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I hope you understand I cannot name my own clients. As for success histories WIPO has a collection here:
> All we hear from the US is precisely established companies that crush their smaller competitors with their puny patent holdings; it would be good to see the reverse side.
There have been a few ugly stories but some times the underdog wins, such as for the inventor of the intermittent wiper who nearly was steamrolled by Ford and others:
Sadly, even today many large companies believe they can crush all small competitors with impunity. They are wrong.
Posted Jan 9, 2013 8:32 UTC (Wed) by micka (subscriber, #38720)
WIPO is funded by patent registration fees. Everybody that sells something has a success story or two to provide. Moreover, in the examples I read, there wasn't evidence that patents helped (like "if patents weren't here, it would never have been done").
> Sadly, even today many large companies believe they can crush all small competitors with impunity. They are wrong.
From what I read in this article, the guy spend 10 millions dollar in legal fees to win against two "infringers". Sure he was the underdog, but
1. I'm not sure how anyone could find 10 millions dollar to spend in legal fees
2. He didn't use a lawyer in the second trial (lowering the cost, but I sure couldn't do it)
3. Only two "infringer" went to trial and they're not especially significant (looking at the streets here, I see about 10% Ford vehicle and maybe 0.01% Chrysler)
And for the record, I don't even find this invention to be that inventive in the first place.
Posted Jan 9, 2013 16:10 UTC (Wed) by pboddie (guest, #50784)
I hope you understand I cannot name my own clients.
We always get fed this line after the other one about plucky inventors standing their ground. Meanwhile, it looks like the example fed me by one of my MEPs back in 2004 (or so) to justify software patents may have referred to a company whose business model appears to be litigating other companies into bankruptcy using patented ideas from their failed product.
So excuse our skepticism when we also see the more typical outcome for small companies trying to ship real products.
Posted Jan 12, 2013 0:55 UTC (Sat) by jschrod (subscriber, #1646)
The pro-patent folks like you always tell us that patents are there to publish the information to the public, to be used for the greater good. That's what patents are for, right?
If it's about publishing information to the public, why are you not allowed to name public cases? After all, court cases are public, too.
And Robert Kearns is not a good example at all, as others have noted. Spending 10 mils on ligitation? Give me a break.
Posted Jan 22, 2013 18:37 UTC (Tue) by SecretEuroPatentAgentMan (guest, #66656)
Yes. Patent law is always in a tension with competition law, each with their own proponents. If it can be shown that patents do not promote the greater good I am sure the patent system would be radically changed. I see some make comments about the system being ideal to patent attorneys and agents. The view from within the profession is different, you can read through patents blogs such as PatentlyO to get an inside view.
> If it's about publishing information to the public, why are you not allowed to name public cases? After all, court cases are public, too.
I write here to provide some information how the system works in practice and, hopefully, balance some of the views expressed. If I were to state my name this could be seen by some as advertising and that is not my purpose. Secondly it is true that court cases are to some extent public, that is the information that a court case is being held and who the parties are will be public but the actual proceedings is not always public. Moreover if an out of court settlement is agreed upon the contents of that is normally kept confidential.
> And Robert Kearns is not a good example at all, as others have noted. Spending 10 mils on ligitation? Give me a break.
The inventiveness of his invention has been debated before with no conclusion. As for the money spent the article states he got large sums in settlement. Not using an attorney is probably not a good idea, my guess is that a sense of revenge was a part here. The most well known case of revenge is Steve Jobs wanting to go thermonuclear against Google. Kearns had the money and it was his choice how to spend it. Would you have preferred if he folded after 1 million dollars instead?
Posted Jan 22, 2013 19:04 UTC (Tue) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523)
Posted Jan 26, 2013 16:21 UTC (Sat) by SecretEuroPatentAgentMan (guest, #66656)
There are many studies on this, which one do you refer to?
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