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Why innovation (not patents) matters to developed countries

17 May 2007 by Ch. Tronche | Comments Off | Filed in IP

Wired ran a half-serious, half-fun readers’ contest to find ways to fix the “broken patent system” (their words, not mine). Here are the results.

There are some jewels among more mundane ideas. The separation between innovation and patents was outlined. There’s the idea that a patent should cost a recurring fee to its holder (“use it or lose it”), something I believe deeply in the field of copyright, but don’t think could work for patents.

However there’s one sentence that I think is so true that it can’t be repeated often enough, especially when talking with those European commissioners that are still mistaking patents for innovation: With little innovation, we are competing on the basis of labor cost.

Microsoft takes $1.52 billion hit in MP3 patent case

23 February 2007 by Ch. Tronche | Comments Off | Filed in brèves

In seattlepi.com

A Huge amount, even for Redmond giant.

Ok, this is only first stage, they’ll appeal.

Microsoft’s always been a strong supporter of software patents in Europe (notably through BSA funding). May be they gonna think twice now.
Even if they can settle the case for a reasonable amount of money, how long before they get a hit they can’t stand ?

How many more before people understand that software patents turn the world’s business into a minefield where nobody can master the risks ?

And like with any minefield, everybody gets hurt, everybody loses.

Providers and customers in a world of free beers

18 December 2006 by Ch. Tronche | Comments Off | Filed in Economics

Like it or not, the economy of the “free stuff” is growing, and this is only the beginning. People (like the music and movie industries) are in to jump from their old economic models to the next one. Others, like the daily newspapers, are standing up on their surf boards already, riding the wave of the 21st century economy. The difference may be what both camps call a “provider” or a “customer”…


The future of the media business model: is France leading the way ?

27 November 2006 by Ch. Tronche | Comments Off | Filed in Economics

With more than 1.6 millions IPTV subscribers (for 30 € / month, complete with 15+ Mb/s internet access and unlimited phone calls included), France is one of the most advance country in the world for VOD. And french ISPs are rolling out plans to offer “subscription” VOD to their customers. By your french truly…

Why GPS maps editors are doing better than music editors

24 November 2006 by Ch. Tronche | Comments Off | Filed in Economics

If you sell rights on immaterial goods for a living, may be your customers aren’t the people using your products… (more…)

Marketing: from telcos to media industry

19 July 2006 by Ch. Tronche | Comments Off | Filed in Economics

“Au secours”, crient de concert l’industrie de la musique et de la vidéo, accusant
les télécoms de s’enrichir sur leur dos. Heureusement (?) le marketing est là pour nous expliquer la différence, et peut-être nous donner des solutions.

Tronche's software separability test.

14 July 2006 by Ch. Tronche | 1 Comment | Filed in Software patents

Should this thing full of software be patentable or not ? A test.


The entrepreneur, the shoe and the software patent

8 July 2006 by Ch. Tronche | Comments Off | Filed in Software patents

I’ve once again came across a paper by a reputable magistrate and economist that distinguishes “open source” or “free” (like in free beer) software and “real economy” software.

This is a common mistake, especially in software patents promoters circles, but not only.

I’d like to shed some light on the issue by telling you a bit about the shoe business.


RIM vs. NTP: the outcome

30 May 2006 by Ch. Tronche | Comments Off | Filed in IP

I never took time to write an entry about this, but two months ago, RIM (the guys who make the product) accepted to pay NTP (the patent portfolio management company) 612,5 millions of dollars to use NTP alleged patents whether or not they stand in the future. One third of their available cash. NTP sure sable le champagne (it’s french, but you’ve understood).


Does TRIPS boost R&D ?

13 April 2006 by Ch. Tronche | Comments Off | Filed in IP

This is a part of our series “Are TRIPS of any usefulness for the general public ?”

One of the arguments of its promoters are the incentiveness to conduct R&D.

According to WHO (World Health Organization) recent report on exploitation monopoly intellectual property (geez, I can’t stand that vocable), this isn’t the case. In all fairness, the part of the report about TRIPS strongly focus on pharmaceutical industry in India. The net result, however, is clear: pharma expenditures have increased, and innovation has decreased.

Next time someone’s telling me TRIPS boosts R&D, I hope she’ll have rock-solid proof…