Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Is lack of quality the root problem with the patent system?

As to the post, Everyone hates patent trolls, but here’s the root problem with our broken system, one has the text,

Even more dangerous, Apple has demanded as damages for infringement of these design elements the entire profit Samsung earned on several smartphone and tablet models — over a billion dollars in total.  (Samsung continues to appeal the finding of infringement, as well as the award.)
Stanford law professor Mark Lemley, a preeminent patent scholar, rejects Apple’s approach. In a brief signed by Lemley and nearly 30 other scholars, the authors note that as many as 250,000 active patents cover various aspects of today’s complex devices. Attributing all of their value to their rectangular shape, the brief argues, follows neither the law nor common sense.  “People don’t buy iPhones simply because they look cool; they buy them because they function.”
The point of the litigation, as Jobs didn’t hesitate to acknowledge, was not so much to protect Apple’s design innovation as it was to wipe out Google’s Android operating system, which Jobs saw as an unforgiveable rip-off of Apple’s iOS.  “I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” Jobs was reported to have said. “I’m going to destroy Android. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”
And so he did.  But the patent war Jobs launched has almost entirely failed to win the company any relief, let alone the end of Android. Over the past few years many of the combatants, including Apple, have been eager to cut their losses and get on with competing in the market rather than in the courtroom.
One infers the "root problem" of the title of the post is a lack of patent quality:

And so, Lee said, “for the first time in a long time, the USPTO doesn’t just have to make do. We can focus more than ever on building a world-class patent quality system for American entrepreneurs and innovators.”


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