Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Chiling patents

Author:Jonathan Hendry
Posted:2/28/2000; 2:16:37 PM
Topic:scriptingNews outline for 2/27/00
Msg #:15326 (In response to 15301)
Prev/Next:15324 / 15327

"Ultimately the users will get disgusted with companies that deny them choice by using lawyers and patents as competitive weapons. When the dust settles on this I want to be on the right side. I remember the customer backlash against copy protection in the 80s. Ultimately the customers will dictate here, imho."

While this may happen, not all patent holders have a significant customer base. The most recent example of this is the ColorSync patent suit against Apple. The litigating firm does very little business. I'm not sure how they could be hurt by consumer action. On the other hand, they have lots of incentive to file patent-infringement suits.

Such firms are one very good reason for firms to patent what they can, though even that's not foolproof: Apple most likely had no patents they could use to counter the ColorSync suit.

Customer resistance could also result in companies coming up with ways to conceal the connection between themselves and the organization engaging in patent infringement lawsuits.

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