Tuesday, March 14, 2006

PATENT TROLLS!

The Denver Post had an article this past Sunday discussing the fearsome “patent troll” (you may want to read the article before proceeding). Apparently, a Patent Troll is anyone who (i) had a great idea, (ii) reduced the invention to practice, (iii) filed a patent application, (iv) received a valid United States Patent, and then (v) had the gall to request a giant multi-national company to pay for the right to use the invention. Oh, how terrible.

Doesn’t the enterprising, entrepreneurial, forward thinking and intelligent independent inventor know better than to THINK about how to solve problems that confront business, society and industry! How dare they?! After all this is AMERICA and how can we permit the small guy (or gal) to be on a level playing field with the multi-national corporation!

Is it really fair that one person (or a small group), who beat out a huge corporation with thousands of engineers and designers and a multimillion dollar R&D budget in resolving a problem of at least some significance (as evidenced by the fact the huge corporation saw fit to implement the invention), expects to derive a little wealth from his (her) ingenuity? Don’t these trolls realize that the multimillion dollar salaries are reserved for upstanding corporate CEOs that include such pillars of community as Ken Lay, Joe Naccio and Jeffery Skilling in their ranks?

This is AMERICA! We can’t expect the huge corporations to compete with the pitiful little troll. It’s like asking dinosaurs to compete against tiny pesky mammalian rodents. It’s like asking the King to grant independence to a bunch of silly men dressed as Native Americans parading around Boston Harbor drinking coffee instead of tea. It’s like allowing a few hundred ungrateful students to gather in a far eastern square and protest the oppressive policies of their government. IF these trolls are permitted to continue, what will become of this Nation?

(Huge Corporation): NOT FAIR, NOT FAIR, NOT FAIR! And if you don’t do as I want, I am going to shower Washington with hundreds of high paid lobbyists, I am going fill the campaign coffers of all the congressman and women I can buy, and I am going to wage a vicious PR campaign to paint you as Beelzebub’s minion and me as God’s angelic right hand. We must stifle competition at all costs!

And is this the one sided fight where David is killing the poor hapless Goliath. Not on your life! Some of the very corporations that complain about trolls are some of the biggest players of the patent game. Do you think they think twice about squashing a start-up that is infringing one of their thousands of patents? You just don’t hear about it; the squashed and penniless cannot afford to pay their PR firm.

OK, my sarcastic rant is over. Time to get back to doing some work. Who knows maybe the very application I am working on is one that will bring a corporate giant to their knees. Viva La Troll!

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