· Naughties
· · 2005
· · · May
· · · · 28 (2 entries)

Patent Reform? · I was read­ing Busi­ness Week and they had a lit­tle com­mer­cial sec­tion with ads from law firm­s. A cou­ple of them were intellectual-property spe­cial­ists and I snarled in­ter­nal­ly; what­ev­er you think about patent law, as a long­time busi­ness­man I’m pret­ty con­vinced that the IP law pro­fes­sion, while it con­tains many good and in­tel­li­gent peo­ple, is col­lec­tive­ly a gi­ant leech suck­ing mon­ey and time out of the com­mu­ni­ty of in­no­va­tors. Hav­ing said that, two of the lawyers’ blurbs jumped out at me; both about pro­posed US leg­is­la­tion which would in­sti­tute a new pro­cess, with­in the PTO as op­posed to the court­s, for a quick chal­lenge to the va­lid­i­ty of a paten­t. This is im­por­tan­t, be­cause to­day, de­fend­ing your­self against patent-infringement lit­i­ga­tion is in­sane­ly ex­pen­sive, $1M and up, way up. This is why most com­pa­nies, in par­tic­u­lar small com­pa­nies, roll over and set­tle quick­ly when they get hit with this kind of law­suit, no mat­ter how dopey the patent is. Here are the two re­port­s: De­fend­ing Against Pa­tent Green­mail (which be­gins Pa­tent “trolls” are cur­rent­ly the sub­ject of much dis­cus­sion...; most IP spe­cial­ists don’t like to ad­mit that patent trolls ex­ist, but they do) and New USPTO Post-Grant Pa­tent Op­po­si­tion Leg­is­la­tion on Hori­zon. I think the high-tech busi­ness com­mu­ni­ty ought to get be­hind this leg­is­la­tion, big-time. Every­one ex­cept the patent troll­s.
Putting the Soft Back in Software · Check out Bill de hÓra’s No More Nail­s: Mak­ing Good Tech­nol­o­gy Choic­es. I’m not sure that Bill’s nails-vs-screws metaphor works that well, but he says some re­al­ly smart things about how en­ter­prise soft­ware is done. By the way, Paul Hoff­man and I re­cent­ly ap­point­ed Bill co-editor of the Atom Pub­lish­ing Pro­to­col draft, in prepa­ra­tion for the fi­nal charge to the fin­ish line; I ex­pect great things. (Of course, the IETF’s lamentable all-ASCII-all-the-time pub­lish­ing pol­i­cy will keep Bill’s name from show­ing up prop­er­ly on the cov­er).
author · Dad · software · colophon · rights
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