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Comment: Re:I agree its wrong (Score 1) 459

by boscosmith (#21373793) Attached to: Wi-Fi Piggybacking Widespread
Why is it wrong exactly? Imagine you have a field. If I cut through it to save myself walking around it, I haven't damaged you or your property. Now if I build a road through your field to save myself time, that's wrong, but simply using someone else's property in a non-destructive way, I don't see the problem. So no high-bandwidth or criminal usage of my network, but for innocent email checking or browsing and chatting, come one come all (I have a fonero (FON.com)). I think notions of private property have gotten out of hand, and I think that if we were talking about DMCA stuff then everyone would be on my side. But this is somehow different, I don't see it. Fair use.
Patents

+ - Is a patent worth having? Maybe not...->

Submitted by
tarball_tinkerbell
tarball_tinkerbell writes "The New York Times (sorry, registration required) reports: for most public companies, patents don't pay off. James Bessen and Michael J. Meurer of the Boston University School of Law have crunched the numbers and are finishing up a book on the topic, "Do Patents Work?," due in 2008 — synopsis and sample chapters here. Having analyzed data from 1976 to 1999, they found that starting in the late 1990s, publicly traded companies saw patent litigation costs outstrip patent profits. Specifically, they estimate that about $8.4 billion in global profits came directly from patents held by publicly traded United States companies in 1997, rising to about $9.3 billion in 1999, with two-thirds of the profits going to chemical and pharmaceutical companies. Domestic litigation costs alone, meanwhile, soared to $16 billion in 1999 from $8 billion in 1997.
Things have probably become worse since then. For instance, patent litigation is up: there were 2,318 patent-related suits in 1999, and 2,830 in fiscal 2006 (though that's down from the peak year, 2004, when 3,075 were filed). Mr. Bessen said awards in patent cases also seemed to be up, though he was less confident in that data. Worse, he says, companies doing the most research and development are sued the most.

In addition, economists Michele Boldrin of Washington University at St. Louis and David Levine of UCLA argue that the patent system should be abolished."

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