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back to article IBM tops chart for churning out patents for the 20TH TIME

It may be arguable whether patents are desirable or over-prescribed in the high tech industry, but there is no doubt that companies use patents as competitive – and anticompetitive – weapons, and therefore they have a huge value. Applying for and receiving lots of patents, then, can be seen as an insurance policy against …

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Meh

Patents

Sadly we live a very real world where software patents do exist. However, with software patents, when do you stop patenting your own idea, and start patenting others?

You can only have so many applicable ideas that you can put into a virtual system. Even if you start stealing other peoples ideas and patent those, you will still run out. With physical patents, you can always expand, but not with virtual concepts. Eventually, someone will have patented every idea possible that can be put into a virtual space, and you will have to pay for everything. Which is ironic because much of what you will have to pay for might of been your idea, but a piece of paper somewhere says your idea belongs to someone else.

Someone here recently mentioned "The tragedy of the commons", that fits pretty well here.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Patents

IBM do actually do a little more than just software, you know...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Patents

IBMs focus is on software, as they see it as smaller margins than hardware (doesn't need huge factories and raw materials) and can be reproduced ans sold at a higher profit than hardware.

When I worked for big blue, they had bonuses for patent raising. You also had to inform them of all patents before you joined up.

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Qualifier

One of the reasons for such high-growth by some of the companies mentioned was the sale or Nortel's patent collection.

I like the double irony "patenting the idea of better processing of patent applications". Doubly impressive coming from a yank, a race infamous for its innate irony defect!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Qualifier

Those Nortel patents wouldn't count as new, as far as I can tell...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Qualifier

Also, you describe Americans with a PEJORATIVE term, say that they are A RACE, then state that they are INFAMOUS for not having a certain quality. Think about that a bit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Qualifier

"Those Nortel patents wouldn't count as new, as far as I can tell..."

Yes, I think these are new patents created in the past year. Also, IBM has sold a large number of patents to Google and others. I doubt they credit those to Google. I think these patents are based upon the organization requesting the patent from the government.

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Samsung are #2, Apple not on list.

Apple say Sammy done copied everything; but lo...patents, many! Apple...less?

Ghast = flabbered. Quick, call the spin police!

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