We’re always talking about patent troubles here on Tech Report. Every tech company is suing every other tech company over who owns the legal claim to some bit of digital something. It matters to you and me because the constant fuss over litigation and the costs attendant to it might drive up what we pay and severely limit what even gets made.
Well, HIPPIES TO THE RESCUE!
Okay, it’s unfair to conclude that Berkeley law professors are hippies but it’s not out of the question. They’ve created the Defensive Patent License.
Essentially it works like this: if two companies are tired of spending ungodly sums of money suing one another they can agree to put their patents into the general Defensive Patent License. Doing this will not only give them access to each other’s patents for free but will also give them free access to the patents held by all DPL members.
A flaw that’s been pointed out is that the license doesn’t seem to hold much incentive for large companies, it’s mostly for small companies. And those small companies don’t have, uh, all that many patents.
Also, the Defensive Patent License REEKS OF PATCHOULI OIL. I’m kidding, I’m kidding.