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Defensive Patents, Other Fairy Tales

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Feb. 5th, 2008 | 09:32 pm

"Defensive patents" make as much sense as leaving a loaded gun around the house. Like a home robbery, it is more likely it will be used against the home owner then the intruder.

If you have an idea, publish it to establish prior art. Patent trolls come from patent houses that produce no products. This means that they
cannot be counter sued. The fallacy with defensive patents is assuming you will ever use it as a weapon.

What should you really fear? The company you work for changes direction or goes under. It then sells the patent, and the patent ends up in the hands of a patent house.

Trust the people you know running your company?

If you do not, you should be finding a different employer.

But what about the next guy?

You can never know.

The solution is to establish prior art. Defensive patenting just continues the cycle of software patents.

Break the cycle.

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Comments {4}

Irrevocable promise?

from: dmarti
date: Feb. 6th, 2008 09:14 pm (UTC)

Red Hat has a "Promise on Software Patents". I have talked to a lawyer who said it still applies even if control of RHT were to change.

I can see one use for a patent portfolio licensed this way: cross-licensing with a proprietary vendor. RHT could offer another company a license to use its patents in proprietary software in exchange for the other company putting some of its patents under a similar patent promise.

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