Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 5th Apr 2013 21:33 UTC
Legal Google, EarthLink, BlackBerry, and Red Hat have joined forces and asked the FTC and the US Department of Justice to address the harm caused by patent trolling. "Our comments today also focus on a worrisome trend: some companies are increasingly transferring patents to trolls - and providing incentives to assert those patents against their competitors. These transfers can raise rivals' costs and undermine patent peace. This trend has been referred to as patent 'privateering': a company sells patents to trolls with the goal of waging asymmetric warfare against its competitors." Big figures: patent trolls cost the US economy $30 billion per year.
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Nobody listens
by Alfman on Sun 7th Apr 2013 13:33 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

I hope someone in government will finally address the patent problem, but unfortunately the government is highly partial to business who spend billions in lobbying to get laws drafted in their favors without any regard whatsoever to public interests.

There have been so many lost opportunities to fix our patent system that it's apparent that the government doesn't actually *want* to fix it. Not that it should surprise anybody, just look at who the government selects to direct it's patent policy. Patent office director David Kappos previously represented IBM. Until 2011 the USPTO was under Gary Locke who has strong ties with microsoft. Senior adviser Marc Berejka was actually paid as a lobbyist for microsoft.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1109/29002.html

The recently enacted America Invents Act came into effect just this year, but it was an utter failure in address any of the public criticism over patent law and especially patent trolling behaviors and invalidating the most ridiculous patents that were obviously designed to squash competition rather than protect innovation.

Maybe the fact that google's name is attached this time will draw attention, but it's a terrible shame that the government is incapable of serving the interests of the public instead of big business.

Edited 2013-04-07 13:42 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: Nobody listens
by zima on Tue 9th Apr 2013 14:36 in reply to "Nobody listens"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, as I usually tend to say - it largely just reflects us, the people :p (people in general are highly partial to lobbying / whatever brings them funds)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Nobody listens
by Alfman on Tue 9th Apr 2013 15:42 in reply to "RE: Nobody listens"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

zima,

"Well, as I usually tend to say - it largely just reflects us, the people :p (people in general are highly partial to lobbying / whatever brings them funds)"

I don't really think the business interests pressuring our governments reflect the public interests. We judge politicians all the time for failing to represent us. But on the other hand, maybe most of us might be corruptible given the same political positions with similar opportunities. If the money were there and pushing business interests could help secure one's family well being, there's no denying that it'd be a very real personal conflict for all of us. Take a typical lower/middle class worker who's in financial duress and place him in a political position of large financial gains by implementing policies that are harmful to the public, how many would do it? Some might even view it as a no-brainer to help their family even if it sets back everyone else.

I sometimes envision alternate forms of self government to avoid this conundrum, but that's trailing off topic.

Edit: Perhaps it's a bit overstated, since not all politicians cave to business interests at every turn, but it does seem there's significantly more opportunities and lobbying funds going towards those who push the big business agenda. It is a problem that business campaign contributions have made politics so expensive, it rules out representatives who could best represent the lower & middle classes.

Edited 2013-04-09 15:58 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2