Intellectual Property: Everyone Loves Getting Paid for It - Everyone Hates Paying for It
Less Theft and Lawsuits, Please
Let us check in with Merriam-Webster:
“Hypocrisy: feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; behavior that contradicts what one claims to believe or feel.”
And now Dictionary.com:
“Hypocrisy: a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess.”
Let us now - through the hypocrisy prism - examine Tech World.
In Tech World, lots of different people and companies rely on the inter-exchange of Intellectual Property (IP) - mostly embodied in patents.
Company A can not make Product I - without using patented tech from Companies B and C. Meanwhile, Company B sells Product II - using patented tech from Companies A and C. And so on, and so on, and….
Of course, money is paid back and forth and round and round - for the rights to said patents. Well…it is supposed to be paid.
This is, fundamentally, a mutually beneficial ecosystem - whose symbiotic balance is predicated upon everyone therein behaving like non-thieving adults.
That doesn’t happen all that much.
Someone starts stealing IP from someone else. So that person starts stealing. And that awful behavior…very rapidly begets very much more awful behavior. And round and round and round we go….
But as my father once wisely noted:
“People work twice as hard to avoid work - as the amount of work they would have done had they just done the work they were supposed to initially do.”
And not just work. Lots and lots of wasted time. And money.
The only beneficiary of all of this IP theft - is billable-hour trial lawyers.
And on, and on, and….
We particularly love the reciprocal, circular firing squad. Where two companies spend lots and lots of time robbing each other blind.
Speaking of Apple - they really love getting paid for their patents. But they REALLY loathe paying others for theirs.
And perhaps nowhere and with no one does Apple behave more badly - than with IP-creating machine Qualcomm.
Apple majorly ripped off Qualcomm. Then got the Barack Obama Justice Department to file a ridiculous, destructive and highly crony antitrust lawsuit - suing Qualcomm for having exclusive use of property…issued them for exclusive use by the government’s Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
The government issues Qualcomm the patents - then sues them for having them. That’s helpful.
Oh: And just three days after Obama sued Qualcomm - Apple followed suit.
That means for more than a year and counting - Apple has been massively trafficking in stolen goods.
How about them Apples.
There are a whole lot of IP thieves in Tech World. Criss-crossing each other up - regularly and routinely. With Apple arguably the worst.
The solution to this ongoing, rolling nightmare mess is:
Just pay your IP bills, you frigging thieves.
And since human nature is…human nature - we should pass legislation that slams down the hammer on IP thieves. Thereby making it much uglier for them to steal - and thus less likely they will do so.
Rather than the legislation we currently pass and have in place - which bizarrely slams down the hammer upon…the IP property holders. The victims of the thefts in question. Making it actually harder for them to protect their IP.
That latter approach seems…decidedly unintelligent. And incredibly counterproductive.
If we want to continue to lead in the global Information Economy - we must do everything we can to protect IP.
Not allow death by a thousand really stupid, really selfish, really greedy cuts.
This first appeared in Red State.