Sunday, April 6, 2014

Apple, Microsoft Join Hands to Stop Software Patent Reform

Reuters (via Graham Lee and OSNews):

Major U.S. companies including Ford, Apple and Pfizer have formed a lobbying group aimed at pushing back at some changes to the patent system members of Congress have proposed, saying these measures would hinder protection of valuable inventions.

5 Comments

Huge multinational corporations who already have incredibly deep patent portfolio that cover all aspects of software development and grant them monopolistic powers do not want to lose the ability prevent newcomers from entering their markets? Quelle surprise.

@Lukas Yes, although it’s notable that Google isn’t part of the group. Don’t they have lots of patents, too?

I think Google is a bit behind on the patent front, hence their recent acquisitions of patent-holding companies like Motorola. They weren't able to protect Android hardware manufacturers from Microsoft's patent attacks, for example. Also, maybe I'm just not quite jaded enough, but perhaps it could be possible that there's still a bit of "don't be evil" at work here?

The Motorola patents ended up (as many said at the time) to not be worth much. Google lost a lot of money on that deal. Given they are so far behind in patents plus their whole business model it’s probably more in their best interest to undermine patents than promote the status quo.

Problem of course is that status quo always helps the large established players. The smaller businesses who can’t afford the legal expenses are the ones who suffer. And this typically hurts innovation.

Obliquely tangential to this all to this to the point that it's pretty much off-topic, but isn't the first episode of Mike Judge's Silicon Valley immensely tasty?

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