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December 6, 2011
ZDNEt: Apple is in Worldwide Patent War
In last week's long ramble I wrote that nobody seemed to be saying clear things on what Apple was up to. Ask and ye shall receive, I guess. Today +Dan Gillmor pointed to a "Patent Absurdity" column by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols on ZDNet.
Vaughan-Nicols is pretty damned clear: Apple is engaged in a world-wide war on Samsung and Android in an attempt to drive them out of, and monopolize, the tablet space. There are at least nineteen related lawsuits happening in nine different countries as Apple tries to use its patent portfolio to bludgeon competition out of the marketplace. No wonder I was confused.
Vaughan-Nicols notes that this massive campaign is starting to draw regulatory notice, which is not bad but kind of a case of the horse already having left the barn. If the problem is the overuse of overbroad patents to monopolize a marketplace then the answer isn't to retroactively fight those patents; the answer is to tighten up the patent-issuing system so that crappy overbroad patents stop getting issued in the first place.
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