You just stop that right friggin now.
Yeah, I’m talkin’ to you, lawyer/investor/clueless people.
Well, if you’re a reader, go read this article from The Economist (my favorite magazine) before we proceed: http://www.economist.com/node/21554540/
The part about Google, Apple, Samsung and other handset manufacturers needing to quickly trade patents seems to make sense at first, right? But that’s not the concern. Those companies have lots of resources at their disposal and I think their rattling of their technology (light?) sabers is just bad policy; they should have figured out that stuff in private, not in courts.
No, the part that bothered me was reading about the exchange itself and how it will exist for future work. I’ve not experienced a visceral reaction like I have to this in a long time. But this is just insane. There is now an exchange that allows you to buy, sell and wait for it…hedge patents.
The comments section of the Economist article belie the idea that an exchange already exists and that it is in a reduced format. However, it is an absolutely ridiculous idea in all its forms. Patents are broken enough as they are. Encouraging trading of these ideas as something that can then be auctioned off to end users (product integraters) does nothing but ramp the price of them through speculation. This does absolutely nothing but impede invention. It further provides firepower for patent trolls like Intellectual Ventures. While I understand the need to actually trade existing patents between companies (even though I don’t always agree with how it happens), it should remain a private affair, if it should happen at all. There needs to be a high barrier to entry for outside people to jump in and try buying and selling things they don’t understand.
I’m not hopeful that this will be regulated or turned down at any point in the future. I can only hope that people continue to open source the things the work on and leave the ridiculous nature of patent trading to the large and hopefully short-lived manufacturers.