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Re: Gates Patents Flipping a Light Switch

From: Barry Margolin
Subject: Re: Gates Patents Flipping a Light Switch
Date: Sun, 16 May 2004 01:10:13 -0400
User-agent: MT-NewsWatcher/3.4 (PPC Mac OS X)

In article <>,
 T. Max Devlin <> wrote:

> >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.

So you think patents should be available to everyone except *really* big 
companies?  Should we also deny them the right to buy real estate?  What 
else should we deny to Microsoft?

Anyway, I thought we were having a discussion about patents in general, 
not specifically Microsoft.  Would it have been OK if it had been "Joe 
Schmo Patents Flipping a Light Switch"?  Are patents only silly when 
Microsoft applies for them?

Barry Margolin,
Arlington, MA
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