Ho-Hum, another article today clobbering us so-called “patent terrorists.” (I’m truly offended.) Actuallly, this one is rather interesting in that promotes what I’ve always thought is a good idea — indemnification for users of infringing products.

In particular, some companies have concluded it’s a good idea to protect their customers against patent infringement charges resulting from use of their products. This is only fair as it almost always the manufacturer’s fault, not the customer’s, that infringement exists in the first place. I hope more big companies follow suit. (Heh heh.)

Where I part company with the author is over the familiar refrain that patents should not protect those who make no product and instead seek to license their patented technology. Why should actual use be a prerequisite for legal protection? How practical is it for someone to start a new car company or compete with Microsoft and Intel on basic, de facto computer standards? Does this mean that only GM, Microsoft and Intel personnel are able to develop new technologies relating to cars, software or processors? Of course not. Should someone who comes up with something new and valuable in these areas be expected to give it away simply because the realities of the marketplace make it impractical to compete head on? Apparently some people think so. By the way, they have little philosophical opposition to getting and enforcing patents when it comes to protecting their own technology, but that’s getting to be an old story.

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Photo of Philip P. Mann Philip P. Mann

Philip P. Mann is a trial lawyer with over twenty years experience litigating patent, trademark, trade secret, and other intellectual property matters throughout the country.
Mann’s trial work has taken him to various federal and state courts where he’s tried both cases to…

Philip P. Mann is a trial lawyer with over twenty years experience litigating patent, trademark, trade secret, and other intellectual property matters throughout the country.
Mann’s trial work has taken him to various federal and state courts where he’s tried both cases to the court (a judge) as well as before juries. In addition to trial court work, Mann has performed appellate work before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Mann began his legal career in Chicago and Milwaukee before heading to Seattle where some of America’s most innovative companies were developing new technologies at breakneck speed. Before founding his own firm, he was a member of the Seattle Intellectual Property Law Firm, Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness.
Mann is an “AV” rated lawyer by Martindale Hubbell, indicative that he has reached the height of professional excellence and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity.
He holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois (Urbana) and received his law degree from the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri. He is admitted to practice in the States of Illinois and Washington, as well as before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and in various courts around the country.