When I started covering technology in the ’80s, the last thing I thought I’d need to learn about was intellectual property law. But as Nicolai Tesla learned in his fight with Thomas Edison in the electrical-current patent wars of the 1890s, wherever technology goes, IP law is sure to follow.
My moment of revelation came in 2003, when I started covering SCO’s copyright assault on Linux. SCO never really had a case, but I was soon to find out that with software patents, you really don’t need a good case to profit.
You see, defending yourself against a serious patent attack is expensive — expensive enough to make not defending yourself against a serious patent attack very desirable.