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[6]: Comment by kwan_e
by kwan_e on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 04:06 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by kwan_e"
kwan_e
Member since:
2007-02-18

Yes, there's no need for defensive patents, but aren't you still increasing the incentive for smaller players to join the patent system who are currently under the radar? The majority of us don't get any patent royalties today, but we could start submitting patents due to these courtroom-free payouts.


But how much incentive is it really? It still has to get reviewed. And the maximum payout is a lot smaller than the effort to submit any old nonsense. Even in the current system with its minimalist review outright nonsense like perpetual motion machine patents gets rejected.

We WANT smaller players to join. No matter how many smaller players join, I'd think it will still be a lot less than the number of patents that go through for defensive purposes.

I think a big barrier for the flood of useless patents will be the requirement for research costs to be documented. Fraud will be punishable, obviously.

"It would also ease pressure off the courts, because there can be no infringement under the system. The inventor was compensated for their time and energy, and can no longer claim to be damaged by infringement."

It's true this would be a benefit, but I'm still worried that today's expenses of proving patent validity in the courtrooms would have to be pushed up front for each and every patent, which will be even more expensive in total because there are relatively few lawsuits compared to patent applications.


I would say the expenses of having to prove patent validity in the courtroom is precisely a result of not doing a thorough validation in the beginning.

As people like us know, defects found late in the development cycle costs a lot more than if they were identified early in the development cycle. Same thing is happening with the court system, I would say. I bet it's a lot more expensive to have each patent dispute go through the courts for all parties, including the taxpayers, than if a little bit of money is spent in the beginning.

But then, politics is notoriously bad at learning from mistakes that most engineering disciplines have developed strategies for.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by kwan_e
by Alfman on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 04:58 in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by kwan_e"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

kwan_e,

"But how much incentive is it really? It still has to get reviewed. And the maximum payout is a lot smaller than the effort to submit any old nonsense. Even in the current system with its minimalist review outright nonsense like perpetual motion machine patents gets rejected."

Haha, well it almost sounds like your trying to justify such a patent system on the basis that it'd be of limited utility to actual devs ;)

However, if I knew I could be paid $500-$1K by the government when I wrote a new unique algorithm for a particular code context, I'd just have to write a few algorithms a month to make a decent income. For the same amount of effort, it might even pay better than my clients do. If so, the patent system would give rise to a new breed of developers who essentially work for the government to file patents. I might even outsource it to devs in India who are more than happy to take a cut.


"I would say the expenses of having to prove patent validity in the courtroom is precisely a result of not doing a thorough validation in the beginning."


Of course, but that's precisely the point I'm trying to make, the overhead costs of doing a thorough validation in the beginning can only go up. In many cases the government would end up paying the patent clerks more than the research is even worth. How is this justifiable?


Edit, Response to second post:

"Get the taxpayers involved, and you'll get the protests. Think about how conservatives rant about teachers being paid too much. Think about how much scrutiny a publicly funded system would get and how much crap companies are going to get for applying for rounded corner patents?"

These are the reasons your proposal could never be accepted in the first place. If it already existed, it would be the first on the chopping block because paying devs for patents with public funds isn't really something that benefits the public.

"Society pays a lot more right now with the current system."

Today's patent system is high cost, little public benefit. Your proposal eliminates many of the negatives, but other than that it still doesn't give much public benefit. It makes more sense to drop the system all together and not have any associated costs at all. The majority of devs wouldn't loose any benefits since we're already avoiding patents as much as we can today.

Edited 2013-03-22 05:17 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: Comment by kwan_e
by kwan_e on Fri 22nd Mar 2013 07:12 in reply to "RE[7]: Comment by kwan_e"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

However, if I knew I could be paid $500-$1K by the government when I wrote a new unique algorithm for a particular code context, I'd just have to write a few algorithms a month to make a decent income.


But you DON'T know. There's no guarantee under that system. You're not paid just for submitting something. Just because you write a new unique algorithm doesn't mean it has any economic worth that justifies a taxpayer funded system paying for it.

If you did that, you'd have wasted a lot of time developing a new unique algorithm that ended up not getting accepted. The opportunity cost is simply too high for anyone to make a decent living from it. Not even for large companies because they risk wasting time on developing an algorithm that's already been implemented somewhere else.

Most importantly, that a lot of people seem to miss, is that if the taxpayer is funding the system directly, do you think algorithms and design would be accepted as inventions any more? I, as a taxpayer, certainly don't want my system funding such non-inventions. It further removes a whole category of submissions.

Of course, but that's precisely the point I'm trying to make, the overhead costs of doing a thorough validation in the beginning can only go up. In many cases the government would end up paying the patent clerks more than the research is even worth. How is this justifiable?


I disagree that it will go up. It will go down as submissions are reduced. See above why I think the system would cause that to happen.

"Get the taxpayers involved, and you'll get the protests. Think about how conservatives rant about teachers being paid too much. Think about how much scrutiny a publicly funded system would get and how much crap companies are going to get for applying for rounded corner patents?"

These are the reasons your proposal could never be accepted in the first place. If it already existed, it would be the first on the chopping block because paying devs for patents with public funds isn't really something that benefits the public.


Don't resort to "it will never get accepted" argument. That's not the point of a thought experiment.

"Society pays a lot more right now with the current system."

Today's patent system is high cost, little public benefit. Your proposal eliminates many of the negatives, but other than that it still doesn't give much public benefit. It makes more sense to drop the system all together and not have any associated costs at all. The majority of devs wouldn't loose any benefits since we're already avoiding patents as much as we can today.


It does give the public benefit, because inventions are now cheaper to licence: $0. It gives the public benefit because inventions are no longer encumbered with licencing costs. More innovation is allowed to happen because startups aren't under the threat of patent litigation. Patent litigation can't even exist in that system because there's no such thing as infringement or licencing.

It has all the benefits of dropping patents, but providing just enough incentives for inventors who otherwise wouldn't open their inventions in order to get compensated. I'm not only focusing on up front costs, but the hidden costs to society as well.

It doesn't make sense to drop the system all together because it has even less chance of happening than my proposed system getting accepted. You can't argue that my system won't get accepted as a weakness and then propose an even less likely proposal.

Reply Parent Score: 2