Don Marti

Sun 07 Oct 2012 07:52:50 AM PDT

Sunday reading: patent roundup

Ryan Whitwam: How the Apple-Samsung case could push OEMs closer to Google and stock Android. You could make an argument that a company might flip out and bail on the Android platform, but I think it’s more likely that it would seek safety in the shade of a monolithic Google experience.

Jean-Marc Valin and Timothy B. Terriberry: It’s Opus, it rocks and now it’s an audio codec standard! Opus is the first state of the art, free audio codec to be standardized....Opus is the result of a collaboration between many organizations, including the IETF, Mozilla, Microsoft (through Skype), Xiph.Org, Octasic, Broadcom, and Google.

Judge Richard A. Posner: Do patent and copyright law restrict competition and creativity excessively? The problem of excessive patent protection is at present best illustrated by the software industry. This is a progressive, dynamic industry rife with invention. But the conditions that make patent protection essential in the pharmaceutical industry are absent.

Prof. Gary S. Becker: Reforming the Patent System Toward a Minimalist System. It has long been recognized that patents impose costs on society since patents keep out competition, so that the monopoly power of patent holders enables them to raise prices and lower outputs. However, until recent years many other costs of the patent system received little attention, including paradoxically that this system might in fact discourage innovations.

Timothy B. Lee: How a rogue appeals court wrecked the patent system. No institution is more responsible for the recent explosion of patent litigation in the software industry, the rise of patent trolls, and the proliferation of patent thickets than the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Followup: The Federal Circuit, Not the Supreme Court, Legalized Software Patents. Bonus link: Public vs. Private is a Spectrum, Not a Dichotomy

Jordan Weissmann: The Case for Abolishing Patents (Yes, All of Them). [P]atent protections never stay small and tidy. Instead, entrenched players like intellectual property lawyers who make their living filing lawsuits and old, established corporations that want to keep new players out of their markets lobby to expand the breadth of patent rights. And as patent rights get stronger, they take a serious toll on the economy, including our ability to innovate.