Monday, March 28, 2005

Bring On the Patent Wars

You can get much better IP law discussion elsewhere, which is why I mostly stay away from it. However, this ruling against Sony Corp. ordering them to stop selling Playstations (stayed pending appeal) brings up one of my pet hopes/beliefs - that a proliferation of intellectual property lawsuits between the Big Bizness entities will eventually cause more of them to start lobbying for sensible modifications to IP laws.

Once upon a time it seems we had a better understanding of what the purpose of IP laws were. Their primary purpose is to encourage innovation and creativity, and not to create and preserve asset titles for corporations and individuals. Now, I'm all for innovators and artists being able to profit from their works, but the ability to do so is a means to an end, not the end itself. The end itself is supposed to be a benefit to consumers in the form of more new gadgets and more and better chick lit. If the IP system stifles innovation and creativity, rather than fostering it, then it's time for a change.

Along these lines, it's nice to see Mark Cuban joining in the battle. I'd prefer this all to be a consumer-led rather than business-led battle, but my guess is sensible progress is unlikely to be made until it's more the latter.