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[No wonder they stopped making products. They compose 'ideas' now.]

Microsoft to have 50,000 patents within two years, Phelps reveals

,----[ Quote ]
| The company’s filing strategy is based on two key points, he explained. The
| first is that it needs protection in what it believes to be its key markets:
| the US, Europe, Japan and the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China)
| countries, among others. The second is that it has to have a presence in
| countries that have a software manufacturing capability; that means the same
| countries as above, but also others such as Taiwan. Europe, Phelps said,
| likes to think that it is different because it says it does not grant
| software patents “but they can’t distinguish between hardware and software so
| the patents get issued anyway”.


The Surface, which Man in Sweater begged for, seems to be dying. The price has
jumped dramatically to $13,500... at the cheapest (high production costs as
nobody wants it).

Anyone want a Vista PC? Starting at $13,500, despite the recession.

Anyway, Microsoft is going downhill and it shows. They plan to approach
companies like Red Hat with extortion schemes... "pay us for Linux or horrible
things will happen" (like Acacia or the Nathan Myhrvold troll spitting fire).


IP Case Tests Boundaries of Privilege

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| If a company's sole business is licensing and litigating patents, plus it's
| run by lawyers, what isn't protected by privilege?
| That's the question being asked in a discovery fight between Diagnostic
| Systems Corp., which is a subsidiary of patent-holding company Acacia
| Research Corp., and a multitude of software companies it sued for patent
| infringement in the Central District of California.


Acacia signs non-exclusive patent license, settlement deal with SPG Solutions -
Quick Facts

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| Acacia Research Corp. announced that its subsidiary, Credit Card Fraud
| Control Corp., has entered into a non-exclusive patent license and settlement
| agreement with SPG Solutions, covering a patent that applies to fraud
| protection technology.



Who is the world's biggest patent troll?

,----[ Quote ]
| 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

,----[ Quote ]
| 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. *


Ideas Are Everywhere... So Why Do We Limit Them?

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| Gladwell uses this to talk up what Myhrvold is doing, suggesting that
| Intellectual Ventures is really about continuing that process, getting those
| ideas out there -- but he misses the much bigger point: if these ideas are
| the natural progression, almost guaranteed to be discovered by someone sooner
| or later, why do we give a monopoly on these ideas to a single discoverer?
| Myhrvold's whole business model is about monopolizing all of these ideas and
| charging others (who may have discovered them totally independently) to
| actually do something with them. Yet, if Gladwell's premise is correct (and
| there's plenty of evidence included in the article), then Myhrvold's efforts
| shouldn't be seen as a big deal. After all, if it wasn't Myhrvold and his
| friends doing it, others would very likely come up with the same thing sooner
| or later.
| This is especially highlighted in one anecdote in the article, of Myhrvold
| holding a dinner with a bunch of smart people... and an attorney. The group
| spent dinner talking about a bunch of different random ideas, with no real
| goal or purpose -- just "chewing the rag" as one participant put it. But the
| next day the attorney approached them with a typewritten description of 36
| different inventions that were potentially patentable out of the dinner. When
| a random "chewing the rag" conversation turns up 36 monopolies, something is
| wrong. Those aren't inventions that deserve a monopoly.

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