With all the patent infringement cases littering our blog lately, we look for answers. But of course, everyone has suggestions. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban makes it known on his popular blog and simplifies it to down to two things:
1. End all software patents. Don’t make them shorter, eliminate them.
2. End all process patents. They serve absolutely no purpose. None.
As simple as it sounds, LTG will go into depth over this suggestion to see if we can find any holes in the next podcast.
Then Cuban goes into detail over how the benefits of eliminating the process will help innovation in the long run.
a. Reduce the court room costs associated with process and software patent litigation. That is taxpayer money saved.
b. Improve the efficiency of the Patent Office.
Process patents are a magnet for everyone who has ever dreamed of being awarded a patent. The flood of applications not only slows the speed at which inventions that deserve patents are awarded, it reduces the quality of investigation into applications. That is a lose lose situation. Patents that shouldn’t be awarded are awarded, which in turn creates more work as those patents are challenged.
c. End the ridiculousness of the current Patent Arms Race.
Companies are buying patent collections as a way to defer litigation or to support their litigation efforts rather than to benefit from the intellectual property purchased. Billions of dollars are being spent on this arms race. Billions of dollars that without question impact consumer prices from these companies.
d. Patent costs cost jobs.
Uncertainty is never good. Certainty of risk is even worse. What i mean by that is that almost every major corporation is this country has ongoing patent litigation and many, many small companies (my companies included) have ongoing patent litigation as well.
How does this impact jobs and job creation ? The thing about patent litigation is that it is unlimited and unquantifiable. There is absolutely no way to look at your business and say this is where and what my risk is”. Because of software and process patents any company could be sued for almost anything. It is impossible to know what the next patent to be issued will be and whether or not your company will be at complete risk. It is impossible to go through the entire catalog of patents issued over the last 10, 15, 20 years and determine which will be used to initiate a suit against your company.
It’s impossible to quantify just how much and how often you will be sued and what the costs associated with those lawsuit(s) will be.
The risks are unlimited.
Unlimited risk in any environment will force a company to hold back resources in an attempt to protect itself. In the case of several of my companies, it means that we have held off hiring people so that we have cash in the back to deal with current and future patent litigation.
It’s a joke, but that is the reality of doing business in this country.
e. Look overseas
Pick any country that is currently doing well, China is a perfect example. In China the Intellectual Property Laws are so weak that someone thought it was a good idea to completely replicate Apple retail stores. Compare their economy to ours. As much as I hate to compare other economies to ours, it’s worth taking a look .