Friday, February 06, 2009

PatentHawk smokes Lemley

More critical commentary on the Lemley/Intellectual Ventures collaboration appears on the PatentHawk blog:

The bodacious bugaboo bothering these boys is to what extent patent litigation plaintiffs don't practice the asserted invention. Lemley has had a keen interest in "non-practicing entities" for quite some time. Law school professors often suffer a sorted [sic: sordid?] reputation for strange obsessions, an inability to see the forest for the trees.


Stupidity is so hard to explain precisely because it's not logical. Not only is there no law requiring patent holders to practice their invention, there's no rational reason to do so. Imagine. You have to prove you are practicing your invention before you can enforce your intellectual property rights. Like you can't sell pony rides unless you ride the pony yourself.

Whatever these boys' little study comes up with, it'll be another academic victory of numbers telling you nothing. Whether a small percent or the vast majority of patent litigations are by patent owners who don't practice their invention is irrelevant.

PatentHawk obliquely mocked the 271blog:

Peter Zura at 271 had a more lapdog response: "there is little doubt that the findings of the study will be one of the most anticipated events."

PatentHawk did not mention commentary on IPBiz: More on Lemley and Intellectual Ventures and Lemley and friends starting new law firm, nor did he mention the comments about Lemley that appeared following the 271blog posting on the matter. The former IPBiz post notes:

Nathan Myhrvold, a former Hertz fellow, ought to know better than to rely on a guy who thinks Gary Boone invented the integrated circuit, but then, this deal looks like mutual back-scratching. Of course, it's not clear where PatentHawk, the blog, "is" on the Gary Boone matter.

PatentHawk also obliquely referred to his own situation:

I know this guy who used to consult a big software company. I mean orca fat BIG. The company really liked this guy. He did good work. Then it soured. Real fast. He told them about a patent he had that they were using. Didn't threaten to sue. Didn't even ask for money. Just wanted to keep them as a client. Figured they'd find out anyway, and he just wanted to be up-front. For seeming smart, boy, that guy was naive sometimes. Way too pure for this planet. Anyway, the guy said that, if they wanted to buy or license it, he'd be happy to do so at a "friendly" price. In response, they told him to give them free licenses to all his patents, and in return, they'd give him nothing. Nada. The big Zipola. They "set forth terms." Infants are like that. Always trying to see what they can get, and get away with. The guy told him they were making a big mistake. "Empathy and reciprocity are the fabric of the social contract," he said. That guy was always kind of weird with words. Told them that such bad behavior would be rewarded. One day he'd get them. And he did. But I digress.

"This guy" is likely Gary Odom (aka PatentHawk) and an allusion to the matter is in Patently-O:

Famed patent blogger Gary Odom sued Microsoft in the Eastern District of Texas - alleging that the Office 07 toolbar infringes Odom's software patent. Judge Love was assigned the case -- but now he has granted Microsoft's motion to transfer the case to Oregon. You see, Odom is located in Oregon, Microsoft in Washington, the Klarquist firm (who once worked with both Odom and Microsoft) is in Oregon.

XChange managed to talk about the Lemley/IV study WITHOUT mentioning Lemley or IV! -->

Ahhh, patent trolls. You know, those companies that do nothing except sue the pants off everyone else for patent infringement and reap the royalties rewards when they win (think CentreOne, NTP and so on). Well, a now-former Microsoft Corp. executive has underwritten a study aimed at determining who’s to blame for the dozens of patent suits that have hit U.S. court dockets in the past 10 years.

The funny part is that this former executive’s company makes its money by, you guessed it, collecting patents. The firm has yet to assert any of its rights in court, however.

Still, if the study lives up to the hype, it will be interesting to see where many of these complaints originate, and from whom.

Well, at least they mentioned "hype".


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