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[News] Richard Stallman Explains Patents, RPX Turns Them to Racketeering Operation

  • Subject: [News] Richard Stallman Explains Patents, RPX Turns Them to Racketeering Operation
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 11 Dec 2009 19:09:33 +0000
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
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The Danger of Software Patents

,----[ Quote ]
| This is the transcript of a talk presented 
| by Richard M. Stallman on 8 October 2009 at 
| Victoria University of Wellington.


Patent Protection For Sale

,----[ Quote ]
| Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is well 
| known for the venture capital it brought to 
| great innovations involving computers, 
| health and energy. One of its latest 
| startups is based on an entrepreneurial idea 
| that may or may not be great but is very 
| interesting: helping companies hand over 
| money for mostly bogus legal claims 
| involving patents.
| This particular startup, RPX, doesn't 
| describe itself that way. In fact, it makes 
| a good case that its goal is to help 
| companies, many of them in the tech 
| industry, make the best of the bad situation 
| that is the U.S. patent system. The fact 
| that patent holders and lawyers will end up 
| with money they don't deserve reflects 
| nothing about RPX but a lot about a system 
| filled with rot.
| If you think patents protect plucky 
| innovators and their groundbreaking 
| inventions, you haven't been paying 
| attention. Patents have evolved into an 
| extortion scheme that hurts real inventors 
| far more than it helps them.


Georg Greve says in


"When your business plan is a euphemism for "protection racket" http://is.gd/5jm7d Good article on the reality of software patents."


Is RPXâs âDefensive Patent Aggregationâ Simply Patent Extortion By Another

,----[ Quote ]
| RPXâs model borrows a little from Intellectual Ventures (where CEO John
| Amster hails from), but with a twist. Amster used to be in charge of patent
| acquisitions at Intellectual Ventures, which buys up billions of dollars
| worth of patents and then gets companies to license the entire portfolio. If
| companies decide not to play ball, the threat of massive patenet litigation
| hangs in the air.


Firm to buy up patents

,----[ Quote ]
| According to the Wall Street Journal Cisco Systems and IBM have already
| signed up.
| RPX is funded by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Charles Rivers
| Ventures. Its two chief executives, John Amster and Geoffrey Barker,
| previously served as vice presidents of Intellectual Ventures, another
| company in the business of purchasing patents.


New Patent Buying Firm Swears It'll Never Litigate Over Its Patents

,----[ Quote ]
| It involves getting a bunch of tech companies to pay up, so that this new
| company, RPX Corp., can buy up a bunch of patents "for defensive purposes
| only." The company insists it won't sue anyone with these patents. But, of
| course, the whole thing makes you wonder. For the companies that buy into
| RPX's deal (or IV's for that matter), they end up spending a bunch of money
| for a rather weak form of insurance that protects them in the very rare case
| where they might be able to use a patent in either firm's portfolio to maybe,
| possibly protect itself against an infringement lawsuit.


Cisco, IBM join start-up to protect against patent trolls

,----[ Quote ]
| According to a statement about patent reform on its Web site, Cisco
| states: "The patent litigation system today is unbalanced and patent
| speculators are exploiting the system's unfairness to coerce high settlements
| from productive companies.


RPX Spooks Trolls Lurking Under Patent Bridge

,----[ Quote ]
| NPEs typically troll the patent office, news reports, and company product
| lines in hopes of finding infringements to patents in its library. Once a
| product is targeted, the NPE sends a letter to the product's maker,
| threatening to sue the supposedly infringing company unless it pays a license
| fee or settles out of court.


Looking to fend off patent trolls, IBM, Cisco support startup RPX

,----[ Quote ]
| Now, two former executives of Myhrvold's Bellevue patent licensing firm are
| striking out on their own with support from IBM and Cisco to serve as a
| counterweight to patent holding firms like Intellectual Ventures. Today, RPX
| Corp. is launching what it dubs "defensive patent aggregation" -- a
| membership club of sorts where large and small technology companies pool
| capital in order to order to protect themselves from patent litigation.

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