Big Players Keeping Everyone Else Out
In this day and age new technology and innovation is hard to come by, many people have ideas that may seem like winners but they do not know the patent laws. In the end if they make a winning product they can end up getting into some serious trouble from their competition. Companies such as Google, Apple, Yahoo, Facebook, and Microsoft all own major patents these days. Ideas that have not even been created in full manufacture form are owned by these companies. In this Article you will learn about the wide variety of patents being bought and sold by these major players, lawsuits and the laws that make these lawsuits happen.
Technological patents may be the last thing you think of when it comes to big companies making great products but the technological marketplace is a warzone. Coming up with an idea is one thing but making sure no one else has the rights to your idea is another. If another company owns the idea that you have then chances are you are either going to get sued if you do not get permission to use it or if you do get permission you will be paying a major royalty fee. To avoid this, companies are either buying each other out or their competitions patents. For instance Google has the Android platform and probably would like to make phones rather than outsourcing their products to different manufacturers who own the phone developing patents. So to make the money to its max Google has purchased Motorola gaining all of its patents. Google has also bought IBM patents which will most likely be used in further developing their android operating system. Companies’ also running low on funds with decent patents can usually get into exclusive deals to license their patents for a larger fee but the company licensing it would have no competition. This is what we see in Microsoft buying licenses of AOL patents.
People missing patents can be very costly when they make their own products. There are so many patents out there that it is virtually impossible to find all of them and thus people often end up developing products that may infringe another companies patents. This is why companies end up getting sued. For instance Yahoo and Facebook have been going at in court for a while now over patent infringement which originally stemmed with Facebook’s ads. Facebook has recently countersued over different patents that they feel Yahoo has used. As you can see this process can be quiet long and messy. New startup companies simply cannot defend themselves if sued and this is the worst part! Even on the smallest things can someone be sued. Oracle has taken Google to court over something as small as a code from Java being used in their Android OS!
Recent patent law changes have been good for big businesses and bad for investors and small businesses! The First to File (FTF) is a law that gives the right to an invention to the first person who asks for the patent. This law would give companies the right to spend money on patents for things that are not possible as such time (heck let us say a flying car). When the technology and production price is low enough the companies that had the idea in the first place will be the only ones legally allowed to use or license those patents! That eliminates competition and leaves the big businesses thriving and to monopolize whereas the smaller guys are left out in the dust.
Patents are what drive the technology industry, unfortunately this is going to create anti completion and end up hurting the consumers. We must stop thinking all about money and instead the future. Without that we will be left in a world that lacks innovation.