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Against Monopoly

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Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





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Another Big Patent Troll Assessed

The New York Times went after another big patent troll yesterday, the second in less than a week link here. This one is called Intellectual Ventures. It seems to be a spinoff from Microsoft, a major patent holder, as it is run by Microsoft's former chief technology officer, Nathan Myhrvold. Its origin may raise the question as to how much business it does with Microsoft and whether it profits in some way from the new enterprise.

Another reason for the article is the announcement that "This summer, the Federal Trade Commission is expected to begin a sweeping investigation of the patent system after the agency's chairwoman, Edith Ramirez, urged a crackdown link here. She has singled out a particular kind of miscreant, one that engages in 'a variety of aggressive litigation tactics,' including hiding behind shell companies when it sues." Although not part of the article, it is worth reading as a description of what the FTC is thinking.

Most of the article is a description of what Intellectual Ventures has been up to and what a toll it has levied on the cost of doing business in a world that fosters both patents and patent-trolls.


Comments

I suspect that Carl Shapiro deserves some credit in this. While not as skeptical about patents as I am, he is well aware of many of their bad effects, and his return to the FTC I think has been important in the change of attitude.

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