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the corporations that we love to hate still provide good
employment for a lot of people...
nothing beats the training you get working for a
big efficient company...
whilst small businesses may actually provide more of a
percentage of the jobs in our societies.....
try living in a country with no big companies.. big
gready banks... etc.. not that I do now... but I can tell
you that without the big companies.. life really
but if we don't have the big companies to poke fun at..
Quoting Michael Champion <email@example.com>:
> On 6/5/05, M. David Peterson <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > I doubt any official or non official comment could (or should) be made
> > by an MS blue badge
> Ignoring Mr. Peterson's sound advice ..... :-) I'm not going to touch
> the legal issues or the specific patent discussion here other than to
> say that people really need to do some searching on the general
> subject of patents and the software industry before getting all worked
> up about individual patents of the sort that pretty much all the big
> companies get on a regular basis. I think you'll find a lot more "dog
> bites gorilla" stories than "gorilla stomps on poor widdul puppy"
> scenarios that some of the posts in this thread speculate about.
> From what I recall, and from what I came up with in some quick
> Googling, there are far, far more lawsuits by little companies (often
> those whose only asset is some IP they have purchased) against the big
> companies than actual examples of big companies using dodgy patents to
> crush the competition.
> The reality today is that the major companies are generally *targets*
> of IP lawsuits. [I claim no expertise here ... counter examples are
> welcome] For example, see
> http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1661094,00.asp "We think part of
> that is the phenomenon that many companies that did not survive the
> burst of the dot-com bubble were left with nothing but a portfolio of
> patents from which to make money." One example about which I know a
> little: The company that developed the terminal applet that ships with
> Windows and whose tidy niche in selling terminal emulation software
> for the BBS systems of the 80's and '90s was destroyed by the
> internet, got more than $60 million from Symantec after years of
> litigation over a very broad patent on virus filtering during file
> Note that they never accused Symantec of stealing their (primitive and
> no-longer-effective) technique; their patent covered essentially the
> very concept of virus filtering during file transfer. The real
> villian is the USPTO for ever issuing such a broad patent on a fairly
> obvious idea that many people came up with more or less
> simultaneously. (The others never dreamed that the idea was
> patentable, I guess).
> It's quite true that IBM gets a very big chunk of money from
> licensing its IP portfolio (1-2 billion $ per year?) and the other big
> companies wish they could as well. All major software companies AFAIK
> encourage their employees to submit patent applications when they
> come up with what appears to be a novel, non-obvious, and useful
> technique. Whether these are actually patentable is the USPTO's
> business to determine. If the patent in question is indeed bogus,
> look to the USPTO's incompetence, not some evil plotting, for the
> source of the problem.
> Even patents that aren't plausible money-makers on the IP licensing
> market can be very valuable to companies as *defenses* against
> nuisance lawsuits. Look at IBM's counterclaims against "The SCO
> Group" -- lots of patent infringement claims that IBM could not
> plausibly initiate against a competitor, but are fair game to use
> against lawsuit scammers. The best defense in these cases is a good
> offense. "You are suing us for infringing your patent on hashtables,
> eh? Well, you're infringing our patents on half of Computer Science
> 101 and here's a 1000-page countersuit." Deep sigh.
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