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Re: Gates Patents Flipping a Light Switch

From: NOSPAMdave
Subject: Re: Gates Patents Flipping a Light Switch
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2004 17:41:58 -0000

According to Stefaan A Eeckels  <>:
> On Sat, 15 May 2004 16:59:08 -0400
> Barry Margolin <> wrote:
> > 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.
> Little guys might not be able to afford patents. 
> Does anyone have an idea how much it costs to get
> a software invention patented?

I attended a talk the other day on patents by the former
corporate counsel of a software company.  He mentioned
a range of $7K-$60K to get each patent, but noted that
it was probably going to cost at least $500K to fight or
defend a patent in court.  That's the more significant
obstacle, but it also works both ways.  While it's a
significant obstacle for the little guy trying to defend
against a charge of infringement, even Bill Gates can't
afford to spend $500K swatting every fly that comes along.

So a lot of innocent non-willful infringement is likely
to slip by under the radar.  People are only likely
to go to court over a patent if one side or the other
thinks they have millions at stake.

Dave Wallace            (Remove NOSPAM from my address to email me)
It is quite humbling to realize that the storage occupied by the longest
line from a typical Usenet posting is sufficient to provide a state space
so vast that all the computation power in the world can not conquer it.

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