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Re: Getting rid of software patents = All software becomes free?

From: Andy Baxter
Subject: Re: Getting rid of software patents = All software becomes free?
Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2007 04:10:29 -0000
User-agent: pan 0.120 (Plate of Shrimp)

On Wed, 12 Dec 2007 03:07:58 +0000, Tim Smith wrote:

> On 2007-12-11, Andy Baxter <> wrote:
>> If you replace 'companies' with 'large companies' (who have the resources
>> to lobby government, and the money to pay lawyers to enforce their
>> patents), it makes more sense. Individually some of them might want to get
>> out of it, but over the smaller companies and other interests (e.g.
>> individuals) that patents affect, they have a collective interest in
>> getting the government to support patent laws. So they do. It's called
>> 'regulatory capture'- we studied it in a course I did on technology policy
>> once.
> So how come almost all software patent lawsuits are from small companies
> suing large companies?

Part of the reason I posted this is because I think the idea that patents
protect small companies against big ones is partly a myth. It's the side
of the story that people are more likely to identify with, so it's the
side of the story that politicians and others who believe in the patent
system use in examples when they are trying to justify their case.

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