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[News] Investigation of the Abuse of Patents in Mobile Industry (Retardation of Science/Progress)

  • Subject: [News] Investigation of the Abuse of Patents in Mobile Industry (Retardation of Science/Progress)
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 14 May 2010 18:47:07 +0100
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/4.4.2
Hash: SHA1

Investigation: Apple vs Nokia vs Google vs HTC vs RIM

,----[ Quote ]
| The struggle that's broken out between the 
| tech giants has a certain irony; after 
| all, the prizes they're disputing -- 
| patents -- were invented to accelerate and 
| encourage invention, not hinder it. The 
| concept is fairly straightforward: a 
| patent is granted if an invention meets a 
| number of requirements, the most essential 
| being "novelty" and "usefulness". Once 
| granted, a patent typically gives the 
| inventor a limited monopoly of a minimum 
| of 20 years in which he alone can market 
| the invention or license others to take up 
| his protected work.
| [...]
| In their 2008 book Patent Failure, Bessen 
| and fellow Boston University law professor 
| Michael Meurer show that, since the 
| late-90s, litigation costs for publicly 
| traded companies (except in the case of 
| pharmaceuticals) have consistently 
| outweighed the profits that companies 
| derived from patents. They show that in 
| 1999 alone, $9.3 billion (Â6bn) were made 
| in profits from patents globally. 
| Litigation costs alone, however, reached 
| $16 billion (Â10.5bn) for the US. In the 
| last decade, this situation has 
| deteriorated considerably: in 1999, there 
| were 2,318 patent litigation lawsuits 
| filed in the US. By 2008, that number had 
| risen to 2,896.


Complex Smartphones Are the Latest Patent Battleground

,----[ Quote ]
| The patent wars are raging in the mobile 
| device market, and they could result in 
| rising costs for handset makers and higher 
| gadget prices for wireless carriers and 
| consumers. So far this year, Apple and HTC
| âtwo of the most innovative smartphone 
| makersâhave become embroiled in more 
| patent-related litigation than in all of 
| 2007, and they are on track to beat their 
| own 2008 and 2009 records, according to 
| Bloomberg data.



2009 Show Down: Democrat Software Patent Reform versus the Republican Biotech
Patent Reform

,----[ Quote ]
| Software companies cannot win under the current patent system.  A software
| product can be so complex that it can require hundreds of patents to cover
| everything that is unique about the product.  If the company tries to file
| for everything they invent they spend a fortune on patent attorney fees and
| filing costs.  If they donât file then another company will âinventâ the same
| thing and file and the original company can end up being threatened for
| patent infringement.


Broadcom files complaint against Qualcomm's patent licensing practices

,----[ Quote ]
| Broadcom, the US chip manufacturer, is preparing to land a new blow in its
| legal dispute with Qualcomm. In a press release, it says it has filed a
| complaint with the US District Court for the Southern District of California,
| in San Diego, against its competitor's patent licensing practices. The
| complaint invokes a recent ruling by the US Supreme Court which, in June,
| further restricted the scope of patents.


Bilski: Be prepared for huge lobbying in Congress?

,----[ Quote ]
| The outcome of the Bilski case, which should be published in October, might
| invalidate software patents in the United States:
|     Plager said he regretted the unintended consequences of the decisions in
|     State Street Bank and AT&T. Those rulings led to a flood of applications
|     for software and business method patents, he noted. If we ârethink the
|     breadth of patentable subject matter,â he said, we should ask whether
|     these categories should be excluded from patent protection.
| If the CAFC are clever enough to follow the Supreme Court and kick software
| patents out, you might see the desperate large corporations and their patent
| department rushing to Congress. Especially if tomorrow the banks value their
| patent portfolio as void, and not useful to get any credit.


Latha Jishnu: The mouse that bit Microsoft

,----[ Quote ]
| Hereâs what Gates wrote in an office memorandum in 1991. âIf people had
| understood how patents would be granted when most of todayâs ideas were
| invented, and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete
| standstill today. . . I feel certain that some large company will patent some
| obvious thing related to interface, object orientation, algorithm,
| application extension or other crucial technique.â
| This was the year after Microsoft launched Windows 3.0, the first of its new
| operating systems that would become hugely popular across the world. Yet,
| three years down the line, Microsoft had changed from a kitten that was
| content with copyright protection to an aggressive patents tiger. In 1991,
| Microsoft had filed fewer than 50 patent applications whereas last year it
| was awarded 1,637 patents, almost a 12 per cent increase in the number of
| patents it received in 2006. According to IFI Patent Intelligence, the rise
| in Microsoftâs patents portfolio bucked the general trend in 2007 when the
| number of patents issued by the US Patents and Trademark Office dipped by 10
| per cent. Apparently several thousand of the companyâs filings are still
| pending.
| All this may prompt the reader to conclude that there is indeed a direct
| correlation between IPR and growth â and wealth â as the company claims. Not
| true, says Mark H Webbink, a US Supreme Court lawyer who is a recognised
| voice on IT issues. Charting the companyâs revenues, R&D spending and patent
| filings from 1985 onwards, he shows that the spike in patent filings occurred
| long after the Microsoft âhad become well established and was being
| investigated for its monopolistic practicesâ. Webbink contends that patents
| did not spur the launch and rapid growth of the mass market software
| industry. On the other hand, patents have become a threat to software
| innovation, he warns.

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