Great article by Jeff John Roberts.
First up, I’d love to be the one to find the link between IV and Lodsys. Talk about a bounty…why hasn’t someone issued one to the first intrepid reporter who can prove a link? That’s how it’s done folks…although if I had the time and resources I’d do it just for the “I told you so” value.
Second, this sounds very Mark Cuban-ish:
Namely, before it began its suing spree, IV made sure that many of its potential critics became its investors.
Well played, IV. And it’s exactly what people like Mark Cuban, who purports himself to be a patent expert, have decided to do. “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” Bah, humbug. You’re telling me the likes of Mark Cuban can’t find a way to beat the trolls without becoming (part owner of) one? C’mon. You disappoint. Someone, somewhere has to find a better business model. Oh wait, someone already did. The problem is, that model only covers patents that are still at play.
Someone is going to have to solve the problem of the trolls who are suing over what they own. I say you create a non-profit collaborative defense fund. You reach out to each and every company that is sued by the trolls, and you know that information is available via either Patent Freedom, RPX, or, if you have to strip it yourself, from the US Court dockets, and get them to pony up some money. Pool resources and every time the trolls fight, no matter who they fight, you fight back. Get in bed with your enemies against a common goal. These trolls are not bottomless pits of money. They are individual companies that are suing Deep Pockets. Well, guess what happens when Deep Pockets joins up with another Deep Pockets? Follow the math here…DEEPER POCKETS. Deeper than the trolls.
That’s how you beat them at their own game. It’s what I tell my sons when the schoolyard bully picks on them. Knock that sucker to the ground but good. If you can’t do it alone? Round up your posse, as we say in Texas, and git ‘er done that way. But whatever you do, don’t ever, ever hand over your lunch money.
Third, there’s this gem from our buddy Nate:
Myhrvold this week portrayed his patent practices as simply another form of capital allocation. In his view, the company’s trolling is a good thing because it raises money for Intellectual Venture’s experiments which will, in turn, produce more patents.
How about producing products? Inventing something new and, oh, I dunno, useful? Producing more patents should not be the goal here, unless all you do is sue people for infringing on them. Oh, wait…
And finally, there’s the understatement of
the year forever:
The problem, of course, is that patents are not synonymous with value and innovation.
No. No they are not.