Hacker News has a good article up on the fate of tech patents, but one of the most interesting tidbits is the one that’s been around for quite a while: a bunch of tech companies have decided to ditch their patents.
“Many companies have been buying and selling their patents, and many of them are not making any money,” explained Ben Bajarin, the founder of the blog Techdirt.
Bajarnin went on to say that “most of the tech companies [are] making money from their patents.”
Bajarins post made a lot of waves because he’s been an advocate of patent reform, which has been a priority for a number of tech and media companies in recent years.
But Bajars post made some assumptions, and we wanted to know if that assumption was true.
He also mentioned that the patents being auctioned off “could potentially be the beginning of a long-term trend,” and we thought it was worth digging a little deeper to see if that’s true.
We wanted to find out whether companies were actually selling patents to fund the continued development of their products.
But before we do that, let’s get things straight: The tech patents are not being auction’d off to fund new products, or any other use.
Instead, the company is simply auctioning off patents for the future.
But is this all good news for consumers?
It’s not as if there aren’t many other tech companies out there that have also decided to sell off their patents for some reason.
In fact, it’s actually a little bit of a mixed bag.
“Companies have traditionally sold patents to their customers,” explained Bajrins blog post.
“But in the past, this has always been done with very little or no fanfare, leaving a lot to be desired.”
But Bjarnarins article made it sound like patents were actually being sold to fund more new products.
And that’s not the case.
The reason that this is happening is because many of these companies, and others that are also selling patents, are using their patents to build their own hardware.
That’s because many companies are using these patents to develop new and better products.
For example, some of these tech companies use their patents as a way to build devices for specific use cases.
For instance, some companies may want to build a camera with a wide-angle lens, or a wireless device with a microphone.
If a company wanted to use a patent to build something that was meant to be a wireless camera, the patent could easily be used to make that camera a wireless one.
In other cases, patents are used to help make software.
For the most part, though, patents have been used for the benefit of the people who developed the technology, and not to create new products or services.
“The patents themselves are not really used for new products,” explained Sami Sivaraju, the CEO of Open Source Hardware.
“They’re used to build the hardware for the software that we build.”
Bijarins claim that patents are being used for this purpose, but he’s not entirely clear about what that means.
For one thing, patents aren’t used to create a new product.
Bijars post said that “patents are used for software development,” but it didn’t mention whether or not the patents were used to develop software.
Instead of using the patents to create software, patents would instead be used as a tool to help companies make software that is more efficient and performant.
That way, more and more companies can get away with making their own products, and more and better people can use their inventions to make their own devices.
Bjarins is right to say, however, that this could happen.
“A lot more companies have recently decided to start building new products on top of their intellectual property, which means they need to find ways to monetize their intellectual properties,” explained Josh Zaslavsky, a partner at law firm Gibson Dunn & Ryan LLP.
“Some of these new products might have no value to the customer if they didn’t have a patent,” said Zaslavsky, but “others may benefit from their invention.”
So it’s not that these companies aren’t using their IP to build new products; it’s that they’re doing so without paying for the product itself.
“It’s not a bad idea to use patents to make new products and new services,” said Bajsarins blog article.
“And if you can do it in a way that is efficient and makes it cheaper for companies to produce new products than it is to continue to make the old products, that’s probably a good thing.”
As far as Bajbarnins post goes, though—and as he points out in his post—that’s a very good thing, because it gives consumers the option to use the technology they are building.
If patents were being used to fund future products, then we should see