> if you're selling your startup and you've come up with a value
> and a price, add $1million per patent to that.
And subtract $10 million per patent held by large companies who have never actually delivered what the patent describes. Bear in mind too that such a patent need only arguably read on your startup's work, and it doesn't matter if there's prior art that ought in principle to invalidate the patent -- litigation is too expensive for you, it can be risky even for an acquirer, and for both reasons a potential acquirer will knock down what they offer you.
So by no means is the patent system uniformly pro-small-company either. Even if it ekes out a few bucks more for some startups at exit, it just as easily devastates the hard-won value of others. I think on balance it remains quite bad for software startups, just as it is for free software and even for big companies' efforts to innovate.
> the patent holders see patents as actual property, abolition would
> be like the government just taking their property away. In the US,
> a civil war was fought over one group taking another's perceived
> property away.
Interesting analogy. Can this economy endure half patented and half free?