Universal Problem, Universal Solution

If you follow me on Twitter which you totally should because there’s lots of talk about patents and the trolls thereof and also?  I live with no less than three pre-teen children and a husband and a Texas Blue Lacy so really, is there a better place to find snarky comments or sarcasm?  Probably not, that’s the answer you’re looking for.

Mayday

Mayday the blue lacy, enjoying the mountains of Colorado.
Great dog. Very stubborn. Just like his someone else we know.
(Hint: totally not me.)

This blog post totally just jumped the shark…

If you follow me on Twitter (trying this lead-in sentence again since I got off track the first time), you’ll note that there’s been a bit of a back and forth between myself and one Andy Pitchford and J Nicholas Gross about this whole troll problem.  The problem is that trolling isn’t an exact science.  Sometimes a company can act like a troll and sometimes not.  Some companies always act like trolls, even if they proclaim to be helping the little guy.  I’ve said before that identifying a patent troll is kind of like defining obscenity:  I can’t tell you what it is, but I know it when I see it.

I think the patent troll problem is pretty big, if not completely universal just yet.  Some people (*cough, cough* Andy and J Nicholas) aren’t convinced there’s a problem at all.  Some people are proud there’s a problem.  (Looking squarely at you, IP Nav).

The point is this: not everything is a universal problem and can be solved with a universal solution.  With patent litigation and patent trolls, there are very specific criteria that I think can be used to narrow the field of players even if a singular litmus test doesn’t (yet) exist.  But even when that field is narrowed, I think the solution for the problem is not so simple.  I think it will take many different combined approaches to stop the trolling behavior:  exposure of demand letters, legislation (though it’s my least favorite option), companies with business models that combat the problem, Ninjas, and the eventual burn-out of the trolls when the market is able to exploit some other issue with another sector of the economy beyond Intellectual Property.

So what does this have to do with Christmas?  Need I remind you that I was able to successfully link Charles Barkley’s derriere to patents so tying patents to Christmas is pretty much a slam dunk for me.  <– See what I did there?

What it has to do with it is this:  some problems are universal, and they require a universal solution.  Something to bridge the gap that was formed when men decided to go their own way.  To be the once and for all answer to the problems that separate us from the love we so desperately need.

What is the solution?  A baby.

What child is this, who, laid to rest,
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The Baby, the son of Mary.

So bring him incense, gold, and myrrh,
Come, peasant, king, to own him.
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone him.
Raise, raise a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The baby, the Son of Mary.

“Come peasant, king, to own him”.  In any station we may find ourselves, we all need and can own a solution to our problems.

What child is this?  Just a savior, that’s all.

I wish one and all a very, very Merry Christmas, even if you’re a patent troll.

JustSayin_small_New

IPTT

A Patent on Christmas

What would that look like, if Christmas were labeled intellectual property like everything else on the planet these days?  Let’s think this through.

In order to put up a Christmas tree in your home or business, you’d have to pay a licensing fee to the first person who ever put up a Christmas tree (it was his or her idea, after all).  And of course there would be the fee to the owner of the shape of the tree, because surely that would be patented as well.  (Apple?  Poking fun right at you with your rounded corner madness.) Then, you’d have to pay someone to research patents related to decorating your tree, because what if you and someone else came up with the idea of decorating it the same way?  If there were no patents on the way a tree should be decorated, then by God someone somewhere would be losing money because all ideas must be paid for.  All of them.  EVERY IDEA EVERYWHERE SHOULD GENERATE INCOME FOR THE IDEA COMER-UPPER-WITH.  <– That, my friends, is an official term.

And the stockings!  God Lord the stockings!!  There’s the shape of the stocking, the color scheme, the opening at the top, the method and mechanism of hanging it  by the chimney with care…that’s a whole cottage industry right there.  Stocking patent licensing fees would be horrendous.  Not to mention the necessary lawyers fees to help you figure out exactly which patents you’d need to license.  Sometimes we use a stocking hanger to hang our stockings.  Sometimes, we use a little screw with a u-shaped hook on the end that we have screwed into the underside of our mantel.  Sometimes, Santa just puts them on the floor in front of the tree, and honestly that’s what I’d request in a Patented Christmas Universe because it would save me some of the fees.  Right?  Right.  I’m nothing if not frugal!

Christmas, of course, is not patented.  In fact, the original Christmas was the exact opposite of a patent.  God sent a baby down to live among us, a baby that, rather than exact a fee from us, would pay a fee for us.  He, in the words of that old hymn, paid it all.

There’s a lesson in there somewhere.

Peace on Earth | Music & Lyrics by Big Daddy Weave

Peace on Earth goodwill toward men
And men have sought it from the start
I felt it when I asked you in
Now Peace on Earth lives in my heart
Now Peace on Earth lives in my heart

Peace on Earth the angels said
As peace lay in a manger bed
And not the peace that this world gives
But God with man has come to live

Peace on Earth goodwill toward men
And men have sought it from the start
I felt it when I asked you in
Now Peace on Earth lives in my heart
Now Peace on Earth lives in my heart

Not to end all earthly war as countless souls were longing for
But through this blessed holy child
God and man are reconciled!

So Peace on Earth goodwill toward men
And men have sought it from the start
I felt it when I asked you in
Now Peace on Earth lives in my heart
Now Peace on Earth lives in my heart

And empty was this heart of mine
And I longed for peace I could not find
But finally I finally I laid down my pride
Now peace on earth lives here inside!

Peace on Earth goodwill toward men
And men have sought it from the start
I felt it when I asked you in
Now Peace on Earth lives in my heart
Now Peace on Earth lives in my heart

Merry Christmas,

IPTT