colinneagle writes "Just like the organization of which Don Fanucci was part of in the Godfather, Part II, there is another "organization" today seeking to "wet their beak" every time some company comes up with a new or better way to use technology. This "Patent Mafia" is building patent stockpiles like the US and USSR stockpiled nuclear missiles at the height of the cold war. A difference between the real Mafia and the Patent Mafia is that the Patent Mafia actually uses the government and the courts to strong arm and enforce their will.
The lawsuits are raging all across the tech world. Oracle sues Google, Yahoo sues Facebook, they counter-sue. Others threaten, others buy more patents and the circle goes round and round.
Don't be fooled by the lawsuits between these tech titans though. The real cost that the patent mafia extracts from the tech world is on the smaller companies who can't afford to battle the Apples and Microsofts of the world. Their choices are far simpler. They can abandon their innovations or they can choose to pay and allow the Mafiosos to wet their beaks. Also, don't be fooled about who the real losers are here. The the real losers are you and me. We lose out on being able to leverage innovative new ideas and technologies that come to market or have to pay more for them so that the the mafia can wet its beak.
This system of software patents has been called out by many. While companies are certainly entitled to the fruits of their inventions, many of these patent rackets are based on patents improperly issued, improperly enforced or improperly applied."
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