The biggest threat to patent reform: The Apple/IBM/Microsoft coalition

There’s a new coalition in D.C., and big players like Apple, DuPont, Ford, GE, IBM, Microsoft, and Pfizer have all signed up. Unfortunately, launched on the day the Senate was supposed to take up the latest effort to reform the patent system, the coalition’s sole purpose appears to be an effort to derail the important strides we’ve made toward fixing the patent troll problem via the proposed Innovation Act legislation.

Patent trolls start suing American cities

The crisis that is the American software patent system has reached a tipping point. It’s no longer just established companies who are being hit with frivolous lawsuits, it’s startups as well. And in a new twist, American cities that are already strapped for cash are getting the shakedown from patent trolls.

Yammer CEO says he won’t hire anyone from Yahoo who doesn’t quit in next 60 days

David Sacks, the CEO of Yammer, is pissed. Last month he was hit with his first lawsuit from a patent troll. So when he saw that Yahoo was going after Facebook for patent infringement, he drew a line in the sand (well, on Twitter to be precise): “I’m declaring it: Yammer will never hire another former Yahoo employee who doesn’t leave in the next 60 days. Who will join me? #stopyahoo“

If Facebook pays up, experts say Yahoo may go full time patent troll

Yahoo has put the IP squeeze on Facebook, slapping it with a patent lawsuit during the quiet period in the run up to the social network’s IPO. While it’s tempting to see this as the first shot fired in a broader patent war centered around social networking, Lance Lieberman, a veteran New York patent lawyer with a specialty in software, thinks it’s just Yahoo’s first step down the dark path towards life as a patent troll.

Patent fight: Tech vs. pharma, round one

A long-awaited struggle over patent reform appears to be upon us, the Washington Post reports today (hat tip to the WSJ’s Health Blog). It pits the tech industry against pharmaceutical/biotech companies over intellectual property protections that, depending on where you stand, are either largely a nuisance or an industry’s lifeblood.