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.
Thread beginning with comment 525537
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Comment by some1
by some1 on Fri 6th Jul 2012 02:13 UTC
some1
Member since:
2010-10-05

I had a different idea to address much of the same points. We have 2 problems: how to get a patent and what is the effect of the patent. So
1) Patents must be granted based on publications in government-approved professional peer reviewed journals. This has a lot better chances of weeding out bogus/vague/trivial submissions than anything PTO officials can ever dream of.
2) A patent entitles its holder to reduced tax rate on income from the invention. No monopoly rights of any kind.

Second part is probably too radical to be implemented. Alternatively some mix of the following is at least an improvement on the current state:
* Limit patent term to 5 years, at least for "technology" patents.
* Force FRAND-style licensing for all patents.
* No enforcement by non-practising entities. Aggressor must prove practising for the whole duration of his damages claim.
* Patent holder must actively defend it to preserve his right for future litigation, a-la trademark law. This prevents someone from hiding patents and then going after successful implementations when they generate enough income to become an attractive target.

Edited 2012-07-06 02:17 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by some1
by auouymous on Fri 6th Jul 2012 14:51 in reply to "Comment by some1"
auouymous Member since:
2011-09-23

* Force FRAND-style licensing for all patents.
* No enforcement by non-practising entities. Aggressor must prove practising for the whole duration of his damages claim.


I patent a brilliant concept, release a product that becomes a household name and continues to generate income for the next hundred years. Oh wait, I am forced to license my patent to everyone, my own product never becomes well known because there are a thousand others like it and my patent royalties dry up in 5 years. Or better yet, the large corporations license my patent, undercut my small business by mass producing the product to the point that my own product no longer sells, causing my patent to be invalidated early.

You assume that some patent troll is filing an idea a day and getting rich from lame ideas. But what about the small inventor who spends half their life slaving away on their one brilliant idea. Should that person not be entitled to a hefty reward? Producing a product or licensing the patent should be the sole decision of that person.

Patents should be cheap to file but require peer review to validate/invalidate and in a way that can't be gamed by large corporations. The patent should also describe the exact idea you came up with, no loopholes to cover ideas that you forgot about.

And limit the number of patents an individual or corporation can file per year (1 per 100-1000 employees). This alone will filter out the bogus patents. You could also borrow against future years to file enough patents to cover a complex product or set of products.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by some1
by some1 on Fri 6th Jul 2012 17:12 in reply to "RE: Comment by some1"
some1 Member since:
2010-10-05

I patent a brilliant concept

You cannot patent a concept.

a product that becomes a household name

By which point you're so entrenched that it's quite hard to compete with you by making similar products.

Or better yet, the large corporations license my patent, undercut my small business

All this is based on a false premise that patents protect small companies from big companies. This is not how it works. How many cases can you name of a small company successfully suing a big one? To quote for Paul Graham (http://www.paulgraham.com/wealth.html):
But patents may not provide much protection. Competitors commonly find ways to work around a patent. And if they can't, they may simply violate it and invite you to sue them. A big company is not afraid to be sued; it's an everyday thing for them. They'll make sure that suing them is expensive and takes a long time. Ever heard of Philo Farnsworth? He invented television. The reason you've never heard of him is that his company was not the one to make money from it. The company that did was RCA, and Farnsworth's reward for his efforts was a decade of patent litigation.


As a small company, your strengths is speed, not patent portfolio. You probably don't even have any patents yet -- do you know how long does it take to get one? A big company is more likely to buy you than compete with you, and even if they don't they have their own patents and a lot more money to make suing them impractical.

Reply Parent Score: 2