Amazon’s Jeff Bezos: Governments need to step in to stop patent wars

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Law

This probably isn’t going to sit well with advocates of business without government interference. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos things that governments need to step in to stop the litany of patent lawsuits in the tech space.

Speaking to UK newspaper, The Metro, Bezos said that patent wars like the one being fought by Samsung and Apple are ruining innovation. In fact, he went so far as to say that the battles were a threat to society itself.

Samsung and Apple have been the two companies most frequently at loggerheads when it comes to perceived infringements on patented technology, although the likes of Nokia and HTC have also had their day in court.

“Patents are supposed to encourage innovation and we’re starting to be in a world where they might start to stifle innovation,” Bezos told the newspaper.

“Governments may need to look at the patent system and see if those laws need to be modified because I don’t think some of these battles are healthy for society.”

While the patent system, as it currently is, presents a threat to innovation, Bezos reckons that we’re in something of a tech golden age.

“I love technology, I love invention, I like rapid change, and really it’s the golden age of wireless devices and mobile devices,” he said.

Just because he’s against the patent system in its current form, doesn’t mean Bezos doesn’t relish competition:

“There are many rivals. We’ve never done anything that didn’t have strong competition. Anything that’s worth doing there’s always strong competition; but I don’t wake up every morning and say: ‘Who are the three companies we want to win against?’”

After starting out in online book selling in 1994, Bezos’ company has grown rapidly. It’s Kindle eReader has been a global smash hit, with each iteration selling in the millions. It’s Kindle Fire tablet meanwhile has captured 22% of the US tablet market and it’s also become a cloud computing superpower with its EC2 offering.

Bezos also has a space-exploration company called Blue Origin, which is set to rival Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic.

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