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Fighting Software Patents

Tim Bray writes:

 > At 05:34 PM 11/01/01 +0100, Daniel Veillard wrote:
 > >  I will just note that exhibiting prior art is not sufficient.
 > >You also need some legal action to take place before getting a
 > >patent removed, right ? (I would be soooo happy if I was wrong !)
 > If the patent holder chooses to defend it, typical legal costs to 
 > get one stricken down are about a million dollars. -Tim

Just so.  If I were doing my own startup, I might need to reserve at
least USD 1M in cash or credit to fight the inevitable nuisance
patents from the US, even though I live in a country that has not
(yet) been bullied into recognizing software patents itself.

I put a lot of the blame on venture capital firms -- they have
intellectual property as an automatic checklist item, so people have
to do bogus software patents just to get funding.  I very much doubt
that the VCs will look at their current crop of dot.complete-disasters
and reflect on how little the software patents helped them (I don't
think that learning from your mistakes appears on their checklists).

All the best,


David Megginson                 david@megginson.com