Why The Tech Patent Wars Exist [INFOGRAPHIC]

I’ve really had enough with this whole tech patent hoopla. It seems that since computers were invented, tech companies throw billions of dollars at lawyers whose job is to file for every patent humanly possible and remotely achievable, understanding the Patent & Trademark Office must be run by geezers who think everything that crosses their desk is groundbreaking world wide intertubes glory.

After seeing this patent application filed by Google in 2000 I’m convinced that every major tech company has an entire business division dedicated to the following strategy:

This is based DIRECTLY from the application filed by Google that attempts to patent “Systems and methods for enticing users to access a web site“:

Click this… uhoh would that be patent infringement?

I propose someone submit a patent for submitting stupid patent requests. The above infographic could be submitted as the “invention”. Then, anyone who submits a dumb patent would be sued for infringing upon my genius patent, thereby preventing others from filing dumb patents because it wouldn’t be as lucrative unless they actually had an original/innovative/patentable idea.

Sorry… all these patent lawsuits on flimsy or baseless patents are extremely annoying. Am I alone?

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  • FNugget

    They’re hiring right now, and definitely not all geezers. The reason theres frivolous patents like that is because they can try to manipulate the law to their side, hoping that the examiners can’t find material that they can apply to reject them.

  • UncleMike

    You’re not alone. I don’t even think the people filing for such patents believe they are patent worthy. But that doesn’t matter to them. As indicated in the flow chart, all that matters is that they can convince some techtarded patent office dunce that it is.

    A statistic I would like to see: what percentage of patent examiners have their personal email address @aol.com? I expect it’s much higher than in the general population.

  • John

    So they basically tried to patent having an interesting web page/logo to entice repeat customers. Honestly surprised it wasn’t approved based on some of the ridiculous patents microsoft and apple have that seem like common sense. So can’t really blame google for trying; the multimedia type internet was still in it’s infancy when this filed.

  • Meh

    The very existence of government grants of monopoly – any grants of monopoly, including those on ideas, means people will exploit it. And as is typical for government regulations, they generally have the opposite effect of their stated intentions. I see a lot of Creative Commons and Open Source folks talk about restricting patents and copyrights – a favourable position, to be sure, but weak. A system that is corrupt at its core cannot be salvaged. It must be wrecked and replaced with nada.

    Essay on abolition of intellectual monopoly: http://mises.org/books/against.pdf

    Also, an interesting book review on the subject:

  • Lulu

    What would the lawyers working for big coperates do without all the patent wars?

  • irish_iiii

    Those who can’t innovate, litigate.

  • PapaDroid

    Well said irish_iiii!

  • GPL

    I am going to patent the concept of filing frivolous lawsuits. Then all the buttheads with too much time on their hands will owe me big time.

  • http://soft.antonspaans.com AntonS

    I’m not kidding when I say that there are engineering teams that do just that, on instructions by their company’s lawyers: Write as many (stupid) patents as possible and see what sticks.

    They do this to increase their portfolio of patents which they can use in case a patent war breaks out. Then lawyers can get rich again and patents can be ‘exchanged’ to settle the issues.

  • http://trueacu.com acupunc

    “I propose someone submit a patent for submitting stupid patent requests.”

    I can’t remember it right now however, about a year ago someone was actually trying to patent “patent trolling.”

    Of course it wasn’t worded as patent trolling but that’s what it was. It was hilarious. Never heard if it was approved or not. . . knowing our patent system it was.

  • http://beesbuzz.biz/ fluffy

    Patent suits aren’t even fought based on the validity of the patent, they’re fought based on the size of each size’s patent portfolio, under the assumption that both portfolios have the same valid-to-invalid ratio and that eventually one company will actually be infringing on one of the other company’s patents.

    The few rare times that a patent case actually goes to court, the courts decide on the validity of the patent based not on whether there’s demonstrable prior art or existing academic publications like they’re supposed to, but based on whether there were any previous patents that cover the same claims. Apparently only patents count as prior art for other patents now, on the assumption that if something were valuable, it would have been patented when it was invented.

    Also, the patent lawyers who create the patents tend to ignore what the engineers actually invented and make them overly-broad. I say this as someone who had to fight to keep one of my typography patents very specific – the lawyer had broadened it to cover all of movable type, which has, you know, just a little bit of demonstrable prior art.

    The whole system is pretty stupid.

  • http://beesbuzz.biz/ fluffy

    Er, based on the size of each company’s patent portfolio, obviously.

  • digmer

    wow wow :)
    Amazing. They say, those people rule the world who have ties in bureaucratic circles! Damn, this is good! Thx Rob!

  • Michael

    I’m sorry, but your patent for submitting stupid patent requests will be rejected.

    1. There’s too much prior art.
    2. The practice is currently under such widespread use that it’ll never qualify as “non-obvious”.

  • Storm14K aka Phil

    IBM has applied for a patent on patent trolling.

  • http://www.eliscloud.com Elijah Lynn

    And what is the motive of trying to patent anything in the first place?

    to make money & to get recognition.

    I can’t wait for the day we can live in a resource based economy versus a monetary based economy.

  • Nhf7170

    Atari. Nuff said.

  • Kevin

    Regardless of whether to patent is valid, judging from your example, you clearly didn’t read beyond the abstract. Do you understand the claims?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=735267326 Anonymous

    You’re not alone!! These patents existing are styfling true innovation!

  • Mark Thurman

    back in the day British Telecomm tried to say they invented the Hyperlink: http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/it-strategy/2002/08/23/bt-loses-hyperlink-patent-case-2121257/