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Re: Gates Patents Flipping a Light Switch

From: T . Max Devlin
Subject: Re: Gates Patents Flipping a Light Switch
Date: Sat, 15 May 2004 21:11:38 -0400

On Sat, 15 May 2004 16:59:08 -0400, Barry Margolin
<> wrote:

>In article <c85t6j$j2v$>,
> (Rahul Dhesi) wrote:
>> Barry Margolin <> writes:
>> >In article <>,
>> > (phil hunt) wrote:
>> >> On Fri, 14 May 2004 16:45:21 -0400, Barry Margolin <> 
>> >> wrote:
>> >> >
>> >> >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.
>> ...
>> >Of course it helps Microsoft.  It helps *everyone* -- big guys and 
>> >little guys.
>> First it's a weapon that Stac wields against Microsoft.  Then, a couple
>> of sentences later, the lawsuit helped Microsoft.  Then, in the next
>> sentence, it helped everyone.
>> And all these inconsistent and random assertions are offered without any
>> proof whatsoever.

He doesn't seem to be following, does he, Rahul?

>I didn't say *that* lawsuit helped Microsoft.  I said that the patent 
>system helps Microsoft, but it also helps the little guys so they can 
>sue Microsoft.

But, of course, it doesn't, since Microsoft isn't just another company
competing with patents.  There monopoly power gives them a bankroll
sufficient to change the rules about who wins and who loses in a
lawsuit, even if it costs them billions of dollars.    Just like any
other property rights, patent in the hands of such an entity can be
used to provide predatory leverage.

>Are you expecting the laws to be applied differently for different 
>companies?  Patents are something that anyone can take advantage of.  
>Little guys can use them to keep big guys from walking all over them.  
>Big guys use them as a way to stay big.

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