The brave new world is full of technological innovation. ┬áIt’s also full of people trying to grab onto the profits they generate. So when new products come out, companies holding patents that fringe on their concepts file lawsuits. Are many of these lawsuits frivolous? Sure. But defending against them racks up major expenses.

Discussions on patent trolling aren’t new. But DevsBuild.It via Techdirt adds a particularly juicy interview into the conversation. Techdirt setup the story quickly by describing the complexity of the issue:

Once a startup crosses a certain threshold of success, the licensing demands start pouring in, followed by the lawsuit threats, followed by the tough choice between settling and fighting. And, of course, these are the kinds of patents that describe broad concepts without actually solving any problems, held by non-practicing entities who develop no products.

Therefore, if you have some seed money and a good idea, should you armor up with lawyers before hiring your first developer? Techdirt’s anonymous source (they explain their reasons for keeping secret) seems to think so:

We’ve decided that rather than invest our scarce resources in patents, which have questionable protective value, we’ve just decided to invest in growing the business the best we can. Frankly these days it seems like it’s more about having enough money to defend yourselves than it is about having defensible patents.

Full article at http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130501/09000922908/when-startups-need-more-lawyers-than-employees.shtml

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