[cryptography] NSA's position in the dominance stakes

James A. Donald jamesd at echeque.com
Sat Nov 20 06:49:55 EST 2010


On 2010-11-20 8:09 PM, Adam Back wrote:
 > with large companies it often comes down to some MAD
 > (mutually-assured destruction) negotiation and settling out
 > of court for undisclosed terms.

This is true of large companies that practice and use
technology, and could therefore each throw a truckload of
bogus patents at the other.

However, a patent troll does not itself use or practice any
technology, therefore can throw truckloads of patents at
technology companies, without fear of truckloads of patents
being thrown at it.

Therefore, if the settlement terms are undisclosed, the
patent troll lost.  If the technology company lost, the troll
would have every reason to disclose the terms, to put
pressure on other companies, and the technology company would
also have reason to disclose the terms, to put pressure on
its competitors.

By and large, if a patent troll fires off a lot of bullets,
but only scores once in a while, they are still doing pretty
well.  Even if they mostly lose, they still win.



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