Obama tries to clarify exactly who deserves state-granted patents and protection from competition

by Stephan Kinsella on February 15, 2013

From the EFF:

Obama Calls for Patent Reform to Topple Trolls

In a welcome turn of events, President Barack Obama spoke directly to the patent troll problem and the need for more comprehensive patent reform yesterday in a “Fireside Hangout” — a live question and answer session hosted in a Google+ hangout. The President was responding to a question by the prominent electrical engineer and entrepreneur Limor “Ladyada” Fried, who in 2009 won an EFF Pioneer Award for her work with free software and open-source hardware.

Obama acknowledged that the much-touted patent reforms that came in his first term “only went about halfway to where we need to go.” Specifically, he describes patent trolls as “a classic example,” of the problem, and that “they don’t actually produce anything themselves.”

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Not sure what is “welcome” about this. Trolls cause billions of dollars of damage (Patent trolls as mafioso (and that’s a compliment)), but they are just a red herring. The problem is not that they don’t produce anything. And in fact they are not as bad as people who do produce things since they just want to wet their beak. Then they go away happy. Your competitor who has a patent on his product wants to use it to stop you from competing. He doesn’t just want to wet his beak. The problem is good patents, not bad patents.

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