Troll slayer: Can Mark Cuban cure the U.S. patent system?

The inauguration of the “Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents” is a great opportunity to take another look at the U.S. patent system, and how it fares with startups and software companies.

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Is a patent troll watching your business now?

You just invested in a promising startup, e-Widgets. The future looks bright. Suddenly, out of nowhere, e-Widgets gets a certified letter in the mail. The letter claims that the company’s flagship software is infringing on an existing patent. What do you do?

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Who’s a patent troll now? Oracle joins Google and Apple in Lodsys patent fights

This one goes in the I’m-not-sure-what-to think category. Oracle, the company that just failed in its attempt to sue Google for violating dubious-sounding patents relating to Java technologies acquired in the Sun takeover, is now suing Lodsys, which has somewhat successfully sued app developers and website owners for violating its own dubious-sounding patents.

Paul Allen’s patent suits: Enough is enough

Paul Allen lost his nerve in the high stakes game of technology investments in 2000, when he shut down Interval Research, a respected Silicon Valley think tank. Now he has the gall to say that what his researchers created and patented was really valuable, and so all of the successful companies that weathered the storm and stuck it out should pay him. If it’s not clear already, my opinion is that Allen has just shredded his good name.