[Fsfe-ie] Morning Ireland piece on Software Patents

Justin Mason jm at jmason.org
Thu May 6 18:57:56 CEST 2004

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Malcolm Tyrrell writes:
> > is there a simpler answer?
> I doubt there's anything sinister going on. I reckon they
> are just misjudging the benefits and not seeing the dangers.
> I've doubt they've spent as much time considering the 
> consequences as our camp has. We should definitely draw
> peoples attention to that damning F-something-something
> report in America (can't remember what it's called).

It's common practice for VCs (in the US at least), to see a startup as
being in a more secure position with a few patents filed.

The idea is that a software patent is another asset for the company; a
company can defend themselves against attacks from competitors who have
their own patents that the company infringes.

This is pretty much a self-reinforcing thing.  The VCs don't realise that
the time and money wasted on patent applications means less time and money
spent _finishing_ the product; and it's become dogma in the VC community,
so every VC now thinks it's a good idea.  

- --j.
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