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Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





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AmeriMerchant Fends Off a Patent Troll

AdvanceMe, a Georgia-based cash advance business, tried to muscle in on the business of AmeriMerchant, filing the obligatory patent infringement case. David Goldin, the president of AmeriMerchant, found prior art from the 1980s and 1990s. AdvanceMe's patent was declared invalid because it failed the test for obviousness. Here is the story .

Speaking of small businesses, Gerry Elman, an IP lawyer, claims that "In the past, they have relied on the patent system to become big businesses," he said. "But now, the patent system is being gutted on the strength of lobbying by the information technology industry. Big businesses will be able to copy innovation with impunity and thumb their noses at the inventions of the little guy."

Did Wal-Mart and Microsoft rely on patents to become big businesses? Did Google vacate a college dorm room shared by two guys to challenge Microsoft on the strength of its patents? Did McDonald's outgrow the local burger stores because Ray Croc had a patent on burgers? No, no, no, and no.

Mr. Elman ought to redirect his reading from legal briefs to business history. Some relevant history can be found here .


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