Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Big companies trying to feed castor oil to little companies on patent reform?

The Washington Post covered a meeting run by Technet the 1776 campus.  Text included:


“Every entrepreneur is competing with large companies for the top tech talent, so we absolutely must reform high-skill immigration,” said Polese, chairman at ClearStreet, a financial-planning software company. She pointed to surveys showing that roughly 70 percent of engineers in Silicon Valley were born outside the United States. Keeping the talent pool small, she said, hurts new companies the most.
“Immigration is the lifeblood of our start-up economy,” Polese said. “We need to fix this permanently. Otherwise, we’re really starving our start-ups of the talent they need.”
Similarly urgent, the executives agreed, is the push for patent reform. Many in the technology community have for years been calling on lawmakers to completely overhaul the current system, which they say makes it too easy for so-called patent trolls to purchase vague or ambiguous patents for the sole purpose of suing and charging inordinate licensing fees to those that use the technology.
“What we’re trying to do is get a patent system that really works,” Chambers said. “One that protects the small entrepreneur’s investment but also doesn’t slow down our growth and production.”
Once again, enter Polese: “By the way, start-ups are really being impacted by this, because trolls are not just coming after the big companies, they’re coming after the start-ups, too,” she said. Polese later pointed out that most early-stage firms “don’t have deep pockets to defend themselves, so they usually have to settle or go out of business.”
In other words: We’re all in this together.


The immigration part relates to the H1B visa, with the pitch being to allow more foreign workers in.
The downside is as to the US effectively training the workers, who go back to their home countries and set up competition.

As to patent reform, there is an element of big company vs. little company in elements such as loser pays, which disfavor those with less money.  Trotting out the troll horror story is a vehicle to hide the adverse consequences to small companies.

The saga of the Selden auto patent shows how the car makers ( other than Ford ) co-opted the "troll." If the target-victims unite, they can prevail.


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