Even though I'm an author, I'm not really big on "intellectual property."
Not that I'm against the idea of a creator benefitting from control over
what they've created: I just don't see it working out very well in the real
world.  As is usual, the Golden Rule is that “they that have the gold make
the rules,'' and intellectual property law tends not to protect creators as
much as it makes it possible for large corporations, with hordes of lawyers,
to pay a pittance to originators and then make fabulous profits off the

But what *really* gets my goat is patent trolls.  People or companies that
file for hugely overbroad patents, generally on things they never plan to
produce, and then sue people who actually produce usable products that stray
into the patent's clutches.  I have wasted *far* too much time over the past
decade and more, helping defend companies that have been hit by patent

Much of the time, the situation goes like this.  ABC Corp makes a product.
XYZ Corp, the patent troll, figures that it infringes on their patent.  XYZ
sues ABC for a hundred million dollars.  ABC goes to their lawyers.  Their
lawyers go to IP lawyers.  The IP lawyers get someone to do prior art
searches.  At this point they find me.  (This is mostly in the field of
antimalware stuff, and I reviewed basically everything that was available
between 1987 and 1996.)  So, the IP lawyers tell me about the XYZ patent,
and I list off all the programs that invalidate the XYZ patent because they
did what the XYZ patent talks about before it was filed.  So the IP lawyers
go back to the ABC lawyers, and ABC says to XYZ, "Well, we could invalidate
your patent, but it would be a long and expensive process: here's a hundred
thousand dollars.  Go away."  So, XYZ, who only wanted $100,000, is happy,
ABC is happy that they saved $100,000,000, the IP lawyers are happy they got
to charge lots of billable hours, and the only one *not* happy is me.

So I am delighted that Cloudflare has taken umbrage at being sued by a
patent troll, and encourage everyone to support their prior art search:

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