Rohit Mishra

Thoughts which don’t fit in 140 characters.

Patents and CS

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Google is bidding $900 million for the patent portfolio of Nortel in the company’s bankruptcy auction. On its official blog, Google says

The tech world has recently seen an explosion in patent litigation, often involving low-quality software patents, which threatens to stifle innovation. Some of these lawsuits have been filed by people or companies that have never actually created anything; others are motivated by a desire to block competing products or profit from the success of a rival’s new technology. The patent system should reward those who create the most useful innovations for society, not those who stake bogus claims or file dubious lawsuits. It’s for these reasons that Google has long argued in favor of real patent reform, which we believe will benefit users and the U.S. economy as a whole.

Google goes on to add that the best defense that it can currently seek is by building its own patent portfolio. This will allow it to develop new products without any fear. I do wonder how many technology companies can build this patent war-chest. Any major company can stifle off smaller competitors by engaging them in a patent law-suit. Intellectual Property Rights must be given their due respect, but it can’t come at the cost of risking innovation.

For the record, the most baffling patent that I have seen till date is by Google itself - its home screen is patented.

[caption id=“attachment_117” align=“aligncenter” width=“500” caption=“Google Patents its Home Page”]google homepage patent[/caption]