Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 20th Mar 2013 23:43 UTC
Legal Countries are starting to get into the patent business; countries like France and South Korea are setting up patent entities to protect domestic companies. "Intellectual Discovery presents itself as a defensive alliance: if a South Korean company finds itself targeted in a lawsuit, for instance, it can access the patents being compiled by Intellectual Discovery to hit back." I support this. If, say, a small Dutch company were to come under unfair patent aggression by bullies like Apple and Microsoft (quite likely these days), I damn well expect my government to protect them from it. If you can't fix the system, work with it. As simple as that.
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RE: Comment by kwan_e
by Yamin on Thu 21st Mar 2013 15:45 UTC in reply to "Comment by kwan_e"
Yamin
Member since:
2006-01-10

While interesting, and it certainly could be an improvement, I can't help but wonder what could go wrong.

Government body willing to pay for 'invention' disclosures.

If you thought patent trolls were bad today trying to extort companies which they have to at least take to court... imagine the abuse this kind of system would bring. This kind of system bring 0 cost to getting money out of patents. At least the current system imposes big legal fees to win at trial.

Everyone would just hack together something and take it to this 'board' to be paid. How much? Who knows! We'll have lobbyists to maximize payment.
What gets accepted as an invention?
Well, now you have the same problem as today with a 'patent' office evaluating patents to see if they are valid or not.

And given their record, they don't seem to be able to evaluate the validity of a patent... much less how much that patent is worth. Now you're doubling the complexity and workload of a system that has been proven to be incompetent?

I would actually theorize that it is highly probable your system would actually be worse than the current system. In the current system people file patents for a variety of reasons (protect ip, defense, licensing...), but immediate direct profit from the government is not one of them.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by kwan_e
by Alfman on Thu 21st Mar 2013 17:31 in reply to "RE: Comment by kwan_e"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Yamin,

While it's nice to get rid of the lawsuits, I see alot of problems arising from it too.

Foremost is funding, where does the money come from?

Secondly, inventors would start working for these government handouts as an ends unto itself rather than a means to an end (such as bringing products to market).

Thirdly, it doesn't solve the fundamental scalability issues inherent in the patent system. It can require more work to process a case and determine whether the claims in one patent infringe those of another than to actually come up with the "invention" in the first place, which is usually incremental anyways and not very valuable. Today's patent system mostly leaves it to the courts to determine validity.


Fourthly, for many technical fields, including my own, patents were never very useful to real practitioners anyways. In these cases dropping patents all together can make more sense than introducing another patent system with more problems.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by kwan_e
by kwan_e on Thu 21st Mar 2013 23:20 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kwan_e"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Foremost is funding, where does the money come from?


Taxes. I repeatedly mentioned government or government funded NGOs. That sounds bad, but as I mentioned to Yasmin, using taxes this way makes people take notice, and it forces the question to be asked during evaluation: how much is this patent worth to society?

Thirdly, it doesn't solve the fundamental scalability issues inherent in the patent system. It can require more work to process a case and determine whether the claims in one patent infringe those of another than to actually come up with the "invention" in the first place, which is usually incremental anyways and not very valuable. Today's patent system mostly leaves it to the courts to determine validity.


It does solve some scalability issues, mostly by reducing the input. A great deal of inventions won't get submitted because the inventors don't get licencing deals any more. Just a one time payment.

Remember, the payout is tied to actual proven research costs. An inventor will have to submit documentation of the research that resulted in an invention. That further reduces the input, because most "inventors" won't bother because they have bugger all research to show for it.

Fourthly, for many technical fields, including my own, patents were never very useful to real practitioners anyways. In these cases dropping patents all together can make more sense than introducing another patent system with more problems.


Yes, such a system does not reward useless patents. In a taxpayer funded system, no one on any side of the political spectrum would support overpaying for inventions. No more rounded corners or slide to unlock lawsuits because they wouldn't have been granted in the first place.

See my note about payouts tied to research costs.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by kwan_e
by kwan_e on Thu 21st Mar 2013 23:12 in reply to "RE: Comment by kwan_e"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Everyone would just hack together something and take it to this 'board' to be paid. How much? Who knows! We'll have lobbyists to maximize payment.
What gets accepted as an invention?
Well, now you have the same problem as today with a 'patent' office evaluating patents to see if they are valid or not.


Yes, but if the government is paying for invention disclosures, EVERYONE has a vested interested in making sure worthless inventions do not get accepted.

The problem is no evaluation is really happening. But if taxpayers are now invested in the process, they want value for money.

And it's not a free for all. The only compensation they get is some percentage over their research costs. If everyone hacks something together to get it evaluated and it passes, well, where are their research procedures?

And given their record, they don't seem to be able to evaluate the validity of a patent... much less how much that patent is worth. Now you're doubling the complexity and workload of a system that has been proven to be incompetent?


Again, it's because no evaluation is happening, because of the assumptions that patents are magically good for the economy. But now if the government pays for it, then we can actually ask the question: well how much is this invention worth to the economy?

Right now, that question isn't asked when a patent is evaluated because it's assumed that, once granted, the worth to the economy .

Lastly, you seem to forget that inventors in the proposed system do not get any control of the invention. So no licencing, thus no patent trolling, or even patent lawsuits. That would reduce the amount of inventions that gets submitted from those who are looking to extort a continued licence fee.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by kwan_e
by Yamin on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 09:31 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kwan_e"
Yamin Member since:
2006-01-10

At times it is amazing to me how people think bureaucracy can micromanage things.

Money tied to research costs.
You don't think people can make stuff up?

In Canada, we have something called R&D credits where the government hands out R&D money. Do you know what happens? There are entire consulting firms who just sit around writing applications and getting money.

It is insanely easy to make up anything to submit.
And if you then make the cost tracking too high, good luck with any small inventor keeping enough records and everything to actually make use of the process.

And now what you've done is moved the monetary value of a patent from it's utility to how much time was spent on it. This would like paying software developers based on lines of code instead of functionality.

As to the 'people' having a vested interest. This doesn't work elsewhere in the democratic system, why would it work in relatively small regulatory body of the government? This is not healthcare or education where people can get up in arms about... and even in those cases they rarely demand value for money... instead... they just want more stuff.

Reply Parent Score: 3