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Patents Google Bought From IBM Are "Weak" 78

Posted by timothy
from the how-patent-lawyers-taunt-each-other dept.
holy_calamity writes "Slashdot noted in September that Google had bought 1023 patents from IBM. Now IP analytics firms IPVision says they're a 'mixed bag' of mostly unrelated patents that won't be much use in defending against competitors such as Microsoft or Apple. Patents are most useful when they are tightly linked into clusters by references, such that they cover every angle on an idea, something Google's new collection lacks."
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Patents Google Bought From IBM Are "Weak"

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  • by siddesu (698447) on Friday October 07, 2011 @07:01PM (#37644706)
    I am tired of crystal ball seers, really. How about this angle: this week: "Baaah. Google's patent portfolio is weak". Next week: Google releases new service, patents cover every angle of it. Two weeks hence: "Baaah. Visionary. Baah".
  • weak? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by macshit (157376) <miles.gnu@org> on Friday October 07, 2011 @07:07PM (#37644764) Homepage

    Er, the vast majority of patents being flung around in all the crazy control-freak corporate slap-fights we've seen recently seem to be horribly weak (of the "should never have been granted" variety). That hasn't stopped them from being flung around like monkeys do with, er, you know, and it apparently hasn't stopped other companies from being scared of them.

    And in the end, fear is the goal...

  • IPVision.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 07, 2011 @07:13PM (#37644818)

    So.. Who's "IPVision" and why do we care what they think? For all we know they could be an industry shill looking to perpetuate the awful mess that is "IP" law. Google's made lots of enemies and they're getting in to the IP game by proxy. Because companies are turning to that avenue of attack, rather than legitimate competition.

  • by thegarbz (1787294) on Friday October 07, 2011 @07:21PM (#37644856)

    This is what's wrong with the patent system. The idea that you should cover every angle of an idea rather than just patenting the fundamental technology behind it. When did we go from patenting technology to patenting the application?

    For example. Canon has scores of patents related to cameras and imaging technology. Rightfully so. They are useful patents. But then some of them are like this beauty [uspto.gov]. Now here's an patent which covers the use of fuel cells in electronic equipment. Think about that for a second. Covering the frigging obvious use of this technology which the entire world is hoping will replace batteries, with a patent for using the technology (which is not practical yet) in an electronic device.

    We need a cleansing fire. The patent office and all their data should burn down, and all employees should be replaced. The patent system needs to be re-written by some people with zero experience in it. As Einstein said, "Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them."

  • by tkrotchko (124118) on Friday October 07, 2011 @07:36PM (#37644960) Homepage

    What makes a patent strong is how much money the holder is willing to try to enforce it.

    Consider what IBM had to do to defend itself against SCO. The claims were non-existent, the patents were non-existent, and yet it dragged on for years.

    So if Google could really cause another competitor to squirm. Look at Apple; they managed to convince a judge the shape of an iPad and iPhone are unique and worthy of protection and so they're used to cause Samsung pain. It doesn't matter if its valid or not, Samsung can't sell their devices.

    Patents are legal tools to aid in delaying a competitor. Once you understand that, then the real value of patents become clear.

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