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Everybody be cool, this is a robbery!

“Everybody be cool, this is a robbery.”

Startups – affairs that are risky and slow to build up momentum. They call for big cash, a knack for seeing into the future, and a nose for where the big returns on investment are. They take years to really get going; only one in twenty (or even more) doesn’t die a premature death.

Traditionally, venture capitalists have funded startups, but there’s a new type of venture capitalist on the block. They ask: ‘Why get all tense and take risks with startups, when it’s possible to invest in… patent trolls?! Easy! One such new kid on the block is the funder Bentham IMF (I don’t give the site address on purpose; hardly want to help this company out with their SEO efforts. You can find it if you really want to).

The math is reeaal simple: the funder gives out, say, one to ten million dollars for low risk patent cases against wealthy victim-companies, which can bring in no less than ten to a hundred million dollars payout, respectively (that is, they aim for around a ten-fold return on investment). Now, the fact that patent trolls in the US – even if they lose – don’t pay a penny to defendants, and the average % of awarded ‘damages’ or out-of-court-settlement payments can be up to 99%… well, it all adds up to a practically guaranteed-returns venture scheme!

Who the heck needs innovation? Much better: ‘invest’ money in small patent trolls so they can shake down litigate against the innovators. Wonderful. The American Dream turned inside-out and upside-down. The new American Patent Dream in full effect!

Of course, there’s an official basis to this legitimatized extortion – the support of law, universal justice and punishment of rotten violators. But no matter how much it’s talked up, there’s still no getting away from the simple fact: a troll is a troll.

We’ve been pushing for years already to force plaintiffs who drop their lawsuits without reason or ‘in view of certain circumstances’ to pay the defendant for its court costs, and also to have the losing side in a patent court case pay the costs of the other side.

Dear American lawmakers and judges! Look what’s happening – venture capital is already going after easy patent troll money! When patent aggregators appeared, allegedly offering ‘protection’ from trolls, I thought that that had to be the upper limit of how stratospherically absurd and wrong and bad things could get in the world of patent extortion. I was mistaken. Fantasies of the misuse of law seem to know no limit.

So, again to the dear US lawmakers: Aren’t you bothered about what might become of genuine innovational/tech companies? After all, every dollar spent on protection from pseudo-patents is one less dollar spent on the development of industry and society as a whole! But we’re not talking a dollar or two here. It’s tens of millions of dollars a year.

So what about the trolls?

US trolls act with impunity, become more and more brazen, and are fully content with life. The state should provide protection for genuine inventors and create an effective system of regulation of patent litigation. But that ain’t there. There are obvious working models that could be applied, but still – they aren’t. There have been positive shifts, even in the US, but still, not much has actually changed.

Actually, not a lot needs doing to get things working as they should. We’ve been repeating five simple steps to be made in patent law that would swiftly solve the problem with trolls – by destroying the foundations of their economic raison d’etre:

  • Patent use to be limited – a ban on claims for a term preceding their acquisition;
  • Mandatory compensation of a defendant’s expenses if a lawsuit against it is either defeated in court or withdrawn;
  • A ban on patent aggregators bringing lawsuits;
  • An increase in the required detail and accuracy of patent descriptions, and mandatory technical expert examinations;
  • The main thing: not for ideas to be patented, but their concrete practical application.

Just look at Europe – though not all five points have been established, just two of them – the fourth and fifth – have practically turned the problem of patent trolls into… no problem at all. Incidentally, recently an aggregator sued Yahoo! in Germany. I’m almost certain that nothing will come of it. Well, if, of course, Yahoo! itself doesn’t go for an out-of-court settlement.

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To conclude, here’s a humorous clip that explains in simple language the what, how and why of the business of patent trolls. V. funny too. Enjoy!…:

Everybody be cool this is a real robbery, stopped Pulp Fiction style

by Sebastian H · Published November 15, 2013 · Updated November 15, 2013

You probably noticed that this website has a few advertising banners for bmfwallets.com, a partner site that sells licensed Pulp Fiction wallets embroidered with the now cult “Bad Mother Fucker” on it. Pull out this wallet in front of friends, and you are sure to impress. Shame on whoever does not recognize the reference – and sit them down for a way overdue Tarantino movie night.

Whether you have recently watched the director-approved new transfer on the Pulp Fiction BluRay (also part of the Tarantino XX box set) or you remember the scene word by word anyhow, you will recall how Jules (Sam Jackson‘s greatest role) practically stops a diner robbery by Fonzie-talking the gangster out of it, and subsequently letting them go with the cash from the register, leaving Vincent (John Travolta) baffled, but hey, he’s in his transitional phase. He goes on to drink his coffee, and the two then take off. What spooked Pumpkin and Honey Bunny, the robber couple? Upon collecting patrons’ wallets, they come across Jules, who’s wallet says BAD MOTHER FUCKER on it, and because that is what he is, he quickly has his gun up Ringo’s (how he calls Pumpkin) nose and gives him the Ezekiel speech.

So what if you were caught in a real life robbery? How cool would you react? Probably not as cool as this guy, who had an actual Bad Mother Fucker Wallet with him, let his adrenaline turn him into Jules Winnfield and he stopped the robbery. Surreal? Maybe, but according to news reports, a guy in Arizona stopped a coffee shop stick up exactly Pulp Fiction style.

“It was really lucky that I had my wallet with me that said ‘bad motherfucker’ on it. The robbers came around demanding everybody’s wallet and I just held it up, you know like how Samuel L. Jackson did in ‘Pulp Fiction. After I said the comment about my wallet, the robbers started freaking out. So then, in my best tough black guy voice I said to them: ‘Normally, both your asses would be dead as fucking friend chicken, but you happen to pull this shit while I’m in a transitional period so I don’t wanna kill you. I wanna help you.’ “

How do you like them apples?

“I knew my vast knowledge of ‘Pulp Fiction’ would pay off for me one day,” says Paul Horner, a guy Fonzie cool. If it only were a real story 🙂

Everybody be cool, this is a robbery!

-Oh, fuck, am I dead? If not, I’ll be there soon, my head is killing me.

Potter looked around. No Death Eaters, this is good. No Forbidden Forest too, well, that’s strange.

-Shit, Potter, you again! You are dead.

Voice came from the strange tall bony-looked angular figure, who sat at the table.

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Dead? Well… Strange, but thought about being dead was. soothing and exciting simultaneously. It was REFRESHING. Of course, somewhere his friends made their last standing against Evil, but… what could he do? He was dead. Did he do his best? Yes. And now he was dead. Freedom, at last! Now all this war and mayhem was not his headache. And he will see Sirius and his family!

-…and here you are, dead again, eighth goddamn time!

-What do you mean by «again»? As far as I know, if your name isn’t Voldemort, you can die only once in lifetime!

-Well, normally you’re right, brat, but your case is quite unusual, -bony figure sighed, and leaned on its. arms? or something that looked like ones — of course, if you can call the things with foot-length claws by «arms».

-And how does my case unusual? Am I dead or not?

-Yes, you are. But this isn’t your first death.

-Really?! Now you’re pulling my leg.

-No shit, really, you supposed to live about 200 years, marry Granger, establish new magic era and peace in the whole world, but instead you keep on dying. I’m your THIRD personal death manager. Guys before were fired because of your slovenliness!

It was like surreal cinema. Like «Dead Man» with Depp.

-And what exactly your work is?

-Wow, man, this is going to be tough talk. Look, I’ll try to explain in small words. You are dead. I’m trying to decide what to do with you next

-What do you mean by that?

-You’re dead and we need you back to life. And now I’m thinking how I’m going to do this.

-I don’t want going back to life

-I don’t want to be alive once again.

-English, motherfucker! Do I speak it? I said «I don’t want going back to life». Why in the hell I need it?

-Like I said before, you’re dead but you’re not supposed to be. To be correct, you’re not supposed to be dead NOW.

-So? Come on, let’s start from the beginning… who are you, aside from my «personal death manager» — whatever it means? You’re not an angel, of that I’m sure. You don’t look like a devil. And you are not a human too.

-It should mean something to me?

-Suppose, not. We’re dominant species of after-death life, well, YOUR after-death life

-And? Should you take me to Heaven or Hell?

-We need you to go back to life.

-What for? And how should I call you? I can’t call you Hollow, can I?

-You need to live about two hundred years, establish world peace…

-Stop. You told me so, but what’s in it for you? Where’s the catch?

-Don’t you want to be alive again, snot? – Hollow bellowed and looked at the ceiling, trying to find there an answer to his praying.

-Yes, I do, BUT there’s always a catch, — Potter calmly looked on his contradictor.

-OK, OK, look here, if you don’t rise again, Death Eaters will kill all Muggleborns and Halfbloods, and many people won’t be born.

-What?! You can’t deny them their chance to live, can’t you? Think about yourself like a savior of your race, after all!

-Yes, I can, and no, I won’t. I’m dead, remember?

-If we don’t resurrect you, I will be fired!

-Your problems. I’m DEAD. Why should I be bothered by your employment? Find yourself another work. Wait, you said before that this is my eighth death?! And you are still trying to resurrect me? Fuck this shit. You want to send me back in the world where the war is going and where death eaters are trying to kill me, maim me or torture me!

-You don’t go back and my race will starve! – shouted Hollow and stopped himself clamping his own mouth by hand (doing that he almost took out his own eye with his claws).

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This question sounded flat like a toad after steamroller.

Hollow became VERY nervous suddenly. And Potter suddenly became VERY calm, TOO calm to be precise.

-Look, man, nothing personal, but we are eating you.

-Well, not exactly YOU, but you, humans’ souls, — said Hollow resignedly.

-OK. Describe what I look like.

-Describe what I look like.

-Well, you are wearing glasses.

-Do I look like a bitch?

-Say «what» again! Say «what» again, I dare you, I double dare you motherfucker, say «what» one more Goddamn time! And you will wish that you will be ONLY fired! – Potter exploded like an A-bomb, after all he was already dead, so he won’t be frightened by this talking .

-No, you don’t look like a bitch!

-Then why are you trying to fuck me like a bitch? You are expecting me to go back, make world peace, have children with my best friend – not that this is a problem, by the way, — just what for? For them being your food? Not going to happen. – said boy and sat on the floor.

-But Potter, think about millions starving Hollows!

-Nope. I. DON’T. GIVE. A. SHIT. about you. You have billions living and dying right now, and my children won’t be a lunch for you, bony assholes!

-We can’t eat normal people, their souls are too thin for us!

-Again, why this is my problem? And Death Eaters would kill enough for you to feed, if I won’t go back, and would kill after that, why are you worrying so much?

-They will kill too many people! Magical race will die out! And then WE will! Yes, they would kill many NOW, but what we are going to eat after that?

-I don’t know? – Potter shrugged.

-What do you want? – Hollow looked like he’s going to start crying.

-I don’t want to go back. – Potter said stubbornly. – Look, I had a shitty life before and I can’t see how this is going to change, and in the end you will eat my soul anyway. So better staying dead.

-We can send you back in time?

-Where in time you can send me? – this offer interested Potter enough to divert his attention from ceiling.

-Say, how about end of your sixth year in Hogwarts?

-Nope. Sirius was dead already, Dumbledore was dead, I was struggling with whole horcruxes shit, does it looks like a good life for you? No, it doesn’t.

-And what do you propose?

Harry smiled. If just Hollow knew humans and their faces well enough, he would eat Potter’s soul here and there. But no, he didn’t recognize what this shit-eating grin means to him.

-Let’s say, you’ll send me in my FIRST year of LIFE. And YOU will kill Voldemort BEFORE he kills my parents.

-I can’t do that! There are laws and rules and.

-…AND after that you will hunt all remaining Death Eaters.

-…Potter, I CAN’T do this! I’m going to be fired in moment this shit would be known by my superiors! – Hollow screamed, but there wasn’t anyone to care about his screams.

-…AND after that, you will start working on my harem, with Hermione as Head wife, of course. Did I make my point clear enough? And before you start complaining, think about this – with each of your complain here I will push ANOTHER demand and . You need me. I don’t need you.

-And how do you want me to meet all these requirements?

-Not my problem. Pull all your favors, get your people to do it, get a loan, I don’t care.

-But… this is a robbery! – wailed creature.

-And THIS is your problem. Think about yourself like a savior of your race, after all.

I hope you like this ficlet! My best regards to my beta, Kathryn518!

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