[KLUG Advocacy] Re: Microsoft: WE Invented the Internet!

Mike Williams knightperson at zuzax.com
Wed Nov 10 14:40:18 EST 2004

Absolutely, litigation is prohibitively expensive for small 
organizations or individuals, but if the patent office does their 
homework it's unnecessary in most of the cases being mentioned.  I guess 
I have this weird idea that patents are only granted for new ideas!  I 
forget the phrase, but there's fine print somewhere that says patents 
can not be granted for a technology already in common use.  And there 
might be some form of  "squatters rights" that says if you don't defend 
a patent when infringement is small, you can't suddenly start once there 
are more targets.  And I remember from a DDR2 / RAMBUS memory story that 
you can't claim patent infringement on a technology that you, as part of 
a consortium, developed.  It seems to me that the patent office should 
be either beefed up (they're probably overworked) so that they can do 
their homework, or disbanded so they don't grant patents they shouldn't.

Patents are supposed to serve two, and only two, purposes.  1) to allow 
inventors to profit from their invention.  2) to make sure the invention 
doesn't die with it's inventor because he had to keep it secret to make 
a profit.  I've never heard anybody suggest that there is a #3:  allow 
companies with money to extort more money from small companies and 

More information about the Advocacy mailing list