Saturday, July 28, 2018

Patent trolls, monopolies, housing prices, 2008 crash -- all interrelated?

Matthew Robare has a detailed article in the American Conservative tying intellectual property policy – specifically patents – that supports big monopolistic business and now discourages innovation. This goes way beyond the issue of trolls. The article notes that people aren’t allowed to tinker with their own property. Here is the link
The article links this to zoning policies and lack of enforcement of anti-trust laws, that not only bids up the costs of housing for everyone but also encourage over dependence on cars, fossil fuels, and mega-businesses that don’t property support the communities they move in to.  This is more something you hear from liberals.  But this is a Cato Institute-like essay.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Washington Times criticizes lack of patent rights, but what about the trolls?

The Washington Times has an op-ed, July 24, by Jon Kyl and Joshua Wright, “Preserving American industrial competitiveness” with the byline “It depends on strong and reliable patent rights”, link .

The article suggests that companies are infringing on patents rather than negotiate for “fair licenses” (what is called “efficient infringement”).
But the article doesn’t talk about the issue of patent trolling, which is a terrible issue with “abstract processes” and sometimes software patents.  So what about EFF’s “stupid patent of the month”?

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Foreign language teacher and online course author fends of another "stupid patent of the month"

This story sounds like one of the worst abuses of patent of all time.
A language teacher Mihalis Eleftheriou was served notice that his Language Transfer online classes project infringed on a patent that seemed based on only the abstract process of teaching a foreign language through a recorded medium.  That reminds me of the language lab at GW back in 1962 when I was taking freshman German.

Electronic Frontier Foundation displays the letter it sent to the plaintiff in respect July 2 
  and describes the incident in an article by Robert Nazier here

The plaintiff even demanded that he cancel plans to publish a book about his lessons.  Censorship like this is not even covered by patent law.

This is a rather shocking story.  But occasionally big corporate interests are running wild in their attempt to quell any conceivable competition, as we find out from all the other issues right now (ranging from net neutrality to the new fight in Europe over the Copyright Directive).