In a recent talk, Seidle likened the alleged protections that patents offer to IP Obesity. “If your idea is unique, easily copied, and can be sold for profit in a local market, it will be,” he argues. “Ok, but that’s what patents are for, right? I don’t think they help much. Patents can cost $30,000 to $50,000. And the USPTO is so backed up you’ll have to wait three to five years to even hear back on their decision. Ask yourself, how much does technology change in five years?”
“Maybe you think I’m naive,” he continues, “Maybe you think an open source company can’t be scaled above 150 people. That’s fine, I’m sure patents will work for you. But for myself, my 135 co-workers, 75 million dollars of sales, 600,000 customers and our 431 unpatented products wish you good luck.
Eventually, says Boudreaux, they even want to open source Sparkle. “It’s a wild ride,” she says, “but a fun one for sure.”