Charles Arthur (Hi Charles!) has written a primer on the Smartphone Patent Wars. Being the child of an accountant*, it was a foregone conclusion that I was going to cut and paste his blog entry into MS Word and get a word count. I wanted to see how many words it took him to explain the situation. Here you go:
That’s 4,422 words to get people up to speed on what is basically a 17-word problem. To wit:
People are greedy, think life is a zero-sum game, and use patents as a bully pulpit.
See how simple it is to just tell the truth? That’s what’s really going on here. Rather than focus on making their phones the best they can be, these companies spend shareholder’s money playing a schoolyard game of Red Rover, Red Rover, Send the Next Infringer Over. The whole industry is clotheslining itself. Or have you not seen this graphic?
It just seems patently () absurd for these guys to keep going at it. Surely there’s a way to call a truce? Even if not in the entirety of the patent space, at least in this one segment of it you’d think the pie was large enough for everyone to get a piece. You can’t throw a dead cat without hitting someone with a cell phone, and those who don’t have one soon will. Is there not enough to go around that you guys have to go at it tooth and nail over every little thing? Geez o Pete.
Seventeen words, people, 17 words.
* My father is such an accountant that he created a spreadsheet to track the license plates that he saw from different states on a cross country road trip. Each state was a row and every time he saw a plate from a particular state, he’d increment the number by one. My folks take this same trip numerous times a year, and he keeps a log of the states’ plates that he sees. Why? Accountants account for things. Like license plates on other people’s cars and what state they were issued in. Someday, I’m going to take that sheet and make charts and graphs and put them on t-shirts to sell to all his grandkids.