Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 5th Jul 2012 23:07 UTC
Legal 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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Weakness
by Delgarde on Thu 5th Jul 2012 23:35 UTC
Delgarde
Member since:
2008-08-19

Regarding the weakness you point out, that seems to be a direct consequence of assuming that a human being must own the rights to a patent, not an organisation.

But while I know treating corporations as people isn't approved of, this is one place where it does make sense. If a patent is created by a team being payed to do so by their employer, it's not unreasonable that the employer be the owner of the work they produce. You won't achieve your goal of encouraging innovation if the people paying for it are afraid that the work will simply walk out the door once done.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Weakness
by Declination5 on Thu 5th Jul 2012 23:42 in reply to "Weakness"
Declination5 Member since:
2012-06-08

I believe the simple solution to this problem is either a patent is filed as personal or as contract labor. In the case of a personal patent, then the authors scheme would stand. In the case of a contract labor patent then the patent would be filed as belong to a corporation. In this case, the patent would remain valid for the term and the only provided mechanism for transferal would be in the event that the owning corp. was purchased in its entirety.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Weakness
by Delgarde on Fri 6th Jul 2012 01:58 in reply to "RE: Weakness"
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

I believe the simple solution to this problem is either a patent is filed as personal or as contract labor. In the case of a personal patent, then the authors scheme would stand. In the case of a contract labor patent then the patent would be filed as belong to a corporation. In this case, the patent would remain valid for the term and the only provided mechanism for transferal would be in the event that the owning corp. was purchased in its entirety.


More simply, it would be covered by an employment contract - if patents arise from work performed under that contract, it's the organisation that applies for the patent, not the employee.

That said, you're missing one thing - companies can separate, as well as merge. What happens to the patent holdings of a company that splits in two e.g. a telco that branches into separate mobile and fixed-line operations?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Weakness
by Lion on Fri 6th Jul 2012 01:42 in reply to "Weakness"
Lion Member since:
2007-03-22

The approach that immediately leapt to my mind for working around this issue is to alter the clauses covering restraint of trade and inventions in the employment contracts.
Many currently state that any products or inventions created under the employ of the company become property of said company, but this would become invalid under the proposed system.
It's also not uncommon for companies (in my country at least) to have a clause preventing you from working for a direct competitor for a certain time period after leaving. If sections such as these were amended, then the result could be something like:
Any products or inventions developed under employ of the company must be licensed exclusively to the company for $timeframe. On discontinuation of employment, all products or inventions developed under employment of the company must be licensed exclusively to the company for a period of $timeframe2 or until the expiration of the patent. Whichever is shorter.

Reply Parent Score: 1