The patent bubble

Published on: 2008-10-13

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The patent "bubble"


It's hard to compete for attention with the drama of the big bailout and this presidential race. But bubbles are news, at least when they burst. The patent bubble hasn't burst, but judging by last week's Wall Street Journal story on Intellectual Ventures, it's getting pretty big. The brainchild of former Microsoft CTO, Nathan Myrhvold, Intellectual Ventures has reportedly amassed $5 billion in capital and a portfolio of over 20,000 acquired patents -- and it's looking for more. From the perspective of the tech sector, Intellectual Ventures combines two questionable business models, the patent troll and the pyramid scheme, in a form that evokes Wall St.'s cleverness in designing glitzy vehicles for esoteric assets. Check out Brian Kahin on the patent bubble - it is one of *the* most brilliant analysis of the software patent issue which I have come across on the net. Think of it in this way - what is the "critical mass" of parasites an economy can sustain until it collapses? The financial "wizards" who make money by "speculating" on the "market" (and by gaming it) are big parasites - they get paid for doing no useful work. The software patent system will ultimately provide nourishment to thousands of such parasites (trolls) who will invent more and more ingenious ways to make money all the while making it harder and harder for people who really add value (say by inventing new stuff) to operate with the freedom they deserve ......

Maxin B John

Wed Oct 15 09:10:38 2008

Sir, Article by Brian Kahin was really interesting. It is weird that in India(or in other parts of the world), Patent is considered as the presence of R&D activities in an organizations. If the number of patents are zero , that means no R&D and hence no innovation. There are some courses for IP :) The Global Institute of Intellectual Property (GIIP), co-headquartered in New Delhi and San Jose, USA, announced the launch of a Post Graduate Diploma Program in Patents and Intellectual Property (IP) services. The GIIP programme is claimed to be the first of its kind in the world to train professionals for the rapidly growing global patent and IP services business , in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi . Link: If we really want to do something or eat or just throw away the non edible parts of grape that we have had after lunch, make sure that it doesn't fall on earth so that next week might become a sprout and hence result in "a clear case of patent infringement" that is strong enough for many years of rigorous imprisonment or a huge personal financial loss (patented grapes:)) Well, it seems like we will have to do a google patent search( before we go to super market to make sure that we are not breaking any patents . Those who are enforcing patents are Psychos ... It seems like a real black comedy movie like "Dr. Strangelove" ( should be there to show the evils of Patents just like the director Stanley Kubrick reveals the 'funny' story of Atomic bombs. , as you have mentioned about the patented grapes)