BW (yawn… ) on Patent Trolls
Business Week recently ran a special report under the heading “CEO Guide to Patent Trolls.” Much of the five-article report included the same anti-NPE rhetoric we have heard in the past. This time those that weigh in include a VC and “defensive” patent aggregator RPX.
Even Ron Epstein’s “Debunking the ‘Patent Troll’ Myth,” an attempt to put things into perspective, included the misleading sub-head, “Patent Reform Would Help.” I wonder if that was Ron’s sub-head or that of Business Week editors?
That we are still using words like “trolls” and painting non-patent practicing entities as the devil may come back to haunt innovation and American competitiveness. Admittedly, some NPEs assert better quality patents than others, but those that are serious, including universities, are likely supporting innovation not undermining it.
I wonder the BW report is a final attempt to frighten the Senate into passing a dying patent reform bill. Very few businesses (and investors) would like to see to see weaker patents, although many would like to see reforms that make them more reliable.
It seems the mainstream media trot out these predictable patent-related stories from time to time, which inevitably fail to shed a whole lot of light and insight.
Just this week, the New York Times ran a piece on Nathan Myhrvold, again rehashing pretty shop-worn criticisms of his Intellectual Ventures. Here’s the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/18/technology/18patent.html
These types of pieces are nice primers for those fresh to the patent-reform debate, but I’d like to see deeper discussions beyond the us vs. them, good guys vs. bad guys narrative that has driven so much of the mainstream coverage to date.