Posted Oct 9, 2012 18:36 UTC (Tue) by rgmoore
(✭ supporter ✭
In reply to: Patently stupid
Parent article: The Patent, Used as a Sword (New York Times)
The problem is that almost any group that knows enough to have a well thought-out opinion will be deeply enough involved to be biased. Disinterested experts do sometimes exist, but they're rare on any topic, not just patents. People tend not to form deep, well informed ideas about any topic until they have a strong reason to have them, and the reason is almost always the kind of direct interest in the topic that also introduces bias.
The problem that's more specific to patents is that the groups with the loudest voices- the patent office, patent lawyers, and inventors- are almost all on the same side of the issue. Even the big targets of patent trolls, like Google, have something to gain from software patents, because they can be used to shut down potential competitors while they're still small. The people who have the most to lose from software patents are those small players- open source projects, startups, and the like- who don't have their own portfolio that can be used defensively and can be shut out of the market by larger players. Those small players have a hard time making themselves heard, almost by definition.
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