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[News] Venture Capitalist and Author Slam Nathan Myhrvold the Troll

  • Subject: [News] Venture Capitalist and Author Slam Nathan Myhrvold the Troll
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 21 Feb 2010 09:07:28 +0000
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/4.3.1
Hash: SHA1

Software patents are the problem not the answer

,----[ Quote ]
| Nathan supports this argument by comparing the 
| current market for intellectual property to 
| the early days of the computer industry. He 
| argues that in the 1970s people did not 
| believe the software industry could be an 
| independent business and that it would always 
| be linked to hardware. He says that software 
| industry developed for two reasons. First, 
| software vendors persuaded software users to 
| respect intellectual property rights through 
| both education and lawsuits, and second, the 
| vendors overcame system incompatibilities and 
| developed solutions that would work on 
| different computers. Nathan suggests that a 
| market for inventions would emerge if the same 
| two conditions are met, and then offers his 
| company Intellectual Ventures as a model for 
| how to meet them.
| I do not agree. Here's why.
| Let's start with software analogy. Put aside 
| the fact that in the 70's software vendors 
| used copyright law to prevent the outright 
| copying of their software and not patents as 
| Nathan proposes to do. The real reason the 
| independent software industry emerged is that 
| operating systems and APIs made it possible 
| for independent software vendors to develop 
| applications independently. They no longer had 
| to ask permission of the hardware vendors. 
| This same characteristic of permissionless 
| innovation led to the explosion of 
| independently created services on the 
| internet. The rampant abuse of the patent 
| system has created the opposite condition for 
| the creators of software and web services 
| today.


Is this just a patent troll or a new way to extract money from everybody?

,----[ Quote ]
| It doesn't sound to me like Myhrvold has much 
| interest in the poor inventors. Rather, he 
| just seems to want their patents so he can 
| make piles of money suing manufacturers. 


PJ: "Like real estate? Is he kidding? After what investors/bankers/hedge 
funds in real estate did to the world's economy? He wants to do that with 
patents? A new way to gamble at the public's expense, as I see it."


Nathan Myhrvold's Intellectual Ventures Using Over 1,000 Shell Companies To Hide Patent Shakedown

,----[ Quote ]
| It's no secret that we think Nathan
| Myhrvold's Intellectual Ventures is a
| dangerous, innovation harming monstrosity.
| The company used a bait and switch scheme to
| get a bunch of big tech companies to fund
| it, not realizing that they were then going
| to be targets of his shakedown system.
| Basically, IV buys up (or in some cases,
| applies for) tons of patents, and then
| demands huge cash outlays from those same
| companies (often hundreds of millions of
| dollars) for a combined promise not to sue
| over those patents and (here's the sneaky
| bit) a bit of a pyramid scheme, where those
| in early supposedly get a cut of later
| deals. Of course, to just talk to IV
| requires strict NDAs, so the details of
| these deals are kept under wraps and only
| leaked out anonymously. But the hundreds of
| millions of dollars going towards this sort
| of trolling behavior, rather than any actual
| innovation in the marketplace can be seen on
| various financial filings (you can't hide
| hundreds of millions of dollars in payments
| that easily).

Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)


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