Monday, August 15, 2011

Why can’t we all just get along intellectually?

I guess the natural instincts that go to work for an individual (envy, greed, self-preservation, ambition, etc.) also go to work for entities and institutions that are created by and composed of individuals - the hive mind is an extension of the mind?

I found it concurrently amusing and depressing when I saw the following contiguous pixels on a screen when visiting a site to read news about the Google Motorola deal.

In one pixel-swoop (a) Oracle is suing Google (b) Motorola is suing Apple (c) Porn star sues the TSA and (d) Apple sues a teenager!

A little more poking around the same site, and I uncover the following articles, all published on the same day:
It’s all about the patents! There’s often a specific patent or two that are immensely valuable (though sometimes, seemingly trivial to even be worthwhile), but these days, it is the arsenal of patents - called the patent portfolio - that really projects the power! IBM is the master of wielding this power.

Really interesting, how a few words on a piece of paper can be used to stop a specific activity, or seriously hobble it, and how, even when there seems to be fairness in placing these speedbumps to innovation or human endeavor, certain “settlements” can themselves look unjust when using a different lens/timeline. I’m sure the Winklevoss twins are kicking themselves for having “settled” with Facebook, and Yahoo! cannot, I imagine, forgive itself for having settled with Google for a rearview-paltry $400M (or thereabouts) for the Overture ads patent.

Aah … intellectual property!! I have an interesting personal patent-defense-related story, but I’ll leave that out for now...

I wonder how much my diversified patent portfolio is worth! $10? $200? Of course, I can’t make any money from it :-)

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