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Buying harmful patents

Red alert.png What this entry documents is not a solution.
This practice may be ineffective or useless in the long term.
ESP's position is that abolition of software patents is the only solution.

Buying harmful patents is an example of how bad the possible "solutions" are.

This idea backfires because it contributes to the market for software patents. If someone is bidding to buy patents, then they are pushing the value up and are funding the people who created the problem. Buying such patent might prevent some future problems, and a purchase of such patents might be a net gain, but we obviously have big problems when a "solution" involves giving millions of dollars to extortionists.

Microsoft and GNU/Linux patents in 2009

(main article: Microsoft sells patents to OIN, 2009)

In September 2009, Open Invention Network and Linux Foundation (two consortiums funded by software patent holders) bought 22 Microsoft patents which could have been used against distributors of the GNU/Linux operating system.[1][2]

Despite this purchase not solving any actual problem (and there are many), Linux Foundation claimed "This deal shows the mechanisms the Linux industry has constructed to defend Linux are working".[3]

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