You’ll notice I always refer to App Makers and App Making. When Apple responded to Intellectual Venture in the guise of Lodsys, they referred to us as App Makers, and I liked the respect and legitimacy it engendered.
As for App Making, it goes back to what my journalism mentor, R.G. Gould, once said about the First Amendment: “You owe your living to it. You better damn well capitalize it.”
If we’re going to be successful in defending our industry from extortionists, we need to focus on extortion. If we spend our energy bickering with each other over our personal agendas, we will fail.
Apple is not a patent troll. Neither is Microsoft. Neither is PixFusion. Patent trolls, by definition, produce nothing but lawsuits. Using the legalized monopoly power of a patent against competitors is how the system is designed to work. Whether that system should exist at all is a separate issue. Whether this company or that company is being a dick is a separate issue.
We are going after one type of behavior: obtaining patents for the sole purpose of extracting licensing fees. That this is a burden to all technologists is something we should all be able to agree on, and is therefore something that we should all be able to work together to change.
If we start equating Apple to Intellectual Ventures, or if we try to eliminate software patents entirely, we are going to find ourselves up against the platform vendors, and we are going to lose. Save those battles for another day.