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Patents IBM

Patent System Not Broken, Argues IBM's Chief Patent Counsel 152

New submitter TurinX writes "Unsurprisingly, IBM's Chief Patent Counsel, Manny Schecter, thinks the patent system isn't broken. He says, 'Patent disputes like [the Apple-Samsung case] are a natural characteristic of a vigorously competitive industry. And they're nothing new: Similar skirmishes have historically occurred in areas as diverse as sewing machines, winged flight, agriculture, and telegraph technology. Each marked the emergence of incredible technological advances, and each generated similar outcries about the patent system. We are actually witnessing fewer patent suits per patent issued today than the historical average.'" Regarding software patents, he argues, "If patent litigation caused by the U.S. patent system stifled innovation, U.S. software companies would not be the most successful in the world." His recommendation is that we should be patient and "let the system work." Schecter's editorial at Wired is one of a series of expert opinions on the patent system; we've already discussed Richard Stallman's contribution.
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Patent System Not Broken, Argues IBM's Chief Patent Counsel

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  • Put Up or Shut Up (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tgeek ( 941867 ) on Friday November 09, 2012 @06:46PM (#41936871)
    If Mr. Schechter really wants us to believe the patent system isn't broken, then why doesn't he step aside from IBM and maybe handle a few pro bono cases for small inventors. Then he can come back here and tell us all what a wonderful patent system we enjoy!
  • Re:Well.... really? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dmbasso ( 1052166 ) on Friday November 09, 2012 @07:19PM (#41937175)

    It benefits IBM to keep the status quo.

    It benefits all of the big ones by keeping the small and fast innovators out of the game. They are quite happy (excuse the anthropomorphism) litigating one another. For them it is just part of the business, and we pay for all the costs anyway.

    It would be awesome (and therefore will never happen) if patent protection would not apply for free/libre/open & not-for-profit endeavors. Anybody willing to implement or improve on something patent protected could do so freely, as long as the whole public could benefit from it.

  • Re:Fluff patents (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nethemas the Great ( 909900 ) on Friday November 09, 2012 @08:18PM (#41937793)
    I remember this one. There's actually a bit of an interesting story to it. Steve Olsen (the inventor) was actually a 5 year old at the time. His father Peter Olsen, a patent attorney, wanted to teach his son about the patent system. I can't find the original (local) article but the NYT [nytimes.com] had a short write up as well.

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"