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Old tech giants crush fix for software patent, but reformers can still win

on November 23, 2013

Gigaom

A mighty fight is underway to rewrite the laws that promote innovation. Under the current rules, struggling old guard firms can exploit a broken patent system to abuse monopolies over basic software concepts from decades ago. The result has been to smother start-ups and weigh down vibrant parts of the tech economy with frivolous lawsuits; lawyers get fat at the expense of those who are building real businesses.

This week, the latest push by Congress to fix the software patent problem suffered a setback after Microsoft(s msft) and IBM gutted a key House bill that would have made it easier for victims to push back. The upshot is that for the second time in three years, the U.S. is poised to pass a law that will make cosmetic changes to the patent system without addressing the root cause — garbage software patents — that has made the system a mockery…

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