Subject: RE: Patent prior art database
From: "Lawrence Rosen" <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
Date: Thu, 3 Jul 2008 17:59:03 -0700

Steven Turnbull wrote:
> Easy to say, hard to do.  A patent is defensive because the nature of
> the invention is that it's not worth much in licensing, not because
> the nature of the inventor is to be a pussycat.

Hi Steven, leave it to the economist to bring us back to the real issue! 

What you say is sometimes true, but not always. For example, if open source
software is commercially better because it implements a "free for open
source" patent, perhaps the commercial companies that want proprietary
products will be encouraged to buy patent licenses just to compete. Doesn't
it depend on the value of the patents involved? Most are worthless, but not
all!

Because I encourage and support free and open source software embodying
patents, I'm not a troll. But neither am I a patsy or a pussycat when it
comes to letting patents be implemented by free riders in certain types of
non-open commercial products. Let those companies pay what the patent is
worth, which may be little or much as the case may be.

I always welcome the advice of economists when I try to calculate value.

/Larry



> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stephen J. Turnbull [mailto:stephen@xemacs.org]
> Sent: Thursday, July 03, 2008 5:45 PM
> To: Don Marti
> Cc: Luis Villa; chris@dibona.com; Randy Kramer; fsb@crynwr.com
> Subject: Re: Patent prior art database
> 
> Don Marti writes:
> 
>  > Why just defensive?  Why couldn't participants play
>  > open source licensor by day, patent troll by night?
>  > License the patent for Free Software implementation in
>  > consideration for your sponsorship, then go get paid.
> 
> Easy to say, hard to do.  A patent is defensive because the nature of
> the invention is that it's not worth much in licensing, not because
> the nature of the inventor is to be a pussycat.