Thursday, July 25, 2002

Patent Madness I went through a "patent scrub session" today where basically we spoke to a lawyer about our software work, and I guess he's going to go and file patents on everything. Sleazy business. But given that patents can be filed, companies like IBM need to file all they can.

IBM recognizes that patents hamper innovative software development, which is bad for the industry because little startups (which can be bought) are much better at coming up with new ideas than big companies. No new ideas, no new products to sell. Moreover, IBM's patent portfolio means nothing against other big guys, because they have portfolios too and it all just gets cross-licensed. And it means nothing against little guys, because what fool startup would dare file a patent suit against IBM?

Answer: a burnt out shell that has no assets except patents and is essentially no longer a company, but a bunch of lawyers looking for settlement money. This whole software patent thing is a ridiculous arms-race that distracts the industry from the work ahead of it.

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