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This is sort of a depressing precedent. Do we really want to turn our universities into patent trolls?

UW isn't a patent troll. It does cutting edge research and it expects a cut for pushing technology further.

Typical trolling involves finding a dogshit patent and then extorting companies.

This is exactly the reason patents exist. To allow inventors to exist separately from manufactures.

A research university does research that can lead to patentable inventions. Organizations which invent things really aren't patent trolls.

It has already happened. As was pointed out, it is a direct result of the Bayh-Dole Act [1].

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayh%E2%80%93Dole_Act

If they are trolling other patent trolls, then why not?

Only on HackerNews is Apple and Intel labeled patent trolls.

Two wrongs don't make a right.

A self-destructive spiral might spur legislative action.

Sometimes it does. Fight fire with fire, an eye for an eye, history is replete with references to common sense refuting what you are saying.

You have to fund that stuff somehow, the state governments certainly aren't doing it anymore.

Its too late to some extent. Though patent situation has improved a little recently. The (licensed patents) that a startup I worked at had were used to sue google when the startup failed. The suit was started by the company but finished by the university.


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