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SF Gate: Tipping the Playing Field On The Internet, Patents Have The Weight Of Gold

Jan 04, 2001, 18:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Neil McAllister)

[ Thanks to George Mitchell for this link. ]

"At the 1998 Wall Street Journal Technology Summit, Cisco CEO John Chambers compared the Internet to a "true second Industrial Revolution." When the marketplace is the Internet, he declared, "...the big don't beat the small. The fast beat the slow."

"The truth is, in this race the tortoise is all too likely the one that will beat the hare. And it's not because he's "slow and steady," or because the hare falls asleep on the track, either. All the tortoise needs is some deep pockets, and he can tilt the so-called "level playing field" right back in his favor."

"More and more, our own government has proven itself willing to hand big corporations like Cisco this kind of financial home court advantage -- for a fee. It comes in the form of U.S. Patent Law. ... So why does the U.S. government support these kinds of software patents? Because the patents benefit people and companies -- the Microsofts and the IBMs of the world -- who have a lot of money. These companies and the lawyers who work for them pack the kind of financial clout it takes to keep laws on the books."

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