Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 13:00 UTC
Legal Joel Spolsky is ramping up the fight against patent trolls, the scourge of small companies and startups trying to advance technology in new and interesting ways. Sadly, while Spolsky is right on the money on everything, and even though the fight has to start somewhere, I think he - and others - are doing the industry a huge disservice by focussing entirely on pure patent trolls, without actually addressing the other side of the coin: medium and large business engaging in the same patent troll behaviour.
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Sitting ducks
by geleto on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 13:47 UTC
geleto
Member since:
2005-07-06

Startups are sitting duck if a competitor wants to take them out. They don't even need a solid case, the startup doesn't have any patents (it takes 4 years to get one) and almost certainly doesn't have enough money to fight in court. And unlike the patent trolls who are mostly after the money, the competitors wants them dead.

One such example is how Aureal got bankrupted by Creative Labs:
"Creative Labs sued Aureal for patent infringement... After numerous lawsuits Aureal won a favorable ruling in December 1999,[1] which vindicated Aureal from these patent infringement claims, but the legal costs were too high and Aureal filed for bankruptcy...Creative acquired Aureal's assets from its bankruptcy trustee ..."

Reply Score: 5

RE: Sitting ducks
by sukru on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 15:12 in reply to "Sitting ducks"
sukru Member since:
2006-11-19

That's more of a problem with the court system. In many other countries, Creative would have had to pay all legal costs, both their own, and also Aureal's. With additional fines, which would be enough keep Aureal afloat.

Unfortunately in US, the one with the more money can easily win, by exhausting the resources of the other party.

Edited 2013-04-03 15:12 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: Sitting ducks
by Yamin on Thu 4th Apr 2013 19:54 in reply to "RE: Sitting ducks"
Yamin Member since:
2006-01-10

"That's more of a problem with the court system."

Can I repeat the phrase in the article.
A distinction without a difference ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Sitting ducks
by zima on Sat 6th Apr 2013 14:53 in reply to "Sitting ducks"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Too bad Aureal itself wasn't a very exemplary company... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_Vision#Financial_scandal (and what possibly contributed to its second bankruptcy, as Aureal, investors being cautious)

Edited 2013-04-06 14:58 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2