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Forgent Patent Troll Loses Again

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the system-kinda-sorta-works dept.

Patents 95

anagama writes "Forgent Networks, a patent troll, got the slap down by a TX jury in May when it invalidated a patent Forgent held regarding video teleconferencing over telephone lines, and today, its motion for a new trial against EchoStar was denied. In fact, the court awarded EchoStar $90k in costs. Forgent probably isn't crying that much though, it already extorted $28m from other defendants. Some of you may recall that Forgent made a business out of cheating companies for jpeg use — till their patent was largely invalidated on that front as well."

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What are these people thinking? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20204433)

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Where does it end? (1)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 7 years ago | (#20204473)

Judge Ito - "Order! Order! No more disturbances from the Forgent attorneys. I will hear this evidence."
Hanna-Barbera - "Your honor, I present exhibit A. Now, if you watch closely on your television screen, you will see George calling in sick to Mr. Sprocket."

Re:Where does it end? (1)

archieaa (961120) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207067)

Oh how soon they forget.....George's boss is Mr. Spacely. The owner of Spacely's Sprockets. The competition was Cogswells Cogs. Clearly you have been neglecting your watching of Saturday morning cartoons. Where are your priorities?

Patent reform (5, Insightful)

also-rr (980579) | more than 7 years ago | (#20204475)

Unlike copyright the patent concept is easy to defend. The benefit for progress of engineering and technological culture can be logically demonstrated - and unlike copyright the limits on duration are not totally insane.

However there is obviously some need for reform. If I were starting a business today I would be sure to base it in somewhere like China and register my patents in the US in order to minimise my likely exposure while maximising my potential gain. So what could be done?

Almost the scariest aspect of the patent system is not the actual law but the consequences of the threat of the law. If you are perceived to be infringing your case could be hugely expensive and very protracted - and justice delayed is justice denied. Being right isn't going to be much help if I go bankrupt before I win! Unless you are a huge company you are essentially screwed by a lawsuit. With the intent of keeping the system essentially fair it would seem to be wise to:
  • Assess the patent dispute in a week or so in a semi-formal tribunal of peers. Appeal is permitted, with (capped) costs paid by each side.
  • Assess the patent in an equivalent of a small claims court over a month or so. Appeal is permitted, with (capped) costs paid by the loser.
  • Full lawyer enriching bun fight - but whoever lost the last round gets to pick up the whole cost until a winner is declared.

By lowering the cost of patent litigation the risk would be reduced - and we wouldn't have to wait so long or force so many people to pay protection money in the course of business.

Re:Patent reform (1)

Eddi3 (1046882) | more than 7 years ago | (#20204509)

"By lowering the cost of patent litigation the risk would be reduced - and we wouldn't have to wait so long or force so many people to pay protection money in the course of business."

But if the cost of patent litigation was reduced, wouldn't there be *more* patent trolls because of the reduced costs? There would be less to lose.

Re:Patent reform (1)

kenb215 (984963) | more than 7 years ago | (#20204619)

Not really. Patent trolls don't make money through lawsuits, but by threatening lawsuits. Companies then go and pay licensing fees that they know aren't legal because the fees are cheaper than fighting in court. If it cost less money to fight a bogus patent, more of them would be challenged and invalidated.

Re:Patent reform (5, Interesting)

eiapoce (1049910) | more than 7 years ago | (#20204697)

The States are seriously in need of a Law Reform. Here in italy if you threaten a suite you'd better be ready to do it. Else the treathened part can sue you back! Treathening a lawsuit without evidence for the sole scope of gaining a unlawful advantage is a felony here.

Re:Patent reform (3, Insightful)

TheSkyIsPurple (901118) | more than 7 years ago | (#20204843)

I believe it is in the US as well, but the judges tend to take any sort of tiny bit of evidence as evidence that you were serious... ie, give everyone their fair shake.

That way they don't end up denying the little guy because they didn't all 17-million forms properly filled out in ancient Sumerian on rice paper, with lines numbered in cuneiform (or rather in Roman numerals depending on what your local court prefers)

Its this "protect the little guy" thing that groups like this take advantage of, since they say "Hey, we're little guys.. and they're trying to take advantage of us"

Re:Patent reform (2, Interesting)

asc99c (938635) | more than 7 years ago | (#20204617)

This sounds like the right sort of idea - making the earliest stage of the process quicker and cheaper. I think another very worthwhile idea would be that as soon as any proceedings are filed on any patent claim, the patent in question should immediately be re-submitted for more thorough examination by the patent office. If the re-examination fails, the case is thrown out before it's begun.

Too many patents mean that there isn't enough resources to check each one as well as would be desired, but for the small proportion on which lawsuits are brought, a much better check could be carried out before-hand. This also means that patent trolls buying up the broad patents would in many cases be buying worthless pieces of paper that would be invalidated before they caused havoc.

Re:Patent reform (2, Interesting)

Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) | more than 7 years ago | (#20205061)

That's an interesting idea. I have another -- I may have heard this before on Slashdot, I can't remember.

When a person or business files a patent application with the Patent Office, they pay a filing fee. If the Patent Office can find prior art documentation that causes them to reject the patent, the filer agrees to pay them an additional "sorry to have wasted your time" fee. [To avoid the Patent Office rejecting every application they receive, they should be required to file documentation. including expert testimony, when they choose this option.] If they can't, they publish the provisional patent for review.

At this point, the provisional patent is a full-fledged patent, except that the general public can offer prior art that the patent holder and the Patent Office missed to the Patent Office for review (without going through the court system). If any of that prior art invalidates the patent, the filer pays the person or business that found the prior art a "bounty" -- the amount of the bounty to vary depending on how well-known the prior art is. If the filer missed a front page article in the New York Times that invalidates their patent, that deserves a larger penalty than if the missed prior art was an article in "the Western Elbonian Journal of Soil Engineering and other Science". Under this proposal, some people may actually create companies whose sole business is invalidating patents.

Re:Patent reform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20204723)

Unlike copyright the patent concept is easy to defend. The benefit for progress of engineering and technological culture can be logically demonstrated - and unlike copyright the limits on duration are not totally insane.

Perhaps the biggest problem with the patent system is that while scientific and technological advances often occur nearly simultaneously, the system selects one applicant to reap all the benefits of the advance over an extended period of time. This rarely happens with copyrights, because copyright protection is very specific - it covers the text and/or recording, the names of the main characters, etc. I can still produce a space adventure film featuring wars between undermanned rebels and vicious storm troopers, as long as I don't use the phrase "Star Wars" in the title or use characters named Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, etc (unless it's a parody).

Another example is software covered by the GPL. Anybody can write an operating system that supports multitasking, virtual memory, multiple file systems, devices accessible via the file system, etc., but if they incorporate source code from the Linux kernel they'll need to abide by the terms of the GPL. Copyright protection here makes sense because it prevents people from *directly* stealing the creative work of others and passing it off as their own. Patent protection sometimes does that, but very often it just creates a system of toll roads that obstructs people from independently coming up with and implementing ideas that are straightforward extensions or tweaks on the state of the art.

Re:Patent reform (1)

iovar (998724) | more than 7 years ago | (#20204845)

Unlike copyright the patent concept is easy to defend. The benefit for progress of engineering and technological culture can be logically demonstrated
From http://www.uspto.gov/go/taf/us_stat.htm [uspto.gov] , 173,771 Utility Patent Grants
and 20,965 Design Patent Grants just for 2006.

I want my spaceship...Now!

Re:Patent reform (2, Interesting)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 7 years ago | (#20204851)

Unlike copyright the patent concept is easy to defend. The benefit for progress of engineering and technological culture can be logically demonstrated - and unlike copyright the limits on duration are not totally insane.

I don't care whether it can be logically demonstrated. It's been around for quite a while, so the question isn't "logically, should this work", but rather "has this been observed to *actually* work". And I kinda get the impression that the answer to that is "it depends" and "somewhat, but not as well as we'd think".

Re: Patent reform (2, Informative)

D4C5CE (578304) | more than 7 years ago | (#20205953)

I don't care whether it can be logically demonstrated. It's been around for quite a while, so the question isn't "logically, should this work", but rather "has this been observed to *actually* work". And I kinda get the impression that the answer to that is "it depends" and "somewhat, but not as well as we'd think".
Links to lots of insightful analysis on this question have recently been posted here [slashdot.org] .

Re:Patent reform (4, Interesting)

rcw-home (122017) | more than 7 years ago | (#20204895)

Unlike copyright the patent concept is easy to defend. The benefit for progress of engineering and technological culture can be logically demonstrated

The patent system was originally an alternative to the guilds, who would keep the important knowledge of their trade a secret from those who wished to compete. Not only was the knowledge at risk of being lost over time, but the guilds actively worked to prevent non-guild members from competing in their trade. So now, we have government-granted temporary monopolies as an incentive to share these secrets.

The problem is, the "secrets" going into the patent system these days are about as useful to someone skilled in the art as a list of ingredients on a box of food is to a chef. They are purposefully written in an obfuscated manner. One never hears of someone poring over prior patents for enlightenment - in fact, company lawyers often recommend to their employees never to research patents because then they would be knowingly infringing on anything they stumbled upon.

I believe there are more powerful mechanisms at work that would prevent the reformation of a guild system today if the patent system disappeared. For starters, employees switch jobs much more regularly. Legal limits to non-compete contracts would be effective in keeping this mechanism in place. The Internet has promoted a worldwide culture of knowledge-sharing. Corporate secrets are regularly and anonymously leaked to the public.

So in my mind the question is not whether patents are necessary to protect knowledge sharing. The question is whether the incentive to innovate would remain, and whether that incentive is truly tied to money. I am increasingly dubious.

Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20205127)

I am very much against the kind of actions Forgent has been using, but seriously the summary for this story is one of the more biased and imflamatory I have ever seen.

As long as the motto is "NEWS for nerds" can we please have the summaries written up like actual news stories?

Go right past patent reform to abolishment (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 7 years ago | (#20205307)

It's good to see a patent troll lose. But nice though such victories are, it clouds the issue. It raises people's hope that the patent and court systems really can work, and all that is needed is a bit more reform. Cue the various bandaid sorts of suggestions, such as shortening patent lengths, being more careful about granting patents, and whatever. Possibly the best of those solutions is eliminating the patenting of software.

I remained convinced that the entire idea of "Intellectual Property" is broken, contradictory, and senseless. Yes, we want to encourage arts and sciences. Yes, money is an excellent way to encourage and reward, if the corruption can be minimized. Yes, the marketplace is great at assessing value. But no, treating ideas as property overlooks a fundamental fact of nature, which is that copying is easy. Unlike all other forms of property, ideas do not depend upon the physical. Information can be copied endlessly, at virtually no cost. We need other approaches than this crummy hack on traditional property law.

Those who perceive that they have the most to lose (whether or not their perception is correct), are trying to stuff the Internet genie into the property law bottle. It's rather like what Japanese Shoguns did about gunpowder. They outlawed it. Didn't want any uppity peasants being able to compete with the nobility, and guns were a huge equalizer. A few weeks training with a gun and an average peasant could be a good enough shot to have some chance of winning a gunfight. The sword was much harder, and only those who didn't have to spend all their time farming had the time for proper training, thus preserving the nobility's monopoly on power. As long as Japan stayed isolated, the system could be maintained, and was maintained, until foreigners with sufficient firepower came calling. And, the amount of firepower that was sufficient was ludicrously small. The US is well down the path towards a similar rude awakening if we don't change tack. Already the Chinese are advancing from pure cloning to enhancements. So easy to do when one of the "enhancements" is the simple act of not cloning the DRM part! But that's not all they're doing. Some of their knockoffs are actually better quality than the originals. For those who think that's just China, a quick look at 19th century US will find a lot of parallels. In those days, the US shamelessly copied and improved upon British ideas. British complaints about intellectual property theft were largely ignored, and British, in spite of their financial might and their globe spanning empire, were powerless to do much about it. Today, what could the US do if China decided to confront us? We're addicted to cheap Chinese imports. The Chinese have an uncomfortable degree of control over the US dollar's value. So it was with the British-- though they could not seriously contemplate invasion and conquest, they could've really clamped down in other ways except they were too dependent upon cheap American commodities.

Re:Go right past patent reform to abolishment (1)

Qrlx (258924) | more than 7 years ago | (#20210407)

I remained convinced that the entire idea of "Intellectual Property" is broken, contradictory, and senseless.
\strongly agree

If somebody has some beneficial "intellectual property" and they don't want to share it with the rest of the world, doesn't that pretty much make them a selfish, greedy bastard?

Intellectual property law enshrines greed and selfishness. Doesn't sound very "Enlightenment" to me; I wonder what our founding fathers were thinking when they came up with it? Let's have a look.

Article 1, Section 8:
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries

Nothing in there about protecting anyone's profits. The original intent was to promote progress. We have developed a whole body of law which has clearly lost sight of this goal, and in fact it actively works against the very progress it was intended to promote!

This, from what I understand, is a characteristic found throughout large, bureaucratic complex systems. Over time they come to actively hinder the very thing they were attempting to facilitate.

Consider, for example, the fact that the person with the largest influence over your quality of care at the hospital is the person who performs the initial data entry when you check in. In other words, the greatest influence is wielded by one of the least trained, least educated, and lowest paid individuals in the entire organization.

Re:Patent reform (2, Interesting)

Khaed (544779) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207065)

and unlike copyright the limits on duration are not totally insane.

the limits didn't use to be insane on copyrights, either. They were originally fourteen years. I would have no object to copyright at that point: most every NES game, all 80s music, and every book written up to today's date in 1993 would be legally public domain.

Give it time for some chode to get patents made engineer's life plus ninety-nine years...

Re:Patent reform (1)

bit01 (644603) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207459)

Unlike copyright the patent concept is easy to defend.

No it isn't. Since people have not compared it to any alternative, just hand waved without evidence, this statement is nonsense. There is almost no evidence.

The benefit for progress of engineering and technological culture can be logically demonstrated

No it can't. I open a hardware store in a growing town. It's a new, original idea in a new area. Nobody's thought of opening a hardware store there before. The store is successful and somebody else wants to open a competing store. Why shouldn't I be able to get a patent to stop them copying my idea and opening a competing store? Think carefully about your answer. A big problem with patent proponents is that all they've got is a hammer and they think everything is a nail.

- and unlike copyright the limits on duration are not totally insane.

Just mildly insane. And that's ignoring all the other problems with patents including pretending independent invention doesn't exist, ignoring inventions whose time has come, the complete lack of an objective basis for deciding whether an idea is the same or different (that alone is sufficient to show patents as the emperor with no clothes), the silly basis they use for deciding whether an idea is original or not and the idiocy of assuming a small government bureaucracy is capable of assessing all of human invention to decide whether an idea is original or not, not to mention the idiocy of allowing a small government bureaucracy to act as a gatekeeper on all of technology. The list just goes on and on.

---

Creating simple artificial scarcity with copyright and patents on things that can be copied billions of times at minimal cost is a fundamentally stupid economic idea.

Re:Patent reform (1)

penix1 (722987) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207479)

Instead of going through all the gyrations you present here the solution is simple...

Currently, patents carry the presumption of validity in court. The court is taking the Patent Office's word that it has been vetted. When the Patent Office grants patents willy-nilly-neigh, it makes a mess with the current system. Nothing like being found guilty of infringement of an invalid patent! Removing that presumption would shift the burden of proving the patent valid where it belongs. I also believe that just as willful infringement leads to triple damages, willful manipulation of the Patent Office to issue frivolous, obvious, prior-art laden patents should carry triple damages to the holders of such patents. What's good for the goose should be good for the gander.

Re:Patent reform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20209801)

Patents were supposed to be quid pro quo just like copyright, and just like copyright they turned into a mysterious "right" to control "intellectual property". If I can't actually build an interesting and novel machine by studying your patent then you have contributed nothing. Yet, regardless of whether you have contributed anything, modern interpretations of patent law allow you to collect a tax on everyone else doing related work.

Economic analysis of patents shows that they're basically a terrible idea, they cripple your economy by smothering innovation and the /only way/ you can benefit is if you persuade other countries to respect your patents while you routinely ignore theirs, basically getting them to volunteer to subsidise your economy. The US has been moderately successful in achieving this goal, to the extent that probably it breaks even, ie without patents the US would be much the same situation but different, less paper dollars from "patent licenses" but more practical benefit from innovation, meaning an American might have $100 per year less in his pocket yet have the same or better lifestyle.

Patent Office (1)

hummassa (157160) | more than 7 years ago | (#20210023)

IMHO, your steps (1) and (2) [non-numbered bullets, above] should be done also in the Patent Office, before the patent is granted. And to register a pantent, the registrant should bear the burden of proving that (1) his patent is novel and (2) his patent is non-trivial.

Re:Patent reform (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 7 years ago | (#20212067)

I would say that actually the patent as a concept is less defensable than copyright as a concept (barring the many procedural and implementation issues).

The fundamental difference is that if two people working dilligently on a similar idea, one will be granted a 17 year monopoly on the idea and the other will be deprived of his years of blood, sweat, and tears on the basis of who just happens to show up at the patent office first. The patent system ignores that invention is ALWAYS based on other ideas and is practically never derived from first principles. Someone publishes some thought or discovery and then the puzle pieces fall into place. Typically they fall into place for more than one person at about the same time. If 5 people then embark on an effort to reduce the new idea to practice over a period of years, why should only one benefit on the basis of as little as 5 minutes difference getting a rubber stamp applied to his submission while the others are legally barred from benefiting?

By contrast, copyright is much more specific than that. Five writers, all inspired by the same event at the same time can be granted 5 different copyrights no matter who finishes first. All 5 have the opportunity to benefit from their particular work.

Copyright even explicitly does not permit anyone to gain a monopoly on the one and only way to express something while a patent CAN grant a monopoly on the one and only way to do something. Nobody ever has to say "this apple is a primary color that is neither blue or green" in order to avoid infringement for example.

Further, it is far more likely that a court can make a valid judgement on a copyright issue. A patent question is far too likely to require an advanced understanding of engineering for a court to even fully understand what has been patented, much less to decide if another implementation is truly different or just a variation on a theme. Meanwhile, nearly any literate person ( nearly everyone in the first world) can reasonably decide if two passages are the same or not.

Of course, in implementation and practice, the USPTO has thoroughly screwed up any pretense of patents that work by failing to enforce the basic reqirenents of non-obviousness and novelty. Meanwhile Congress has screwed copyright up by redefining it to "whatever Disney wants".

Watch what happens... (5, Funny)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 7 years ago | (#20204483)

[Narrator, Whispering]:
We've secretly replaced their expensive patents with useless Forgent crystals. Let's see if they notice.

[Judge, Cringing]
Ack! I don't like the taste of this one bit - your claim is denied!

[Narrator, Whispering]
Well, there you have it - the legal system can still reject some kinds of landgrabs, when they're wrapped in the form of a patent. We now return you to your regularly scheduled eminent domain rulings.

Ryan Fenton

Re:Watch what happens... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20204679)

We now return you to your regularly scheduled eminent domain rulings.

Ryan Fenton
Ryan Fenton is my regularly scheduled eminent domain ruling?
 

Re:Watch what happens... (1)

alx5000 (896642) | more than 7 years ago | (#20205661)

Let the trademark war [slashdot.org] begin!

Is is Forgent, or Fogent? (1)

debest (471937) | more than 7 years ago | (#20204549)

Unless it's two different patent trolls, I've seen this company's name spelled both ways. Which is right?

Re:Is is Forgent, or Fogent? (1)

debest (471937) | more than 7 years ago | (#20204583)

Guess I should have done the Wikipedia search, before I posted. *sheepish grin*
Please return to your regular routine!

Re:Is is Forgent, or Fogent? (2, Funny)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 7 years ago | (#20205007)

I just renamed the article before you got there. Oops!

Wrong lyrics in your sig (1)

MrNiceguy_KS (800771) | more than 7 years ago | (#20221451)

The line is actually "Or we could fill his ears with cheese balls, and his nostrils with sorbet"

I'd explain that I have a 7-year-old daughter, but I've actually been watching Veggie Tales since college.

Re:Is is Forgent, or Fogent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20204757)

Ideally, I'd spell it "Forget".

Re:Is is Forgent, or Fogent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20205011)

Easy way to remember is to think of forge as in commiting fraud.

Patent trolls? This is bad news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20211435)

Someone is going to collect a license fee for every First Post, Goatse Redirect, In Soviet Russia joke and Natalie Portman/Hot Grits remark? No way!

After the JPEG Patent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20204667)

Anyone knows what happened after 2006 with the money paid to Forgent Networks for the JPEG patent? Did Forgent Networks have to give the money back? Did anyone sue them?

Already extorted? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20204731)

Forgent probably isn't crying that much though, it already extorted $28m from other defendants.

So with this patent invalidated couldn't the other defendants recover their $28m?

Re:Already extorted? (1)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 7 years ago | (#20205521)

this stuff never surprises me but what does surprise me is that someone in the u.s. hasn't decided to fix the situation on their own.. a few years the virginia sniper assassinated a dozen or so people with impunity., greed is what got him caught , he was looking for a grand prize, and the feds never like it when someone wants to take something that belongs to them (money)... with all the loose nuts roaming the streets in the u.s. i'm surprised they haven't taken the law into their own hands already and fixed the "ceo problem" ... the patent trolls, the lawyers, etc .... sometimes it's an unbelievably well behaved society, what makes it that way?

Re:Already extorted? (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207675)

Um... you know the sniper had nothing to do with greed... actually, I digress... apparently not.

He was shooting people around where he thought his ex lived to "scare" her. He got caught because he was napping at a rest stop with his rifle in plain sight.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beltway_sniper_atta cks

Re:Already extorted? (1)

bertieharry (1142089) | more than 7 years ago | (#20213125)

when you settle a patent dispute, you don't usually get the chance to make your payment conditional on the patent remaining in force forever. So Forgent can take the money from Motorola etc and run. In the UK, there was a case where a patent was ruled valid and infringed but before the judge decided on the level of damages, someone else knocked the patent out. When the judge eventually decided on the level of damages, the first company still had to pay because the infringement/validity finding was final and it's not in the public interest to allow 'double jeopardy' where someone has already been through the mill and won. See http://ipkitten.blogspot.com/2004/03/yes-you-can-i nfringe-invalid-patent.html [blogspot.com]

3 strikes and your out... (2, Interesting)

8ball629 (963244) | more than 7 years ago | (#20205713)

How about this for reform? If you file 3 consecutive BS claims, you can no longer file claims for 10 years.

Re:3 strikes and your out... (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 7 years ago | (#20206385)

What's your definition of a "BS claim"?
Will this be defined on a case-by-case basis and at your sole discretion?

Re:3 strikes and your out... (1)

8ball629 (963244) | more than 7 years ago | (#20206461)

I guess I should have clarified. It's based on whether or not they lose the patent case or submit for a patent and are turned down due to it being BS.

Whatever the case, I'm sure it would be better than what we currently have going on.

Re:3 strikes and your out... (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 7 years ago | (#20206545)

I don't think "BS" is one of the grounds of rejection by the PTO.
Which rejections would qualify under your plan?
Would a restriction order count?
What if the applicant successfully amends the claims?

Re:3 strikes and your out... (1)

8ball629 (963244) | more than 7 years ago | (#20206605)

Well obviously I don't know the grounds of rejection by the PTO so I can't answer your first question.

Restriction orders will not count against them... well maybe they should because most people that file claims are indeed insane and should be restricted from trying again and again... restriction orders count as 2 :).

If the claim is successfully amended than the case does not count against them unless they roll a 1.

What is a patent troll? (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 7 years ago | (#20206353)

Forgent Networks, a patent troll, got the slap down

Can someone define this epithet?
Seeing it used to describe a company in an article as if were an unquestionable fact is just strange to me.

Here's a hypothetical:
Dr. X invents some ingenious gizmo and receives a patent from the PTO.
He has no manufacturing capability and wishes to license the patent to manufacturers rather than manufacture himself.
I'm a manufacturer of gizmos and I read his recently issued patent at uspto.gov.
I think there is profit in it, so I begin manufacturing the device without his permission.
He sues me for infringement.
Is Dr. X therefore a "patent troll?"

And what does validity have to do with "trolliness?"
If his patent is invalid, then it's invalid whether or not he manufacturers the device.
The validity of his patent seems to be an ENTIRELY distinct issue.
And yet people use the word "troll" as if it had meaning.
As if anyone who does not manufacture the patented invention should have all of his patents declared invalid. But this would defeat the entire purpose of the patent system.
Everyone would keep their inventions as trade secrets.
Can anyone explain this to me?

Either you really don't understand.... (4, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | more than 7 years ago | (#20206621)

...or you're the troll. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt for now. You make the mistake of assuming that patents are filed by genuine inventors and that the patent office actually give a crap about what they pass.

The scenario you describe is NOTHING like what we see in real life. Dr. X in your situation is absolutely not a patent troll.

Now, Mr. Y on the other hand, he spends his time (with Mr Z, his IP lawyer) thinking up as many spurious and badly worded patents as possible. He tries to make them vague, but kinda new sounding. Occasionally he likes to throw in something someone else has already done.

Mr Z sends these off to the US patent office who take his money and grant his patents without researching what they mean or what they really cover.

Later, Y and Z take companies to court over products which may or may not infringe on these really badly worded patents. These companies are using things that are either standard, obvious or their own invention. A lot of them pay up to avoid court, especially given how rare it is for costs to be awarded to defendants.

This is exactly what Y and Z want, this is what makes Y and Z trolls. They haven't invented a thing, yet they try to extort money from those that do.

Re:Either you really don't understand.... (-1, Troll)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 7 years ago | (#20206709)

you're the troll
This is exactly my point. People use the meaningless word troll as a flame when they don't have anything intelligent to say.
You know what? It doesn't make you right.
Anyone can call anyone a troll.
Watch:
NO, YOU'RE A TROLL.

See? Does that prove my point?
No, it's just childish name-calling.
I can't believe I even replied to a troll like you.

Re:Either you really don't understand.... (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207119)

Umm, no, it's legitimate use.

Either you didn't understand why people were calling these companies "trolls" or you were deliberately misrepresenting the situation in order to stir things up - trolling. It's sometimes difficult to tell which.

My last post is anything but a flame or a troll, in fact I described the reason these companies are labelled "trolls" quite calmly and simply I thought.

ANyway, never mind, you clearly don't understand what the word "troll" actually means in these contexts, nor wish to. OR perhaps you are again misrepresenting things in order to provoke a reaction. Either way I'm done. Bye.

Re:Either you really don't understand.... (-1, Troll)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208415)

Ya neat.
I stopped reading after you called me a "troll."
People tend to stop listening to A-holes like you when you personally insult them over an academic issue.
Go F yourself, A-hole.
And thanks for proving my point, you childish little "troll."

Re:Either you really don't understand.... (1)

Khaed (544779) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208807)

Well, since you stopped reading his post, allow me:

A patent troll is someone who simply files or acquires as many patents as possible IN ORDER to sue. Forgent is well known for this, I believe.

Oh, and he never called you a troll, it was an either/or situation, something most people understand after they mature a bit. Lighten up a bit... jackass. (note that you had to read my post to get that far)

Re:Either you really don't understand.... (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 7 years ago | (#20209245)

LOL
OK here's one for you mister mature guy:
Either your mom is a whore or she just sucks a lot of penises.

Man.
I should have known better than to pick a fight with the five-year-old name-calling crowd.

Re:Either you really don't understand.... (0, Troll)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 7 years ago | (#20209263)

BTW,
WHAT ELSE would you do with a patent, besides sue on it?

You do realize that the one and only right that a patent gives you is a right to sue others for infringement. Or do you have absolutely no understanding of patent law?

So by your definition, anyone who ever purchased/acquired a patent would be a "patent troll." Maybe you just have no idea what you're talking about.
Which makes me the dumb one for even bothering to respond to your inane babel.

Re:Either you really don't understand.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20211597)

God! You are an idiot, please just shut up

Re:Either you really don't understand.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20207413)

You're an idiot. I bet you work for Forgent - you're entirely retarded and nonsensical enough for that not to be much of a stretch.

DIAF.

Re:Either you really don't understand.... (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208315)

-1 Flamebait??
I think you meant -1 Troll.

Re:Either you really don't understand.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20208829)

Did you even READ what the guy wrote back to you, Absolut? You asked someone to explain it to you, (s)he writes a fairly erudite explanation in response to what you asked, and you respond with an ad hominem attack. That makes you an idiot! Please get the hell off of Slashdot, you fucking moron, and STAY OFF! We don't need your kind here.

Re:Either you really don't understand.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20213949)

Please get the hell off of Slashdot, you fucking moron, and STAY OFF! We don't need your kind here.
That's rich, coming from you.

Re:Either you really don't understand.... (0, Troll)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208531)

I was bored, so I decided to read past the part where you call me a "troll."

These companies are using things that are either standard, obvious or their own invention.
First of all, the PTO is not supposed to issue patents that are obvious or anticipated by prior art. If you feel that the PTO is issuing such patents, then you have a problem with the PTO, and therefore with the United States Congress.

Second, I find it amusing that you stressed their own invention.
You see, if company A invents something and KEEPS IT SECRET, while company B later invents something and MAKES IT KNOWN TO THE PUBLIC IN THE FORM OF A PATENT, then company B SHOULD BE entitled to patent rights. This is the quid-pro-quo of the patent system.
If you knew anything at all about patent law, you would already know that.
Usually, company A is allowed to continue practicing the invention despite company B's patent, but this right would be unique to company A.
Anyway, I just thought I would educate you a little, since I was bored.

Re:Either you really don't understand.... (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 7 years ago | (#20210213)

On some levels we agree - I do think that the PTO is failing miserably in its job and have a huge problem with the patents its isuing. The whole "patent troll" issue involves companies who are abusing this.

Now, if you are of the opinion that as long as a corporationis within the letter of the law then everything is fine with the world then you won't see a problem with this. Some people, however, consider it immoral regardless of how the system is set up, to claim ownership of and money from the inventions of others just because the broken system allows you to.

"You see, if company A invents something and KEEPS IT SECRET, while company B later invents something and MAKES IT KNOWN TO THE PUBLIC IN THE FORM OF A PATENT, then company B SHOULD BE entitled to patent rights. This is the quid-pro-quo of the patent system."

You again miss the point - company B haven't invented anything, they've used the failing of the PTO to obtain patents on things that they have no claim to have invented.

Re:Either you really don't understand.... (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 7 years ago | (#20216195)

You again miss the point - company B haven't invented anything, they've used the failing of the PTO to obtain patents on things that they have no claim to have invented.

No, you again miss the point. I said company B invented it later - I didn't say company B stole the invention from Company A. Independent invention is possible.
And the patent system, RIGHTLY, rewards those who disclose the invention to the public rather than keeping the invention secret and only using it themselves.

Some people, however, consider it immoral regardless of how the system is set up, to claim ownership of and money from the inventions of others just because the broken system allows you to.

Why is it immoral to claim ownership of an invention you didn't invent yourself, but purchased from the inventor? Are you suggesting that patents should be inalienable, and only the inventor may ever own the patent rights to his invention?
If this were the law, every single scientist/engineer in R&D across the country would be laid off overnight. Nobody is going to invest billions in R&D if patent rights are not transferable. So to call someone a "troll" because they purchased the patent from the inventor is just plain silly name-calling.

I'm no supporter of invalid patents. Invalid patents should be invalidated by courts.
Inequitable conduct before the patent office or before standard-setting organizations should be more aggressively prosecuted as antitrust violations.

But calling every patent plaintiff a "troll" is something a 3rd-grade kid would do.

Sod off moron. (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 7 years ago | (#20251731)

"Why is it immoral to claim ownership of an invention you didn't invent yourself, but purchased from the inventor? Are you suggesting that patents should be inalienable, and only the inventor may ever own the patent rights to his invention?"

It's not. You're an idiot troll. Fuck off.

I said that the scenario you paint is not what's happening in the real world.

Re:Sod off moron. (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 7 years ago | (#20263079)

It's not. You're an idiot troll. Fuck off.

Thanks for proving my point.. again.

All you have is name-calling.

Grow up, you're pathetic.

Re:Sod off moron. (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 7 years ago | (#20286327)

Actually, name calling was the refuge I took when well reasoned argument failed to penetrate the thick outer shell of idiocy that seem to surround your brain.

But that's ok, tell yourself I'm the pathetic one when you came to slashdot just to piss off other people, what s asad little life you must have.

Re:Sod off moron. (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 7 years ago | (#20287169)

Actually name-calling was the first place you went because you are a 5-year-old trapped in a fat middle-aged man's body.

Pathetic (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#20291863)

Is that all you've got? OMG! U R Fat!

It's clear who's the child in this exchange, both to its participants and observers. And it's not me bub.

Re:Pathetic (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | about 7 years ago | (#20301135)

"And it's not me bub."

Is so!
Troll.

INFORMATIVE?? (0, Flamebait)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 7 years ago | (#20209353)

LOL. Even retards get mod points I guess..
So your definition of "patent troll" is anyone with "badly worded" patents?
Who decides what "badly worded" means?
YOU?

Here's my impression of you:
---
Man, these patent trolls just get patents so they can sue people man.
It's like the only reason they got the patent was so they can sue people.
And the only reason they sue people is to get MONEY, man.
And PLUS, their patents are all, like, badly worded and stuff, man.
They're like, vague, and stuff.
Oh, and they have lawyers too.
And their lawyers only work because they're getting PAID TO man.
And most of them are BIG CORPORATIONS man.
And they're all CORPORATION-Y.
The only reason they started the corporation was to get MONEY, man.
And the only reason they bought the patents was to SUE PEOPLE with em, man.
So they're trolls. Get it?
---

This is basically your position.
You're a name-calling idiot who knows nothing about patent law, but likes to spout off.

Let me explain something to you:
There is only thing you can EVER do with a patent: Sue people.
A patent is not a defense to anything.
It does not make a good blanket.
It has no nutritional value.

You may have a solid argument for changes at the PTO or for a complete revision of the ENTIRE PATENT SYSTEM (which is embodied in the U.S. Constitution) but name-calling and throwing around words like "troll" do not an intelligent discussion make.

No matter how man idiots with mod points think otherwise.

Lol retard. (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 7 years ago | (#20210233)

"Let me explain something to you:
There is only thing you can EVER do with a patent: Sue people.
"

Tell that to IBM, the world's most prolific patent filer. They make a lot of money licensing patents.

Your impression of me is stupid and incorrect. Troll.

Re:Lol retard. (2, Funny)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 7 years ago | (#20212259)

Oh, wow, you got me. Somebody mod that +4 informative.
Let me ask you something: Why would anyone pay licensing royalties?
Answer:
A) Because its really fun to write checks
B) To avoid being sued for patent infringement.

A patent does not give you the right to collect royalties.
A patent gives you the right to sue for infringement.
Royalties are what companies pay to avoid being sued.

You obviously know nothing at all about patent law.
But your position is contra intellectual property rights, so all the little nerds with mod points rate you +1.
Hey, I feel like getting modded up.
Watch this:

D00D, PATENTS R STUPID.
ANYONE WHO SUES FOR PATENT INFRINGEMENT IS A PATENT TROLL.
DOWN WITH THE PATENT AND COPYRIGHT CARTELS!!

Slashdot modders are sheep.

Re:Lol retard. (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 7 years ago | (#20212357)

OH, and BTW:
IBM is on the list of patent trolls at Wikipedia.
Along with University of California for suing Microsoft.
We all know both of those institutions do significant R&D work and probably contribute a fair chunk of actual innovation to society. And yet any idiot with a Wikipedia account can add them to the list of "patent trolls".

This entire conversation has done nothing but prove my point:
That "Patent Troll" is a pejorative term that any idiot can throw around on the internet.
Just like any idiot can call me a troll on the internet, and just like I can respond to said idiot by calling him a troll as well.

What I think is informative about your first post is that the first three words were "you're the troll". Your argument is at the 5th-grade name-calling level, which is apparently where most slashdotters are at. Enjoy your mediocrity.

Re:What is a patent troll? (1)

NoOneInParticular (221808) | more than 7 years ago | (#20206637)

Your Dr. X is not a patent troll. Forgent is a patent troll. So is Acacia. Patent trolls do not have inventors, they have lawyers. They buy up a patents here and there from inventors, and will try to find a company that produces something that is seemingly operating in a business connected to these patents. Then they sue. They will not investigate if the patent covers the business at all, they just start to harass and threaten. It's a very smudgy business, patent trolling, but apparently profitable.

Re:What is a patent troll? (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 7 years ago | (#20206727)

They buy up a patents here and there from inventors
So you have a problem with transferability of patent rights?
Inventors should not be allowed to assign their patent rights?
OK. Interesting suggestion.
But you still haven't explained what makes someone a "patent troll".
Please give a definition, not an example.

Is it anyone who purchases patent rights from an inventor?
Or only a subset of these people? For instance, is it only those who purchase patent rights and fail to manufacture the patented invention?

Re:What is a patent troll? (1)

NoOneInParticular (221808) | more than 7 years ago | (#20209579)

Oh man. If you'd be truly interested in the subject (instead of trolling), it would take two seconds to get definitions, descriptions and examples of patent trolls. Maybe type if 'patent troll' in a google search box and be done with it.

Re:What is a patent troll? (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 7 years ago | (#20209707)

Sure, and thanks for name-calling, it really supports my position that your side is a just a bunch of name-calling 5-year-olds.

How about Wikipedia:
Patent troll is a pejorative term used for a person or company that enforces its patents against one or more alleged infringers in a matter considered unduly aggressive or opportunistic... "Patent troll" is a controversial neologism, susceptible to multiple definitions.
It is a pejorative term.
AKA an epithet.
AKA name-calling.

You can read the history of the term at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_troll [wikipedia.org]
But what you won't find there is any objective definition, because there isn't one.
It is a pejorative. So using it in articles is just plain unprofessional, even for Slashdot. It's like if the article said:
"A computer user who guys by the internet name NoOneInParticular, is a stupid asshat who trolls on internet forums. He announced today that he will seek psychiatric treatment for his pedophilia."
It might be true to me that you are a troll, but it wouldn't be true to you.
And that is my point.

Re:What is a patent troll? (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 7 years ago | (#20209733)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_patent_trolls [wikipedia.org]

Dude.
Forgent isn't on the list.
I win. LOL.

Re:What is a patent troll? (1)

Khaed (544779) | more than 7 years ago | (#20212937)

Yes, because Wikipedia is the be-all, end-all of definitions and information...

Re:What is a patent troll? (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 7 years ago | (#20212969)

Joke.
Laugh.

I'm the one arguing that "patent troll" is meaningless anyway, remember?
So Obviously this was sarcasm.

Re:What is a patent troll? (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208555)

Great, we're getting toward a definition.
A patent troll company:
A) has lawyers.
B) owns patents
C) buys patents from other companies/inventors
D) sues people.

Apparently every tech corporation in the U.S. is a patent troll.

Re:What is a patent troll? (1)

NoOneInParticular (221808) | more than 7 years ago | (#20209461)

E) And getting revenue out of litigation is its sole source of revenue.

And with E we've narrowed it down to the actual patent trolls.

Re:What is a patent troll? (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 7 years ago | (#20209629)

E) And getting revenue out of litigation is its sole source of revenue.

OK, now we're getting somewhere.
But I don't think we're done, because I have another hypothetical for you:

Dr. X, again, has no manufacturing capacity.
Again, I begin manufacturing the patented invention without permission.

This time, instead of filing his patent infringement lawsuit pro se, Dr. X decides he would like to be represented by counsel, so he goes looking for investors.
He finds Mr. Z, a wealthy investor. They form a corporation.
Mr. Z contributes the capital and Dr. X contributes his patent.

Using Mr. Z's money to pay the lawyers, the corporation files suit against me for patent infringement.
So the corporation is a patent troll under our revised definition because its sole income is from patent litigation.
Meaning Dr. X is now a patent troll because he wanted to hire IP lawyers?

Re:What is a patent troll? (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 7 years ago | (#20212413)

No response?
Let me just fill it in for you.
"PATENTS R BAD"
"+1 Informative"

OK.
You win.

Re:What is a patent troll? (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 7 years ago | (#20263251)

Well, "NoOneInParticular" you've had a whole week to think of a response...
Still no answer?
You could at least call me a troll again.
It would probably get you modded +1 insightful.

Re:What is a patent troll? (1)

Alyred (667815) | more than 7 years ago | (#20206923)

Essentially, as used in this article, a "patent troll" is a company that does nothing but holds patents, but also goes above and beyond that by registering patents with very little technical background or a very general idea, sits on them for a few years, and then sues the pants off of anyone who uses that idea or technology AFTER said "patent infringer" has invested millions in the infrastructure and has become completely dependent on whatever the patent covers.

"Patent trolls" will also buy patents off of others for a pittance and then sue alleged violators.

The example you used is a legitimate use of the patent laws.

Re:What is a patent troll? (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 7 years ago | (#20207077)

but also goes above and beyond that by registering patents with very little technical background or a very general idea
It seems to me that your argument is against the PTO issuing invalid patents.
Which is a perfectly reasonable argument.
But until you see the patent at issue, how do you know whether it is invalid or not, without even reading it?
I guess what I don't understand is the rush to label anyone who sues as a "patent troll" without understanding the patent or the law..

Also, regarding the waiting to sue issue - there are equitable doctrines known as "laches" and "estoppel" for these situations. If the court finds that they are engaging in this type of activity, relief can be denied.

"Patent trolls" will also buy patents off of others for a pittance and then sue alleged violators.
So the problem with "patent trolls" is that they paid too little for the assignment?
Sure, it sucks to be the engineer working at IBM on salary who invents a billion-dollar device and has no rights because of the contract he signed - but that's a contract issue, not a patent-law issue.

Re:What is a patent troll? (1)

Alyred (667815) | more than 7 years ago | (#20216371)

But until you see the patent at issue, how do you know whether it is invalid or not, without even reading it?
I guess what I don't understand is the rush to label anyone who sues as a "patent troll" without understanding the patent or the law..


True, I wasn't defending the OP but defining the statement. However, this company has made a history of doing these practices and while generalizations aren't always true, they do generally have a nugget of truth in there.

Also, regarding the waiting to sue issue - there are equitable doctrines known as "laches" and "estoppel" for these situations. If the court finds that they are engaging in this type of activity, relief can be denied.

Also true, however, this doesn't preclude the company filing for relief being a troll in the first place -- perhaps knowingly filing a fraudulent claim and hoping that the company can either be forced to settle for cheaper than lawyer fees or perhaps win on a technicality. Regardless of whether relief is granted or not, there have been some small-time inventors that have unknowingly tread on an idea that's somewhat similar to a patent held by someone else, and been ruined once the company currently holding the IP comes knockin'.

So the problem with "patent trolls" is that they paid too little for the assignment?

Well, this isn't quite what I meant -- though your point about it being more of a contract issue is valid. I was thinking more along the lines of the small inventor, who can be coerced into selling off the patents to a holding company like this one for far under what they might be worth, and then the company hiding those patents away with no intention of using them or developing product, then waiting to actively ruin products that come out of other inventors, if they think they can squeeze money from them. If they can't, they'll wait until the product becomes big before suing, rather than immediately coming forward and saying that their patent might be violated and working with the inventor or company to come to a mutually-beneficial deal. See RIM's recent patent fiasco over the Blackberry.

My worry is that these IP holding companies that don't have any intention of developing products on the patents that they hold are stifling innovation. It's not that they don't have enough money to start production of some of the patents that they have, it's that they would rather wait like a trapdoor spider for another poor sucker/inventor to come along, and then bleed them for all they are worth, then wait for the next. It's not as though the company will develop their own version of the product after gaining "relief" -- I'm not aware of it happening a single time.

Re:What is a patent troll? (1)

ShinmaWa (449201) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208001)

Can someone define this epithet?
What I don't understand is why you have responded to the several people have attempted to explain this 'epithet' to you quite antagonistically and even with abject hostility. It is almost as if those answering the question were somehow insulting you personally, which is just as strange to me as the epithet is to you.

I'm not going to attempt to explain what has already been explained several times before. You already know the answer, or can figure it out easily enough if you put your mind to it. I don't think you are actually interested in doing that though. In the words of the immortal Shakespeare you "doth protest too much, methinks."

Re:What is a patent troll? (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208351)

The only hostility was directed at the poster who called me, personally, a "troll".
Other than that, no hostility was intended.

And did you not notice that every definition was different from the other and completely vague and arbitrary?

"Troll" is the equivalent of A-hole.
If you don't like someone you call them either one.
But nobody is literally a "troll", just as nobody is literally a sphincter.
It is just a meaningless insult.

I think its funny that the very first response was to call me a troll.
But you quoted shakespeare so you win. I bow down.

Re:What is a patent troll? (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208401)

One other thing... why don't you stop trolling?
Troll.

If you are puzzled by my hostile response to someone who flamed my first post by calling me a "troll" then you are probably puzzled by a lot of things.

Why did you even bother to post? Your comment adds nothing, other than trolling.
Oh, and I might also point out that you completely failed to answer my original question.
Why don't you go back and read my responses to the two who didn't call me a "troll" for asking what it meant?
I think you'll find that they are not hostile at all.
Obviously you side with the camp that desperately wants to believe that the word "troll" has some indisputable meaning, so you decide to try to argue with me.
I think you doth protest too much.
Stop trolling my thread, A-hole.

Re:What is a patent troll? (1)

Khaed (544779) | more than 7 years ago | (#20208839)

It's pretty clear to me that he can only barely read. Expecting him to have a reasoned discourse with anyone is like expecting George Bush to pronounce nuclear correctly. It's just not going to happen. (Hint, George: There's ONE "u" in nuclear!)

I looked at some of his other posts, and pretty he's pretty much just a jackass. Or maybe I just feel like bitching at people on /. tonight, I can't be sure.

Re:What is a patent troll? (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 7 years ago | (#20209389)

Hint, George: There's ONE "u" in nuclear!

O-K...
I'll be sure to tell him next time I see him..
Thanks for contributing!

Re:What is a patent troll? (1)

ShinmaWa (449201) | more than 7 years ago | (#20212855)

Based on his calm, reasoned, mature responses to me, I can't help but to agree with you, Khaed.

One small question (1)

thePig (964303) | more than 7 years ago | (#20212953)

Since patent is supposed to support the innovative spirit, cant they have different patent filing fee slabs depending on the wealth of the filer?
Basically, if the patent is filed by an garage inventor, the cost for patenting is much less than if it by a multinational company, which can anyway afford it.

Thus, by hiking the cost of patenting high enough, we would be able to reduce the effect of patent trolls, or the companies patenting every small thing, whereas, for the individual it would be better since the cost for him will actually decrease.

Along with this, the patent examiner will be able to better review the patents because a) there will be lesser no of patents and b) there is much more money going around - so more patent examiners can be recruited.

Shouldnt this help?

Thank god for EchoStar (1)

zimm0who0net (900786) | more than 7 years ago | (#20212977)

They're really the only company out there that almost NEVER gives in on these things, even if it makes financial sense to do so. If there were just 10 more companies like EchoStar then this whole problem would cease to exist.
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