Subject: Re: The term "intellectual property" considered useful
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Mon, 29 May 2006 02:19:46 +0900

>>>>> "Thomas" == Thomas Lord <> writes:

    Thomas> They *almost* sound like RMS when they write:

:-) But not really.  RMS says "extracting fees for [what sjt would
call IP] is extortion, and therefore wrong."  The Court is saying
"extortion (not royalties) is extortion and therefore wrong, and
courts should not allow themselves to be abused as instruments of

    Thomas> (Hint: in these "cases now arising" the foreseeable
    Thomas> conjunction of unavoidable damage still adds up to a de
    Thomas> facto "injunction" to not do anything at all.)

No, both lawyers and economists distinguish between those two.

And I think you're missing something important (at least to the
Court's reasoning about extortion): if you have a good case that you
can beat the patent, an injunction will nevertheless prevent you from
getting *any* revenue until you *do* beat the patent, and you'll have
to pay the court-awarded damages for past infringement, anyway.  But
in the absence of the patent, you pay only "reasonable" damages, which
allows you to continue operating the business to defray the expense of
the damages and the lawyers.

It's true this probably hurts FSBs more than other businesses, and
small businesses more than large ones.  However, I don't think either
of those is considered by courts or legislatures yet.

Graduate School of Systems and Information Engineering   University of Tsukuba        Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
        Economics of Information Communication and Computation Systems
          Experimental Economics, Microeconomic Theory, Game Theory