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《经济学人》:知识产权,发明之战

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Intellectual property
知识产权

Inventive warfare
发明之战

Battles over patents are becoming fiercer and more expensive
专利之战,愈演愈烈,愈烈价更高

THIS deal is all about patents. That was the near universal view of Google’s announcement this week that it was taking over Motorola Mobility, a maker of handsets and other devices, for a colossal $12.5 billion. Indeed, the purchase will provide Google with an awful lot of patents: around 17,000 of them issued and another 7,500 pending. They should help Google in its efforts to get more smartphones and other mobile devices running on its Android operating system (see article). But it could also make the battles over patents nastier and more costly.

这笔交易归根结蒂就是谋求专利。这是多数人对谷歌本周宣布以125亿美元天价收购手机及其他电子产品制造商摩托罗拉这一消息的普遍看法。实际上,此项交易为谷歌带来数量极其庞大的专利:约1.7万项已审批,另外7500项待审批。这些专利有助于歌获得更多运行安卓操作系统的智能手机以及其他移动设备 (见 文)。但是这也会使对专利的争夺愈演愈烈,代价更高。

A scramble for patents had already begun. In December four companies, including Microsoft and Apple, paid $450m for around 880 patents and applications owned by Novell, an ailing software firm. In July those two and four others, including Research in Motion, maker of the BlackBerry, spent $4.5 billion on 6,000 patents owned by Nortel, a bankrupt Canadian telecoms-equipment maker. Before its latest deal, Google bought 1,000 patents from IBM. Firms are also suing each other. Apple claims its technology has been copied by Samsung and Motorola in their Android phones. Oracle is suing Google for up to $6 billion, claiming that Android infringes its patents. Microsoft is suing Motorola over Android too. Nokia recently settled a similar quarrel with Apple.

专利争夺战早已打响。早在12月,包括微软及苹果在内的四间公司就支付境况不佳的Novell4.5亿美元以购买约880项专利和应用程序。今年七月,其中的两间公司及包括黑莓厂商动态研究公司在内的另外四家公司购买加拿大倒闭的电信设备厂商Nortel的6000项专利。此前,谷歌就从IBM公司购买了1000项专利。同时,各公司也在互相倾轧。苹果声称其技术已被三星及摩托罗拉在其安卓系统中盗用。甲骨文公司起诉谷歌公司,称安卓系统侵权,要求索赔60亿美元。微软公司也起诉摩托罗拉的安卓系统。诺基亚公司最近刚刚与苹果公司解决一个类似冲突。

What is going on? Some say companies are attaching more value to intellectual property. Indeed, the Google deal seems to have been priced on a cost-per-patent basis, causing the share prices of other firms with lots of patents to rise. Others, however, think the battles reflect deficiencies in the patent system forcing firms to pay vast sums to protect technologies they have developed. The answer is a bit of both.

这到底是怎么回事?有些人说这是各公司跟看重知识产权。实际上,谷歌交易似乎就是通过每项专利的成本而进行估价,这就致使拥有专利众多的公司的股价攀升。但是,也有人认为此类争夺正反映了专利认证体系的缺陷——迫使公司大笔投入保护其开发技术。答案二者兼有。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
broaden ['brɔ:dn]

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v. 变宽,伸广

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frivolous ['frivələs]

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adj. 轻佻的,妄动的,琐碎的 adj. 无足轻重的

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exchange [iks'tʃeindʒ]

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n. 交换,兑换,交易所
v. 交换,兑换,交

 
invent [in'vent]

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vt. 发明,创造,捏造

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clip [klip]

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n. 夹子,钳,回形针,弹夹
n. 修剪,(羊

 
applicant ['æplikənt]

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n. 申请人

 
district ['distrikt]

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n. 区,地区,行政区
vt. 把 ... 划

 
universal [.ju:ni'və:səl]

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adj. 普遍的,通用的,宇宙的,全体的,全世界的

 
senior ['si:njə]

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adj. 年长的,高级的,资深的,地位较高的

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dubious ['dju:biəs]

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adj. 怀疑的,可疑的

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