A victory for the trolls
Posted Apr 26, 2011 4:59 UTC (Tue) by FlorianMueller
In reply to: A victory for the trolls
Parent article: A victory for the trolls
Sorry to say so, but this approach won't impress political decision-makers in the slightest. First of all, it's just a hypothetical thing in terms of the licensing cost. In practice, not every patent is asserted against every potential infringer (not even in the smartphone space, though there's a lot of enforcement going on there). Politicians don't care about what might theoretically happen if it doesn't happen in practice. If the likelihood of this kind of total patent enforcement scenario is so low that maybe one software company will go out of business every 150 years, they won't care. Moreover, the problem you point to could also be solved through other means than abolition, such as ensuring that the total amount of damage awards to all patent holders is only a certain percentage of a product's overall economic value.
I explained a while ago right here on LWN that politicians won't abolish software patents until they see that software companies really suffer and approach them with calls for abolition, and that those calls aren't just based on filling out a web form in five minutes but that there's a serious effort bein made. In terms of the constituency that politicians would care about, I mentioned what a staffer of the conservative group in the European Parliament told an anti-software patent activist years ago. He said: bring on those middle-aged closed-source entrepreneurs with beards, bellies and glasses.
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