February 23, 2007

So, Who’s Going To Say It First? [8:00 am]

As Larry Lessig repeats, “Software patents — BAD.” How much pain before one of the big holders throws their weight behind this much-needed IP policy reform (remember, software patentability is a construct of the USPTO; all it takes is a piece of legislation to make it go away): MP3 Patents in Upheaval After Verdict

; also the LATimes’ Microsoft loses music patent case (pdf) and the Washington Post’s Microsoft Loses Big In MP3 Patent Suit (pdf).

From the Washington Post article:

The judgment surprised industry experts, who said they had not been following the case closely.

“Most of us thought this was going to go bye-bye,” technology analyst Rob Enderle said. He said he expected Alcatel-Lucent to approach other companies using MP3 technology and use the verdict “like a club” to collect fees.

[...] Alcatel-Lucent and its lawyers would not say whether they plan to target more companies, but Desmarais signaled that others using the audio-file technology could be vulnerable.

“For anyone who implements the standard, the same arguments would apply,” he said.

Hmmm - given that Alcatel-Lucent elected not to join the patent pool, is it possible that they’re the ones who are trying to bring software patents down? Or are they just greedy? And, in either case, isn’t that good for the cause?

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