Patents and Trademarks No Longer Give Safety to Small Business
What was once a good idea has now become another tool in the arsenal of weapons that big business has in crushing entrepreneurialism and small business.
The idea of a Patent or Trademark has always been the dream of entrepreneurs and small business owners. It was a safe haven. It was a sign of success granted by the Federal Government.
Now all the rules have changed. Big business can run over any patent claim or trademark by using one of two tried and true methods.
1) They can change a few cosmetic features and claim it as a new invention.
2) They can buy a similar obsolete patent and claim that they had the idea before you did.
Case in point:
This is the definition of stupidity. First of all….how did the trademarks people allow someone to trademark an a word that was first used in the 1950’s? I can understand the trademark of a “made up” word or set of words like coca cola….but to trademark the word “timeline”….that is insane.
Facebook was sued back in September 2011 by Timelines Inc. over the “timeline” trademark. Timelines Inc., which launched its website in 2009, claimed that Facebook infringed on its trademark when the social network roll out its timeline feature to its user base.
How do people come up with this idiocy? Just because you own the domain http://www.timelines.com you think you own all internet use of the word timeline???
If you think this is stupid…hold on to your hat. The legal insanity is just starting to come to reality. Billions are being invested in old patents so companies can lock out all competition.
Take the example of Google.
Google adds IBM patents as it looks to future : It has acquired 187 patents and 36 applications, adding to the 1,000 it purchased from IBM last summer. The latest patents include a system for “using semantic networks to develop a social network”. Google has spent billions building its technology rights portfolio, including a $12.5bn (£7.7bn) deal for Motorola Mobility.
Apple, Google in Group Buying Kodak Patents : A group including Apple Inc. (AAPL), Google Inc. (GOOG) and Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM) agreed to buy patents from bankrupt Eastman Kodak Co. for about $525 million, gaining the right to use the digital technology to capture and share photos.
Google Buys Motorola: The Patent Wars Ramp Up : Google’s purchase of smartphone maker Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion on Monday marks the latest salvo in the software industry’s raging patent war — a pitched battle that threatens to have far-reaching consequences for American innovation.
So the giants have taken over one more island of protection for small business. “Just because you invent something…..doesn’t mean you own it”, Iron Man (the movie)