Back in the Saddle Again

I’m not sure who owns the copyright to that song, but I’m sure I’ll be hearing from their lawyer in 5, 4, 3…

After an eight month not-so-self-induced hiatus, it’s time to get back to it.

When last we left our hero, comments were being made about the patent arms race and whether it was over and what was Google doing and by the way, what ever happened to that girl who wrote comics that Techdirt published and then all of a sudden didn’t publish anymore?  Anway, it’s time to see where things stand, and I’m opening with an article about how the patent trolls ate all the tech jobs for breakfast, no thanks to patent reform laws, patents in general, and the real trolls of the world, the lawyers.

The article was written by one Vivek Wadhwa and probably I should know who that is but I don’t.  The first quote I want to pull is self-serving.  Transparency…I haz it:

Because of flaws in the patent system and government leaders’ misunderstandings, there is an arms race of sorts happening in the tech industry that is sapping billions out of the economy and crushing technology startups

I posted lo those many moons ago that the Nortel auction started the patent race, that Google artificially inflated the price of it, and that Google’s purchase of the Motorola patents for significantly more than the Nortel auction price,  didn‘t effectively end the patent arms race.  I see Vivek Wadhwa holds the same opinion.  So I’m in what…good company?  (I really must look this person up.)  I just like to be right sometimes, that’s all.  I live with three preteens and the neediest, most obstinant dog on the planet so it doesn’t happen very often.

So beyond being happy that my original statement has borne out, I really, really like this closing quote:

It’s time to go back to the old idea that patentees have rights over things they build, not over solving problems by any means

Until this happens, you won’t stop any of the shenanigans and ballyhoo that plague innovation.  Honestly, I think the first thing that plagues innovation is laziness:  people come up with an idea and they jump straight to charging a price for it without even building anything or showing, conclusively, that the idea can be used to add value.  But when people are able to create something that brings value and work tremendously hard to do so, and some company comes after them for a bogus infringement claim, they’re dead.  Who’s going to enter that game with the next big thing?  Not too many people.

I think that, in addition to moving the patent world back to rights over tangible objects and the process of building them, a move towards the “use it or lose it” system would be a HUGE step in the right direction.  Credit:  @ShawnWayne via Mark Cuban’s blog.

Just sayin’,

IPTT