Lists Home |
Date Index |
You (Fuller, etc.) don't have to form a union.
That is what a standards keiretsu is. It mutually indemnifies
members who contribute technology. Contractually, it is the
best defense because it both protects against predation and
it creates standards. Check the membership or participation
agreements closely. Otherwise in areas such as 3D, we
see companies such as Intel with deep pockets attempting
to create faux standards (see 3DIF) and using their muscle
to make client companies acquiesce.
Microsoft has a neat variation on that theme. They hire
marketing companies to create so-called 'alliances' that
are actually marketing fronts who sponsor the use of their
technology (say BizTalk) in markets where they want to
obtain presence particularly where they have been rebuffed
by the large government clients. By combining this with
predatory patents, they can muscle the companies with
legitimate presence in those markets to join (and offering
other incentives). I say neat because this is legal.
There is an excellent article on CNet from the HBS that
models the Microsoft vs Linux battle and how MS can maintain
their hegemony particularly if they enable piracy of their
own OS products.
The game could be played both ways if the standards keiretsu
virtuously and rapidly begin to copyright code and patent
operating systems concepts. It is a horse race to see who
outlicenses whom. It is the software equivalent of the
right-wing 'nuclear option' in American politics (vote
away the right to filibuster).
The ultimate result is a sharp increase in piracy.
ps: reading the mail further, I see Mike C. makes
the same analogy. It's MAD for sure. What me worry?
From: Alan Gutierrez [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
I've often thought of some sort of patent union for small
firms, open source developers, a treaty organization. The Apache
2.0 License does something like this.
One could use the resource that Len has proposed, to assist
individuals in authoring their patent applications, perhaps
partnering with a legal team that would integrate in a way that
their hours per application is affortable.