android is not *their* OS, it's Google's. Why isn't MS going after Motorola for their Android phones huh? Not that big of a player? Then why did they go after HTC then?

I remember when MS was spreading the same FUD about linux infringing their patents. The developers called their bluff and told them to show the infringing code so they could fix it. Never happened.

If they really wanted people to stop "infringing" on their patents they would publicly disclose them. But that means that the BS that makes the bulk of them would get thrown to the wind as prior art would be found and any valid ones would just be worked around.

But where's the money in that approach?! It's way better to behave like mobsters and extort money.

Go shill some place else.

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