Re: Google's Biz Model
On the face of it, you're kind of right, but consider this:
I, mad scientist in bunker, invent something awesome, like a time machine or some shit like that. I patent it and start selling the Time Portal Deluxe 1000. The patent system is there to protect me from companies ripping off my work, and it's supposed to give me a few years to milk the benefits as a reward for my work.
Now, do you want me to:
a) Improve the machine, invent new stuff and be generally awesome!
b) Spend the next 10 years in patent courts, only to go bankrupt and insane before the first case has gone through it's 8th appeal while a dozen chinese companies churn out a Tinne Porlal Oeluxe 1000 for peanuts?
If you want a) then there's an easy fix: I sell the patent to an IP licensing company for a few billion. They sue anyone who uses my work without permission, and license it to anyone who wants to build a clone the legal way.
That company is a 'patent troll', but I'd say they were a good troll, and a good thing for the market and for progress.
On the other hand you have the shitty trolls that buy up 2nd-rate, likely-invalid, totally-obvious patents and then sue people who can't afford millions in lawyers fees to defend themselves. They might not take a license but who cares if you can take their house, car, business etc. and sell them? These are the ones we want to get rid of.