Subject: Re: patent trolls and X-licensors
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Mon, 29 May 2006 15:40:21 +0900

>>>>> "Thomas" == Thomas Lord <lord@emf.net> writes:

    Thomas> I wonder if patent trolls and those who insist on
    Thomas> cross-licensing aren't vulnerable under some variation of
    Thomas> "attractive nuisance" doctrines.  Or under an organized
    Thomas> crime statute such as might be used against a "protection
    Thomas> racket".

I would think not.  Creation of a monopoly is the intent of a patent
grant.  Guarding against extortion-by-injunction is the job of the
courts (and the defense lawyers).  Due diligence against the
attractive nuisance is automatic, since the PTO publishes the patent
for you.  Cross-licensing is obviously not a problem; it's nobody's
place to say what compensation a property owner may demand for
transferring or licensing use of her property.

There are "excess" costs to defending against a claim of IP
infringement, but these are inherent in a tort-based system.  They're
not special to IP, let alone software/business method patents.

I think that (aside from the radical solution of legislatively
restricting or even abolishing a given form of IP), the system will
work fine at its own pace, and not much faster.

What I would suggest as a practical measure for FSBs to consider (as a
group) is somehow creating an open patent search system.  This would
be the best defense against patent trolls.


-- 
Graduate School of Systems and Information Engineering   University of Tsukuba
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        Economics of Information Communication and Computation Systems
          Experimental Economics, Microeconomic Theory, Game Theory