Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
September 18, 2006
LAW: Patent Trolling

It's an arcane issue, but the General Counsel of Sun Microsystems has a good post explaining the dangers of patent trolling to companies that do genuine innovation, especially in high-tech, and discussing proposed legislative solutions. Of course, big corporations are also not innocent of abusing patent litigation, nor are they entirely innocent of stealing other people's ideas, but the overall problem of strike suits is nonetheless a serious one.

It's also an issue that supports Wall Street Journal columnist Holman Jenkins' theory that the influence of money in politics can be a good thing - there just aren't that many votes to be had in fixing a complex business problem like patent litigation reform, and there's a lot of hard labor involved in understanding the issue, drafting reasonable legislation and pushing it through the laborious legislative process. But a fix is both good public policy and - let's face it - likely to generate a lot of interest from contributors. You don't have to be a public choice scholar to understand why an issue like this gets Congress' attention, and why it would never hope to get Congress' attention if campaigns were publicly financed. And that would be a bad thing. Because, at the end of the day, legislators shouldn't live in isolation of the economic facts of life that affect their constituents.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 7:37 PM | Law 2006-08 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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