I did some patent review work in Dallas recently. I traded my security consulting time to a company who in return provided their legal firms time for my patents. I have been living and breathing patent strategies for the last few weeks.
One of our advisors sent me back comments to a provisional â€œelevator pitchâ€ I put together. As always brilliant feedback and very valuable suggestions. Surround yourself with brilliant people and its hard to fail!
As a customer of many companies, the thing I worry about the least is whether they’ve spent effort on things which add no value to me. I worry extensively about small companies that invest valuable time and money on worthless pursuits, such as patents or marketing when there’s no products to be had. Of course, this list is missing the vast majority of the real wasters.
There is no point in investing in or buying into any company who burns valuable startup resources on worthless evil patents. Focus on beating your competition by simply being better than them or offering a unique service… and then do it again a little later so your competition still has to catch you. The world does not owe you a 17 year license to sit on your arse, milk consumers and stifle competition.
Patents are evil on so many fronts, it’s hard to list them all. Here’s some that come to mind:
- Money is wasted on patent lawyers. Patent lawyers are a pestilence on society. Sorry, Jeff, but I’m so glad you got out of that game
- Patents add no value to the economy of ideas or the general economy. They produce no value to a nation’s GDP, but hold back competition and a natural market’s growth
- Patents are an anticompetitive weapon to squish competition who came up with fundamentally the same idea as you but foolishly or bravely chose not to patent the patently obvious
- Patents are not assets until they earn income by squishing the competition or milking other companies for licensing fees, milking the consumer or pure extortion cos they have no choice but to buy from a limited, stifled market. Patent battles are only useful after point (1) has wasted a six figure to seven figure sum for your average fight on worthless patent lawyers and mucky court battles.
- Sooner or later, all the patentable ideas will have been patented (many patents already significantly overlap), and it’s just who has the most serious patent lawyers and deepest pockets who can dictate who can innovate or provide services.
This is wrong. Imagine how many schools and hospitals could be built in third world countries for the value of the patent battles and licensing fees in the Valley alone. Patents are an insufferable evilness and must not be allowed to pass.
Mark, there’s no point in trying to ensure you don’t fail, you’ve already failed for being the latest sucker to take the poisoned patent chalice. You founded OWASP on the basis of openness and inclusion in an industry notorious for its secretive and proprietary ways. Reconsider before joining the dark side.