Amazon The Latest Tech Company To Realize It Needs To Waste A Ton Of Money Buying Patents

from the this-is-not-healthy dept

In the last few years, the “nuclear war” of patent fights — especially in the mobile phone space — has woken up a bunch of big companies to the need to amass giant patent portfolios which they know they won’t use for innovation purposes, but solely as weapons to fight back when other patent holders attack them. This is why we’ve been seeing so many high profile patent auctions lately at insane prices (Nortel, Novell, Kodak, etc.). Amazon is now joining the fray as well, as it’s trying to hire a bunch of folks to buy up patents to boost its portfolio.


Amazon has hired executive recruiting firm Argos Search to help the company hire an intellectual property “Acquisition and Investment Leader” to “identify and evaluate strategic IP acquisition and licensing opportunities,” according to a job description obtained this week by Reuters.

What an incredibly sad job. It’s a role designed to waste a company’s money on pieces of paper that will never be used for actual innovation, but merely as tools for the possibility of a patent battle with others. What a broken system.

Filed Under: ,
Companies: amazon

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Amazon The Latest Tech Company To Realize It Needs To Waste A Ton Of Money Buying Patents”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
32 Comments
hfbssays:

Argos Search? Shit, they better have those patents in stock.. Maybe the job is check on those little machines and see how many there are? If they find one they want, do they get to write it on the little slips of paper with the little pens and take it to the till? Then wait for a few minutes while a staff member gets the patent, a few minutes more while the staff member moves some stuff out the way to get to the patent in that huge storeroom at the back of the shop..

Or wait, maybe they’re the staff member? I used to have that job and can remember having to lug heavy flat pack wardrobes down stairs.. No patents though (they must be kept in the office or the secure room – I was never allowed in there).. maybe they’re in their new catalogue?

Anonymoussays:

Get over it.

it’s what companies do, they do things that in the long term will make them money, it’s called business, I know you dont like the idea of companies wanting to do business, but it’s a choice that is not yours.

Ofcourse, you can cry about it, and have. but clearly and for good reason, these companies do not listen to you.

Mike Masnicksays:

Re: Get over it.

it’s what companies do, they do things that in the long term will make them money, it’s called business, I know you dont like the idea of companies wanting to do business, but it’s a choice that is not yours.

I love companies doing business. What I don’t like is a legal regime that forces them to throw away money in non-productive ways that don’t contribute to the business of providing more value for its customers.

John Fendersonsays:

Re: Get over it.

I don’t think that comment should have been flagged, but that’s just me.

it’s what companies do, they do things that in the long term will make them money

But that isn’t what’s happening with these patent wars. They are doing the things that will make them money in the short term, and that money is coming by cannibalizing future markets. They are, in effect, eating their young.

This is not what healthy businesses do. This is what dying businesses do. Healthy business engage in activities that will enhance their profitability over the long term, which means growing markets.

These companies are engaging in epically bad business practices. It’s called “cashing out”.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Get over it.

it’s what techdirt does, it reveals company and individual activities in the areas of patents and innovation, it’s called reporting, I know you dont like the idea of companies reporting such news, but it’s a choice that is not yours.

Of course, you can cry about it, and have. but clearly and for good reason, these companies do not listen to you.

Lawrence D'Oliveirosays:

The Peacock?s Tail

Maybe this is the corporate equivalent of sexual selection.

The puzzle of biological evolution is not that it happens or how it happens, but why it takes one path and not another. Why are certain organisms more ?fit? to survive than others? Darwin first proposed the idea of ?natural selection?, which means that those best able to take care of themselves will survive.

But this doesn?t explain bizarre developments like the peacock?s tail, which quite plainly reduces the ability of the creature to take care of itself, by requiring extra nutrition to maintain, potentially hampering its ability to escape from danger, and so on. The explanation for this one is called ?sexual selection?: such a gaudy show attracts a mate, by demonstrating that its owner is so physically superior that it can afford to waste energy on such a display without compromising its own ability to survive.

Maybe all these multi-billion-dollar acquisitions by large corporations serve a similar function: by demonstrating their ability to wantonly squander such large sums of money, their (male) bosses get the girls.

Donnictonsays:

It’s so absolutely stupid that patents can even be traded as a commodity to begin with. Patents are meant to provide some measure of protection to the one who invented the item to begin with. They have no business in the hands of anyone else(particularly if they had no hand in its creation), and should be invalidated the moment the inventor sells their ownership of the invention.

Anonymoussays:

Not quite sure how you are reading this, but I see something more like a company looking to license patents from others – not just buy them. They seem that they can move ahead much more quickly by licensing from others than perhaps doing it themselves.

Why do you always see the negative? Are you that jaded and that angry?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

Josh, don’t be narrow minded. Would you prefer to (a) license from someone else, or (b) spend the R&D money hoping someone comes up with something?

Licensing basically gets you past the initial research and “thinking it up” costs, and moves you more directly onto either making a new product, or improving an existing one.

Mike never talks about that. It would disprove so many of his theories about the “monopoly” boogieman.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:

Your (a) and (b) options don’t relate the the article. I’m sure Amazon would have little concern in licensing from someone else.

“Strategic IP acquisition” means buying patents, not licensing them. That’s only useful for 2 things – attacking other companies or defending themselves against attacks.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:


“Strategic IP acquisition” means buying patents, not licensing them. That’s only useful for 2 things – attacking other companies or defending themselves against attacks.”

Don’t be so narrow minded. One side of licensing is deciding to buy the patent outright instead. Yes, it can be to obtain control of a marketplace, but normally for companies like this it is not to lock up the technology, but to in fact use it.

You and Mike both make the assumption that it is either entirely defensive, or entirely lawsuit oriented. You don’t seem to think there is anything else.

How narrow minded of you.

Vincent Clementsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

How many people is Google laying off at Motorola Mobility? So much for using that IP.

Kodak is a bankrupt company, yet their IP is supposedly worth billions of dollars. If the IP is worth that much money, then Kodak should have been able to do something with their government-approved monopoly. Same thing with Nortel.

Vincent Clementsays:

Re:

Apple asked for $40 per device from Samsung for a licence to cover patents Apples says are being infringed by Samsung. With the broad wording in most patents these days, it is no stretch of the imagination that a smartphone may be accused of infringing on hundreds of patents. If every patent troll or tech company wanted a licence, that cellphone would cost $1,000 or more.

When Microsoft makes more money from Android phones than Google does without actually making anything for the Android phone, then there is something wrong with the patent system.

staffsays:

more dissembling by Masnick

It is not innovation that patents hinder, but the theft of.

Not all competition is fair. When the courts permit a larger competitor to use an invention without the inventor’s permission, it’s like having a duel where your challenger has your gun and all the bullets. Think again…or just think!

It?s about property rights. They should not only be for the rich and powerful. Show me a country with weak or ineffective property rights and I?ll show you a weak economy and high unemployment.

Masnick and his monkeys have an unreported conflict of interest-
https://www.insightcommunity.com/cases.php?n=10&pg=1

They sell blog filler and “insights” to major corporations including MS, HP, IBM etc. who just happen to be some of the world?s most frequent patent suit defendants. Obviously, he has failed to report his conflicts as any reputable reporter would. But then Masnick and his monkeys are not reporters. They are patent system saboteurs receiving funding from huge corporate infringers. They cannot be trusted and have no credibility. All they know about patents is they don?t have any.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...
Older Stuff
13:40 It's Great That Winnie The Pooh Is In The Public Domain; But He Should Have Been Free In 1982 (Or Earlier) (35)
12:06 Norton 360 Now Comes With Crypto Mining Capabilities And Sketchy Removal Process (28)
10:45 Chinese Government Dragnet Now Folding In American Social Media Platforms To Silence Dissent (14)
10:40 Daily Deal: The 2022 Ultimate Cybersecurity Analyst Preparation Bundle (0)
09:29 A Fight Between Facebook And The British Medical Journal Highlights The Difficulty Of Moderating 'Medical Misinformation' (9)
06:29 Court Ruling Paves The Way For Better, More Reliable Wi-Fi (4)
20:12 Eighth Circuit (Again) Says There's Nothing Wrong With Detaining Innocent Minors At Gunpoint (15)
15:48 China's Regulatory War On Its Gaming Industry Racks Up 14k Casualties (10)
13:31 Chinese Government Fines Local Car Dealerships For Surveilling While Not Being The Government (5)
12:08 Eric Clapton Pretends To Regret The Decision To Sue Random German Woman Who Listed A Bootleg Of One Of His CDs On Ebay (29)
10:44 ICE Is So Toxic That The DHS's Investigative Wing Is Asking To Be Completely Separated From It (29)
10:39 Daily Deal: The 2022 Complete Raspberry Pi And Arduino Developer Bundle (0)
09:31 Google Blocked An Article About Police From The Intercept... Because The Title Included A Phrase That Was Also A Movie Title (24)
06:22 Wireless Carriers Balk At FAA Demand For 5G Deployment Delays Amid Shaky Safety Concerns (16)
19:53 Tenth Circuit Denies Qualified Immunity To Social Worker Who Fabricated A Mother's Confession Of Child Abuse (35)
15:39 Sci-Hub's Creator Thinks Academic Publishers, Not Her Site, Are The Real Threat To Science, And Says: 'Any Law Against Knowledge Is Fundamentally Unjust' (34)
13:32 Federal Court Tells Proud Boys Defendants That Raiding The Capitol Building Isn't Covered By The First Amendment (25)
12:14 US Courts Realizing They Have A Judge Alan Albright Sized Problem In Waco (17)
10:44 Boston Police Department Used Forfeiture Funds To Hide Purchase Of Surveillance Tech From City Reps (16)
10:39 Daily Deal: The Ultimate Microsoft Excel Training Bundle (0)
09:20 NY Senator Proposes Ridiculously Unconstitutional Social Media Law That Is The Mirror Opposite Of Equally Unconstitutional Laws In Florida & Texas (25)
06:12 Telecom Monopolies Are Exploiting Crappy U.S. Broadband Maps To Block Community Broadband Grant Requests (7)
12:00 Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of 2021 At Techdirt (17)
10:00 Gaming Like It's 1926: Join The Fourth Annual Public Domain Game Jam (6)
09:00 New Year's Message: The Arc Of The Moral Universe Is A Twisty Path (33)
19:39 DHS, ICE Begin Body Camera Pilot Program With Surprisingly Good Policies In Place (7)
15:29 Remembering Techdirt Contributors Sherwin And Elliot (1)
13:32 DC Metro PD's Powerful Review Panel Keeps Giving Bad Cops Their Jobs Back (6)
12:11 Missouri Governor Still Expects Journalists To Be Prosecuted For Showing How His Admin Leaked Teacher Social Security Numbers (39)
10:48 Oversight Board Overturning Instagram Takedown Of Ayahuasca Post Demonstrates The Impossibility Of Content Moderation (10)
More arrow
This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it