Business Process Patents Must Die


I was looking at investing in a technology company the other day. As I normally do I was searching the web looking for potential competitors and also reading up on competitors the company had identified for me. One of the companies I started reading about was very proud of the process patents they had acquired.  The company itself wasn’t a competitive threat to the company I was looking at. In fact, I didn’t think this competitor was going to be able to stay in business for the long run. I wasn’t impressed with them at all.

But the question I had to ask before I invested was “what was their plan for when this competitor used their patents to sue them for patent infringement “.  The company was adamant that they didn’t violate  any of their patents and that they knew some of the people over at the competitor and they weren’t litigious people at all.

Yeah right. I made it very clear to them that if the competitor saw them as the least bit threatening, which they would, they would sue the shit out of them.  “How could they ?” was the response.

How naive. Companies and people don’t sue over patents because they should. They sue because they can. They sue because lawyers know that they always have a punchers chance of winning a lawsuit. They sue because they know it can tie up a competitors most valuable resources, time and money.   They sue because its become a growth industry in and around Tyler Texas (sorry Tyler, but you know its true. Tyler has been branded with the mark of the Troll) and  I’m guessing every person in Tyler knows that  is their civic duty to make ridiculous jury awards. What juror wants to kill the number one growth industry in the area and face higher taxes ?  IMHO, they don’t and won’t.

This company was going to get sued.  I know it. They didn’t want to face it because there was absolutely nothing they could do about it.  There is no proactive approach a small company or investors can take to fight patent trolls.  So I didn’t invest.

I have never walked away from an investment because of taxes.  I have never even considered taxes in making an investment.

I walked away from this investment because I knew they would be sued and I knew in one fell swoop the courts in the wonderful city of Tyler Texas could wipe them out.

That is just wrong.

Not only is it just wrong, every single investor is going to walk away from investments or refuse to put more money into technology companies simply because of the threat of Patent litigation.   In this case, I can at least give some credit to the competitor for having a business.  That makes them the lesser of evils compared to  Patent Trolls.

Patent Trolls are people/companies who don’t have operating businesses. They aren’t trying to protect anything. They have a collection of patents and they actively try to legally intimidate companies large and small into paying them.  That is their only mission. Extort as much money as possible using the legal extortion materials our government granted them through the patent office. Patent Trolls  are a far bigger threat to the technology industry than anything the Federal Reserve, The Congress or The President of the United States could ever do via our tax system.

Patent Trolls kill companies. Patent Trolls kill investment. Patent Trolls kill jobs. Patent Trolls will prevent the technology industry from taking its place as a source of jobs in our struggling economy  because NO COMPANY is safe from patent trolls. Any technology company with any net profit WILL BE SUED BY A PATENT TROLL at some point in its future. Its inevitable because there is nothing to protect them from it. NOTHING

Without question patent trolls and patent law will extend the great recession this country is facing.

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