> 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?
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?