Sunday, May 22, 2011

Buying "software" patents

Last year, Facebook bought the entire portfolio of social networking patents from rival Friendster. More details from this article in GigaOM:
The Friendster patents, which date back to the early days of social networking, are incredibly broad. They cover things like making connections on a social network, friend-of-a-friend connections through a social graph, and social media sharing.
[...]
It’s unlikely that Facebook would use the patents against other companies in the space rather than trying to out-compete them, though it now has the option to wield intellectual property as a weapon.
Think about that last statement for a moment: "wield intellectual property as a weapon." That's not what the patent system was originally set up to do, and that's partially why I'm trying to bring about reform of the patent system, especially for "software" patents.

If you haven't already, please contact your senator's office, and voice your concern over "software" patents.

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