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Re: Gates Patents Flipping a Light Switch

From: Barry Margolin
Subject: Re: Gates Patents Flipping a Light Switch
Date: Fri, 14 May 2004 16:45:21 -0400
User-agent: MT-NewsWatcher/3.4 (PPC Mac OS X)

In article <>,
 AES/newspost <> wrote:

> In article <>,
>  Barry Margolin <> wrote:
> > LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Microsoft Corp. was found guilty of patent 
> > infringement and ordered to pay $120 million in damages to a tiny 
> > California firm in a rare setback for the giant computer software 
> > company.
> > 
> >  However, the federal jury on Wednesday also ruled that the violation 
> > was not willful and awarded Microsoft $13.6 million on a counterclaim 
> > against Stac Electronics, which makes a data-compression program called 
> > Stacker.
> > 
> > ****************
> > 
> > Now tell me: if there wasn't a patent system, what do you think would 
> > have happened to Stac?
> > 
> You overlook the *key* word in the news item:  "a *rare* setback".
> It reveals to us what, in the current patent system, happened to a bunch 
> of other Stacs.

No, I didn't overlook it.  My point is that without patents, even these 
rare wins would be virtually impossible.  Patents are one of the few 
weapons a small player can wield against a behemoth like Microsoft.

Barry Margolin,
Arlington, MA
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