[OT] Re: Geoworks and their patent

Tyler Baker tyler at infinet.com
Thu Jan 27 00:12:36 GMT 2000

Philip Nye wrote:

> Tyler Baker wrote:
> > Well, what about companies in the business of patenting things which never have a solid
> > implementation behind the ideas as well as never ever producing a mature product from
> > those ideas.
> It is interesting that under British law, if a patent holder is not
> exploiting their patent, a court can force them to licence it - although
> the licence terms would be dictated by the court and might not be
> acceptable to either party.
> This would not apply to Geoworks whose patent is not British and who are
> obviously intending to licence it anyway.

That is interesting. I think the point was more along the lines of the cyber-squatting issue
where someone patents something with new real forseeable intent of making a product out of
the patented process or technology and no real intent of licensing the technology to others
because there is no real market at the time. For non-software patents this is not a real
problem as patenting something which is expensive to research and develop is pointless if
there is no general market for the patent to be applied to. But in the case of software, many
of these poop patents are getting a patent for very little in research and development plus
just about $4,000 in filing claims. Many times, these companies which get these patents are
industry insiders who see what the obvious solution is 5 years from now for a market which is
not quite there. In the stock market if an employee of a technology company were to buy or
sell a bunch of company stock (through a third party of course) on the basis of a report not
yet disclosed to the public, this would be called insider trading. In the tech industry in
America, this sort of action is referred by the patent office as ingenuity )-:


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