Thursday, March 23, 2006

Patent trolls (continued)

It took a little while but others are getting in on the patent troll discussion. A few weeks back, in the light of the Blackberry/NTP settlement, I speculated whether patent trolls were receiving a bad rap. The argument likened them to middlemen who saved legitimate innovators time in securing intellectual property rights.

Now the New York Times and Wall Street Journal have gotten in on the act. The WSJ points to the general flaws in the patent system including the process of patent examination. Specifically, it points out that, in many respects, most universities are like patent trolls -- securing patents but not commercialising innovations. Indeed, in that respect, Universities are exactly like trolls in that they have fortunately gone and secured IP protection. In the past, their innovations might not have even been brought to that stage. And without that commercialisers would have no chance in securing IP before launching products (as the ideas would already have been deemed to have been invented).

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