Mark Cuban’s a Mythical Patent Creature
Mark Cuban has been famous for criticizing intellectual property and particularly patents. According to IPBiz he stated on his blog that,
Pick any country that is currently doing well, China is a perfect example. In China the Intellectual Property Laws are so weak that someone thought it was a good idea to completely replicate Apple retail stores. Compare their economy to ours. As much as I hate to compare other economies to ours, it’s worth taking a look .
He has also criticized companies that enforce their patent rights. But now Cuban has bought into a company, Vringo, that acquired Lycos’ patent portfolio and is now enforcing those patents, according to an excellent post on GametimeIP. Vringo could be described as a Mythical Patent Creature (I stole this line from Patrick at Gametime IP).
This is not the full extent of Mr. Cuban’s hypocrisy. I am sure that he has made a fortune on the IP rights he has in the Mavericks (Just think of the money we could make by rebroadcasting Mavericks games, if we didn’t have to pay for Cuban’s IP). In addition, his argument that the countries that are doing well have weak IP rights is clearly nonsense. Is North Korea doing well? The start of China’s economic growth corresponds to their recognition of property rights including IP rights. They didn’t have any IP rights during “The Great Leap Forward” when millions of people starved to death. The current economic downturn in the US is not because our patent rights are too strong, but because they are too weak. Patents are property rights and when patents are under attack you can bet that all property rights are under attack. Clearly, the communist we have in the White House is not interested in strong property rights, but in fairness the Bush Administration was only ambivalent about property rights.
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