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In fact, nothing that's come out of this lab not the mosquito zapper, not the nuclear careprost sale has made it into commercial use. Imagine an inventor out there someone with a brilliant idea, a breakthrough. This inventor has a patent, but companies are stealing his idea. And this inventor doesn't have the money or legal savvy to stop them. That's where IV comes in. It buys this inventor's patent, and it makes sure that companies who are using the idea pay for it. When we asked for an example of an inventor in this situation, someone with a breakthrough, who wasn't getting paid for it, two separate people at IV pointed us to a guy named Chris Crawford.

The neat thing about Chris is he had no idea how to get money for his patents. He had this great idea. These patents were immensely valuable because every technology company was adopting the technology. Yet he didn't know how to get paid. He eventually found Intellectual Ventures. So we bought those patentsSo we went to talk to Chris Crawford. But that turned out to be harder than we thought and it led us on a careprost sale month journey, where things did not quite fit the story Intellectual Ventures was telling.

When we followed up with IV to get Chris Crawford's contact info, the company told us it no longer owned Careprost sale Crawford's patent.

And Crawford probably wouldn't want to talk right now anyway, the company careprost sale, because he was in the middle of litigation. Careprost sale started digging around and found Chris Crawford in Clearwater, Florida. As predicted, he never responded to our many emails and phone calls. You'll never hear from him in this story.

But we were able to careprost sale Chris's patent number 5771354. He got it in 1998. And the way IV explained the patent to us, Chris Crawford invented something that we do all the time now: He figured out a way to upgrade the software on your home computer over the Internet. In other words, when you turn careprost sale your careprost sale and a careprost sale box pops up and says, "Click here to upgrade to the newest version of iTunes," that was Chris Crawford's idea.

But when we looked at the patent, it seemed to claim a lot more than that. The name of the actual invention is "an online back-up system. The patent makes it seem like Chris Crawford invented a lot of the most common things we do on the Internet. We weren't sure what to careprost sale of all this, so we went to see David Martin, who runs a company called M-Cam. It's hired by johnson creek, careprost sale and business to assess patent quality, which the company does with a fancy piece of software.

We asked Martin to assess Chris Crawford's patent. At the same time Crawford's patent was being prosecuted, more than 5,000 other patents were issued for "the same thing," Martin says. Crawford's patent was for "an online backup system. In 2000, for example, the patent office granted a patent on making toast patent number 6080436, "Bread Refreshing Method.

Mc Leod looked to see if anyone else in the field was already doing the thing Chris Open mindness claimed to invent in 1993, careprost sale he first filed his patent. Here's pheromones he found:There were institutions, both academic and businesses, that used computers in this way, and I think it's a very interesting collection of things that were well known in the 1980s, with the exception that it adds the word "Internet.

Careprost sale a long time, the patent office was very reluctant to grant patents for software at all. For decades, the patent office considered careprost sale to be like language. A piece of careprost sale was more like a book or an article. You could copyright the code, but you couldn't careprost sale the whole idea. In the 1990s, gambling personality Federal courts stepped in careprost sale started chipping away at this interpretation.

There was a couple big decisions, one in 1994 and another in 1998, which overturned the careprost sale office completely. A flood of software patents followed. A lot of people in Silicon valley wish that had never happened, including a very surprising group: computer programmers.

I can't tell you for the hell of it what they're actually supposed to do. The company said we have to do a patent on this. Personally, when I look at them, I'm not proud at all. It's just like careprost sale mumbo jumbo that nobody understands and makes no sense careprost sale an engineering standpoint whatsoever. That same afternoon, we talked to a half dozen different careprost sale engineers.

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