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Patents Your Rights Online

The "Defensive Patent License" an Open Defensive Patent Pool 98

capedgirardeau writes "Via Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing:: 'Ars Technica's Jon Brodkin has an in-depth look at the "Defensive Patent License," a kind of judo for the patent system created by ... EFF's Jason Schultz (who started EFF's Patent Busting Project) and ... Jen Urban (who co-created the ChillingEffects clearinghouse). As you'd expect from two such killer legal freedom fighters, the DPL is audacious, exciting, and wicked cool. It's a license pool that companies opt into, and members of the pool pledge not to sue one another for infringement. If you're ever being sued for patent infringement, you can get an automatic license to a conflicting patent just by throwing your patents into the pool. The more patent trolls threaten people, the more incentive there is to join the league of Internet patent freedom fighters."
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The "Defensive Patent License" an Open Defensive Patent Pool

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  • by sribe ( 304414 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @12:07PM (#40310119)

    This would provide, potentially, fine defense against being sued by an actual company with actual products, because with a large patent pool you'd be likely to find one that your attacker is potentially infringing.

    But patent trolls do not infringe, because they do not have products.

  • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @12:27PM (#40310473)

    How does this actually benefit anyone? Companies with deep patent portfolios stand to lose both their competitive advantage and lost opportunity for licensing fees by making those patents freely available to everyone in the group (at least, it sounds like they're freely available if they're pledging not to sue one another), so you won't be seeing Microsofts, Googles, or Apples joining anytime soon. The only sorts of companies joining this are the ones who are afraid of being sued, and they're not about to be suing anyone else anyway.

    So, basically, the companies with oodles of patents (i.e. patent trolls and large corporations) won't be joining the group anytime soon, which means that they'll continue to be able to sue everyone in the group, and most of those aren't scared of conflicting patents since they can afford to simply bankrupt the smaller companies via legal fees. Meanwhile, the companies in the group have essentially commoditized themselves by allowing everyone else in the group to use their patents freely.

    IANAL, but how is this a good thing? What's the obvious thing that I'm missing?

  • by Jeng ( 926980 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @12:57PM (#40310963)

    PLEASE Patent a method for doing this! I would pay CASH MONEY to be able to PHYSICALLY shit on Apple and Microsoft over the internet! There are MILLIONS to be made here, man! MILLIONS!

    Woah, hold up there. I'm not coming up with the method, I'm talking about patenting the idea. Let someone else figure out a method and then sue them.

    That is how these things work right?

Money can't buy love, but it improves your bargaining position. -- Christopher Marlowe