Understanding patent pandering

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patentshhs.jpgWhat’s the deal with all of these patent battles? Can’t we all just get everything under creative commons and then we’ll all be happy? Since that’ll never happen, it’s great that articles like this one from Business Week exist explaining the ordeal. The piece delves into the world of patenting and why there’s squabbles over who thought of things first and who actually put the thought into action. You better believe that they talk about RIM and their NTP battles.

Blackberry maker Research In Motion (RIMM) had to spend more than $600 million to settle a lawsuit with Virginia holding company NTP over technology that delivers e-mail to mobile devices. NTP claimed that that RIM’s device had a combination of features described in NTP’s patents. RIM’s business was so severely disrupted by NTP’s claims that it had to settle, even though it had developed a work-around technology.

Business Week also provides a solid tip sheet for small businesses, noting nine tips necessary to know when it’s time to start that patent down the pending process.

1. Start early.
2. Make sure a patent first your business strategy
3. Don’t do it yourself
4. Budget properly
5. Check for landmines
6. Leverage technology
7. Look outside
8. Measure results
9. Look abroad

More details are available from Business Week’s official site.