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August 7, 2011
Yes, Mark, But Exactly How?
Serial entrepreneur, billionaire, and controversial NBA team owner Mark Cuban
posted a little mini-rant to his blog yesterday, asserting that changing (US) patent laws would create more jobs
. Unfortunately, he doesn't say how he thinks laws should be changed.
I'm sympathetic to people decrying the current craptastic state of patenting in the US. But Cuban's random shot at "patent trolls" comes off as easy and facile. He notes that Google spent USD 900 million for Nortel's patents and seems to share Vlad Savov's sentiment there in engadget that the major reason for Google spending this money was to defend itself against these unnamed trolls.
The problem, though, is that wailing about trolls misses major problems with the patent system, such as random rejections, pathetic prior art practices, and a patent reform bill mired in the political mess of the US Congress, a bill opposed by just about everyone from individual inventors to small businesses, to unions, to large organizations. And really, if you haven't been treated to the (reasonably well-informed, if highly biased) rantings of Greg Aharonian on the horrid state of patenting in the US you're missing a real treat.
With all that out there one wonders what, exactly, has Cuban's ire up? Unfortunately his blog entry doesn't even begin to sketch an answer or suggest any way to solve the problem, let alone demonstrate some linkage between some nebulous patent reform and job creation. If someone made an elevator pitch with this scanty a level of logic and detail to Cuban I bet you that he'd get pitched out on his ear.
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