On a patent practitioner email list I posted the following:
It seems to me that many small/medium companies live in fear of a big patent lawsuit. Even if they had their own IP, I suspect many companies would gladly give up forever their right to sue for patent infringement, in exchange for some kind of immunity from patent liability–at least, if they could eliminate the threat of an injunction, so that the worst penalty they might face is some kind of mandatory royalty. Surely IBM et al. would not take this deal, but I bet a lot of other companies would. What do you think?
Second, in view of this, does this mean there is some kind of market for a service that would let a bunch of companies get together and “pool” their IP and have some kind of agreement (a) never to sue each other; (b) to have access to this pool of patents to countersue any company that sues any of the members.
This post drew some interest so I am doing a simple webpoll. I think the results might be interesting. (DIGG it here.)
In Seen and Unseen Costs of Patents, Jeff Tucker notes, “Intel’s CEO spoke for many when he said he would be glad to cut patents to a tenth of its current rate provided that others did the same.”