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How to fix the patent mess
on Thu 5th Jul 2012 23:07 UTC
Since I want to get this out of my system: here's a set of proposals to fix (okay, replace) the current failing patent system. No lengthy diatribe or introduction, just a raw list.
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RE: Comment by yokem55
on Sun 8th Jul 2012 18:44 UTC in reply to "
RE: Comment by yokem55
however, keeping a secret doesn't protect you against reverse engineering or intentional reproduction.
So what? Apple intentionally reproduced the cell phone.
With this logic cell phones should only be produced by Motorola. "
That's not the way that patents work. Most of them deal with a small tweak on an existing idea rather than a wholly novel idea or category of ideas. The improvement -- not the overlap of ideas -- is what's being patented. Take your example. The iPhone builds on top of
Ideas originally patented by Motorola. Apple had to license the underlying patents from Motorola and/or whoever else owns them, in order to implement its phone. But Apple owns the patents for its improvements.
And anyone who has the similar idea and/or implementation will infringe "your" invention. You should not forbid people to THINK and DO.
Not forever. Just for a reasonable enough period for the inventor to recoup his investment.
WebM codec is free and open. Despite of all attempts of nasty patent trolls to shoot it down.
Yeah, but it isn't exactly taking over the Web by storm, either. Youre far more likely to find H.264, QuickTime, and MPEG content online than WebM.
Reverse engineering is typically done to support your files/hardware on other platforms, that you do not support.
That's not what reverse engineering is. It's a process where someone tries to replicate as closely as possible the characteristics of a given product or technology, without having access to specifications or reference docs/designs of any kind. In fact, in a clean room reverse engineering operation, the reverse engineer works in isolation, first writing a spec which describes how the system works (inputs, ouputs, by-products, reactions, etc) and identifying a process that replicates the functionality. It's not easy but it is legal avenue for people to pursue; although the DMCA makes it tougher to do because a lot of new systems use tough DRM that needs to be dismantled first before you can study it; which runs afoul of DMCAs anti-hacking provisions.
As I said, there are too many people but too few unique things.
Compression patents are basically math + trivial things for anyone familiar with this field or tried to THINK.
These people built their inventions on the shoulders of all mathematicians and early computer pioneers. Is it fair?
They should invent their own mathematic, physics and their computers from scratch then.
Patent holders don't own their invention forever. It's for a limited time, in exchange for a limited monopoly on the underlying ideas. Is that fair? On balance, yes. It provides significant benefits to society eventually. You're focused on software patents, but consider patented drugs. Companies aren't going to risk millions of dollars in up-front costs if their competitors would be allowed to sit in the wings, wait until the company succeeds and then swoop down to copy the invention. It isn't all that different with software patents; in fat, the ease with which aides can be copied makes it even worse.
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