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Amazon Founder Calls For End of Patent Wars

By - Source: Metro | B 28 comments

Patent spending stemming from the smartphone industry exceeded $20 billion last year.

Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos has expressed his concern in the continuous amount of patent lawsuits in the mobile industry coming into fruition.

Bezos stressed that he's worried that the sheer amount of patent lawsuits "might start to stifle innovation", and suggested that governments should get involved in order to protect consumers.

"Governments may need to look at the patent system and see if those laws need to be modified because I don't think some of these battles are healthy for society," Bezos said in an interview with Metro.

Amazon itself experienced a lawsuit from Smartphone Technologies for purportedly violating patents in its Kindle Fire tablet. However, aside from that, it has stayed clear of lawsuits, while firms such as Microsoft, Apple, Samsung and Motorola all battle against each other through its batch of patent disputes.

"One thing that we are very seriously taking a look at is the question of software patents, and whether in fact the patent system as it currently exists is the right system to incent innovation and really promote consumer-friendly policies," Google's Pablo Chavez said. He also told attendees at a Technology Policy Institute conference that "patent wars are not helpful to consumers".

Last year, the smartphone industry alone spent $20 billion on patents, with spending by both Apple and Google on patents exceeded its spending on research and development of new products, representing the first time that has occurred in both company's history.

Google in particular spent $12.5 billion on Motorola Mobility last year in order to acquire its patents so it could further protect its Android platform.

 

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Top Comments
  • 23 Hide
    bavman , October 17, 2012 3:21 PM
    Amen
  • 16 Hide
    ivanto , October 17, 2012 3:32 PM
    sounds too good to be true for tech giants to stop suing each other. What would law and troll firms do?
  • 15 Hide
    john_4 , October 17, 2012 4:04 PM
    I blame the government who are the enablers of this with stupid laws.
Other Comments
    Display all 28 comments.
  • 23 Hide
    bavman , October 17, 2012 3:21 PM
    Amen
  • 16 Hide
    ivanto , October 17, 2012 3:32 PM
    sounds too good to be true for tech giants to stop suing each other. What would law and troll firms do?
  • 12 Hide
    michaelssw , October 17, 2012 3:41 PM
    Surprised nobody tried to patent patenting
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , October 17, 2012 3:56 PM
    It's totally out of control. Patent protection should never have been extended to software in the first place. The vast majority of software patents are for incandescently obvious things, but the clueless dufuses in our federal judiciary are too dense to understand that.
  • 4 Hide
    EDVINASM , October 17, 2012 4:00 PM
    Courts don't do justice - courts do law. Every rule has its own twists. While patenting is trying to protect real innovators from copycats it is also in a way covering patent trolls and allowing them to to do justice. Its just like rights - too little hurts people, too many makes the whole system look like everybody is on drugs. Be careful what you wish :-)
  • 9 Hide
    ddpruitt , October 17, 2012 4:03 PM
    I'm amazed that a CEO has come out against this, I guess it would have to be Amazon. At least they spend money on innovation not litigation.
  • 3 Hide
    svdb , October 17, 2012 4:03 PM
    Unfortunately, patent trolls understood before anyone else that it was pointless to actually make products. When Apple or Google spend more on lawyers than on R&D it leads to think that they're slowly but surely going the same way...
  • 15 Hide
    john_4 , October 17, 2012 4:04 PM
    I blame the government who are the enablers of this with stupid laws.
  • 1 Hide
    matt_b , October 17, 2012 4:21 PM
    ivantosounds too good to be true for tech giants to stop suing each other. What would law and troll firms do?

    Place a lot of people out of a job..........
    The patent industry has spawned its' own job sector - it's that profitable, The consumer picks up that tab in the end anyway.
  • 2 Hide
    stingstang , October 17, 2012 4:49 PM
    matt_bPlace a lot of people out of a job..........The patent industry has spawned its' own job sector - it's that profitable, The consumer picks up that tab in the end anyway.

    This same industry is also destroying developing companies from adding exponentially more jobs to the market. You have to look at the issue past the first step.

    However, as soon as I saw the "Governments may need to look at the patent system and see if those laws need to be modified..." I knew that the majority of voters are going to see this as the government (that mean old facist government of ours) is just going to use this as excuse to implement more laws to regulate the people to benefit themselves instead.

    Of course, this may or may not happen, but something DOES need to happen.
  • 0 Hide
    frombehind , October 17, 2012 5:17 PM
    good luck bro. you have my respect, but honestly you may have an easier time ending world hunger, or curing cancer.
  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , October 17, 2012 5:25 PM
    Time to completely abolish patents!! end it. no more patents!!! Null and void them all right now.
  • 0 Hide
    devBunny , October 17, 2012 5:40 PM
    Chuck CardiffThe vast majority of software patents are for incandescently obvious things


    I agree. I'd bet good money that several of the GUI features that I created back in the early '80s were ahead of current patent owners and I'd bet even more money that other programmers back then were busy inventing the same techniques in their programs.

    For instance, I had hyperlinked help pages which incorporated live data and settings from the program. Things like that are obvious (although, thanks MS Help, I've never seen it again, ever since you separated the help system from the programs themselves :-/). Anyway, they should never be patented (and I'm looking at you, BT, with your hyperlink patent)
  • 4 Hide
    ddpruitt , October 17, 2012 5:40 PM
    cybernetTime to completely abolish patents!! end it. no more patents!!! Null and void them all right now.


    Patents have a place in society. Most companies wouldn't be willing to spend the R&D money on a product if they wouldn't make any money off of it. Imagine if AMD could use all of Intel's designs without spending the R&D money, you could spend half the price for the same chip. Intel would stop innovating and the entire market would stagnate.

    The reason for patents is to "promote the progress of the sciences and arts", however some companies abuse the system because we've let everything become patentable. Patents used to have very stringent standards (fewer patents were issued from 1800-1900 than from 1901-1910 same for 1900-2000 and 2000-2010), now you could patent toilet paper. We just need to have reasonable laws that make sense.
  • -1 Hide
    chomlee , October 17, 2012 6:01 PM
    Since software technology becomes obsolete in a matter of a couple of years software patents should be limited to a shelf life of 3 years. Of course there still needs to be some protection so that someone couldn't just rip off a particular code word for word and then sell it as their own.

    As for the system. I don't think it will ever be fixed. Because our system is such a free market system (here in the US) it is based on the fundamental nature of humans. The ones that want to create things are less concerned about money but really drive the innovation. Unfortunately the ones that don't create things figure out ways to make money off of the people who do so they become lawyers/businessmen and make laws/deals to maximize the amount of opportunity to them. Its kinda like the entertainment industry. There are plenty of cases where the bands/artists where platinum album award winning artists and in the end, they were broke meanwhile their managers/record lables walked away with millions.
  • 1 Hide
    jhansonxi , October 17, 2012 6:10 PM
    Amazon is whining because their 1-Click patent trolling didn't amount to much: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1-Click
  • 1 Hide
    gm0n3y , October 17, 2012 8:11 PM
    Quote:
    both Apple and Google on patents exceeded its spending on research and development of new products, representing the first time that has occurred in both company's history.

    That is truly a sad statistic.

    The system is broken. I personally am a proponent of keeping the system largely the same, but drastically reducing the time that patents are valid. This, combined with more strictness on what is considered new and innovative, should help get rid of most of the patent trolls.
  • 0 Hide
    abbadon_34 , October 17, 2012 8:20 PM
    tell that to RAMBUS
  • 0 Hide
    dextermat , October 17, 2012 8:29 PM
    The only winners in all that are the blood sucking layers...
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