The titanically huge mega-corporation Google yesterday took time out from its record-setting-most-money-ever lobbying of Congress to admit – accidentally, perhaps – that the systemic, wholesale stealing of which it is so fond is a lousy thing to do.
Which is more than a little ironic – in many, many ways. For instance, Google has ramped up further still their massive lobbying efforts – in large part to get a law passed that would make it much easier for them to steal the very thing they now admit they shouldn’t be stealing.
The items being stolen – are patents. The bill Google wants passed is the Through-the-Looking-Glass-misnamed Innovation Act – which would strip mine the ability of patent holders to defend themselves against people stealing their stuff. Like Google.
So when Google published this yesterday, it certainly seemed strange.
Announcing the Patent Purchase Promotion
We invite you to sell us your patents. The Patent Purchase Promotion is an experimental marketplace for patents that’s simple, easy to use, and fast….
Unfortunately, the usual patent marketplace can sometimes be challenging, especially for smaller participants….
Yes, because huge companies like Google get laws passed that make the marketplace more challenging – especially for smaller participants. That is, when Google’s not just taking the patents outright. Nothing makes the marketplace more challenging than looters and thieves – ask Baltimore.
Returning to Google’s confession announcement:
Unfortunately, the usual patent marketplace can sometimes be challenging, especially for smaller participants who sometimes end up working with patent trolls. Then bad things happen, like lawsuits, lots of wasted effort, and generally bad karma. Rarely does this provide any meaningful benefit to the original patent owner.
Yes – rarely does someone who has something stolen from them benefit from the experience.
And there yet again is that magic phrase – “patent trolls.” Please always remember:
When You Hear ‘Patent Trolls’ – Think ‘People Protecting Their Private Property’
Back to Google:
So today we’re announcing the Patent Purchase Promotion as an experiment to remove friction from the patent market.
Oh look – Google is experimenting with paying for things. Rather than just taking them. How quaint.
Of COURSE there is a lot less friction when payment is made for goods received. Rather then when goods and their owners receive the usual Google treatment.
Google’s attempt at friction-reduction seems at best half-hearted. And is certainly very short-lived.
From May 8, 2015 through May 22, 2015, we’ll open a streamlined portal for patent holders to tell Google about patents they’re willing to sell at a price they set. As soon as the portal closes, we’ll review all the submissions, and let the submitters know whether we’re interested in buying their patents by June 26, 2015.
So Google will pay for stuff for these two weeks – and then…go back to stealing it all?
No wonder it still so desperately wants the terrible Innovation Act passed.
A far better patent reform bill – the TROL Act – is much more targeted and much less property-undermining than the Innovation Act. So of course Google has been lobbying to muck it up with Innovation-Act-esque amendments.
Congress should pass the TROL Act – as it was introduced, bereft of Google’s meddling. And let the Google-preferred Innovation Act fade into un-passed oblivion.
And let’s not allow Google’s two-week-hiatus-from-heist to provide cover for or distract from a history of grand larceny.
Editor’s Note: This first appeared in Red State and Human Events.