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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Yes and no
by BallmerKnowsBest on Wed 3rd Apr 2013 22:06 UTC
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I see zero distinction between the behaviour of these medium to large companies and that of patent trolls. In fact, it's worse

Agreed (though I'd also point that "worse than" most certainly IS a difference). Using the term "patent troll" for Apple's actions is insulting to mere, run-of-the-mill patent trolls (NPEs). If the business world had something akin to the Geneva Conventions, then Apple's action could more accurately described as "patent aggression" or "patent terrorism."

Though I disagree with Spolsky's argument that fighting patent trolls is solely the responsibility of the companies targeted by trolls. The whole "social responsibility" thing cuts both ways: if those companies have a responsibility to combat patent trolls, then (by the same token) consumers have a responsibility to support those companies & NOT support companies that do cave in to trolls.

Otherwise, it's just ivory tower-radicalism: "this is a very serious problem and it's critical that it be fixed... just as long as someone else does all the work."

Edited 2013-04-03 22:12 UTC

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