Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 16th Jun 2014 08:32 UTC

A list of hundreds of patents that Microsoft believes entitle it to royalties over Android phones, and perhaps smartphones in general, has been published on a Chinese language website.

The patents Microsoft plans to wield against Android describe a range of technologies. They include lots of technologies developed at Microsoft, as well as patents that Microsoft acquired by participating in the Rockstar Consortium, which spent $4.5 billion on patents that were auctioned off after the Nortel bankruptcy.

These are the secret patents Microsoft's patent mafia uses as a club to beat other companies into paying protection money.

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RE[3]: Well...
by pgeorgi on Mon 16th Jun 2014 12:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Well..."
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Disclaimer: There are tons of assumptions in the below, and I'm too lazy to spell them all out. It's possible to see the world differently, go wild!

That said,

If there is no patent system at all, then the small-time inventors would have no incentive to invent

There's still intrinsic motivation (laymen's term: "scratch your own itch").

Besides the bullshit patents to improve bonuses at big corps that try to inflate their patent count, scratching your own itch is probably the most common reason something gets invented.

since there wouldn't be a system in place to protect them from corporations stealing their hard work.

The current system allows corporations to steal inventions from small-time inventors (ie. employees, which is the most common income model), disenfranchising them more than a patent-free system ever could: try reusing your own ideas after moving to a new employer, now try the same with "your" patents that are assigned to your prior employer.

Let's hear a better alternative.

Either corporations scale up production, allowing inventors to buy an implementation of their idea for cheaper than they could ever build it themselves. And it will even be compliant to the forest of regulations that make any meaningful small-business commercialization hard these days.

Or corporations don't, in which case the inventor has a niche to live off (if other people are interested in that invention).

The only small-time inventor that's worse off without a patent system is the serial inventor who wants to live off describing ideas, then selling them off to someone else to build them. They're sometimes called "idea guys" and considered laughing stock in some circles.

Reply Parent Score: 6