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Patent Stupidity


Patent Stupidity

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TomThomson
TomThomson
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The whole computer industry has been badly damaged by patents granted on pure mathematics in the USA, which have severely damaged the development of secure encryption. The Onion story about MS patenting the numbers 0 and 1 may seem ridiculous, but it isn't any more ridiculous than the RSA patent was.
And things appear to be getting worse. We have Apple's ridiculous design right on a rectangle with rounded corners (which ignores decades of prior art). There are companies who promote ideas in standards committees while concealing patent applications they have filed on those very ideas instead of declaring them. I frequently see reports of new patents on things which are blatantly obvious, devoid of any inventive step, and for which masses of prior art existed at the time of filing. I also see patent applications for which there is no working model. When did that requirement get dropped from US law, or is it still there in the law, but US patent examiners are even stupider than I think they are? Attempts by European bureaucrats to build a pan-European patent system seem to be designed to create a paradise for empire-building bureaucrats and expensive patent lawyers and patent trolls (like SCO) and a hell for real innovators, especially in small businesses. And I see reports of patents for things occurring in nature, with nothing created by human beings (where oh where do the patent examiners think the inventive step is in something like that? And how many people will have to die because someone has patented what could save them before the laws that allow such nonsensical patents are overturned?).

Comments delivered today on tomorrows article thanks to careful use of DBCC TIMEWARP.

Tom

des.browning
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Hmmmm........... I thought they relocated to Hollywood because the weather was so much better they had far more filming time.
Dave Convery
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des.browning (10/15/2012)
Hmmmm........... I thought they relocated to Hollywood because the weather was so much better they had far more filming time.


It's almost certainly a combination of factors, but heading West to avoid paying Edison is fairly well-documented. The Wikipedia article (I know, not ideal, but it's a good summary - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motion_Picture_Patents_Company) names both as reasons that producers relocated to California.
des.browning
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Ok, thanks. Interesting how things don't change - plus ca change, etc.
jvanbeek
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Change patents to a three year term. This gives the creator some window of opportunity to recover his R&D costs, but will result in much less damage to the marketplace.
mail.schaefer
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A very well written Editorial with a nice learning for me. I always wondered why the movie industry sits in Hollywood ;-)

We do certainly need patents to protect (real) innovation - but I also agree that this time frame must be limited.

Imagine if someone had a patent on the invention of the wheel for hundred years...would today's world look the same? How about the bicycle or the car?

But its calming to see that even big players (this time Apple) have sometimes to pay money to smaller companies: Apple recently licensed the design of the clock of the swiss train service - a design created 1944!
Jeff Moden
Jeff Moden
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I've found that a lot of patents can be invalidated by "prior art with no new usage" rules. The bad part is that it takes $$$ to do that.

I agree that this has all become ridiculous and money grubbers have tainted the true purpose of a patent.

--Jeff Moden

RBAR is pronounced ree-bar and is a Modenism for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
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Although they tell us that they want it real bad, our primary goal is to ensure that we dont actually give it to them that way.
Although change is inevitable, change for the better is not.
Just because you can do something in PowerShell, doesnt mean you should. Wink

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umailedit
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One solution is to make the government participate in the greed.

If the government starts charging a lot for each patent granted something like a million $ per patent all the trivial idea patents will fall out of the system and only ideas that took a lot of investment and research will become patentable.

Ideas that you can get just by thinking for an afternoon, those trivial ideas will not be worth filing a patent for.

Ideas are a dime a dozen ie 0.10 for 12. So an idea is worth exactly $0.008.
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