When I first read this article by the folks at Techrights.org I thought I had been accused of being a lawyer. Now I’m no shrinking violet and I like to think I can take it as well as I dish it out, but to call me a lawyer? Oh no no no. No you did not just go there.
Turns out? They didn’t, it wasn’t I to whom the author referred when he talked about “The aforementioned patent lawyers’ blog” so I went right ahead and told my people to stand down. Which I did, “I” being the only people that I call upon to defend myself and I. Wait, what?
Anyhoo, I understand the point that Roy is making and you’d be hard pressed to get me to disagree that lawyers are a problem in the troll game. I would go look up all the times I’ve been critical of lawyers here but I have a business to run and breakfast to
make buy and I’m lazy. But suffice it to say that one of the biggest issues with patent troll litigation is that the only ones who really make any money are the attorneys. I hear you, Roy!
He says further that the major stakeholders in the patent industry have a vested interest in keeping the status quo, which is to say that they don’t really want patent reform so much as they want a scapegoat, and lo they have chosen the mighty Patent Troll for the role. This is an argument similar to one made by Gene Quinn at ipwatchdog…that the C-levels at that Big Tech Firm are all golfing and lunching together with the patent trolls and scheming to keep the fight going so that no true reform ever comes to the actual patent process. And also, as Gene intimates, Big Tech is actually selling off some of their patents to the trolls themselves (possibly and potentially Google and definitely Ericsson). Egads!
So, yeah. I see that point and probably all big businesses have made use of that great Despair.com quote about consulting, which is to say that “If you can’t be part of the solution, there’s money to be made in prolonging the problem.”
If patent trolls were only targeting the deep pockets, then I would be much more apt to agree wholeheartedly with Roy’s premise. But as we’ve seen with Ditto and with the cloak-and-dagger-ish post over at Techdirt where the developer at a start up in NYC with the blurred-out face talked about how he has more attorneys than he does staff, the scope of the problem has expanded to target those very companies that are the backbone of America. More Americans work for small businesses than work for larger corporations and if those small companies are going to start getting attacked by trolls over bogus, nefarious, and spurious patents then that is a problem that goes beyond the lawyers involved.
The key problem is not the trolls but the patents themselves. Lawyers-run sites don’t want us to limit the scope of patenting (their bread and butter).
I think the first statement is true, the second one not quite so much. There’s clearly room for reform with respect to the patents being issued, no one can argue otherwise. But just because the lawyer-authored blogs are hammering the trolls doesn’t mean that’s all they see as the problem. It’s just the most pressing one and the one that ‘s eating up all their time and all their clients’ resources. Not to mention, patent trolls are all over the news because several congressmen have decided to come forward and proffer some relief in the form of some new laws…the lawyer blogs are simply writing about what’s relevant.
Besides all that, lets face it: trolls are sometimes cute, and evidently even huggable:
Where’re you going to get a picture of a patent itself that’s as cute as that?