Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 4th Aug 2011 21:38 UTC
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y The Google-Microsoft patent war of words is continuing. Yesterday, Google (rightfully so, in my book) accused Apple, Microsoft, and Oracle partaking in an organised patent attack against Android, instead of competing on merit, claiming that they bought up Novell's and Nortel's patents solely to attack Android and its device makers. Microsoft struck back, claiming Google was offered to join in on the bids for the Novell patents, but rejected the offer. Google has now responded to this accusation - and to make matters even more confusing, Microsoft responded back. A public shouting match between two powerful parties? Count me in!
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the origins of patents
by unclefester on Fri 5th Aug 2011 13:21 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

Patent law originally developed to protect physical inventions which typically sold in very small numbers and were very expensive to develop.

It took John Harrison more than 20 years and around a million dollars in today's currency to develop his H5 marine chronometer in the 18th century. [Luckily the British government funded his work through bounties.]
A few were sold each year at a price equivalent to about $100,000.

Now a programmer can develop some code in a relatively short time and sell a 100 million copies in a year.

Why should the programmer get the same period of patent protection for trivial idea as someone who spends a decade or and millions of dollars?

Software patents are acceptable if non-trivial and granted for a very short period eg 2-3 years to recover costs.

Reply Score: 3

Joy_Division_Lives! Member since:
2011-07-29

Patent law originally developed to protect physical inventions which typically sold in very small numbers and were very expensive to develop.

It took John Harrison more than 20 years and around a million dollars in today's currency to develop his H5 marine chronometer in the 18th century. [Luckily the British government funded his work through bounties.]
A few were sold each year at a price equivalent to about $100,000.

Now a programmer can develop some code in a relatively short time and sell a 100 million copies in a year.

Why should the programmer get the same period of patent protection for trivial idea as someone who spends a decade or and millions of dollars?

Software patents are acceptable if non-trivial and granted for a very short period eg 2-3 years to recover costs.


Dare I say...this actually sounds reasonable. Now, would you tie the length of the patent to R&D costs of the inventor for any submission, or just a special class of submissions? Do you think it should also be based on whether a working product can be developed during that time period?

Reply Parent Score: 1

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

I would assign patent life purely on the basis of the effort and cost of creation and the time needed to recover costs.

I would also allow inventors to register "open patents" with an online database at no cost to encourage innovation. The inventor would get personal credit but no royalties. The primary goal would simply be to prevent anyone else from patenting the idea.

In the past I've anticipated several relatively simple applied chemistry/biochemistry processes that have subsequently been patented by others. I never bothered because the cost of further developing the ideas and patenting was totally prohibitive.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: the origins of patents
by Bounty on Fri 5th Aug 2011 17:58 in reply to "the origins of patents"
Bounty Member since:
2006-09-18

Patent law originally developed to protect physical inventions which typically sold in very small numbers and were very expensive to develop.

It took John Harrison more than 20 years and around a million dollars in today's currency to develop his H5 marine chronometer in the 18th century. [Luckily the British government funded his work through bounties.]
A few were sold each year at a price equivalent to about $100,000.

Now a programmer can develop some code in a relatively short time and sell a 100 million copies in a year.

Why should the programmer get the same period of patent protection for trivial idea as someone who spends a decade or and millions of dollars?

Software patents are acceptable if non-trivial and granted for a very short period eg 2-3 years to recover costs.


I'd say 5 years, but otherwise yes. Also, I think the patent office should limit the number of patents a coorporation can submit in a year, while also being much more pessimistic when evaluating patents. For example notifications on computers are not new, and certainly obvious.

Reply Parent Score: 2