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[News] Study Shows Patents Make Science and Technology Worse

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Patents Don't Promote Innovation: Study

,----[ Quote ]
| It's extraordinary how the myth that patents somehow promote innovation is 
| still propagated and widely accepted; and yet there is practically *no* 
| empirical evidence that it's true. All the studies that have looked at this 
| area rigorously come to quite a different conclusion.   


Linux community codes around Microsoft's FAT patents

,----[ Quote ]
| In early 2009, open-source luminary Larry Augustin urged the Linux community 
| to "get the FAT out." While Tridgell's approach doesn't quite do this, it 
| does appear to obviate Microsoft's patent claims.  
| This should make Linux users happy. Whether it will make Microsoft happy to 
| see how trivial it is to code around its patent claims remains to be seen. 
| That's the problem with launching nuclear marketing attacks against the legal 
| integrity of open-source code: given enough eyeballs, all patent claims are  
| shallow.   


Can FAT patch avoid Microsoft lawsuits?

,----[ Quote ]
| Andrew Tridgell has published a patch that could make the Linux 
| implementation of the FAT filesystem impervious to Microsoft patent claims of 
| the kind that forced a settlement from TomTom. The patch alters the VFAT code 
| so that it does not generate both short and long filenames, says Tridgell.   



The True Begetter of Innovation is Openness

,----[ Quote ]
| This work basically shows that recent attempts to introduce intellectual
| monopolies into science in order to "promote innovation" have actually been
| counter-productive.
| [...]
| In this context at least, it's openness that leads to more innovation, not
| its polar opposite.


Patents versus patenting: implications of intellectual property protection for
biological research

,----[ Quote ]
| Abstract
| A new survey shows scientists consider the proliferation of intellectual
| property protection to have a strongly negative effect on research.
| Introduction
| A system of intellectual property (IP) rights can encourage inventions by
| scientists and help promote the transformation of research achievements into
| marketed products. But associated restrictions on access can reduce
| utilization of inventions by other scientists. How is this trade-off working
| out in practice?


Patent Trolls Are a Symptom of Deeper Problems

,----[ Quote ]
| The reason patent trolling is so profitable is that over the last quarter
| century the courts have expanded patenting into new areas like software and
| business methods, and dramatically lowered the bar for receiving a patent. As
| a result, patents that would have been rejected 30 years ago (like this
| ridiculous patent on removing white space from database entries, which IBM
| received earlier this month) are now routinely approved by the Patent Office.
| As a result, patent trolls are able to buy up low-quality patents by the
| truckload. Even though the vast majority of the patents won’t survive legal
| challenges, defendants can’t take the chance that one of them might survive
| and force the firm into a 8- or 9-figure settlement.
| Patent trolls make good poster children for the patent system’s dysfunctions,
| but focusing too much on them ignores the fact that abusing the patent system
| is a game played by large companies as well. For example, Verizon managed to
| extort tens of millions of dollars from Vonage to settle a lawsuit over an
| absurdly broad Internet telephony patent. Verizon, of course, isn’t a “patent
| troll,” but a competitor interested in hobbling an up-and-coming competitor.
| Any patent reform needs to address the Verizons of the world too, not just
| the NTPs.

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