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[News] The Patent System Cracked by Patent Trolls

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Patent reform needed more than ever

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| Consider this: Of the 20 patent lawsuits filed against Google since late 
| 2007, all but two have been filed by plaintiffs who don’t make or sell any 
| real product or service — in other words, by non-practicing entities 
| or “patent trolls.” Most of these cases seem to feature the same small set of 
| contingent fee plaintiff's lawyers asserting patent claims against the same 
| small set of companies. We've also noticed a more disturbing trend: in many 
| of these cases, the patents being asserted against us are owned by — and in a 
| surprising number of cases, are even “invented” by — patent lawyers 
| themselves.        


90% of companies suing Google are patent trolls

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| Google has published a statement on their Public Policy Blog stating that 90% 
| of companies suing them for patent infringement were non practicing entities, 
| or patent trolls. Google goes on by clarifying that in lots of cases, the 
| patents are "invented" by the patent lawyers themselves.   



Intellectual Property Regime Stifles Science and Innovation, Nobel Laureates

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| Patent monopolies are believed to drive innovation but they actually impede
| the pace of science and innovation, Stiglitz said. The current “patent
| thicket,” in which anyone who writes a successful software programme is sued
| for alleged patent infringement, highlights the current IP system’s failure
| to encourage innovation, he said.
| Another problem is that the social returns from innovation do not accord with
| the private returns associated with the patent system, Stiglitz said. The
| marginal benefit from innovation is that an idea may become available sooner
| than it might have. But the person who secures the patent on it wins a
| long-term monopoly, creating a gap between private and social returns.


Economist Critic of Software Patents gets Nobel Prize

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| The FFII congratulates Eric S. Maskin, an economist who has long criticised
| the patenting of software, for receiving the 2007 Nobel Prize for Economics.
| Prof. Maskin and two colleagues receive the Prize for research into the
| optimal design of economic mechanisms. By applying his theory to the IT
| sector, Maskin demonstrated "that in such a dynamic industry, patent
| protection may reduce overall innovation and welfare."

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