Bill Gates helping patent trolls

Gates has been prolific in filing patent applications over the past few years, mostly through a partnership with friends at Intellectual Ventures (IV). That’s one of the world’s largest patent holding companies, typically described as a patent troll because of its practice of acquiring patents and using them to file lawsuits (notably against Motorola), despite not using the patents to make technology of its own.

It would be funny if the company sued Gates.



  • Bossfarm

    This is why the patent laws need to add a requirement that if a patent is not used in a product within 5 years, it is void.

    • iwantzcouponz

      no. that’s too easy. I can just make one product, one copy of it. Sell it for $1. boom, rule bypassed.

      • BongBong

        How would this possibly apply to patented items which require long-term R&D, engineering, marketing and/or licensing arrangements?

        • iwantzcouponz

          Why market it? build it as cheap and fast as possible. Whole purpose isn’t to sell, but to bypass this rule.

          • BongBong

            The response is nonsense. The medications that enable people to live longer, the electronics we use that have no peer in the world, the very foundations of our capital-driven world rely on the protections of intellectual property… Kids today!

    • BongBong

      I completely disagree. Small businesses and inventors may take many years to find the right market for their patent or invention. With any number of large businesses it may be a simple matter of marketing or licensing. Your “recommendation” would force these smaller entities to sell their patents to the larger IP holders almost immediately or their property would soon be worthless. That is just plain foolish.

    • samdchuck

      Something like that exists for trademarks. If you don’t use your trademark for 3 or so consecutive years you lose it. There are piles of (terrible) one issue comic books prints that won’t see the light of day because of this.

      Personally I find that the big issue with patents is that the requirement to be granted one are terribly enforced and woefully interpreted by the patent office and judges alike. They are; be statutory, be new, be useful and be non-obvious if you were wondering.

    • lucascott

      I disagree. Sometimes it can take a decade for something to be feasible.

      Now a rule that you have X time from when an item goes public to file some kind of ‘investigation’ or you give up the right to claim any damages, sure. That makes sense. It’s not unlike how they handle trademarks. But since items can be announced well before they are public it’s hard to make a claim right off. So an allowance to say you believe it might be infringing and intend to investigate would not be out of order. And so on

  • Ralph Kruse

    I feel like Bill Gates could have been a good guy on his own… but then he met Paul Allen and since then his soul was forever corrupted.

    • Moeskido

      He’s the competitive guy his parents raised him to be.

  • http://icrizzo.net/ Christopher

    Bill Gates has always thought software should be patented. Since 1974 when he wrote his open letter to hobbyists: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Letter_to_Hobbyists

    • Derek Ledbetter

      That’s about copyright, not patents.

      • http://icrizzo.net/ Christopher

        Don’t they relate though, seems the mindset is the same for both when it comes to software. In my opinion.

        • struckpaper

          Not enough close.

  • StruckPaper

    Sometimes, the kneejerk reaction at The Loop to mock or discredit Google, Microsoft and Bill Gates ends up discrediting The Loop itself.