response to noisychannel on patents
Since few are objecting to that patents are DESIGNED to help individuals and small firms, I’d like to present some facts. Studies have shown that only 2% of patents issued recover their investment, and only 1% make significant returns. Yes indeed, 98% of all patents lose money.
I have no idea why people here are so concerned about software patents. Hundreds of years of patent laws cover a lot of judicial principles.
1. A user can license.
2. A software developer can write around the patent (smart!)
3. A user can ask the judge to set a license fee.
4. As patent fight costs start at $1 million each side, in the unlikely event it sues, the patent holder will likely lose money (98% do!)
5. The award in the event of a judgment against is generally related to the revenue the infringer made as a result of using the patent. It’s the attorneys’ fees that are costly—the rest is unearned profits anyhow.
6. A user should do a patent search prior to avoid these problems.
Yes indeed hundreds of years of patent laws cover a lot of principles. In understanding that it is very costly and money-losing for the patent holder to sue, your friend should realize it is mostly likely a threat first—more likely even a bluff.
http://www.adweek.com/aw/content_display/news/digital/e3i0d52172227325f28145910049b7db900?pn=1 This article describes patent litigation, but notice… “Firstborn (the ad agency) escaped unscathed after hiring a law firm that threatened to fight the suit, which subsequently did not materialize.”