Are the patent wars really worth it?

An article over at the computerworld's UK site conclude that the answer is really no.  Here is a part of their conclusion:

"To summarize, there are a lot of big losers from NPE litigation, while hardly anyone benefits much. The defendant firms and their customers lose while patent holders gain very little by comparison. Even the investors in NPE firms have gained little—these firms barely break even based on their cumulative net income in Table 4. Apparently, the only real beneficiaries are the lawyers and perhaps the principals of the NPE firms.

That's important, because it means whatever gains patents may bring to the business economy - and that's assuming they do bring any, which seems not to be the case for the software world, judging by the figures discussed in “Patent Failure” - most be weighed against the half-trillion-dollar loss in terms of money that could otherwise have been spent on real innovation, rather than on supporting the luxuriant lifestyle of trolls and their lawyers."

So maybe we should just reinvent the whole system.  To do that though we need to not elect Lawyers.  Who may be tempted to protect their friends interests.  They are the ones that run most often though so it seems unlikely that we will get resolution to this situation any time soon.

Brian Wagner

Brian started working with *nix in while a student at Kent State University in the early 90's. In 1995, as an E-Mail Administrator for Caliber Technology (now part of Fedex) he was tasked with administering Sendmail on both Slackware Linux and Solaris Systems. His first home install of Linux was MkLinux DR1 in 1996 on his 60 Mhz PowerMac. Since then Brian has been working and consulting on Linux and it's uses in the Enterprise to support everything from E-Mail, Firewalls, Web and File serving to custom cluster solutions and grid solutions. Brian has had the opportunity to work in both Fortune 500 companies and small 2 person organizations. This has given him the unique insight into the differences every size business faces.