One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
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You’ve heard the phrase “patent trolls,” yes? Certainly not a positive sounding term. I mean – trolls?How positive an image does that conjure?
The Media are almost always opposed to all things good. So when they with near unanimity help promulgate a term – you need to (re)contemplate its definition.
But what exactly is a “patent troll?” He or she is someone who owns a patent – which is private property. And is trying to protect their private property from unauthorized use by someone who doesn’t want to pay to use it.
Is someone who owns a house and calls the police to roust squatters a “property troll?” Is someone who reports their car stolen an “automobile troll?”
The Media’s (ab)use of the term “patent troll” is just this absurd. The Media have – as per usual – chosen sides on an issue. The Thieves Coalition has its mega-mouthpieces.
We can begin (re)contemplating the Media’s meaning here:
Which is a 552-word article that is entirely pro-theft – until the absolute last (inordinately short and weak) paragraph. Their definition of “patent troll?”
(P)atent trolls…file abusive patent infringement lawsuits.
Well that’s fair and balanced. Methinks the abusers in these situations are the ones stealing – not the ones being forced to try to stop it.
Is this fair and balanced?
…White House-supported legislation that aims to reduce predatory patent litigation – better known as “patent trolling.”
“Abusive” and “predatory.” That isn’t leading at all.
How about this?
Which ignores utterly the fact that the initial innovation – already took place. You innovate, then you patent it – to protect it. Undermining patent protection is the actual threat to innovation.
Which makes this Media description that much more ridiculous.
(P)atent trolls – entities that purchase patents, not to produce any goods or services, but to threaten and file infringement suits and attempt to collect licensing fees.
Sounds awful – until one actually applies thought.
From whom were these patents purchased? The Innovators – the people who created the things worth patenting. Not every Innovator wants to create – and then implement.
Implementation – building the business and infrastructure necessary to turn an idea into a product or service – is a big pain in the keister. And for most Innovators kind of boring – and likely not their bag.
Most would rather innovate – and then innovate again. So they sell their ideas to someone else. And use that money to go back to innovating.
Trying to end this cycle is completely destructive of innovation. A perspective the Media routinely fails to provide.
Hypothetical: Say I sneak in tonight and commandeer the New York Times’ offices – and start renting them out. And pledge publicly that I won’t give the Times any of the coin.
The Times would of course – rightly – call the cops and get me the heck out.
Would the Times then report they themselves were “office trolls” – stymieing my innovative use of their space?
I highly doubt it.
[Originally published at Red State]