Google: ‘You Didn’t Invent That’
In a replay of President Obama’s famous “You didn’t build that”, speech Google is arguing that if the collective adopts a technology then it becomes part of the public domain. Google’s present attack is against Apple who is asserting that Google’s Andriod phones have violated a number of Apple’s patents. In a letter to the Senate Judiciary committee, Kent Walker, head legal council for Google explained their theory as
While collaborative [Standards Setting Organizations (SSOs)] play an important part in the overall standard setting system, and are particularly prominent in industries such as telecommunications, they are not the only source of standards. Indeed, many of the same interoperability benefits that the FTC and others have touted in the SSO context also occur when one firm publishes information about an otherwise proprietary standard and other firms then independently decide (whether by choice or of necessity) to make complementary investments to support that standard in their products. … Because proprietary or de facto standards can have just as important effects on consumer welfare, the Committee’s concern regarding the abuse of SEPs should encompass them as well.
The quick translation of what Google is arguing is that the patents of Apple (or whoever else gets in their way) are invalid if Google decides to adopt these technologies. Of course, Google is not doing this for its own benefit, Nooo this is in the interest of “consumer welfare.” Perhaps we should confiscate Google’s profits in the interest of consumer welfare – the consumer would be better off if Google’s profits were distributed to all its consumers.
Google’s argument comes straight out of Atlas Shrugged. Rearden Metal was too valuable for one company to own, so for the welfare of the people every steel company was given the right to make Rearden Metal.
Ayn Rand said patents were the laws recognition of the source of man’s creative ability – his mind. She also felt that patents or the debates surrounding them were like a Canary in a coal mine, they indicate the intellectual and moral direction of a country. She complained that the so called defenders of the free market often did not even understand the nature of the debate, particularly when it came to patents. We can see this in the Von Mises Institute’s, CATO Institute’s and Reason Magazine’s attack on patents.
Other terrifying indicators of where we are headed include:
Myriad Genetics Patent Case: The ACLU has argued that breast cancer patients’ needs for Myriad’s technology trumps Myriad’s property rights in the technology.
America Invents Act: This bill was riddled with special interest give aways to Wall Street, pharmaceutical companies, and foreign inventors over US inventors
Mayo v. Prometheus Supreme Court Decision: Where Justice Beyer rules that only black magic is patent eligible .
News: Patent are portrayed as monopolies; Demanding that you get paid for someone using your inventions, gets you labeled a patent troll; the constant drumbeat that the Patent Office hands out bad patents – without any supporting evidence, by people who do not understand how to read the claims of a patent.
There is a moral decay going on in the United States and the World, but it has nothing to do with a lack of devotion to Christianity. It is an attack on the reason, logic, and the mind and in the law that means attacking patents and intellectual property.
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