Patent Extortion.

So it appears the outfit behind the letters to app developers using the in-app purchases system has stepped out.  Here’s a link digging into the “other side” of the discussion. http://tnw.co/iCkLLq The big point they push is that because they only want to extort a little money off of everyone it is OK.  I think this also applies to school bullies and lunch money.  Extortion is extortion, whether it is pennies or millions.

 

To me this is still a bloody mess.  The best way to make money off an idea is to get off your ass and make a good product.  If the inventor had spent more time working on an actual good, working example of his “invention” and less time mucking about with the patent office he would undoubtedly be in a better financial place.  But, instead of doing something positive with his “idea”, (which was in my mind not a patentable concept anyway)  He sells his patents to Lodsys.  This fellow could have been the next Paypal or some other major corporation, but instead he sells it off to some Trolls soo they can go shake down some companies and developers.

 

This “inventions firm” Lodsys isn’t an invention company, they don’t build product, they don’t create jobs, they don’t create a positive effect for the economy or society.  Instead, they bought up an old patent and sent out extortion requests to small developers.   To me, this is a major problem with or society in North America.  Rather than use our heads and hearts to do something positive for our society and fellow man, groups like Lodsys band together and plot how to “get their cut”.  In my opinion, this is one of the key points of current and future weakness in our economy.  We spend so much effort doing zero-positive-effect work that even with rising productivity, our overall ability to produce is lower.  We need to re-think the patent laws and favor those who would do something positive with the idea as opposed to those who wildly file for patents in hope of hitting on something they can suck wealth out of at a later date, when the technology is actually viable.  I say give the person five years from filing.  If in five years you haven’t commercialized the patent it should be declared invalid.  This may not apply for everything, but it might put the effort in the right place, which is innovation for the improvement of the economy and our society.

 

On another side, part of me is convinced these fellows are just stupid.  Even if they get the dream scenario and everyone starts paying up, they’ll be getting tiny cheques from tens of thousands of developers, resulting in a deluge of overhead to attempt to track these payments.  Again, creating a lot of noise, but no substance.

/rant

-Trent