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Patents Aid Innovation Most Times

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| In "Patent Gridlock Suppresses Innovation" (Information Age, July 14), L.
| Gordon Crovitz asserts "that for most industries today's patent system does
| more harm than good." He paints with too broad a brush. The "most industries"
| he refers to are those heavily involved with software, e.g., Verizon,
| Cisco ,Google, RIM and HP, which he cites. Such companies have indeed
| suffered grief because of patents on software and so-called "methods of doing
| business," like double-clicking something to place an order. Such patents
| basically didn't exist as little as 15 years ago. The appropriate way to deal
| with these problems would be for Congress to declare such subject matter to
| be unpatentable. That would be a surgical fix rather than a hammer and chisel
| attempt to rewrite the patent laws.


Patent Status of MPEG-1,H.261 and MPEG-2

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| Over 100 million DVD players have shipped in the US, and 100s of millions of
| mp3 players have shipped, yet Linux distributions like Fedora, Ubuntu and
| Opensuse don't include software to create files that these devices can play.
| The reason is because implementations of the MPEG-2 and MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3
| (MP3) are considered patented so the Linux Distributors are avoiding a risk
| of patent infringement lawsuits. I went searching for answers to basic
| questions like what are all the patents claimed for MP3 and when do the
| claimed MPEG-2 patents expire and I did not find these on the web, so I
| decided to create this summary of the patent status of MPEG-1, H.261 and
| MPEG-2. I'm not a lawyer and I'm not an expert on video or audio compression
| so there are probably some mistakes in this, but its better than anything
| I've found on the internet. This article is US specific, but the patent
| databases listed usually have other countries patents listed as well.



Patent Gridlock Suppresses Innovation

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| Our patent system for most innovations has become patently absurd. It's a
| disincentive at a time when we expect software and other technology companies
| to be the growth engine of the economy. Imagine how much more productive our
| information-driven economy would be if the patent system lived up to the
| intention of the Founders, by encouraging progress instead of suppressing it.



Who is the world's biggest patent troll?

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| In two consecutive days, The Wall Street Journal presented two different
| answers. The first is not surprising: Intellectual Ventures, the brainchild
| of ex-Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold. It's now out "to raise as much as
| $1 billion to help develop and patent inventions, many of them from
| universities in Asia." *


Playing Microsoft Patent Poker

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| This time though, while Ballmer slinks away to try to con … convince people
| that Microsoft Unified Communications somehow offers people more than what
| Cisco's VOIP (voice over IP) been offering customers for years, a patent
| attack finally launches at Linux. Specifically, IP Innovation, a subsidiary
| of Acacia Technologies Group, has filed a patent infringement claim against
| Linux distributors Novell and Red Hat. * *
| So was it just timing, or was it something more? Let's take a look at the
| players. *

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