Subject: Re: patent trolls and X-licensors
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Sun, 04 Jun 2006 15:02:07 +0900

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

    Thomas> Perhaps we could fix the US patent system this way:

You're evidently thinking of the same usage as "fix a cat," no?

Your system presumes that patents are invalid, and makes it possible
for those with deep pockets to violate the patents of those without
such resources with impunity.  You want to be careful about that,
because it could easily *strengthen* the "if you want to program in
public, you need to work for a company that can afford M$100 in legal
fees annually" effect.  (I haven't thought it out carefully, I'm just
warning that such a perverse effect is plausible enough to be worth
some skull sweat.)

I still think that the period of public review before approval, with
the option of appeal to the courts after grant, is the best solution.

There's really nothing *more* wrong with the patent office doing the
reviews than some "independent" third party's opinion.  In fact, it's
likely better (consider the various scandals worldwide concerning
auditing of corporate accounts).  There's a clear advantage to
favoring patent holders---that leads to monopoly, higher profits, and
more surplus the lawyers and "independent" experts can suck up.

-- 
Graduate School of Systems and Information Engineering   University of Tsukuba
http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp/        Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
        Economics of Information Communication and Computation Systems
          Experimental Economics, Microeconomic Theory, Game Theory