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Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





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Intellectual Property vs. Global Warming

The damage done by intellectual property goes well beyond the prevention of the downloading of music. Yesterday's story about a Goldman Sachs employee downloading proprietary information was not exactly an example of a violation of intellectual property laws, but rather a theft of trade secrets -- perhaps a distinction without a difference.

Below, is a story about Toyota, supposedly benign force in the green economy by virtue of the Prius. Here is another side of the story in which Toyota is using intellectual property to make competition difficult.

One might be sympathetic to Toyota you were selling socks or toothpaste, but global warming seems to be too important to be gamed by such shenanigans.

Murphy, John. 2009. "Toyota Builds Thicket of Patents Around Hybrid To Block Competitors." Wall Street Journal (1 July): p. B 1.

"The Obama administration's tough new fuel-efficiency standards could pose problems for some car makers, but Toyota Motor Corp. is hoping to benefit. The Japanese company is betting the rules will give an advantage to its expanding lineup of hybrid vehicles, and it also aims to boost revenue by licensing to other car makers the patents that protect its fuel-saving technologies. Since it started developing the gas-electric Prius more than a decade ago, Toyota has kept its attorneys just as busy as its engineers, meticulously filing for patents on more than 2,000 systems and components for its best-selling hybrid. Its third-generation Prius, which hit showrooms in May, accounts for about half of those patents alone. Toyota's goal: to make it difficult for other auto makers to develop their own hybrids without seeking licensing from Toyota."


Comments

There are some fundamentals to human kind. Food, warmth and light are about the most essential. This brings me to Philips IP protectionism and the purchase of IP to create monopolies. Philips purchased Color Kinetics for about 10x there actual value purely because the have some very odd and interesting patents surrounding LED lighting.

LED lighting (solid state lighting) represents the future in green energy efficient lighting. Philips want 5% net from OEM's if you don't buy from them.

I find this cynical and with current climate and energy crisis's personally a bit disgusting.

You can find details of their solid state licensing agreement here ... https://www.ip.philips.com/services/?module=IpsLicenseProgram&command=View&id=100

The worst thing is that the majority of these patents have previous products and documentation. The systems already exist but the inclusion of LED and system is deemed worthy of a new patent!

Personally I believe this one is extremely important and if anybody out there has any space to collate information and pull in bodies contrary to Hhilips lighting IP then please do.

Stuart


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