Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 8th Oct 2012 09:24 UTC
Legal The failing US patent system is getting ever more mainstream - The New York Times is running a long and details piece on the failings of the system, especially in relation to the technology industry most of us hold so dearly. Most of the stuff in there isn't new to us - but there's two things in the article I want to highlight.
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Member since:

Patents worked in the vacuum cleaner industry.

James Dyson patented his cyclone vacuum design (which apparently went through 5,127 prototype designs between 1979 and 1984). As a startup he went to all the big names in the industry to license the design, including Hoover, who turned him down.

As soon as his invention caught on (early 1990s), Hoover copied it and undercut Dyson's prices. He sued Hoover for the infringement and won.

The patents he took out protected his investment of time and money from a big/established corporation/brand simply muscling their way in and stealing his ideas.

Innovation hasn't stopped as a result though. Almost all manufactures now have an equivalent technology on sale.

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smashIt Member since:

5,127 prototype designs between 1979 and 1984)

thats 3 designs a day
sounds more like a bad case of brainstorming to me

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JAlexoid Member since:

Yeah. Software patents would lay claims to a bagless vacuum cleaner not a specific design.

But all manufacturers have very different designs that happen to be bagless.

That is where hardware patents make sense - they tend to be very specific.

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