“Leaving aside the morality of such an approach…”

My favorite punching bag is back in the news yesterday.  Was back in the news yesterday?  Is back in the news, and it came out yesterday?  Ah, verb tense and subject-verb agreement, you slay me.

Nate?  You appear to be have a PR problem.   Techdirt’s Glyn Moody published an article on Thursday discussing the fact that the shine is coming off of the Intellectual Ventures business model.  One would argue (and by “one” I mean me…I would argue) that the shine was never there.  IV was and is and always was going to be a patent troll.  They don’t foster innovation, they foster bullying and its ugly cousin from Reno, extortion.  If they really fostered innovation, why haven’t they brought a single product to market?  Because you know what would bring in a return for their investors?  Bringing a product to market.  But they haven’t done that.  IV in all of it’s “we foster innovation!” has fostered exactly no innovation, which reminds me of my favorite line from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade:

Salah!  I told you no camels, that’s five camels.  Can’t you count?


This quote from Glyn is important analysis, in my opinion (emphasis mine):

It will be interesting to see if IV starts suing companies more aggressively in an attempt to get the money rolling in — and what it does if that fails to deliver the kind of returns investors are presumably hoping for. That could well happen if those being sued sense that IV is under pressure, and decide as a result to opt for a long, hard — and expensive — fight in the courts to exploit that fact.

This is what should happen, and I hope this plays out like he predicts it might.  A long, hard fight is what it’s going to take to get these guys to go away.  I need to spend some time this weekend catching up on insanity workouts reading up on the recent successes against trolls.  Fark farked a troll, I remember writing about that and should probably link back to myself…  There’s got to be some common denominator in the cases that they lose, something that can be used to fight them again and again.  Nothing like a little light research on what promises to be a rainy weekend in Troll Heaven.  (Read:  Texas, though not specifically the Eastern District thereof.)

I want to pull out another quote, because it speaks to the heart and soul (as if these guys have one, but anyway) of the matter:

Instead, it really seems no different from your common-or-garden troll, hoping to hit the jackpot by picking up a patent that a successful company later finds it simply must license or risk going out of business. Leaving aside the morality of such an approach,

“Leaving aside the morality of such an approach…”  Here’s where I got off the train when I first started following this new business model in 2001.  I have trouble doing that, you know?  Leaving aside the morality.  What these trolls are doing is wrong.  It’s not right.  A really famous guy once said “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are expedient.”  Better put, at the risk of offending the guy who literally wrote The Book, “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”

Patent trolling is a bad business model.  I still recommend pooling resources to bring them down, but maybe the good old American investor will get the party started for us by aiming at IV?

One could hope.

Just sayin’,