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

[ Thanks to George
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
… 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

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