Originally Posted by FreeRange
You make an excellent point which calls for a clearer definition of what constitutes a troll. No one would accuse universities or ARM of being patent trolls. A troll neither invents the technology, nor produces anything. The two examples you give clearly invent IP and then in good faith go out to the market to put those inventions into production through third parties.
You're attempting to fashion a definition for a troll but you can't succeed sadly, you'll simply find yourself nailing smoke to the wall. You'll never produce a definition that is legally acceptable. For example your current definition implies that if ARM sold all their patents to another firm, then that second firm would have no rights because they would be a troll. But in that case you have effectively banned the sale of patents, which is a far reaching change which would have horrible unintended consequences of its own.
As far as saying software should not be patentable, although there are abuses and the system could be tightened up, the patent process is designed to protect intellectual property and software certainly can fall into that category.
Software is adequately protected by copyright and doesn't need patent protection anymore than literature, music or films do. The patent system is in fact not designed to protect intellectual property, it's designed to encourage invention - protecting IP is the means not the end. Software innovation doesn't require patents, as history shows us.
The problem is bigger than the trollshttp://www.economist.com/blogs/democ...ctual-property