David A. Wheeler's Blog

Tue, 18 May 2004

Added permanent location for patent protest

I can’t keep the protest page on patents up forever, but I certainly want people to be able to access it. So here’s the permanent location of the patent blackout page, so you can get its information even when it’s not the front page of my site.

I’ll occasionally place it back as the front page until this issue gets resolved more reasonably. In the meantime, I’ve added a link to relevant excerpts from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission Report. For example:

Many panelists and participants expressed the view that software and Internet patents are impeding innovation. They stated that such patents are impairing follow-on incentives, increasing entry barriers, creating uncertainty that harms incentives to invest in innovation, and producing patent thickets. Panelists discussed how defensive patenting increases the complexity of patent thickets and forces companies to divert resources from R&D into obtaining patents. Commentators noted that patent thickets make it more difficult to commercialize new products and raise uncertainty and investment risks. Some panelists also noted that hold-up has become a problem that can result in higher prices being passed along to consumers.
Note that after discussing the various ways that patents are intended to spur innovation, “Commentators were generally skeptical about the benefits of the patent system in these [software and Internet] industries.”

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