This American Life (NPR) on Patent Trolls

Update: NPR has a follow up to When Patents Attack!.

Many people have asked us to post the This American Life story on Patent Trolls entitled “When Patents Attack” from NPR on July 22, 2011.  It is below:


  2 comments for “This American Life (NPR) on Patent Trolls

  1. JohnGaltIam
    June 3, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    this story is sadly biased and the producers had no interest in presenting a balanced story.
    they present Chris’s patent as “owning the right to back up data over the internet”, when in fact the patent is for a set of MANY specific, detailed steps. if a potential infringer does not perform each and every step as detailed and explained, then the person is not an infringer.

    If I am the first person to invent an patent a carburator for a gasoline engine, would the producers have said that I was trying to patent “hunks of metal” or “all machinery”?

    Last, the story quotes a specific software engineer who says that he is not proud of the patents in his name and that they are gobbledygook, or mumbo jumbo. That guy just invalidated his patents and should be fired by his company. Just because he does not understand the language that his company’s patent attorney chose to use to describe the details of each step in his invention, does not mean that the language is not precise and valuable.

    sad sad state of affairs when someone’s agenda comes before good journalism.

  2. xhyena
    June 7, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    very thorough story about patent trolling. We need to fix patents so they promote innovation (and yes patent trolls used to help inventors). Right now patents are a way to stifle innovations and patent trolls are ever more cancerous.

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