Research In Motion was in the news again this morning as their patent infringement court battle with NTP wages on. As you no doubt know, RIM makes the highly popular BlackBerry. RIM’s BlackBerry technology allegedly infringes on patent claims by NTP.
The more I heard about this case, the more my blood boiled. I was incensed to hear that a little nothing of a company was threatening to effectively shut down RIM’s US operations. And surprise, surprise, Don Stout, one of NTP’s co-founders is a patent lawyer.
This isn’t the first time that this sort of thing has happened. Previously, a tiny dust mite of a company named Eolas threatened Microsoft, causing changes in Internet Explorer. And more recently eBay has found itself in court fighting a similar battle. Why? Well, it’s because the US legal system is a joke, that’s why. In Canada and most European countries, you need to have filed a patent yourself in order to be able to challenge someone in court. In the US, any bloodsucking leach can drag you into court if he can show that he had the idea first. My question is this, where was NTP when RIM first launched its product? Where was Eolas when IE first began to “infringe” on their idea? Nowhere. Why? Because they hadn’t thought of ripping off the hard work of someone else yet that’s why. Because RIM wasn’t as successful then as it is now. That’s why. Because NTP and their ilk are nothing more than profiteering, amoral, bottom feeding scum who want a big payday for an idea they supposedly had which they never acted on. How many of us have had ideas we’ve never acted on? How many of us have later seen our ideas come to life at the hands of some company somewhere who decided to put the work into creating and marketing it? We all have ideas. The planet’s got six billion people, most of whom have the capacity to think. It’s inevitable, if you’ve thought of something, someone somewhere has probably thought of it too. So that means that any and every product out there is at risk of “patent” violation as far as the US law is concerned. With that in mind, I’ve got an idea of my own.
I hereby claim all rights to future forms of communication that involve the transmission of information from one point to another using a medium that is portable but not necessarily constrained to a physical device—though it may be—and has the ability to organize, motivate, communicate, assist and otherwise augment your ability as a human being.
You heard it here first folks, so if ever you invent anything that comes remotely close to what I just described, I’ll be seeing you in court.
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