Flash Of Genius: Patent System Propaganda Made Into A Movie

from the unfortunate dept

I've been seeing previews of the new movie, Flash of Genius (which opens today) everywhere, and a few folks have asked my opinion of it. Over at Against Monopoly, there's as pretty good takedown of the premise of the movie. The story of Robert Kearns has plenty of good "movie" elements, and is often held up by patent system supporters as a clear example of a big company "ripping off" an independent inventor. The movie itself is a huge dramatization, that of course, paints Ford as the big evil company that "stole" the idea of intermittent wipers from Kearns. It's highly exaggerated from reality, and perpetuates the big myth that invention comes from a "flash of genius" and is the most important part of innovation.
As anyone who's actually run a business can tell you, the idea is only a tiny part of what's important. The real innovation is in actually turning the idea into something that works, is useful, is cost effective and (most importantly) is something that people want to buy. Almost every actual product is quite different from the initial "idea" that it came from. Furthermore, despite what the movie appears to portray, lots of folks were working on different methods to create an intermittent wiper, and the methods that Kearns used weren't such a "flash of genius" either. They were pretty much the next evolution. As we've seen it's pretty common for multiple parties to make the same "next step" obvious breakthroughs at about the same time.

But, Kearns turned the whole thing into a crusade against the auto companies, so it makes a good David vs. Goliath movie storyline. And, despite the way Ford appears to be portrayed in the movie as deliberately copying Kearns' work, the company was not found to have willfully infringed on the patents. They were found to have infringed -- but through their own work, not from having directly taken Kearns idea (the movie suggests otherwise). As you may or may not know, most patent infringement is not "willful," meaning the company in question didn't "copy" the idea directly from the inventor or his or her patent, but through simply coming up with the idea themselves independently. And, at the time of Kearns case, the standard for willful infringement was even lower than it is today. Yet, because there's no independent invention defense, the automakers will still found to have infringed. The end result? All of the car companies had to pay many millions to Kearns, effectively paying multiple times over what the wipers actually should have cost, increasing car prices for all of us. That's not David vs. Goliath: it's David making cars more expensive for everyone.

The movie itself may be very entertaining (I'll probably wait for it to come out on video to check it out), but it's unfortunate that it promotes the myth of a "flash of genius" being the most important part of innovation, and that it perpetuates the stereotype of "big companies vs. little inventors." At a time when our patent system needs serious reform, a movie like this only serves to falsely promote the value of patents in the public eye. It's propaganda, wrapped in a nice Hollywood veneer.


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  •  
    identicon
    Sunny J, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 4:39pm

    YOU HAVENT EVEN SEEN THER FUCKING MOVIE!?!

    What kind of jackass writes about a movie he has not seen!?! You are a fucking tool.

     

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      Mike (profile), Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 4:45pm

      Re: YOU HAVENT EVEN SEEN THER FUCKING MOVIE!?!

      What kind of jackass writes about a movie he has not seen!?! You are a fucking tool.

      I know the story of what happened, and you can see from the trailer how it's being portrayed. I'm not reviewing the movie, I'm pointing out that the story being presented is different from what actually happened.

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 4:57pm

        Re: Re: YOU HAVENT EVEN SEEN THER FUCKING MOVIE!?!

        Once again, you HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE, so you don't have an f'ing clue about the story presented by the movie. You're just talking out your ass and this is absolute garbage journalism.

         

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          identicon
          Rose M. Welch, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 5:44pm

          Re: Re: Re: YOU HAVENT EVEN SEEN THER FUCKING MOVIE!?!

          Uhhh... This isn't journalism. This isn't a news site. This is a blog run by very smart people.

           

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            angry dude, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 6:43pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: YOU HAVENT EVEN SEEN THER FUCKING MOVIE!?!

            Let's fix this sentence:

            This is a blog FOR CLUELESS RETARDS run by NOT SO smart people

             

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              identicon
              Dosquatch, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 7:14pm

              Re: YOU HAVENT EVEN SEEN THER FUCKING MOVIE!?!

              This is a blog FOR CLUELESS RETARDS

              And, look, here you are! Imagine, all this time being angry and you're finally right. Wow, how's that feel?

               

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        identicon
        Nick, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 5:07pm

        Re: Re: YOU HAVENT EVEN SEEN THER FUCKING MOVIE!?!

        Of course it's different from what actually happened, it's a movie! That's just how Hollywood works ;)

         

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        identicon
        Sunny J, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 5:20pm

        Re: Re: YOU HAVENT EVEN SEEN THER FUCKING MOVIE!?!

        I know the story too, and I saw the movie a few weeks ago at TIFF. it was ok, a typical hollywood David vs Goliath BASED ON a true story. I can write this because I actually saw the movie, while you are just a fucking hack.

         

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          Mike (profile), Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 5:53pm

          Re: Re: Re: YOU HAVENT EVEN SEEN THER FUCKING MOVIE!?!

          I can write this because I actually saw the movie, while you are just a fucking hack.

          Again, this is not a movie review. This is not a journalism or news site. I made it clear I had not seen the movie, and I made it clear where my opinion was coming from.

          Until you run this company and are my boss, I am quite allowed to write what I please.

          If you have something that disproves my statements, then that's fine. But I was quite upfront about the situation, so I'm not sure what your problem is.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 8:27pm

          Re: Re: Re: YOU HAVENT EVEN SEEN THER FUCKING MOVIE!?!

          the texas chainsaw massacre was also based on a true story... the true story was ed gein who didn't live in texas and didn't go around killing people with a chainsaw....

          based on a true story means nothing

           

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          Redleaf, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 9:51am

          Re: Re: Re: YOU HAVENT EVEN SEEN THER FING MOVIE!?!

          Boy, Sunny J, you need a life. Anger >>> importance of issue. Why don't you write us a review and we can all spit on that.

           

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        angry dude, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 5:30pm

        Re: Re: YOU HAVENT EVEN SEEN THER FUCKING MOVIE!?!

        Let's put it plainly, Mikey

        You are a jackass
        A paid jackass and a corporate stooge, which makes it worse....

        Ask people who knew Dr. Kearns (not Ford employees) about their opinion

        For Christ sake, why don't you stop lying on your shitty blog ?

         

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          Mike (profile), Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 5:55pm

          Re: Re: Re: YOU HAVENT EVEN SEEN THER FUCKING MOVIE!?!

          Let's put it plainly, Mikey

          In your life on this site, angry dude, I have yet to see you put something plainly. So far, I have seen you insult nearly everyone, and not once respond to an actual point. It's nice to see you continue that tradition.

          Again, if you wish to be taken seriously, it helps to actually make arguments. Insulting people and lying doesn't help.

          And, you know that you're lying. We have discussed this in great detail. I am not a "paid stooge" in any sense. You know this -- and in fact admitted that you lied about us because you couldn't refute the points we made.

          I'm sorry the truth makes you angry, and that it makes you lie, but I really wish you wouldn't do it here.

           

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            Sunny J, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 6:05pm

            Are you a paid stooge?

            He accused you of being a paid stooge, which you denied.

            Are you paid to write here(and is it by the word)?

             

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              Mike (profile), Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 6:15pm

              Re: Are you a paid stooge?

              Are you paid to write here(and is it by the word)?

              No to both questions. I run the company that produces Techdirt. I am paid a salary, and I would continue to be paid a salary even if I stopped writing Techdirt. The actual writing is entirely separate from my actual job.

               

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            Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 7:05am

            Re: YOU HAVENT EVEN SEEN THER FUCKING MOVIE!?!

            Hey, Mike-

            In your life on this site, angry dude, [...] I have seen you insult nearly everyone,

            Which often makes me wonder if it isn't a bit? I mean, I can't see the server logs, so I don't have any way to know, but considering how much AD says he hates it here, I wonder if it isn't a better behaved regular who just runs AD as a sock puppet.

            Can you confirm or deny?

             

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              Mike (profile), Oct 5th, 2008 @ 7:27pm

              Re: Re: YOU HAVENT EVEN SEEN THER FUCKING MOVIE!?!

              Which often makes me wonder if it isn't a bit? I mean, I can't see the server logs, so I don't have any way to know, but considering how much AD says he hates it here, I wonder if it isn't a better behaved regular who just runs AD as a sock puppet.

              Can you confirm or deny?


              Nope. One thing I'll grant about angry dude is that he always posts with his name, and never goes anonymous or posts under other names, like others do (MLS is particularly bad about that). Angry dude always posts from one of two IP addresses: his work address and his home address.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2008 @ 8:08pm

                Re: Re: Re: YOU HAVENT EVEN SEEN THER FUCKING MOVIE!?!

                My deepest apologies for the confusion so obviously caused by using an automatic cookie cleaner at the end of each online session.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 1:31am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: YOU HAVENT EVEN SEEN THER FUCKING MOVIE!?!

                  Oh, sorry, I thought I was replying to Mike, but it appears to be "Anonymous Coward" now.

                   

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                Want MLS back, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 1:13am

                Re: Re: Re: YOU HAVENT EVEN SEEN THER FUCKING MOVIE!?!

                Nope. One thing I'll grant about angry dude is that he always posts with his name, and never goes anonymous or posts under other names, like others do (MLS is particularly bad about that). Angry dude always posts from one of two IP addresses: his work address and his home address.

                For all intents and purposes, I enjoyed MLS. I wish he would come back and contribute more often. His personal experience was interesting and he had a good frame of reference for what he talked about. I held him in real high regard. Maybe I scared him away with a comment. Hell, it was in good fun. MLS, whoever you are, please come back!

                MLS COME BACK, PLEASE!

                 

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                  Mike (profile), Oct 6th, 2008 @ 1:26am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: YOU HAVENT EVEN SEEN THER FUCKING MOVIE!?!

                  For all intents and purposes, I enjoyed MLS. I wish he would come back and contribute more often.

                  He still posts quite frequently, but usually as an Anonymous Coward. I've asked him, quite frequently, to return to using his MLS moniker, but for some reason he almost always sticks with AC -- especially when posting ridiculous and easily proven false statements.

                  At other times, when posting more reasonable comments, he'll go back to using MLS or another moniker that involves his last name.

                   

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                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 1:35am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: YOU HAVENT EVEN SEEN THER FUCKING MOVIE!?!

                    You know, having that kind of information is quite scary.

                    Mokiker. Hah. That's a good word.

                     

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        bob, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 7:35pm

        Re: Re: YOU HAVENT EVEN SEEN THER FUCKING MOVIE!?!

        Wow Mike, you were overly nice to this Sunny J ignoramus.
        Obviously he has been undeserved by our public educational system. To where he is unable to differentiate a critique of circumstances from that of a film review.
        Another patent incident that comes to mind is Sears and the ratchet wrench, where the guy that made the wrench was paid by Sears for the idea and later sued Sears for millions over it.

         

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      Dosquatch, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 5:34pm

      Re: YOU HAVENT EVEN SEEN THER FUCKING MOVIE!?!

      What kind of jackass writes about a movie he has not seen!?!

      Umm, a lot of people, actually. See, after you've seen enough movies, it becomes possible to pretty accurately expect certain predictabilities, trends, hyperbole, and whatnot from movies even before you've seen them.

      Like Titanic - I knew the boat was going to sink even before I ever saw the movie. Aw, heck, how'd I do that?

       

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        Sunny J, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 5:53pm

        The boat sinks?

        Wow. You should let people know before you drop a spoiler like that. And you figured it out before you saw the movie?

        I am amazed at your jackass powers to "see" movies before you have seen them.

         

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          Dosquatch, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 7:31pm

          Re: The boat sinks?

          Wow. You should let people know before you drop a spoiler like that.

          Oh, darn. "SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT". Gee, I really hope that's good enough after the fact. Wouldn't want to bruise your movie experience or anything.

          I am amazed at your jackass powers to "see" movies before you have seen them.

          Please. I mean, FFS, it's an "underdog overcomes" movie. It's "based" on a true story. Hollywood is in the market of selling a story, not nonfiction documentary, and they say so...

          So where's the stretch in recognizing that going in? Or are you just a dick for sport?

           

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        Killer_Tofu (profile), Oct 6th, 2008 @ 5:45am

        Re: Re: YOU HAVENT EVEN SEEN THER FUCKING MOVIE!?!

        I own and have seen too many movies.
        I take this to an extreme sometimes by saying the line that an actor is likely to say before they say it in a movie I haven't seen.
        Sometimes I wonder how movies still entertain me.
        Just quite an enjoyable thing to do with friends. =)

         

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    Hal, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 4:40pm

    Can't believe anyone is going to see it

    I can't believe they made a movie about this. Is this how boring movies have gotten?

     

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      Dosquatch, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 5:08pm

      Re: Can't believe anyone is going to see it

      Is this how boring movies have gotten?

      Bah. I liked it better 20 years ago when it was called Tucker

       

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        Kevin, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 10:51am

        Re: Re: Can't believe anyone is going to see it

        I can't believe anyone goes to the movies for anything other than Entertainment.

        If you want information that is real, look out your port, the rest is fiction!

         

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      Shallow, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 12:38pm

      Re: Can't believe anyone is going to see it

      Let me ask you "Hal", have you ever invented anything and gone through the process of getting a patent? The time, effort, money and emotions that all formulate this process are something very few people have the stomach for. To see your hopes and dreams come to reality only to have corporate king pins snatch it from you "because they can" is criminal.
      How can you say the subject is "boring" when you haven't seen the movie? It is that narrow minded thinking that separates the inventors from the guys who may have a great idea but dismiss it figuring that someone must have already invented it.

      "Shallow, Hal"

       

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    Trevlac, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 4:46pm

    I thought the same thing when I saw the trailer. I could enjoy the movie but in the back of my head I'll know there's some drooling bozo in the theater who actually takes it at face value.

     

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 5:01pm

    Hmm

    The family being from around here, I have seen the kids of this inventor interviewed on the morning news earlier this week.
    According to them the movie is pretty accurate.
    Then again this all did happen when they were young and I am sure they are just happy to be getting paid more money. Not that they deserve any money for their father's story being told and there probably isn't any law that they have to get paid for it, but I am sure they did.
    But, if you take what the greedy children say and believe it to be true, this is very close to reality.

     

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    laura evans, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 5:08pm

    David, Goliath and Ethics

    Your statement blaming the individual inventor for the higher cost of Ford's misconduct reveals the same attitude many corporations have. They act ss if they have the right through might to take what they want. Would you be to blame if some company took something from you and did not pay you until after a long expensive battle produced a high price that was passed to the public. Ideas get taken just like objects by the most powerful entity to resell them. It seems "Patent Prates" is not as extreme as I would wish.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 5:15pm

      Re: David, Goliath and Ethics

      Except Mike described that Ford didn't actually take anything - they came up with something on their own as the natural evolution of an idea.

      Like objects, how can you be accused of taking someone else's if you built your own?

       

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        Ronald J Riley (profile), Oct 4th, 2008 @ 2:44pm

        Re: Re: David, Goliath and Ethics

        Ford did take something, they stole Bob Kearns invention.

        Ronald J. Riley,


        Speaking only on my own behalf.
        Affiliations:
        President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
        Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
        Senior Fellow - www.patentPolicy.org
        President - Alliance for American Innovation
        Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
        Washington, DC
        Direct (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

         

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      Ruben, Apr 18th, 2009 @ 4:10am

      Re: David, Goliath and Ethics

      Laura,
      I have to take issue at your comment, "... some company took something from you ...". Ford did not take anything they just had the 'same idea' as Kearns. Ideas cannot be taken away from us. Human history happens _because_ we share ideas.

      If fire was copyrighted we probably would not have made it through the ice-age. Law abiding cave-men can be found frozen in the tundra.

      :)
      Ruben

       

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    doubt it, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 5:09pm

    really?

    hmmm ...
    hollywood making a historicaly accurate movie
    somehow I find this hard to believe.

     

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    The Usual Suspect, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 5:12pm

    The movie is a distortion of the book is a distortion of ,,,

    If you'd heard the interview of the movie's producer on NPR you'd know that the movie not only distorted the time sequence of actual events but invented scenes just to make a "better" movie. Clearly this movie is hardly sufficient to draw any conclusions of the actual events. If you're at all interested in the facts then you're better off reading the book and researching the facts yourself. And if you really think big corporations haven't manipulated people then you don't know the story of radio, television, ad nauseum.

     

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    Ronald J Riley (profile), Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 5:21pm

    Mike has it wrong again.

    Mike, I knew Bob Kearns from the late 1980's. If you knew anything about the patent system and inventor's trials you should be aware of the impact Bob Kearns had on the whole lay of the land.

    Bob's fight for his rights ushered out a four decade dark age for inventor where NOT ONE patent was upheld. Big companies were able to take what they wanted with impunity.

    Bob's case sensitized two generations of potential jurors and was the watershed event leading to the creation of a class of inventors who will kick the living crap out of patent pirates.

    I have noticed you whining a bit about being taken to task for your profound ignorance and total lack of compassion for our situation. Lets say some asset stealing big company found a way to fleece you of your business, how would you feel? Lets say there were a group of assholes who made fun of you, and told you that you should not have any rights? How would you react?



    SOURCE: The Professional Inventors Alliance

    Sep 30, 2008 07:00 ET
    The Professional Inventors Alliance and InventorEd Celebrate the Release of Flash of Genius
    Highlighted Links

    Professional Inventors Alliance www.PIAUSA.org
    InventorEd www.InventorEd.org

    WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - September 30, 2008) - The following is a statement by Ronald J. Riley of the Professional Inventors Alliance.

    "Everyone should keep in mind while watching Flash of Genius that today's inventors face the same problems and that continuing poor corporate conduct is costing Americans jobs and prosperity.

    "The movie Flash of Genius shows that Bob Kearns was a complicated man who like most inventors was deeply impacted by the persecution he suffered at the hands of patent pirating large corporations. We are all products of our environments; this is especially true of inventors who suffer under the yoke of large corporate abuse.

    "The movie does a great job of showing Bob Kearns was deeply offended and rightly so by the conduct of all the auto companies, and the realization that a US Patent doesn't grant you the right to exclude anyone. It grants the right to start a war. It became his mission to force disreputable companies to change. That was a futile mission but Bob still forged ahead.

    "While Flash of Genius does a good job of conveying the harm done to inventors it misses many important similarities between Bob Kearn's plight and today's inventors.

    "It would have been nice if Flash of Genius had explored rather in light of globalization America can afford to allow inventors to continue to be victimized by thieving transnational companies. How many inventors' careers have been destroyed? How many inventors discouraged? What has been the economic impact of this?

    "Another important point which the movie missed was that twenty years ago when companies stole inventors' creativity the jobs created by those inventions stayed in America. Today such piracy is by companies who promptly ship those jobs and prosperity of American ingenuity to low wage counties. These are the same companies who are shipping American jobs and our great country's collective manufacturing know how to other countries.

    "Flash of Genius probably should have recognized that auto companies, especially Ford, are dying a slow death today because of their failure to embrace invention and abide by patents spirit, promotion of progress.

    "The lesson of Flash of Genius is timely because many of our technology companies, our insurance and banking industries have the same mindset as Ford and the other auto companies and are on the same path as the auto industry. Today, tech, insurance and banking interests even have a trade association calling itself the Coalition for Patent Fairness which promotes the same destructive conduct as Ford.

    "Flash of Genius left no doubt that the root of these problems is unethical corporations who have become traitors to America in their quest of short term profit by any means.

    "Bob Kearns was a founding member of the Professional Inventors Alliance. We are delighted that Flash of Genius will help the public understand in some measure the forces which shape inventor's world view."

    Contact:
    Ronald J. Riley
    Affiliations:
    President -- www.PIAUSA.org -- RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director -- www.InventorEd.org -- RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow -- www.PatentPolicy.org
    President -- Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder
    Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

     

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      Mike (profile), Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 6:04pm

      Re: Mike has it wrong again.

      Ronald, nice to see you here again. It had seemed like you were laying low while Dozier was suing you. And, it's nice to see that while I've been defending you for the last couple weeks, the first thing you do is come here and insult me again.

      Same old Ronald.

      Let me ask you a question, Ronald? If, as you so falsely insist, I only write opinions based on who pays me, who was paying me to defend you, a person who has consistently insulted me and my family personally, while repeatedly lying about me?

      Isn't it possible that I speak my opinion because I believe in it? I support it with actual evidence, not baseless claims.

      I recognize that may be shocking to you, but it's the truth.

      If you knew anything about the patent system and inventor's trials you should be aware of the impact Bob Kearns had on the whole lay of the land.

      I know quite a bit about the impact he had. He made products more expensive for everyone and helped, in part, to kick off this ridiculous infatuation some of you have with "small inventors" vs "big companies" rather than focusing on what the patent system is actually SUPPOSED to do: encourage innovation. Period.

      Bob's case sensitized two generations of potential jurors and was the watershed event leading to the creation of a class of inventors who will kick the living crap out of patent pirates.

      You mean his case sent the exact wrong message to the world of small inventors: that they no longer needed to actually produce, but that they could sit back and sue. It's a shame. His legacy has forced so much money to be wasted on lawyers, rather than innovation.

      Lets say some asset stealing big company found a way to fleece you of your business, how would you feel?

      As I have pointed out to you many times, I set up a business model such that your scenario is not a risk. That is, unlike others, I actually understood the economics of what was going on. There is no way that some business could "fleece" me of my business. They could COMPETE with me, and I welcome the challenge, because I believe that I can compete with anyone.

      What pains me is your insistence that businesses shouldn't compete.

      It's difficult to understand what your irrational fear of competition is.

      Lets say there were a group of assholes who made fun of you, and told you that you should not have any rights? How would you react?

      Ronald, there are plenty of folks who make fun of me. Why should that matter to me?

      And as for my rights, I know what rights I *DO* have. What I don't want is to take away rights from others. That's what you and your merry band of folks do. You STOP companies from innovating. You TAKE AWAY their right to innovate.

      Good luck with your lawsuit against Dozier. No matter how much you return here to insult me and lie, I will still defend your right to free speech against Dozier. And it's not because anyone pays me, because, trust me, no one could ever pay me enough to defend you. I do it because it's right. Just as I write everything I do because I believe it's right.

       

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      Francesca Bopp, Nov 16th, 2013 @ 11:49am

      Re: Mike has it wrong again.

      I have been riped off of an invention my self by going to one of those invention places you see on tv told them what my idea was and they then wanted 5000 to 10000 dollars to get the ball rolling I'm on dissibility and couldn't afford that so next thing I know couple yrs later I see my invention on tv called by the name I gave myinvention its called touch up I think by nice and easey any input on how to get what's what's been stolen from me

       

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    symuncez, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 5:27pm

    Pro-corporate, eh?

    Have you ever invented anything that you were vested enough in to attempt commercialization (i.e. bringing to market)?

    Is the premise of this editorial that this little independent inventor didn't(like many others) didn't deserve his rewards because industry was on the the brink of doing it anyway? Then why have a patent office at all. Ok, that's extreme I confess.

    However, as a product designer(industrial designer)/inventor, I can say professionally that whole industries are built on these sparks of ingenuity. Meanwhile, historically, salesman and marketeers are assigned credit for objects and solutions they had no hand in creating. I can site a thousand examples of this.

    With no original concept from which to, refine and transform into, a commercially viable creation . . . there is no invention from which to profit from. Kearns may not have deserved all of the credit or total, reward. But ask the man who invented the rubber cement that spawned the billion dollar product 'post-it notes', or the myriad programmers that have had their ideas 'borrowed' or 'co-opted' by microsoft, do they feel equitably compensated? I'll put my money on a no.

    Propaganda . . . maybe

     

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      Mike (profile), Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 6:11pm

      Re: Pro-corporate, eh?

      Have you ever invented anything that you were vested enough in to attempt commercialization (i.e. bringing to market)?


      I've built a successful company, yes, thank you very much. We've offered a variety of products to the market, and I'm quite proud of that. Why would you assume otherwise?

      Is the premise of this editorial that this little independent inventor didn't(like many others) didn't deserve his rewards because industry was on the the brink of doing it anyway? Then why have a patent office at all. Ok, that's extreme I confess.

      You must be new around here. You really ought to learn about the purpose of the patent system. It is to encourage innovation, not to reward whoever is first. If the progress of the art would bring about the same results, then a patent is hindering, not helping innovation.

      There is plenty of research supporting this, including from some Nobel Prize winners.

      However, as a product designer(industrial designer)/inventor, I can say professionally that whole industries are built on these sparks of ingenuity.

      I have seen almost none. Almost every case where someone describes a "flash of genius" you later learn that it was the marketers who later made up that flash of genius, and the truth was many different folks were working on similar problems -- and that the lack of competition brought about by a patent actually limited innovation.

      That's because whatever spark of genius was needed, that's NOTHING compared to the effort to actually make a product a commercial success. But by removing the competition, there's little incentive for the holder of the monopoly to make the necessary adjustments.

      With no original concept from which to, refine and transform into, a commercially viable creation . . . there is no invention from which to profit from. Kearns may not have deserved all of the credit or total, reward. But ask the man who invented the rubber cement that spawned the billion dollar product 'post-it notes', or the myriad programmers that have had their ideas 'borrowed' or 'co-opted' by microsoft, do they feel equitably compensated? I'll put my money on a no.

      If they couldn't satisfy the market, then why should they be rewarded?

      You have this odd compulsion to believe that whoever was first deserves the reward. This isn't a race. The reward belongs to those who can actually INNOVATE, which means SUCCESSFULLY bring the product to MARKET in a way that makes the world better.

      The reward is in the market. Not in the patent.

       

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        symuncez, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 1:04am

        Re: Re: Pro-corporate, eh?

        Mike,

        I could care less about the vitriol spew in this blog, whether aimed at me, others or not. I didn't post here to fight, lol! I posted to present a competing position and issue challenge to what I see as a rampant and corrupting perspective that, contrary to what you claim, stifles progress, drive and promotes mediocrity.



        INNOVATION:

        Innovation by definition is NOT defined as or by what one brings to market. That is called MARKETING. Your definition is simply your biased perspective, which in no way resembles the functional and strict definition.



        Reward:

        Perhaps to the less informed/sophisticated, your perspective, might prove convincing. However, since you have applied and adopted a pro-market position, we stray into the science of economics which also has its' rudiments based in thermo-dynamics. And in that regard, there is no such thing as nothing, thus everything has a value, which cannot be destroyed, but simply transformed into another object of another value.

        I won't send you on the whole trip, except to establish one basic premise upon which capitalism (an economic system) is based (at least in part) and so implies the following when an econometric model is applied.

        Every thing has value, and for everything of value that is produced, there is a proportionate ratio of energetic input that is utilized to produce said thing and thus establishes a basic value based in part for the work/energy invested.

        Greater or lessor value can be assigned and redefined in a marketplace. However that determination is at least in part determined by inventory, demand and other well known and modern understanding of economy.

        Another factor, the wider the availability of something, the lesser the value. The more limited the availability of something, the more valuable it is. This metric can be applied before, during, and after commercialization.

        That said, a sound concept(based on a proof of concept and other factors), potentially has its' greatest value BEFORE marketing, whether fully realized or not is irrelevant, because at that point it is said to be exclusive or rare possessing a value and a potential value.

        I won't swipe with broad strokes and dismiss contributions of marketers, I happen to know and work with some very creative marketers, personally. BUT, there are marketers and there are INVENTORS. And they are of wholly different and distinct classes of purpose, creativity, skills, backgrounds and intentions. And many times, their goals are similar. But by and large, marketeers are salespeople. And That is NOT where the SPARK/FLASH begins or even where the rubber meets the road. Ideas must take form first.


        Living in a capitalist society based on a capitalist system, work equals value. And I take a very strong Ayn Rand approach to this notion. I don't care one IOTA about your version of socialized innovation. Where you suggest the patent office is solely purposed to encourage innovation. It's really simple; My Idea/effort, my REWARD. That reward however, can be shared with investors and, YES, marketers who want assist me the producer in commercialization and sales of said product. But to suggest that to the marketers goes the spoils is ludicrous. And I say, you contradict yourself, because you exclaim that you are protected against theft. Which, at the very least, presupposes that you have something to protect, and that you in turn seek compensation for your investment.


        And since no one goes through the trouble of protecting nothing, value is assumed. In fact, you can't protect 'nothing', but you can protect 'something'. Therefore to assert that "If they couldn't satisfy the market, then why should they be rewarded?" constitutes a ludicrous and untenable argument and position.


        "The reward is in the market. Not in the patent."

        You are inaccurate here. A patent of a sound idea for which there is a a vacuum constitutes value. And in a capitalist system, is said to have value in a real sense. So you mis-spoke. Better said, the 'GREATER' reward is in the market, which has been proven and validated in the real life as well as "Flash of Genius".

        I'll leave you with a couple of thoughts.

        If ideas alone were worthless, would venture capital investors invest? And why exactly do they invest significant sums of money?

        And about the Patent Office again, they exist to serve various functions. ONE of which is to inspire innovation . . . another reason is to grant protection for INNOVATORS, which in turn encourage competitors to come stronger . . . NOT PURLOIN concepts and disenfranchise the authors.

        Its' been a fun exchange, but since you've fallen on the sword of competitive innovation, ask yourself and your bloggers this question:

        Do you think inventors are motivated more by compensation, or exploitation? It's a silly question. Of course it's money. So let's dismiss the pretense about innovation. Innovation takes care of itself. You have to build a better mouse trap (at least improve upon)to have a commercial edge and improve odds, the odds for realizing revenues. Using terms like competition and innovation to justify creative infringement is nothing short of criminal usury and exploitation. In a system whereby the corporations have asymmetric financial leverage over the individual, as well as, a fiduciary responsibility to increase shareholder values, are you really suggesting these infringements are purely coincidental? I want some of what you're smoking, lol!

        Onward, Upward

        symuncez.

         

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          DanC, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 2:33am

          Re: Re: Re: Pro-corporate, eh?

          Innovation by definition is NOT defined as or by what one brings to market. That is called MARKETING. Your definition is simply your biased perspective, which in no way resembles the functional and strict definition.

          You should probably get a handle on your definitions. Innovation is the process of successfully bringing a product to market. Marketing, on the other hand, is the process of transferring that good to the consumer, i.e. advertising, shipping, selling). So, innovation gets the product to market, and marketing gets the product to consumers.

          Your "couple of thoughts" are also incorrect.

          If ideas alone were worthless, would venture capital investors invest? And why exactly do they invest significant sums of money?

          If no one does anything with your idea, then it has no economic value. Venture capitalists invest in the process of innovation.

          And about the Patent Office again, they exist to serve various functions. ONE of which is to inspire innovation

          You misspoke. The patent office exists to process patents. Patents themselves exist in order to promote innovation. They attempt to accomplish this task by giving temporary monopoly rights to an inventor. Protectionism is merely the chosen method to attempt to achieve the goal.

           

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            symuncez, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 12:42pm

            Pro-corporate, eh? continued

            Mike,

            I have my definitions correct. Not only do I have them correct. But I currently own a business, come from a curriculum and have a degree in a discipline(industrial design) purposed for innovation. Also, (before running my own business) I and have worked for, not 1 but 2, fortune 500 companies that produce innovative products and compete with the likes of Nike. . . another 'innovation' company.

            Innovation is NOT "the process of successfully bringing a product to market" as you suggest. You, for some personal reason, have interjected your own biased opinion into the discourse as if it were FACT.
            It is not. Please site a legitimate source that agrees with your opinion of the definition, and I'll bet I COULD argue successfully against it in court.

            By technical definition (i.e. established and accepted), innovation is "The act of innovating", "•a new method, idea, product, etc"

            There's nothing in any standard, declarative, and/or authoritative document that confuses and conflates the 'novelty' of an idea, with the delivery of said novelty to market. Delivery and novelty are mutually exclusive (novelty implies benefit. Benefit implies value). Delivery is transport, or transition. This is clear. No need to muddy the waters with vaporous musings.

            You may or may not troll the Patent library for ideas to purloin and abscond if that is your choice, or anyone elses'. But people DON'T (generally) invent things for the sake inventing. The end motive is profit. But by the very nature of your business model, which by your own admission was fashioned in part to insulate you from infringement, reflects that there was something OF VALUE to protect BEFORE commercialization. Otherwise you would be a non-profit, open-source operation. I suspect you are not.

            Any item OR service, innovative OR not, has a value that is PREDETERMINED PRIOR to market. ABSOLUTELY NO ONE establishes a value AFTER a product goes to market. All of that is determined in advance. You are using an argumentative tactic of hiding behind, and using generalizations to obscure some very well known truths, in order to marginalize, or as far as I can tell, nullify the value that the original authors/inventors bring to the table. And then assert that it is mainly the "marketer" that come up with the ideas. Look up or web-search IDEO, or FROG DESIGN. Both are design consultancies, that are hired by fortune 500 companies to produce 'innovative' products that their client then in-turn introduce to the marketplace. TWO completely different steps, involving very different role players to achieve this end.

            Also I see that you have not addressed some of the basic facts I presented in my previous post. Instead you seek to tacitly promulgate and introduce a socializing element into a capitalist practice, in the name of innovation to suggest some bizarre notion that innovation belongs to everybody. And that the reward for such, is not the right of the producers, but the marketers and salespeople that bring said item to market regardless of their lack of involvement in the creative process. By merely sharing proprietary information with non-stakeholders an entity can be sued for monetary reward, without said proprietary information ever making it to the marketplace.

            And you are wrong, venture capitalist invest in profitable enterprises. Innovation is NOT a prerequisite for investment. It is merely one of many factors used to DETERMINE validity in the marketplace, which factor into a fuller assessment of risk and PROJECTED profitability.

            No sir, I am very clear.

            In addition, I see you've since 'clarified' the purpose of the patent office. When you change your premise midstream, your argument fails. You may own and run a company, and I hope that it is successful (I do mean that), because this is simply a disagreement based on differences in knowledge and experiences. And I of course, do not know you.

            However, I think your bizarre notion that the INVENTORS should be excluded from profits, simply because other entities have means to introduce said invention (presumably novel) to the market, based on an illogical premise and obscure definition of "INNOVATION" is a failure of reason.

            I'll use one last example to deliver clearly my point. Any body or group of persons that creates a cure for aids, by your logic, does not constitute a breakthrough(which is what an innovation is basically, a breakthrough). The market has no bearing on whether or not that is true. Whether that cure is available in the marketplace OR not, it STILL has IMMENSE value to the person afflicted, even if they cannot pay for it. That is one of the reasons some aids patients RISK trial. WHY? Because all that is required to establish value (whether high or low) is a need(i.e. "market" which is different than a marketplace) and a 'something' to address that need. Simple economics, which you also avoided in your reply.

            Your wild mis-characterization of the term "INNOVATION" is demonstrative of your anti-inventor/pro-marketeer position. Which is your choice, of course. But by casting PATENT protection as merely a vehicle through which to encourage (which it does IN PART ONLY, by protecting the holders investment) INNOVATION, meanwhile avoiding the very end reason WHY most inventors and engineers aspire to share their inventions (PROFITS), and, within a capitalist context is either naive, or intellectually disingenuous. Either way, I guarantee you sleep better at night knowing your "ideas" and therefore your "business" is PROTECTED.

            The market does not determine the value of genius, profundity, or novelty of an idea. Its' novelty IS its' own value. (as illustrated above in the aids cure ex.). The marketplace dictates only what one is willing to pay, or capable paying, for a particular good or service in the CONTEXT of a marketplace. Economics is a science with real and purposeful definitions that are directly applicable to ANY product, service, or resource within and connected to its' functional apparatus.

            Having said all that. Your perspective is ultimately anti-innovation as it will actually encourage a 'zero sum game' mentality. Which is a terrible way to encourage innovation, if that is indeed your motivation with this editorial. Because taking your thinking to its' logical conclusion, a 0 sum game is the ultimate result possible in a marketer-centric philosophy. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, and see if my rationale fails. If you're objective, it won't.

            Lastly, this exchange does have value to me. I'm 'encouraged' to spend more money on lawyers to PROTECT my interest from corporate scavengers. Because as an inventor and product designer with 14 years in the game, I know personally that the one-up-manship nature of the market competition DEMANDS that an entity introduce a 'better' product into the marketplace. On top of which, my former boss instructed us to "steal" ideas! Ultimately PROFITS are sine qua non to driving the market and requires no further incentive. And as long as profits are central to capital markets, a 'just' court SHOULD always decide against
            UNCOMPENSATED INFRINGEMENT . . . regardless of market value. Thanks for for the debate, symuncez

             

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              symuncez, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 12:57pm

              Re: Pro-corporate, eh? continued

              By the way, I didn't mean to bold all that text. please excuse my failure to 'preview' and errant use of the tags.

              symun

               

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              Dosquatch, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 2:01pm

              Re: Pro-corporate, eh? continued

              Wow... just, wow. Lotta bold there. Let's all just calm down a bit. First off, Mike didn't write the post to which you're responding, just to be fair. You're drawing down on the wrong person. And, uh, I'm not either, before you make that mistake again. That said...

              I have my definitions correct.

              Let's clear this up right now. Without addressing the validity of what you're arguing against, you did in fact say:

              Innovation by definition is NOT defined as or by what one brings to market. That is called MARKETING.

              No. No, it isn't. Marketing is advertising, promoting, and/or selling a product. You are wrong.

              Now, when Mike says "innovation", he speaks of the process of bringing an idea to fruition - from sketch to saleable product. This may be a somewhat liberal use of the word, but it is quite different than what you are taking it for or defining it as yourself.

              As I see it, "invention" is the process of taking an idea to the state of a functioning widget. A functioning widget, though, is NOT a marketable product. It might be impractical to build, too expensive to sell, too complex for its purpose, so on and so on. "Engineering" takes the widget and makes it practical. "Production" takes the functional widget and makes it a marketable product. "Marketing" advertises and sells the product.

              When Mike says "innovation is bringing a product to market", what he means* is that there is opportunity for innovative ideas anywhere along the line from "invention" to "production", it is NOT confined solely to "invention". And he is correct.

              (* - I think, sorry, not trying to put words in your mouth, Mike)

              However, I think your bizarre notion that the INVENTORS should be excluded from profits,

              I haven't seen anything Mike has ever written that indicates that.

              This ire, as best I can figure, is based on his statements about "independent invention". So, I'll ask, if you have an idea on which you are working, and I have an idea on which I am working, and they happen to be similar in nature and addressing the same problem, how is it that one is novel and innovative and the other is not based on nothing more than which one made it to the patent office first? In what manner is it fair that one of us should owe the other punative damages for our own original ideas not inspired or influenced by the other? Because that's what patent law says should happen.

              Assuming the patent office doesn't grant both our patents, which is quite likely in the current clime. So we both have a nifty idea, and now we both have patents. One of us sells a successful product, the other waits in the weeds and then sues the successful product. One of us is a troll, ambushing the market. The other - and this is where Mike's use of the word comes from - the other actually innovated.

              Why should the ambush artist be rewarded for holding a piece of paper, and the producer of the successful product that is (presumably) benefittin g society should be punished?

              But by casting PATENT protection as merely a vehicle through which to encourage (which it does IN PART ONLY, by protecting the holders investment) INNOVATION,

              The Constitution, Article 1, Section 8: To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

              Now, let's be fair. It does not use the word "innovation", but the courts have pretty consistently interpreted the words "Progress of Science and useful Arts" in that way. And even if you chose not to, you have a serious uphill battle to cast troll litigation as "progress".

              And nowhere in there does it say anything about "profits" or "business".

               

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                symuncez, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 10:30am

                Re: Re: Pro-corporate, eh? continued

                Aye Dosquatch,

                Lol, Yes, that was a lot of bold indeed. Forgive me all, it was unintended. Thanks

                 

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              DanC, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 4:38pm

              Re: Pro-corporate, eh? continued

              I have my definitions correct.

              No, you don't, as Dosquatch pointed out.

              In addition, I see you've since 'clarified' the purpose of the patent office. When you change your premise midstream, your argument fails.

              He didn't change his premise midstream. Mike was talking about the patent system, whose purpose is to encourage innovation. You mistakenly equated the patent system with the patent office, which are two different things. My post corrected your erroneous statement.

              Any item OR service, innovative OR not, has a value that is PREDETERMINED PRIOR to market.

              The market determines value. Before the item or service enters the market, the company selling said product sets a price that may or may not reflect the value customers place in it.

              Your perspective is ultimately anti-innovation as it will actually encourage a 'zero sum game' mentality. Which is a terrible way to encourage innovation, if that is indeed your motivation with this editorial. Because taking your thinking to its' logical conclusion, a 0 sum game is the ultimate result possible in a marketer-centric philosophy. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, and see if my rationale fails.

              Um...you forgot to provide the rationale. You just stated that Mike's logic leads to a zero sum game without actually providing a reason why.

              As to why I didn't respond to every point in your comment, it was because figure Mike will provide you with an overall rebuttal. I just wanted to respond on a few of your errors myself.

               

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              Mike (profile), Oct 5th, 2008 @ 8:54pm

              Re: Pro-corporate, eh? continued

              Innovation is NOT "the process of successfully bringing a product to market" as you suggest. You, for some personal reason, have interjected your own biased opinion into the discourse as if it were FACT. It is not. Please site a legitimate source that agrees with your opinion of the definition, and I'll bet I COULD argue successfully against it in court.

              There is a court of law over the definitions of words? Really?

              I stand by my definition of innovation. It is pretty clearly established that this is the definition, and I see it used widely among experts in the field. I picked it up from Michael Schrage, who is rather well accepted in the world as an expert on innovation, but it's been in use by many others as well.

              It's pretty much the standard definition within economic circles, from Schumpeter on down.

              But, really, the definition of innovation is a bit of a side note. Admittedly, I use it as short hand for the actual key language that's important when it comes to the patent system:

              "promoting the progress of science and the useful arts." To me, that's what innovation is. It's anything that promotes science and the useful arts. And, when a patent system is shown to hinder such promotion, then it goes against its purpose.

              And the economic evidence quite clearly shows that the patent system harms the promotion of progress in these two vital areas in very important ways.

              There's nothing in any standard, declarative, and/or authoritative document that confuses and conflates the 'novelty' of an idea, with the delivery of said novelty to market. Delivery and novelty are mutually exclusive (novelty implies benefit. Benefit implies value). Delivery is transport, or transition. This is clear. No need to muddy the waters with vaporous musings.

              Actually, yes, it's quite important. The patent system is for promoting *progress*, not invention. It's not for promoting "newness" but actual practical progress in science and the useful arts. Thus, the delivery is perhaps even more important than the novelty, because the novelty is meaningless if not accompanied by a delivery mechanism that helps promote it.

              But people DON'T (generally) invent things for the sake inventing. The end motive is profit.

              Indeed. Have I ever said otherwise? But the way to profit is in the market. By bringing to market a successful product.

              But by the very nature of your business model, which by your own admission was fashioned in part to insulate you from infringement, reflects that there was something OF VALUE to protect BEFORE commercialization. Otherwise you would be a non-profit, open-source operation. I suspect you are not.

              This formulation confuses me. First off, why should I want to "protect" anything here? I don't. I want to offer a valuable service (and the value is determined by the end user, not my company -- so, I don't see how there's value before a customer can evaluate it). I don't need "protection" to do that. I need a good product that a customer values. Focusing on protection rather than what can help a customer is a short cut to failure.

              Any item OR service, innovative OR not, has a value that is PREDETERMINED PRIOR to market. ABSOLUTELY NO ONE establishes a value AFTER a product goes to market.

              That is simply, totally incorrect. While Adam Smith may have agreed with you, that was one of his major mistakes. You will not find a modern economist who agrees with you at all.

              Value is determined in the marketplace absolutely. There is no predetermined value of any product. That's simply, almost laughably, false.

              You are using an argumentative tactic of hiding behind, and using generalizations to obscure some very well known truths, in order to marginalize, or as far as I can tell, nullify the value that the original authors/inventors bring to the table. And then assert that it is mainly the "marketer" that come up with the ideas.

              I am not, in any way, marginalizing the value of the person coming up with the ideas. I'm rather offended that you would suggest such a thing. What I am defending is the value of ALL THE OTHERS who also came up with such an idea, and dared to actually bring it to market. I find it somewhat offensive that you seem to think that only one person could come up with an idea, thereby stomping out the inventive spirit of all those others. You claim to be on the side of inventors, but shame on you for dismissing the work of everyone else.

              And, I NEVER said that it was marketers who had all the ideas. That's ridiculous. I did say that the idea of a "flash of genius" is often marketing in reverse. Marketers like to take an incremental advance, and pump up someone as being a great inventor. Look, for example, at Edison's "inventions." Almost none were actual inventions done by Edison. Many were outright copied from others. Others were merely minor incremental improvements. But as a marketer, Edison was great at pushing the myth that he had these flashes of genius. The number of other inventors who had their careers ruined by Edison's marketing is quite long.

              Look up or web-search IDEO, or FROG DESIGN. Both are design consultancies, that are hired by fortune 500 companies to produce 'innovative' products that their client then in-turn introduce to the marketplace. TWO completely different steps, involving very different role players to achieve this end.

              I'm quite familiar with both companies, and have worked with them and others on past projects. I'm not sure what that has to do with anything, however. They are quite amazing at design, and it's great working with them. So what?

              Also I see that you have not addressed some of the basic facts I presented in my previous post. Instead you seek to tacitly promulgate and introduce a socializing element into a capitalist practice, in the name of innovation to suggest some bizarre notion that innovation belongs to everybody.

              Huh? This makes no sense. I am not talking about any sort of socializing element. I am, in fact, very focused on the very capitalistic element of the free market, and allowing competition *in the marketplace* to determine who gets the rewards.

              You, on the other hand, seem to support a system of gov't granted monopolies, the opposite of free market capitalism.

              Please explain how my approach is somehow more socialistic than yours? I would argue the opposite is true.

              In addition, I see you've since 'clarified' the purpose of the patent office. When you change your premise midstream, your argument fails.

              I fail to see where I changed a premise at all. The purpose of the patent office is to process patents. The purpose of the patent system is to promote the progress. I have not deviated from that in the slightest.

              However, I think your bizarre notion that the INVENTORS should be excluded from profits, simply because other entities have means to introduce said invention (presumably novel) to the market, based on an illogical premise and obscure definition of "INNOVATION" is a failure of reason.

              Please, I would suggest that you respond to what I actually write, rather than what you seem to have wished I wrote.

              I NEVER said, nor implied, that an inventor should be excluded from profits. My goodness. It boggles the mind that you would read that into my writings. I simply said that the reward comes from the market, just as it should in a capitalist society.

              Any body or group of persons that creates a cure for aids, by your logic, does not constitute a breakthrough(which is what an innovation is basically, a breakthrough). The market has no bearing on whether or not that is true.

              Again, you appear to be responding to what you wished I'd said rather than what I actually said.

              It is quite true that a cure for AIDS without a corresponding way of making use of that cure in the market has no value. I defy you to explain how it has any value at all in those circumstances.

              Because all that is required to establish value (whether high or low) is a need(i.e. "market" which is different than a marketplace) and a 'something' to address that need.

              Yet, by your own odd definition, there is NOTHING that can address the need, because you quite clearly stated there was no way to get this cure to market.

              Look, if the cure for AIDS is a whiff of the atmosphere on Jupiter, that has NO VALUE. There is no delivery mechanism to get that to people. The market will decide that there is no value in that. There may be value in learning from that to create a BETTER cure, that can be delivered here on Earth, and in that case, we should want as many different folks working on such a solution as possible, to guarantee that we get the best one.

              But by casting PATENT protection as merely a vehicle through which to encourage (which it does IN PART ONLY, by protecting the holders investment) INNOVATION, meanwhile avoiding the very end reason WHY most inventors and engineers aspire to share their inventions (PROFITS), and, within a capitalist context is either naive, or intellectually disingenuous

              Again, you do serious damage by simply assuming false statements. I believe inventors deserve profits, absolutely, but they get those profits from the marketplace -- just as capitalism intended. You, on the other hand, appear to prefer a system where the gov't decides who the winner is, and grants them a monopoly and a tollbooth. That seems a lot closer to socialism than the model I discuss.

              Either way, I guarantee you sleep better at night knowing your "ideas" and therefore your "business" is PROTECTED.


              Not at all. As I have made clear, I don't want to "protect" a damn thing. I want to offer a great product and service, that my customers determine have true value. I have done so and hope to continue to do so. Protecting anything doesn't make sense.

              The market does not determine the value of genius, profundity, or novelty of an idea. Its' novelty IS its' own value. (as illustrated above in the aids cure ex.). The marketplace dictates only what one is willing to pay, or capable paying, for a particular good or service in the CONTEXT of a marketplace. Economics is a science with real and purposeful definitions that are directly applicable to ANY product, service, or resource within and connected to its' functional apparatus.

              I am afraid, sir, that your understanding of economics may need some work.

              Novelty is rarely a value at all. And the idea that any good has a set "value" is simply false, and I'd ask you to find a single modern economist who supports such a claim.

              Your AIDS example was easily proven as untrue. A cure has no value without a sufficient delivery mechanism (the market) to bring it to those who need it.

              Having said all that. Your perspective is ultimately anti-innovation as it will actually encourage a 'zero sum game' mentality.

              Not at all. History has shown exactly the opposite, in fact. Less protectionism leads to bigger markets and more opportunities to profit. It's the exact opposite of a zero-sum game. The research supports this in great detail. Eric Schiff's research showed that economies without patents often demonstrate more and faster innovation. Lerner's research showed that the implementation of stricter patent laws *decreased* innovation. And there's plenty more research to go along with that.

              Protectionism slows down innovation, because you take away the REAL engine of innovation: competition. If you have a monopoly and don't need to compete, there's no reason to innovate more. You rest on your laurels. If there's real competition, then you keep innovating.

              Innovation isn't a once-and-done. It's an ongoing process. Patents make it so that you can pretend its once and done and that vastly slows down the process.

              It is, tragically, the patent system that is quite anti-innovation, and that is supported by numerous economic studies.

              I'm 'encouraged' to spend more money on lawyers to PROTECT my interest from corporate scavengers. Because as an inventor and product designer with 14 years in the game, I know personally that the one-up-manship nature of the market competition DEMANDS that an entity introduce a 'better' product into the marketplace.

              That, obviously, is your decision. Good luck to you. I would argue that in the long run, you will find that as your competitors focus less on protectionism and more on openness, you will be in a fair bit of trouble.

              At that point, feel free to contact us. We can help you shift your business model to the 21st century and help you profit significantly more than before.

               

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                symuncez, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 12:07pm

                Re: Re: Pro-corporate, eh? continued

                Mike, Dan C, Dosquatch,

                NOW, what we have here is a great and healthy debate! Which, I am enjoying.

                Mike, be not offended. I don't know you personally. I do take umbrage with your base position, not everything you say.

                Further, definitions do matter, as having a standard (technical, authoritative) foundation from which to argue from has absolute bearing on every aspect of this debate/discussion we're having. The courts rule based on statute, and constitutes at least one baseline. Theory and application of economics applies here as well. That said, ALL of the arguments, as you well know, will be predicated on the most rational/logical examinations and interpretations that are available at that time to ferret out rationale inconsistencies. The cool thing is that much of what you stated, as well as I, can be contested. Which is what I'm doing.

                These are very complex issues we're debating, which require detail explanations to address. Because this format isn't ideal, or intended for such dissertation, I will make a strong attempt at substantive concision. And will address the opinions/arguments of Dan C, Dosquatch and yourself.

                Even though this conversation began with "Flash of Genius" as the subject, with a simplistic premise, I argue that this is not only a complex issue. But, that it has, and will continue to have broad and long reaching implications for "innovation" far beyond the musings bandied about here.

                As I said, I'm actually enjoying this, and absolutely accept your challenge to my arguments and my interpretation of yours. I will make note that you've misinterpreted my position as well. Btw, I laughed heartily, and although funny, your Jupiter aids cure comparison was a false comparison.

                I have work to do, which demands my attention. But will, respond within the next 24-48 hrs, and hope this thread continues to bump. And I'm NOT implying or suggesting that you or anyone else await around. But I respect your responses and am compelled to reply.

                Based on what I interpret your position to be, in the context of the logic you guys have laid out to support your arguments, I don't think we'll reach total agreement. Although, I do see areas of overlap, but don't really care to base my perspectives on consensus but reason. Ultimately, I do think other posters will have more intel from which to judge HOW and WHAT to prepare for regarding those whose wish to have their hard work rewarded as they realize their inventive/creative endeavors.

                R. Riley, I appreciate your comments as well. Thanks.


                symuncez

                 

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          Ronald J Riley (profile), Oct 4th, 2008 @ 2:41pm

          Re: Re: Re: Pro-corporate, eh?

          symuncez,

          It is nice to see someone post here that actually understands the issues. In terms of profound ignorance Use groups come first, followed by Slashdot, and then TechDIRT, at least when it comes to patent property rights issues.

          I have long noted that when it comes to religion and politics that most people are not very rational. The software community exhibits similar traits with their anti-patent mentality and Mike's underlying attitudes seem to come from that group. Perhaps Mike can elaborate on this.

          It is not that Mike is stupid, for he isn't. But he is woefully ignorant about the patent system and about the economics of the system and seems to be quite content to stay that way, with a completely closed mind much like people do with religion and politics.

          On the issue of so called trolls. The troll myth is a big lie made up by patent pirates, usually large companies who steal as Ford did starting with George Selden.

          Henry did a great job of passing his ethical standards on to his successors.

          Ford and the rest of the auto industry destroyed countless American inventors.

          What happens to stagnate companies who cannot produce significant inventions themselves who go out of their way to destroy those who can? Ford personifies that situation today. It is a shame that so many of their employees are now paying for Ford's disreputable conduct.

          Many historians think that the Nazis would never have achieved mainstream status if not for the large amount of money Henry Ford pumped into the movement.

          He also played a big role in producing anti-Jew propaganda.

          Henry Ford's conduct was atrocious and nothing else he did could possibly mitigate his misdeeds. Ford as a company misdeeds against Bob Kearns and his family were outrageous and while we have a good understanding of what Ford did to Bob Kearns there were countless other inventor victims who expired with a whimper under Ford's corporate foot.

          If only Ford and the other auto companies had had the smarts to embrace American ingenuity things could have been much different today. Now many American tech companies are on the same path which destroyed the auto industry. They even have their own trade association, the Coalition for Patent Fairness. That group is as bad or worse than the auto industry and their idea of "fairness" is that they should be allowed to commit intellectual larceny on the grandest of scales.

          Ronald J. Riley,


          Speaking only on my own behalf.
          Affiliations:
          President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
          Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
          Senior Fellow - www.patentPolicy.org
          President - Alliance for American Innovation
          Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
          Washington, DC
          Direct (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 2:55pm

            Re: Pro-corporate, eh?

            The troll myth is a big lie made up by patent pirates,

            Well, gracious, I'm glad NTP is just a myth and not a real entity doling out half-billion-dollar damages to innovative companies based on court-declared worthless patents.

            You know, just for instance.

            (paraphrased) "Ford was a Nazi"

            Appeal to emotion. Straw man.

            If he was or wasn't is not relevant to the nature of this discussion.

            Speaking only on my own behalf.

            Well, thank God.

            Just to quibble, though, if you intend your thoughts to be only your own, and not representative of those other organizations, you might do better not to cite them at the end of ever post.

            Neverminding that it's easy to be "President" and "Senior Fellow" of organizations you've created all by your lonesome. So I guess maybe you're still only speaking for yourself.

             

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        Kevin, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 10:44am

        Re: Re: Pro-corporate, eh?

        The fact that most all invention is modification of existing products. Bringing something to market is all that is important. Yes I believe that the innovator should receive compensation for there efforts, and maybe that should be decided by a neutral party, as the producer of a product, and the innovator, both have a distorted view of there contribution's worth.

        All this aside, the worth of innovation has lowered with a world economy. Our Government allows wholesale dumping of products from other countries, making any development very risky for anyone involved in it.

         

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 5:29pm

    RJR

    omg - not that guy again
    I thought he crawled back under a rock

     

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    angry dude, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 5:46pm

    Freaking techdirt punks

    The truth is: although it probably took only a second to come up with the idea of an intermittent wiper operation, it took Dr. Kearns at least 6 month to design and improve the actual working device which he perfected to the point of being ready for mass production...

    The patents in question DO NOT cover the general idea of an intermittent wiper operation, they cover the actual ingenious design thought up by Dr. Kearn - a professional mechanical engineer and a college professor

    All Ford had to do to avoid charges of infringement was to come up with their own original implementation instead of ripping off Dr. Kearns - something they apparently couldn't do...

    Mikey, why don't you put your shitty MBA where it belongs - in your assssssssssss

     

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      Mike (profile), Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 6:24pm

      Re: Freaking techdirt punks

      The truth is: although it probably took only a second to come up with the idea of an intermittent wiper operation, it took Dr. Kearns at least 6 month to design and improve the actual working device which he perfected to the point of being ready for mass production...

      Indeed. But then he was unable to convince companies to buy from him. Thus, he failed in the market -- which is the way markets are supposed to work.

      Do you really think the first ice cream shop in town should be able to block any ice cream shop from opening, even if the later ones are better and serve customers better ice cream?

      All Ford had to do to avoid charges of infringement was to come up with their own original implementation instead of ripping off Dr. Kearns - something they apparently couldn't do...

      Again, the actual FACTS of the case showed that Ford did not willfully infringe his patents. The company was not found to have taken his idea. So, nice try.

      Either way, angry dude, I will say that in all your years of posting here, this comment had the most substance to it (even if it was wrong). So kudos for that.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 6:16pm

    Angry Doodie

    ha ha ha
    what a looser

    seriously, I'm guessing that if he put a little effort into it he could acutally come up with a few good arguments, but that wont happen.

     

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    Ronald J Riley (profile), Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 7:25pm

    Mike has it wrong again.

    Mike,

    Your mindset is telling. For example your claim that it is the marketing people who have the flash. That is not to say that people with marketing backgrounds do not occasionally come up with inventions, because they do. But it is not a high number.

    The effort an inventor puts into conception, development, patenting, prototyping, etc. is staggering and it is every bit as worthy of recognition as the effort any business person puts into launching a successful business.

    Rather you like it or not society has for sometime offered inventors a period of exclusivity in exchange for teaching their invention. You constantly argue that uninventive business hucksters should have the right to violate that contract.

    Anyway, I am glad that I was able to help you understand just how significant Bob Kearns' impact was on the inventor community. Today those big arrogant corporations are finding out the hard way that we can and will kick the crap out of them. And they have found out the hard way that we are pretty good at jamming up their legislative agenda. Bob Kearns has been part of those efforts for years.

    Now to the issue of your wounded ego, get over it and learn from your mistakes.

    There are many things that I do agree with you about but your forceful, repeated and profound ignorance of the inventor community forces me to spend what little spare time I have available calling you to task rather than focusing on areas of agreement.

    I actually knew Bob Kearns and many other significant inventors. You did not.

    My last tip for you, something I might have made you aware of a few days ago if you were not so disrespectful.

    http://www.citizen.org/litigation/forms/cases/CaseDetails.cfm?cID=502

    Other relevant documents are at:

    www.InventorEd.org/caution/inventor-link.

    and:

    www.CyberTrialLawyer-SUCKS.com

    Ronald J. Riley
    Affiliations:
    President -- www.PIAUSA.org -- RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director -- www.InventorEd.org -- RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow -- www.PatentPolicy.org
    President -- Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder
    Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

     

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      Dosquatch, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 7:52pm

      Re: Mike has it wrong again.

      For example your claim that it is the marketing people who have the flash.

      Nay nay, 'tis not what he said. Mike said, "you later learn that it was the marketers who later made up that flash of genius,". He's saying the process of invention is recursive grind, and that the "flash" is just a story in the glossy brochure to help sell the product.

      In fact, you know that's what he was saying:

      The effort an inventor puts into conception, development, patenting, prototyping, etc. is staggering

      But what Mike keeps saying, and what you keep failing to grasp or flatly ignoring, is:

      • the patent system is, by charter, meant to promote innovation,
      • Invention is but only a part of innovation,
      • the courts are tied up with patent litigation NOT from small independent inventors, but from patent trolling companies that neither invent nor innovate, but only collect IP to use as an arsenal,
      • and current patent law actually PENALIZES inventors with treble damages on infringements should they dare try to respect IP by looking

      Mike has never advocated the abolition of the patent system (though I have). He advocates reform so that the system's chartered purpose is reestablished.

      The changes he advocates would reduce troll litigation, freeing up that money to be used instead for invention and innovation, and better protect those who should be protected.

      One would think, as a supposed "advocate" for "independent inventors", you would appreciate such efforts.

       

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      Mike (profile), Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 7:55pm

      Re: Mike has it wrong again.

      Ronald, I'm glad to see you ignored my questions to you about who paid me to defend you against Dozier. According to your own claims I only defend those who pay me.

      . For example your claim that it is the marketing people who have the flash.

      Ronald, it might help if you tried reading. I never said marketing people have the flash. I said that it's not the flash that matters.

      You accuse me of being wrong, when you show an inability to actually read what I write. Stunning.

      The effort an inventor puts into conception, development, patenting, prototyping, etc. is staggering and it is every bit as worthy of recognition as the effort any business person puts into launching a successful business.

      Recognition, sure. Gov't granted monopoly, limiting everyone else? There we have a problem.

      And, trust me, I KNOW the work it takes to conceive, develop, prototype an idea AND turn it into a success. It's stunning. And, trust me again, when I say the difficult part wasn't those first three. It was the turning it into a success part.

      Anyway, I am glad that I was able to help you understand just how significant Bob Kearns' impact was on the inventor community.

      Destroying real innovation is not something to be proud of.

      Now to the issue of your wounded ego, get over it and learn from your mistakes.

      Um, what? What wounded ego would that be?

      I actually knew Bob Kearns and many other significant inventors. You did not.

      Hence your bias on the issue. I understand that. I know economics. You do not. Thus my unbiased analysis of the case. I think I win. :)

      My last tip for you, something I might have made you aware of a few days ago if you were not so disrespectful.

      Gee, thanks Ronald. You might have actually tried reading Techdirt sometime. You know, where we posted about that and (again) defended you, despite your repeated lies and personal insults.

      Again, it's great that you're around and posting again, and I'm still happy I defended you against a bogus attack, but I find it amusing that you still attack me, showing off your ignorance each time you do.

       

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      Vincent Clement, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 5:46am

      Re: Mike has it wrong again.

      The effort an inventor puts into conception, development, patenting, prototyping, etc. is staggering and it is every bit as worthy of recognition as the effort any business person puts into launching a successful business.

      Except that the business person has very limited government protection when launching their business. Beyond trademark protection, nothing prevents another business person from opening the exact same business.

      Wal-Mart puts plenty of effort into conception, protoyping, development, etc. Using your logic, Wal-Mart should be able to reap the reward of that effort by restricting competition.

      Fortunately, Wal-Mart does not have a government-granted monopoly. It has to innovate to stay ahead in a very competitive retail environment. And that is a good thing for the market and the consumer.

       

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        angry dude, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 7:37am

        Re: Re: Mike has it wrong again.

        "Fortunately, Wal-Mart does not have a government-granted monopoly. It has to innovate to stay ahead in a very competitive retail environment. And that is a good thing for the market and the consumer."

        Innovation my ass...

        Flooding the stores with piles of cheap China-made junk and hiring retards as cashiers and door greeters for 5 bucks an hour...
        You really have a very strange concept of "innovation"

        Hey, what is wrong with all of you here, punks ?

         

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          holy crap, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 9:38am

          Re: Re: Re: Mike has it wrong again.

          re: "Flooding the stores with piles of cheap China-made junk and hiring retards as cashiers and door greeters for 5 bucks an hour..."


          Hold the presses, stop the mail ....

          I agree with angry doodie ?????
          I must have woke up in an alternate universe. Yeah, that's it ... calm down ... Everything will be back to normal tomorrow.

           

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          mobiGeek, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 9:58pm

          Re: Re: Re: Mike has it wrong again.

          Innovation is success in brining ideas to the marketplace.

          Are you trying to claim that Wal-mart is not successful? Are you trying to claim that Wal-mart does not have customers? Are you trying to claim that Wal-mart does not outperform their competition?

          The fact that the average consumer is willing to buy "cheap China-made junk" is the innovation that Wal-mart has successfully brought to market. Their competition didn't realize the absolute OBESE HUNGER that the (initially US population) has for saving $0.05 on day-to-day items.

          I am not a Wal-mart fan, but I do recognize their market dominance and the absolute *innovations* they bring to the retail industry. No other organization is as well tuned as the Wal-mart machine from purchasing, to distribution, to marketing, to retail presence.

          To write off the most successful retail company in HISTORY with some insults doesn't really bode well for your reputation here... ;-)

           

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    Bob, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 7:53pm

    WOW Really?

    Your mindset is telling. For example your claim that it is the marketing people who have the flash. That is not to say that people with marketing backgrounds do not occasionally come up with inventions, because they do. But it is not a high number.

    I would ask Mr. Ronald J Riley where in any of Mikes writing, did Mike say that marketing did the inventing?

    It seems we have another member of society that lacks critical thinking skills and has been undeserved by the public education system.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 8:11pm

    "Recognition, sure. Gov't granted monopoly, limiting everyone else? There we have a problem."

    Does this idea of "government granted monopoly" also apply to domain names?

     

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      Mike (profile), Oct 3rd, 2008 @ 10:07pm

      Re:

      Does this idea of "government granted monopoly" also apply to domain names?

      Domain names are rivalrous. If one person is using it, another cannot.

      That's not the same for an invention, process or method.

      Property rights are meant for rivalrous things. When you put them on nonrivalrous goods, you shrink the market.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 8:21am

        Re: Re:

        "Domain names are rivalrous. If one person is using it, another cannot."

        But is it not true that their status as rivalrous arises precisely because the government grants them and affords the grantee rights under law for their enforcement?

        Moreover, their status as rivalrous seems to suggest they may be viewed as a species of property, and experience teaches us that they are so treated by the trade practice that has developed where such names are bought and sold.

         

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          Dosquatch, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 6:38pm

          Re: Domain Names

          But is it not true that their status as rivalrous arises precisely because the government grants them and affords the grantee rights under law for their enforcement?

          No, it is not. It has not a whit to do with government or law. Unique names are a requirement of technology, or a limitation if you'd rather cast it that way.

          If we both try to have domains named mylittledomain.com, and someone types that into a browser or other web service, the Domain Name System has no way to differentiate yours from mine. The simplest solution is to not allow this to happen.

          Unique is good. It more easily allows for proper identification. Like, say, license plates.

          That this uniqueness has created a market is a byproduct.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 9:16pm

            Re: Re: Domain Names

            "Unique names are a requirement of technology..."

            Would it not be more accurate to say that unique IP adresses are currently needed, but unique domain names are not?

            For example, one can reach this site merely by entering 208.53.48.33.

            Domain names, however, are a matter of convenience that are parceled out under governmental authority, thus creating an artificial scarcity.

             

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              Dosquatch, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 9:31pm

              Re: Domain Names

              Would it not be more accurate to say that unique IP adresses are currently needed, but unique domain names are not?

              Unique names are an artifact of unique addresses.

              You're right, the names are (mostly) for human convenience (brazenly glossing over the whole realm of virtual hosting). The DNS servers act like a phone book. You poke in mylittledomain.com, the browser runs off to whatever DNS server it's been told to use, comes back with an IP address, and continues from there.

              Now, while you can deal with multiple things having the same name ("Hey, Bob! No, the other Bob!"), if more than one IP address is returned there's no way for the computer to know which one you meant.

              And before you wander off dreaming of ways this could be changed, just let me say that it would be ways things could be changed, and NOT the way things actually currently work, which in point of fact do really and truly require unique naming.

              Domain names [...] are parceled out under governmental authority,

              No, anymore they're really not. All of the TLD naming authorities are private companies. Or did you think GoDaddy was a branch of the state department?

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 10:20pm

                Re: Re: Domain Names

                "No, anymore they're really not. All of the TLD naming authorities are private companies. Or did you think GoDaddy was a branch of the state department?"

                You really should study the history behind the assignment of domain names. ICANN administers the IANA under an agreement with the US Department of Commerce.

                 

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                  Dosquatch, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 10:56pm

                  Re: Domain Names

                  ICANN administers the IANA under an agreement with the US Department of Commerce.

                  *facepalm*

                  *Ahem* "No, anymore they're really not."

                  Seriously. Check your calendar. It's an entrenched service on a worldwide network, and has been for two decades. DoC canblowhard about that agreement all they want... in fact, ICANN can pretty much blowhard too if it wants. The last time ICANN tried to assert its weight a little bit the rest of the world recognized that they couldn't allow political turmoil here affect everywhere else, and put provisions into place to make sure things continue to work even if ICANN and the US DoC evaporate this very minute.

                  The Intarwebz does NOT belong to the US.

                   

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          Mike (profile), Oct 5th, 2008 @ 7:29pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          But is it not true that their status as rivalrous arises precisely because the government grants them and affords the grantee rights under law for their enforcement?

          No, not at all. They are rivalrous because if you gave two people blahblahblah.com, then you would have a problem in how to resolve the domain. They are, by their very nature, rivalrous. That has nothing to do with gov't granted monopolies.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2008 @ 8:05pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "blahblahblah.com"

            But all one really needs is an IP address. A domain name is not a necessity per se...it is a convenience.

             

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              Dosquatch, Oct 5th, 2008 @ 8:28pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Remember earlier when I "brazenly glossed over virtual hosting"? This useless comment just won you a primer.

              An IP address is not an absolute or unique identifier. A single machine can have multiple addresses, and there are good reasons to do so. Multiple machines can be reached by a single address, and there are good reasons for doing so. Multiple domain names can point to a single IP address - this is virtual hosting - and the server will behave differently for each domain name. Trying to reach such a machine by IP address alone might not yield any useful result at all.

              And, finally, a single domain name can reach multiple IP addresses (in spite of what I said earlier), assuming all of the machines are grouped together in a "pool" and are set up to "load balance" (think google - thousands of machines that answer to one address). But even still, in this circumstance, the DNS system returns only ONE address and the redirection to other members of the pool is handled by the lead server.

              So, in spite of your attempt to reimagine the DNS system, you can still only have one entity using a domain name at a time.

               

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            •  
              icon
              Mike (profile), Oct 5th, 2008 @ 8:57pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              But all one really needs is an IP address. A domain name is not a necessity per se...it is a convenience.

              Yes, a domain name is a convenience, but that doesn't change the fact that it is rivalrous. I'm not sure what the convenience has to do with that.

              You claimed it was nonrivalrous, and that's simply false.

               

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              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 1:04am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                These guys are ruthless!

                Masnick, huh? You must be Scottish. I hope somehow you are able to purchase a bottle of Macallen 15.. No wait.. 40 year for these kids you have to put up with.

                Don't know how you do it, Mike.

                Yikes!

                 

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            •  
              identicon
              mobiGeek, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 10:03pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Well, technically that's not accurate either. Hosted domains typically share the same IP address for multiple domains (often hundreds per IP).

              The mail, FTP and webservers all handle the conflict of IP based on protocol-level information sent to the server. For example, the browser sends up the "Host:" header to a multi-hosted server. Without the "Host:" header, the browser is sent back the "Default" website on that IP address.

               

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  •  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 12:53am

    Propaganda

    One of the essential points about effective propaganda is that people don't realize it's propaganda: even when it's pointed out to them, they're still likely to say something like "But it's such a good story! I enjoyed watching/hearing/reading it! How could it be propaganda?" Say "propaganda" and they immediately think of some blaring, in-your-face repetition of some tiresome point of view; while the real propaganda is insinuating itself into their subconscious while they're hardly aware of it.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 6:56am

      Re: Propaganda

      One of the essential points about effective propaganda is that people don't realize it's propaganda

      Michael Moore's catalog and success is proof of this.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Greevar, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 7:20pm

        Re: Re: Propaganda

        Michael Moore's movies are biased to some degree, but they do contain a vein of truth in them and it was his movies that prompted me to become more aware of what goes on in the political arena beyond what the corporate media spews as the truth.

        Mike Masnick has a very firm understanding of economics and I have yet to see him cite an economic fact that I could not confirm or deny with established facts of the science.

        What he has been trying to get across to all of you who cannot/will not understand is that an idea is worthless if it can't be brought to market. Every patent troll that hordes patent with no physical product on the market are trying to force the real innovators to pay up for doing what they failed to do. Patents were put in place to encourage inventors to innovate.

        If someone else brings a similar product to market at the same time, who's to say that they don't deserve to profit from it? That inventor may even have a superior product. Does the patent holder deserve to sue the other inventor? The patent system as it stands stifles innovation. It gives the creator of an idea legal power to take out competition. Does competition not create greater value in a product? Would a DeWalt drill be as good as it is were it not for the competition from Millwuakee, Black and Decker, and so on? I think the inventor that actually turns a complete and valuable idea into a product at the market to be the real innovator. Ideas are worthless. The product you can make from them is not.

         

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        •  
          identicon
          angry dude, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 8:55pm

          Re: Re: Re: Propaganda

          "Mike Masnick has a very firm understanding of economics and I have yet to see him cite an economic fact that I could not confirm or deny with established facts of the science."

          Gish...

          Where do all these mindless punks come from ?

          Mikey has ZERO understanding of economics (or at least he plays a fool in this blog to satisfy his corporate masters...)
          Any 5-year old has a better grasp of reality
          The things he repeatedly proposed in his shitty blog are just laughable: like giving away original creations for free and selling T-Shirts to make up for losses (???????)

          Hillarious

           

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          •  
            identicon
            Greevar, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 10:17pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Propaganda

            "Mikey has ZERO understanding of economics"

            Prove it. And cite a reputable source. Emphasis on reputable.

            The only thing Mike has done wrong is not say what you want to hear. If you don't like it, go elsewhere. Arguing on the internet is like the 2004 election. Even if you win, you're still a retard.

             

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            •  
              icon
              Ronald J Riley (profile), Oct 6th, 2008 @ 6:12pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Propaganda

              I back up the assessment that Mike does not understand the economics of invention. At least the drivel he posts makes it appear that is the case.

              Ronald J. Riley,


              Speaking only on my own behalf.
              Affiliations:
              President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
              Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
              Senior Fellow - www.patentPolicy.org
              President - Alliance for American Innovation
              Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
              Washington, DC
              Direct (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

               

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              •  
                icon
                Mike (profile), Oct 6th, 2008 @ 9:23pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Propaganda

                I back up the assessment that Mike does not understand the economics of invention. At least the drivel he posts makes it appear that is the case.

                Ronald, as per usual, you seem to not actually understand. When we ask you to "back up" your statements, we mean with evidence. You know, like the economic studies and research I point to.

                You do not "back up" your assessment by simply saying it is so.

                That just suggests that you actually have nothing to back up your statements.

                In the meantime, Ronald, since you have repeatedly ignored my question, I feel the need to ask it again: since you insist that the only reason I write what I do is because I am paid to do so by certain interests, then who paid for me to defend your right to take on John Dozier? Clearly, by your own logic, you must have paid me. Yet, I think we can clearly confirm that's not the case.

                So are you willing to admit that I actually may be posting my own beliefs, backed up by evidence, even if I find the results distasteful (such as saying that you are on the right side in your legal battle with Dozier)?

                Or is that too difficult for you to admit?

                 

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  •  
    identicon
    pawn, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 6:51am

    The unfortunate problem with this movie is it encourages the common man invention lottery idea.

    Everytime I discuss patents with people, they always ask (as we've seen in this discussion), what if you invented something and a large company stole it and made millions from it.

    The average man supports patents because he's waiting for his flash of genius that's worth millions.

    I think that lots of amateur inventors are waiting for a simple revelation that changes the world in a very simple way. They intend to profit wildly from it, not unlike buying a lottery ticket.

    Kearn believed that every person buying a car with a simple feature (that Ford invented independently) should have to pay him an invention fee.

    So will one of the pro patent guys please explain why I should pay Kearns in addition to the engineer at Ford who developed the same product? How much of a car's cost goes into patent licensing?

    Also, please note that the reason that the movie changes the facts is because Kearns isn't sympathetic if Ford does any inventing of it's own. So the movie maligns Ford to have a clear hero. I've just had a flash of genius. I could write a movie about a government who punishes a group of rebels trying to use otherwise licensed IP. The evil IP holders/government would force economic oppression on the country to prop up their own wealth. Then your IP theives would be like Pirates in the Caribbean freeing the common man from people trying to own ideas. But without Orlando Bloom.

     

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      angry dude, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 7:24am

      Re:

      "So will one of the pro patent guys please explain why I should pay Kearns in addition to the engineer at Ford who developed the same product? How much of a car's cost goes into patent licensing?"

      Hey punky

      Watch the movie first

      The movie is pretty accurate
      Ford DID NOT develop intermittent windshield wiper design independently - they copied it from Kearns, yes, the same EXACT design
      (Much like you copying someone else's homework and presenting it as your own)

      And BTW, Bob Kearns is not your average techdirt punk
      - he had a Ph.D. in engineering and was a university professor
      Apparently he was smarter then anybody at Ford
      Too bad Ford chose to rip him (and other guys like him) off:
      they may have saved a few mills in a short term (most probably not, considering all litigation expenses) but lost BIG TIME in the long run
      Where is Ford now, punky ?
      Yes, in the DEEEP DEEEP ASSSSS
      Are Ford-made cars more expensive than e.g. Hondas ?
      Heck, they are a lot cheaper and still nobody wants to buy a junk
      Ever being to Detroit punk ?
      Go there once and see what it became

      What goes around comes back....

      Have a nice day, punky

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 7:39am

        Re: Re:

        Yes, in the DEEEP DEEEP ASSSSS

        Look, dude, I don't care how many times you drop the soap, I just don't swing that way. You really have an unhealthy fixation here. You might want to talk to somebody about that.

         

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        •  
          identicon
          angry dude, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 7:56am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Just some army humor

          Ever served in the army, punk ?

           

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          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 8:28am

            Re:

            I applied, but they rejected me when it turned out my IQ was above room temperature ;-) They suggested I try the AF instead.

            Actually, I really did end up rejected on medical.

             

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  •  
    identicon
    Justin, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 9:32am

    Unrealistic how?

    What the hell are people protecting, come on in america we can flip out over evil boogeyman terrorism but to believe corporations would actually steal ideas, I wonder what side of the fence anyone who says otherwise is on?

    I think its ridiculous that someone would be amazed that corporations wouldn't steal ideas, intellectual copyrights are important when your robbing the nation of all its money right yeah retards guess again this is happening already, and has been for a very long time.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Justin, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 9:34am

    also I need to add

    FUCK LAWYERS!

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 9:47am

    I am immediately suspicious of anything posted at Anti Monopoly (likely Parker Brothers would not be happy if it saw AM's homepage), and particularly when it relies upon Mr. Kinsella as an authorative source (try and imagine being one of his clients, and then learning that he practices the law you need to rely upon, but expressly disdains the very law that pertains to your needs).

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 9:49am

      Re:

      authorative should be authoritative.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      angry dude, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 10:22am

      Re:

      Yep, a patent-hating patent attorney - that's what Mr. Kinsella is

      Much like a full-time hooker who goes to church every Sunday and preaches about moral values and celibacy...

      Gosh, who are his clients ?

       

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    •  
      icon
      Mike (profile), Oct 5th, 2008 @ 7:33pm

      Re:

      then learning that he practices the law you need to rely upon, but expressly disdains the very law that pertains to your needs).

      I'm confused. What's wrong with a patent lawyer recognizing how much patents have harmed innovation?

      Do you get upset at a cancer doctor who sees how much cancer has hurt people and wants to rid the world of cancer?

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 1:26am

        Re: Re:

        Answer to question 1:

        Patents should be instruments required to show value of an idea, which in turn become instruments in a court of law only if said infringers are unable to express humility and ability to take care of one's brother.

        Answer to question 2:
        You have no bearing or frame of reference to even be able to ask this question. Those qualified and have the headroom to ask said question exist only outside of the USA. You should watch "Sicko".

         

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        •  
          identicon
          mobiGeek, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 10:12pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Patents should be instruments required to show value of an idea


          Why? Isn't having a market that supports a product with its demand all that's needed to show value? How does a patent show value IN ANY WAY?

          Having a patent does not prove value at all. If I was awarded a patent on a ladder to Mars, how does that prove the value this "invention"? Who would pay me what this thing is valued at and who the hell wants to climb all the way to Mars?

          Such a patent does NOTHING to show value. And such a patent would be used to block anyone who could actually build a USEFUL/VALUABLE transportation mechanism.

           

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  •  
    identicon
    Hope I didn't step in it, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 9:48am

    What is that ?

    title of post (in case you forgot):
    Flash Of Genius: Patent System Propaganda Made Into A Movie

    Hollywood is world famous for their propaganda.
    This movie is not even masquerading as a documentary and yet I read, above, how it accurately depicts what acctually happened. Amazing isn't it ?

    A movie (read propaganda) based upon propaganda, mmmm doubly good.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    ulle, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 11:09am

    the court found Ford infringed, but not willfull infringement, there is a huge difference there, shoot even Mr. Kearns admitted that there were hundreds of people all working on intermittent wipers during those years, Mr. Kearns just was able to get the patent first.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 11:30am

      Re:

      Proof of willful infringement in subject to a much higher standard of proof, i.e. "clear and convinging" versus the less stringent "preponderance". Moreover, a plaintiff/patentee typically needs to present a "smoking gun" taken from the files of the defendant/infringer.

      As hard as it may be to believe, there are actually some defendants/infringers who are not totally forthcoming during the process of pre-trial discovery (the period during which evidence is collected for eventual presentation at trial). Think about how many years the tobacco industry was able to hide its documents concerning its internal studies regarding the health risks associated with smoking.

      As for who invented what and when, there is really nothing contained in the links that go into any meaningful detail. It would be nice to have a detailed account of intermittent wiper development at the time Kearns came up with his working prototype to try and understand what really was the state of this art. What little I have read mentioned other approaches that were being pursued and failed, but none resembling what Kearns did. Of course, this by no means is conclusive. This is a case where more info would really be helpful.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    DMNTD, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 12:20pm

    its a movie.....

    If you really expect relevance from entertainment...this is all lost on you.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Trevlac, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 2:32pm

    In this thread: People pretend to be more important than they really are; Mike doesn't give a shit; normal people laugh at them.

    Troll droun

     

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  •  
    identicon
    who cares what my name is, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 3:19pm

    Patents are Pants

    Patents suck the life out of what would otherwise be a vibrant economy. I am tired of paying worthless leeches who contribute nothing but debt to society. So, piss off you patent loving buffoons.

     

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  •  
    icon
    Ronald J Riley (profile), Oct 4th, 2008 @ 3:25pm

    Post Tramatic Stress Syndrome

    We have all heard how soldiers come back from war changed. The same is true for inventors who get stepped on with the full force and resources of a patent pirating corporation. Ford stole his invention and his dreams. They intentionally destroyed him and bragged about it for years afterward. Even today Ford's PR machine has been running full steam to try and create deniability.

    This was Detroit and the auto companies owned Detroit. They judge was hostile (in reality as opposed to the movie)to Kearns and from what I understand of the case missed no opportunity to stick it to Kearns.

    Remember that Bob Kearns was the man responsible for bringing an end to a 3-4 decade dark age where big companies could and did take what they wanted with impunity. This bred an incredibly arrogant and unethical culture in corporate legal conduct. They had absolute power and it did corrupt absolutely.

    Bob Kearns did not have the benefit of much support by actual peers as high end inventors have today.

    It is simple, Ford raped Kearns causing a nervous breakdown and then used that breakdown against him much as a rapist will argue that their victim is somehow at fault.

    The reason the auto industry is in dire shape today was their failure to treat inventors fairly. They took great prided in destroying inventors and eventually it reached the point that few inventors wanted to deal with them. The end result is that auto companies lost their edge.

    While Ford's employees do not deserve the legacy of Ford's mistakes the company surely deserves to end up a footnote in history.

    Ronald J. Riley,


    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.patentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      holy crap, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 4:39pm

      Re: Post Tramatic Stress Syndrome

      "We have all heard how soldiers come back from war changed. The same is true for inventors who get stepped on with the full force and resources of a patent pirating corporation."

      OMG - STFU
      The two are not related in ANY WAY.
      You are are a worthless windbag.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      RJR is an ass, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 5:55pm

      Re: Post Tramatic Stress Syndrome

      Ford sodomized Kearns ?
      I dont recall reading about that.
      Surely it would've made the news, even back then.

      You got any references to back that up ?
      No - didn't think so.

      As usual, RJR is spouting BS with nothing to back it up.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    RJR is an ass, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 4:49pm

    How did we survive before this patented idea ?

    Here is a really good patent

    http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&a mp;u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=7,120,591.PN.&OS=PN/7,120,5 91&RS=PN/7,120,591

    Manufacturers and service providers offer rebates as a financial incentive to increase sales. Rebates offer cash back to consumers who fulfill a set of requirements after purchasing a product bearing a rebate. By requiring post-purchase activities, the rebate offerer attempts to reduce the number of successful rebate claimants. Breakage occurs when a product bearing a rebate is sold, but the rebate is not successfully claimed. Because rebate programs offer the potential for breakage, manufacturers can offer a more valuable rebate compared to a straight reduction in product price. Thus, manufacturers establish procedures to maintain a sufficient rate of breakage and to prevent fraudulent rebate claims.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Gene Cavanaugh, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 9:02pm

    Flash of Genius movie

    Knowing the full story behind this, I agree with Michael. Even so, the fact that in this one case the patent system failed to function properly does not mean it always misfunctions; but
    for now, revel in your glory, Michael, on this one I agree.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      angry dude, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 9:36pm

      Re: Flash of Genius movie

      Dude,

      who the hell are you ?

      You claim to be a small-entity patent attorney, but there is no record of you in the USPTO database

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Dosquatch, Oct 4th, 2008 @ 9:50pm

      Re: Flash of Genius movie

      the fact that in this one case the patent system failed to function properly does not mean it always misfunctions;

      Not always, but frequently enough to be cause for genuine concern. Frequently enough that calls for reform are justified. Frequently enough that calls for outright abolishing the system aren't surprising. Frequently enough to be doing real, measurable harm to the economy and innovation - presumably what the system is supposed to benefit.

      NTP v. RIM, NTP v. Palm, SCO v. everybody who ever touched Linux, Lexmark v. 3rd party toner manufacturers, Forgent v. everybody with a JPG, and on and on and on

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Techdirt Regular, Oct 5th, 2008 @ 6:25am

    TROLLS! TROLLS! EVERYWHERE I LOOK TROLLS

    I knew this was going to be a trollfest when Ronald Riley came to town with his angry dude friend.

    It's quite interesting that Ronald shows up to share his affiliations of grandur, and literally within minutes, angry dude comes to bat with his incredible ideas that would create a productive conversation. However, I believe this is his aim- to DELIBERATELY DERAIL ANYTHING REGARDING THIS DISCUSSION TO OCCUR TO BENEFIT RJR'S BUSINESS MODEL.

    RJR has AMEX as a client, and has frequently created blogposts against AMEX. So seeing that Mike has secured this, it seems the goal is to partially discredit the value and commenters of this blog.

    Are these monikers the same person? You decide.

    DON'T FEED THE TROLLS.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Techdirt Regular, Oct 5th, 2008 @ 6:34am

    TROLLS! TROLLS! EVERYWHERE I LOOK TROLLS

    Mike, as evidenced by this thread, you should know that anything RJR and angry dude brings to the table is counterproductive, and personal attacks don't focus on the problem.

    But as someone who comes here and comments at least once a week, sometimes, we probably should just leave the trolls alone.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Trevlac, Oct 5th, 2008 @ 7:13am

    For God's sake can we not IP ban them, or IP RANGE ban them?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    RJR is an ass, Oct 5th, 2008 @ 7:51am

    Act of Desperation

    RJR,

    Do you really think that defending a patent is equivalent to serving in the armed forces? I was unaware that court battles involved the use of weapons. Last I knew, metal detectors were in use to preclude such activities. Levels of stress involved are no where close to being equivalent. Seriously, were you drinking last night ?

    RJR Godwined this thread in a (possibly deserved) smear of Henry Ford who was dead long before the intermittent wiper was an issue.

    And then RJR accuses Ford of rape, that must have a euphemism.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2008 @ 8:37am

    No examples to support your claim? So unlike you!

    Mike,

    How come in your phrase "lots of folks were working on different methods to create an intermittent wiper," the word "lots" isn't underlined and linked to examples of your claim? Could it be that it's just your sole opinion, but you present it as if it's a fact, even though you don't have any support for that claim?

    "As you may or may not know, most patent infringement is not "willful," meaning the company in question didn't "copy" the idea directly from the inventor or his or her patent, but through simply coming up with the idea themselves independently."

    Just because not many infringments are found to be "willful" doesn't prove by reason of elimination that those infringements thus can only be from independent development. If could just as easily mean that the companies copied the idea, but knew it would be a pure dumbass move to copy it exactly, so they modified it in some way so it would be virtually impossible to prove the "willful" part.

     

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    •  
      icon
      Mike (profile), Oct 5th, 2008 @ 8:01pm

      Re: No examples to support your claim? So unlike you!


      How come in your phrase "lots of folks were working on different methods to create an intermittent wiper," the word "lots" isn't underlined and linked to examples of your claim?


      Because most of the real work in that space happened in the 1950s and early 1960s. At that time, as you are no doubt aware, there wasn't a World Wide Web, so there is rather little to link to from then.

      Could it be that it's just your sole opinion, but you present it as if it's a fact, even though you don't have any support for that claim?

      You can decide for yourself. I have seen enough and spoken to enough people to feel confident that many in the industry were tackling this problem in a variety of different ways, with many converging on the same solution that Kearns eventually came up with.

      As I'm sure you know, Ford itself had demonstrated electrical wipers years before Kearns even thought about the problem.

      GM had filed for its own patents on a different form of intermittent wipers prior to Kearns even working on the problem.

      Ford filed for patents on a different form of intermittent wipers before ever knowing of Kearns' work.

      Ford introduced a different kind of intermittent wipers in its cars before Kearns even filed for his patent.

      This wasn't a "flash of genius." Lots of folks were working on this problem, taking a variety of approaches, and if you look at the approaches they were very much converging on the same solution Kearns eventually came up with as well. Crediting Kearns entirely gives short shift to all the inventors and innovators who came before Kearns and did much of the work to create actual usable intermittent wipers.

      Saying that Ford "stole" the idea from Kearns is stamping out the hard work of numerous engineers from a variety of companies who contributed a great deal to the space, and who were actually focused on bringing a useful product to market, rather than demanding credit and cash.


      Just because not many infringments are found to be "willful" doesn't prove by reason of elimination that those infringements thus can only be from independent development. If could just as easily mean that the companies copied the idea, but knew it would be a pure dumbass move to copy it exactly, so they modified it in some way so it would be virtually impossible to prove the "willful" part.


      Modifying a tiny part, after completely copying the overall idea will not get you out of a willful infringement claim. Ford had met with Kearns. If the company had really just copied his idea it would have been quite easy to prove willful infringement.

       

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        Ronald J Riley (profile), Oct 6th, 2008 @ 6:23pm

        Re: Re: No examples to support your claim? So unlike you!

        Mike, just because there were other engineers working on the problem does not mean that they found a viable solution. It is a fact that Kearns was the inventor of a solution that actually worked and it is a fact that Ford stole his invention just like they stole many others both before Kearns and after.

        There are lots of mediocre engineers but few inventor engineers.

        Ronald J. Riley,


        Speaking only on my own behalf.
        Affiliations:
        President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
        Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
        Senior Fellow - www.patentPolicy.org
        President - Alliance for American Innovation
        Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
        Washington, DC
        Direct (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

        Ronald J. Riley,


        Speaking only on my own behalf.
        Affiliations:
        President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
        Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
        Senior Fellow - www.patentPolicy.org
        President - Alliance for American Innovation
        Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
        Washington, DC
        Direct (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

         

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          Mike (profile), Oct 6th, 2008 @ 9:18pm

          Re: Re: Re: No examples to support your claim? So unlike you!

          Mike, just because there were other engineers working on the problem does not mean that they found a viable solution. It is a fact that Kearns was the inventor of a solution that actually worked and it is a fact that Ford stole his invention just like they stole many others both before Kearns and after.

          Actually, you seem to miss what I actually said (funny how that always seems to be the case with you). I said that if you looked at the trajectory, you could see they were quite clearly converging on the solution that Kearns came up with. That is, it was one of the next *obvious* steps in the chain.

          By supporting Kearns, you are spitting on all the hard work of the inventors who did MUCH more work in this space. You claim to support inventors, but you are lying. You only support those who end up with patents and use them to sue big companies. It's a shame. You are harming the interests of real innovators at every turn.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2008 @ 12:25pm

    Kearns deserved something for inventing the intermittent wiper. Ford should have bought him a beer. He's a prof, you say? Maybe they shouldve funded his lab for a couple of years.

    Ah, yes, here I am once again promoting the TIP system.

    All these layers of formality and bureaucracy just waste time and money.

    If you see some IP you like, then TAKE it. But have the courtesy to tip the creator.

    Like music? Pirate it. Buy the artist a beer or two, or catch them next time they come through touring.

     

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      mobiGeek, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 10:21pm

      Re:

      It's quite possible they did try to work with him, but they couldn't reach an amicable position.

      If the guy was truly a gifted engineer, then I'd expect any of the auto manufacturers to throw money and perks to bring him on staff. Maybe they did, but he couldn't negotiate a deal for what he thought his VALUE is (and thus was wrong).

      Alternatively, maybe the manufacturers met with him and decided NOTHING was worth the price of working with this guy.

      Don't know, and the fictionalization of the movie plot sure as hell won't give us any valid answers.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2008 @ 1:25pm

    Double-Standards?

    Hey Mike,

    You are always bitching about how IP is not real property and no one should have a monopoly on many forms of IP.

    But, as you say all this, you are actually enjoying your own IP monopoly right now - the ownership of the domain name "techdirt.com".

    So, prove to us that you don't have double-standards and give up the domain name or share it by letting anyone post stories on the frontpage of techdirt.com without any editing by you.

    Hmmm...your views on IP and their monopolies are kinda kicking you in the ass just about now, Huh?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2008 @ 2:56pm

      Re: Double-Standards?

      Is that a weak attempt at humor ?
      ha ha, very funny

      But as we all know, Intellectual Property (IP) is not equal to Internet Protocol (IP).

      Or maybe you don't know this, in that case,
      You're not too bright are you ?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2008 @ 4:17pm

        Re: Re: Double-Standards?

        The challenge aside, the first two paragraphs of the post you question do make a quite valid point.

         

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          Dosquatch, Oct 5th, 2008 @ 4:54pm

          Re: Re: Re: Double-Standards?

          It's an interesting question, but I don't know if that makes it valid. I hope Mike answers, mostly out of prurient curiosity.

          In the meantime, though, I will point out that that the question is attempting to make a point about copyright by attacking a trademark, and that these are different protections for different purposes.

           

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      DanC, Oct 5th, 2008 @ 8:24pm

      Re: Double-Standards?

      Sorry to ruin your attempt at a "gotcha" moment, but your logic makes absolutely no sense.

      But, as you say all this, you are actually enjoying your own IP monopoly right now - the ownership of the domain name "techdirt.com".

      Trademarks serve a completely different purpose than copyrights and patents. They tend to get grouped under the "intellectual property" misnomer because they're intangible. Patents and copyrights are supposed to promote the further progress of science and the arts. Trademarks exist to protect consumers by uniquely identifying a company by a brand name, logo, etc.

      So, prove to us that you don't have double-standards and give up the domain name or share it by letting anyone post stories on the frontpage of techdirt.com without any editing by you.

      As Mike has previously stated, domain names are rivalrous - if one person has it, no one else can. You can't have multiple techdirt.coms because the internet doesn't work that way.

      That being the case, there isn't any double standard. Since trademarks and copyrights are completely different, a stance on one is not transferable to the other. Trademarks are also not monopolies; they only restrict use within a particular industry. For instance, despite Monster Cable's repeated attempts to abuse their trademark, several companies use the Monster name in other industries.

      Hmmm...your views on IP and their monopolies are kinda kicking you in the ass just about now, Huh?

      I'm sure he'll respond to you himself, but you should probably educate yourself on the differences between copyrights, patents, and trademarks. Comparing copyrights and patents to trademarks doesn't make that much sense, because they accomplish different things for different purposes.

       

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    Ljlego, Oct 5th, 2008 @ 6:04pm

    I don't know that the PATENT system isn't working. I would say it's more that people who have too much money and too much time on their hands have decided to stick a pole firmly up their ass and try to redefine "intellectual property" as "whoever can bitch loudly enough." Certainly the patent system falls under the umbrella of intellectual property law, but I think that it's probably the most necessary of that branch of law. Patents don't cover ideas. You can't own an idea. To my understanding, patents cover a specific object that works in a specific way to do a specific thing. You can't patent a car, you have to patent each individual part of the car that works in a specific way to allow the entire car to function. And I'm sure you would agree that some form of protection needs to be in place so as not to allow big companies to steal specific things which work in a specific way. Whatever your personal beliefs on innovation are, you must agree that individuals who lay the groundwork upon which innovation lies deserve credit. Hell, Watson and Crick built the model of the DNA molecule, and then others worked upon their research to discover how RNA and DNA polymerase and all that nonsense works to make us who we are. That's not to say that those other brilliant minds don't deserve credit, but Watson and Crick made it all possible (and Rosalind Franklin is what made their possibility possible, but that's another story).

    Sure, the way this movie portrays the situation is black and white far more than the real-life situation was. And not to speak ill of the dead, but I think Mr. Kearns could have spent his life far more productively. Disturbing as his saga of ill-conceived crusading may be, though, I don't think it's right to take away from his contribution to the intermittent windshield wiper system. Sure, he didn't come up with it out of nowhere, but the fact that the Ford Company was able to work it into their cars with massive success with minimal alterations surely denotes some sort of flash of genius. It didn't come together in a flash, but the idea of it did.

    Long story short: this story seems to be unnecessarily harsh in both its minimalization of Kearns' idea and its indicting of a film for being a dramatization (which goes without saying, I would think).

     

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      New Laws Passed?, Oct 5th, 2008 @ 6:37pm

      Re:

      "Certainly the patent system falls under the umbrella of intellectual property law, but I think ... "

      hmmm ... I thought "intellectual property" was an informal umbrella terminology used to describe any or all of the three components; trademark, copyright and patent. Furthermore, it was my understanding that there are no laws which address "Intellectual Property" by that specific term.

      Is this incorrect ?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 5th, 2008 @ 8:00pm

    "I'm confused. What's wrong with a patent lawyer recognizing how much patents have harmed innovation?"

    If the individual truly believes that such instruments are harmful, then I do have to wonder why he helps people secure such instruments.

     

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    Scott E, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 6:12am

    Typical Left Wing Hype

    Another Michael Moore type flick. Yaaaaaaaaaawn.

     

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    Your mom, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 7:43am

    what?

    Imagine if they gave away awards based on a movie preview. wouldn't that be stupid? About as stupid as writing a movie commentary based on a preview.

     

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      Dosquatch, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 8:19am

      Re: what?

      Reviewing a trailer? Nah, nobody would ever do that.

      Um, but, seriously, making a judgement about whether you want to see a movie or not based on the trailer is kinda the point of a trailer. Making baseline assumptions about a movie's likely credibility is possible because we learn from our experiences.

      At least, most of us do.

       

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      Mike (profile), Oct 6th, 2008 @ 8:51am

      Re: what?

      About as stupid as writing a movie commentary based on a preview.

      I've already pointed this out, but I was not writing a commentary on the quality of the movie. I was merely commenting on the story itself, which I do know well, and the trailer makes it quite clear how certain events are portrayed. I was only commenting on those events, noting that the trailer clearly portrays them differently from what happened.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 8:55am

    RE: Double-Standards?

    "In the meantime, though, I will point out that that the question is attempting to make a point about copyright by attacking a trademark, and that these are different protections for different purposes."

    The angle I was shooting for was that Mike has a monopoly on the domain name "techdirt.com" (which is Intellectual Property).

    If you break the domain name into two parts:

    Tech = Technology
    Dirt = News/Gossip

    Going by any of Mike's previous measures of obviousness, that domain name would be concidered very obvious for a technology news site.

    So, if the domain name is considered "obvious", why should Mike have a monopoly on it just because he reserved it first?

    My point being is that this argument is very similar to Mike's argument that if someone else can independently come up with the same idea (i.e. choosing a domain name), why should the first one to think of it get exclusive use of it?

     

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      DanC, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 9:06am

      Re: RE: Double-Standards?

      The angle I was shooting for was that Mike has a monopoly on the domain name "techdirt.com" (which is Intellectual Property).

      You're trying to transfer Mike's position on patents and copyrights to trademarks. It doesn't work, because they're completely different.

      My point being is that this argument is very similar to Mike's argument that if someone else can independently come up with the same idea (i.e. choosing a domain name), why should the first one to think of it get exclusive use of it?

      Because that's how the internet works. Domain names are rivalrous, ideas are not. Trademarks, despite being lumped under the "intellectual property" misnomer, do not share the same purpose as copyrights or patents.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 9:35am

        Re: Re: RE: Double-Standards?

        I originally noted the issue regarding domain names only because they seem to be a rather unique creature. They are granted under authority originally provided by the USG, in many instances they are a "nice to have" but not an absolute "necessity" for communication, they clearly function like trademarks without having to meet statutory requirements for trademark registrations, and unlike trademarks they can be sold on the open market under circumstances where they exhibit most of the indicia associated with personal property (i.e., you can sell a domain name all by itself, whereas a trademark can be sold only as an interal part of the sale of a business [this is because trademarks are viewed in law as constituting goodwill]).

        What I find curious is that I have not seen any thoughtful articles by those in academia exploring these various issues and attempting to reconcile them in some form of a coherent manner.

        Merely FYI, at times I raise issues such as this one simply because they are quite nuanced and do not fit nicely into any one particular box. Soundbites are great and quite fun to read, but the issues really are much more subtle.

         

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          Mike (profile), Oct 6th, 2008 @ 10:52am

          Re: Re: Re: RE: Double-Standards?

          I originally noted the issue regarding domain names only because they seem to be a rather unique creature.

          They are hardly unique. There's not much difference from them and, say, a phone number.

          What I find curious is that I have not seen any thoughtful articles by those in academia exploring these various issues and attempting to reconcile them in some form of a coherent manner.

          Because to anyone who looks at the issue, there's nothing academic to explore: they represent a rivalrous good. Case closed. What's the issue?

          Merely FYI, at times I raise issues such as this one simply because they are quite nuanced and do not fit nicely into any one particular box. Soundbites are great and quite fun to read, but the issues really are much more subtle.

          So far you have failed (miserably, I might add) to actually explain that nuance or subtlety, other than falsely claiming that domain names are nonrivalrous, when they are not. We have called you on this, and you simply pretend the issue is somehow "nuanced."

          This is rather typical of your work, as I have pointed out in the past. I would expect better of you, but you have shown yourself, repeatedly, to only be interested in raising totally ridiculous claims and saying you are "merely" interested in raising the issue. Yeah, right. It's no wonder you stopped actually putting your name on your comments once you started posting such ridiculous statements. I would imagine it's because you know anyone would laugh at you if your name and reputation were associated with such ridiculous claims.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 12:11pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: RE: Double-Standards?

            "They are hardly unique. There's not much difference from them and, say, a phone number."

            I would agree an IP adress is like a phone number, but it seems to me that domain names can at times possibly be viewed as a different creature.

            "Because to anyone who looks at the issue, there's nothing academic to explore: they represent a rivalrous good. Case closed. What's the issue?"

            Apparently there is no issue as far as you are concerned. However, there is a significant disconnect if one views domain names as analogous to a "source indicator", a function traditionally served by trademark law. In this case domain names are easily analogized to service marks, and a fundamental legal rule pertaining to trademarks and service marks is that they are no transferrable in gross, but only is association with the transfer/sale of a business.

            "...falsely claiming that domain names are onrivalrous..."

            It is getting a bit tedious having you make statements that I said something that in fact I never said. What I did was ask if domain names could be viewed as a "monopoly" given that they are granted with governmental authority and do operate to exclude others from using same.

            "This is rather typical of your work, as I have pointed out in the past. I would expect better of you, but you have shown yourself, repeatedly, to only be interested in raising totally ridiculous claims and saying you are "merely" interested in raising the issue. Yeah, right. It's no wonder you stopped actually putting your name on your comments once you started posting such ridiculous statements. I would imagine it's because you know anyone would laugh at you if your name and reputation were associated with such ridiculous claims."

            I may take issue with some of your positions, but I have never gone out of my way to purposely try and insult you personally. On one occassion I reread one of my comments and realized it could be miscontstrued as purposely making an insult, but I posted a clarification and apoligized if my comment was viewed otherwise.

            Clearly you have substantial mastery of economic theory, and not once have I ever suggested otherwise. Your knowledge of legal theory is not at that same level, and yet you persist in telling me and others who actually deal extensively with legal issues we are plainly wrong. Your many lapses into refusing to practice professional decorum and extend simple professional courtesy is troubling indeed.

             

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              Mike (profile), Oct 6th, 2008 @ 12:44pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: RE: Double-Standards?

              Apparently there is no issue as far as you are concerned. However, there is a significant disconnect if one views domain names as analogous to a "source indicator", a function traditionally served by trademark law. In this case domain names are easily analogized to service marks, and a fundamental legal rule pertaining to trademarks and service marks is that they are no transferrable in gross, but only is association with the transfer/sale of a business.


              Why would anyone view them as analogous? They are not. You are making a false definition in order to associate something that is clear with something that is not. I don't understand why you would do this other than you refuse to admit that your original statement, suggesting that domain names were nonrivalrous, was incorrect.

              I may take issue with some of your positions, but I have never gone out of my way to purposely try and insult you personally.

              This is a flat out lie, and you know it. Or would you like me to point back to the posts you put up pretending to be me, making false and totally exaggerated comments to make me look bad?

              Or, would you like for me to point back to the times that you insulted various well known and well-respected economists, calling them "nutty" when you later admitted you were unfamiliar with their works.

              You try to portray yourself as not making insults, but all you do is couch your insults in language designed to give you plausible deniability at a later date. Very lawyer-like of you. But, at times, you quite clearly have come out and directly insulted me.

              To deny it is simply a lie.

              Clearly you have substantial mastery of economic theory, and not once have I ever suggested otherwise.

              That is also untrue. You have, in fact, questioned my economic knowledge on repeated occasions, and (as mentioned) simply discounted various experts in the field I have pointed to by claiming that their arguments don't count, despite the evidence they had put together.

              Your many lapses into refusing to practice professional decorum and extend simple professional courtesy is troubling indeed.

              Compared to you, a guy who pretended to be me in the comments, and posted mocking insulting comments? Compared to you, who shifts between different user names depending on the credibility of what you are posting?

              I stand by what I post. I put my name on it and I will defend and discuss it. When we call you on things you seem to hide behind legal language or disappear. I would suggest that my conduct is a lot more professional than yours.

              I'm sorry if you believe me calling you out when you make false statements is unprofessional, but I would argue it is your statements that were unprofessional in the first place.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 2:23pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: RE: Double-Standards?

                It seems fairly clear you are not inclined to respectfully discuss issues with others who may reasonably hold a contrary opinion. In the event such a contrary opinion is shown to have merit, you seem to lose interest in any further discussion and move on to preparing other articles.

                I view my opinions with a substantial degree of skepticism. You would be well advised to do the same.

                 

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                  Mike (profile), Oct 6th, 2008 @ 2:40pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: RE: Double-Standards?

                  It seems fairly clear you are not inclined to respectfully discuss issues with others who may reasonably hold a contrary opinion. In the event such a contrary opinion is shown to have merit, you seem to lose interest in any further discussion and move on to preparing other articles.

                  I'm sorry, MLS, but it would be you who appears to not be inclined to respectfully discuss issues and who then ignores the discussion when proven wrong. I note that you totally ignored in this very thread me pointing out the examples of you being personally insulting to me, with your posts pretending to be me mocking my ideas.

                  And in response, you accuse ME of being disrespectful.

                  I am quite respectful of ideas if they have a real basis. However, when they are shown to be full of nothing but hot air, I am going to be quite clear that there is hot air there.

                  Just because we actually call you on your mistruths, doesn't mean we are disrespectful. It means we are honest.

                  I view my opinions with a substantial degree of skepticism.

                  If that were true, you would have given up your ridiculous line of inquiry concerning domain names a while back and admitted you had made a mistake.

                  You did not. I can only conclude that the opposite of what you say is true in this case.

                  And, you are wrong that I ignore contrary opinions. I am in here discussing them every day, and I do so under my name. I don't hide and change my posting name, as you do. I don't pretend to be others and mock their ideas, as you do. I may challenge you on your ideas, but that's not disrespect. It's honesty.

                   

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              Dosquatch, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 2:16pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: RE: Double-Standards?

              I would agree an IP adress is like a phone number, but it seems to me that domain names can at times possibly be viewed as a different creature.

              Then think of it instead as domain name to IP as, say, a personalized license plate to the vehicle's VIN.

              (in my best Gollum)Oh, noes, he has the pressscious.... we cannots both have the pressscious, the DMV says they must be unique. Yes, pressscious! We'll sues the DMV for insisting that only one persons at a time can has the pressscious plates!

              Oh, wow... maybe it's been a longer day than I thought.

              But you see my point. Or, if you don't, then my point is this - some things are unique because they must be unique. Pretending that this is NOT the case is silliness at best, though you're starting to push into the realm of antagonistic BS.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 2:33pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: RE: Double-Standards?

                I inserted the words "at times" intentionally as a means of recognizing the points made by you at #115.

                 

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          DanC, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 11:34am

          Re: Re: Re: RE: Double-Standards?

          They are granted under authority originally provided by the USG, in many instances they are a "nice to have" but not an absolute "necessity" for communication

          The fact that they're a convenience doesn't change the way DNS works.

          they clearly function like trademarks without having to meet statutory requirements for trademark registrations

          But they can still be subject to trademark law depending on the circumstances.

           

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            Dosquatch, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 12:02pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: RE: Double-Standards?

            But [domain names] can still be subject to trademark law depending on the circumstances.

            Yes, indeed, cybersquatters can be forcibly separated from their domains and then sued for attempting to be a useless bane on society. This is one of the precious few pieces of internet legislation congress has managed to squeeze out.

             

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      Mike (profile), Oct 6th, 2008 @ 10:44am

      Re: RE: Double-Standards?

      The angle I was shooting for was that Mike has a monopoly on the domain name "techdirt.com" (which is Intellectual Property).

      That makes no sense. As we have pointed out, repeatedly, the issue is with rivalrous and non-rivalrous goods. With rivalrous goods, it makes sense to have property rights. With nonrivalrous it does not.


      Going by any of Mike's previous measures of obviousness, that domain name would be concidered very obvious for a technology news site.


      Huh? What does obviousness have to do with domain names?!? Obviousness is only an issue for patents.

      So, if the domain name is considered "obvious", why should Mike have a monopoly on it just because he reserved it first?

      Again, if you cannot understand the difference between rivalrous and nonrivalrous goods, I'm afraid that you really ought to do some reading before commenting further.

      And, if you want to discuss it at the trademark level, as I have made clear in the past (or did you not bother to read?), I have no issue with trademarks in that they are about protecting consumers from being confused or tricked into believing that a product is actually provided by someone different. It's a consumer protection law, not an intellectual property law.

      This is all rather basic stuff. I would suggest you learn a little bit more before commenting further and making yourself look even worse.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 9:05am

    Disappointed to note that the Supreme Court denied the cert petition by Nuijten concerning Nuitjen's "electronic signal with embedded watermark" invention.

    On a brighter note, the Supreme Court did uphold:

    Rambus in its patent case against Samsung.
    TiVo in its patent case against Echostar.
    Monsanto in its patent case against David.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 3:07pm

    Domain names are registerable as trademarks and/or service marks, assuming that they otherwise meet all other requirements for registration under the Lanham Act and the implementing regulations promulgated by the USPTO.

    See: TMEP Section 1209.03(m) Domain Names

    Of course, I assume you already know this.

     

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    anymouse government worker, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 3:22pm

    Where's my t-shirt

    "I fed the Angry Dude Troll at Techdirt and all I got was this lousy t-shirt"

    Print em up and profit...

     

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      identicon
      angry dude, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 5:23pm

      Re: Where's my t-shirt

      Yeah, try to profit from t-shirts if you can, an anonymous techdirt weblog analyzer... (Let me guess, Mikey not posting under his real name ?... )

      You will soon realize that t-shirts are dime a dozen

       

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    PIAUSA Member, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 4:38pm

    Ron, um, can I have a sidebar?

    Ronald J. Riley,

    Um, I'm one of the members of the PIAUSA, and I'd like to ask you to stop posting here. Or at least have somebody proof your work. You know, get a high-school intern to run some fact-checking, make sure you're consistent, make sure you're comprehending the basic material. That kind of stuff.

    You see, you're making us look bad by being such a dummy. Keep fighting the fight for me to make money from my inventions, but don't make terrible, easily disproved arguments, because it cuts into your credibility when you argue that I should make millions for a good idea.

    Thanks, respectfully
    A member
    [and yes, for the faint-of-brain out there, I'm a fictional member, and this is a satire]

     

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    Derek Kerton (profile), Oct 6th, 2008 @ 5:28pm

    Drops of Jupiter

    Mike said: "Look, if the cure for AIDS is a whiff of the atmosphere on Jupiter, that has NO VALUE. There is no delivery mechanism to get that to people. The market will decide that there is no value in that. There may be value in learning from that to create a BETTER cure, that can be delivered here on Earth, and in that case, we should want as many different folks working on such a solution as possible, to guarantee that we get the best one."


    Interesting notion. Mike, you should have pushed your analogy further. Say now, that I discovered this Jupiter air solution, and patented it. I then work on an effort to go to Jupiter and bring back some atmosphere. Jupiter is far, costs are high, delays are long, and my financial backing slips away, I fail.

    Another scientist builds off my discovery, and finds a way to replicate that gaseous mix here on earth, produce it, deliver it, and sell it to people.

    Now, that SOB stole my solution!!! Fortunately, I have the patent, and can sue them for an injuction unless they license my patent. I'll get the reward, even though I actually failed to get the solution to market.

    I know I just built out your scenario, but it's a good illustration when it's elaborated. Does our system currently reward the right inventor/innovator? Or just the first to file a piece of paper for a gov't granted monopoly?

     

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      Dosquatch, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 6:54pm

      Re: Drops of Jupiter

      Another scientist builds off my discovery, and finds a way to replicate that gaseous mix here on earth, produce it, deliver it, and sell it to people.

      Now, that SOB stole my solution!!!


      As I understand it, he did not. When you patent a chemical or compound, you are actually getting a patent on the method of synthesis. Your method involves space travel, whereas SOB managed laboratory synthesis. Since his process is different than yours, even though the result is the same compound, he has not infringed your patent.

       

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        angry dude, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 7:03pm

        Re: Re: Drops of Jupiter

        Oh, gish

        Get your GED for Christ sake !!!

         

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        Willton, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 9:21pm

        Re: Re: Drops of Jupiter

        As I understand it, he did not. When you patent a chemical or compound, you are actually getting a patent on the method of synthesis. Your method involves space travel, whereas SOB managed laboratory synthesis. Since his process is different than yours, even though the result is the same compound, he has not infringed your patent.

        That would be true if the patent claim was a method or a product by process claim. However, one can still patent a chemical composition by itself, as long as it is something that is not a composition found in nature.

         

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          Dosquatch, Oct 7th, 2008 @ 3:03am

          Re: Re: Re: Drops of Jupiter

          However, one can still patent a chemical composition by itself,

          Thank you, Willton. Like I said, pharma stuff really isn't my realm. I'm happy enough that I wasn't completely off the mark :-)

           

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      Dosquatch, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 7:34pm

      Re: Drops of Jupiter

      Like I said, "As I understand". I'm not even a good layman on pharm patents. I was trying to find references to cite, but RJR and AD kinda pissed me off, so I'm not doing very well on research at the moment. Sorry. Maybe someone else can confirm or correct me.

       

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      Mike (profile), Oct 6th, 2008 @ 9:12pm

      Re: Drops of Jupiter

      Interesting notion. Mike, you should have pushed your analogy further. Say now, that I discovered this Jupiter air solution, and patented it. I then work on an effort to go to Jupiter and bring back some atmosphere. Jupiter is far, costs are high, delays are long, and my financial backing slips away, I fail.

      Another scientist builds off my discovery, and finds a way to replicate that gaseous mix here on earth, produce it, deliver it, and sell it to people.


      Yup. You just proved my point. Your solution failed in the market because it was too difficult/impossible to actually bring to market. The other guy did the real innovative work of making it possible for the market to benefit from it.

       

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    Ronald J Riley (profile), Oct 6th, 2008 @ 6:06pm

    Post Tramatic Stress Syndrome

    We have all heard how soldiers come back from war changed. The same is true for inventors who get stepped on with the full force and resources of a patent pirating corporation. Ford stole his invention and his dreams. They intentionally destroyed him and bragged about it for years afterward. Even today Ford's PR machine has been running full steam to try and create deniability.

    This was Detroit and the auto companies owned Detroit. They judge was hostile (in reality as opposed to the movie)to Kearns and from what I understand of the case missed no opportunity to stick it to Kearns.

    Remember that Bob Kearns was the man responsible for bringing an end to a 3-4 decade dark age where big companies could and did take what they wanted with impunity. This bred an incredibly arrogant and unethical culture in corporate legal conduct. They had absolute power and it did corrupt absolutely.

    Bob Kearns did not have the benefit of much support by actual peers as high end inventors have today.

    It is simple, Ford raped Kearns causing a nervous breakdown and then used that breakdown against him much as a rapist will argue that their victim is somehow at fault.

    The reason the auto industry is in dire shape today was their failure to treat inventors fairly. They took great prided in destroying inventors and eventually it reached the point that few inventors wanted to deal with them. The end result is that auto companies lost their edge.

    While Ford's employees do not deserve the legacy of Ford's mistakes the company surely deserves to end up a footnote in history.

    Ronald J. Riley,


    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.patentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

     

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      Dosquatch, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 7:11pm

      Re: Post Tramatic Stress Syndrome

      We have all heard how soldiers come back from war changed. The same is true for inventors who get stepped on with the full force and resources of a patent pirating corporation.

      RJR, you were an insufferable tool to post this once. Words fail me to see you post this again. To suggest that a protracted case in a civil court is equivalent to the atrocities of armed combat, where your friends and colleagues are in mortal danger as their day job, and sometimes brutally losing their lives right before you, is the most jackass, the most asinine statement I have ever seen made. I have friends and family in combat this very minute. Who have been in combat for a while now. I've seen what it's done to them. And you dare suggest a simple courtroom draws this same wage of flesh and soul?

      Slime, sir. You are slime.

      It is simple, Ford raped Kearns

      I can only hope you get to experience first hand what it is you suggest here. To say such things, you at least deserve the opportunity to make the claim based on your own direct observations.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Oct 6th, 2008 @ 8:38pm

        Re: Re: Post Tramatic Stress Syndrome

        Dosquatch -> "RJR, you were an insufferable tool to post this once. Words fail me to see you post this again. To suggest that a protracted case in a civil court is equivalent to the atrocities of armed combat, where your friends and colleagues are in mortal danger as their day job, and sometimes brutally losing their lives right before you, is the most jackass, the most asinine statement I have ever seen made. I have friends and family in combat this very minute. Who have been in combat for a while now. I've seen what it's done to them. And you dare suggest a simple courtroom draws this same wage of flesh and soul?"


        Dosquatch, Thank You

         

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      Dosquatch, Oct 7th, 2008 @ 5:56am

      Re: Post Tramatic Stress Syndrome

      We have all heard how soldiers come back from war changed. The same is true for inventors who get stepped on with the full force and resources of a patent pirating corporation

      Come on, Angry Dude, you worm, where's all that anger when it matters? You sure were quick to defend him earlier. Doesn't this piss you off? You say you're military. This should make you ready to rip his head off.

      Or are you just the pasty little noisemaker I take you for?

       

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    bogdogs, Oct 7th, 2008 @ 11:23am

    Kearns movie

    I found the comments by Mike quite erudite.

    The only thing I can contradict is the statement that "All of the car companies had to pay many millions to Kearns, effectively paying multiple times over what the wipers actually should have cost, increasing car prices for all of us."
    Actually Ford and Chrysler were the only ones that actually "paid Kearns". Ford settled the case to guarantee that Kearns would not appeal. Chrysler had a verdict against them, which was appealed. Most of the other cases were dismissed.

    Yes it cost the car companies millions to defend them-selves, and that cost did trickle down to the consumers, but they did NOT all pay Kearns.

     

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    Michigander, Nov 1st, 2008 @ 9:28am

    David & Goliath

    Sometimes the David & Goliath analogy gets turned around. Many years ago while working for a large corporation, my colleagues and I "invented" and installed a system to prevent ice from building up on the water intake for our manufacturing facility. We didn't patent the idea -- didn't see any need for it. In fact we shared the idea with neighboring manufacturers. Several years later a "David-type" inventor applied for and was granted a patent on our system. Then (are you ready for this?) He sued US for infringing on HIS invention. And he WON!

     

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    Snoglydox, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 5:54pm

    My Thoughts

    Knowing I am late to the conversation, I just watched the movie again, from my stash of movies I have, and started feeling a desire to rant, so I looked up blogs. I like to think I am a clear/open thinker, and all scenarios deserve an independent look; it looks like some here are getting off the subject…Robert Kearns. As an electrical engineer, I may bring an insight some may do not get. Wikipedia defines innovation as “the creation of better or more effective products, processes, services, technologies, or ideas that are accepted by markets, governments, and society.” I believe you fail to miss the point Symuncez is trying to say; Robert Kearns did innovate, as he was able to make a functioning product, that the automobile industries were unable to do, and as the definition reads…it is a better more effective product, and it is accepted by the markets. What’s the incentive for innovators if corporations can just treat their work as free for all?

    I believe the auto industry did infringe, but it was more of embarrassment backed by corporate power; have you ever thought deeply about a problem, and someone walks by and points out the solution? Circuit analyses starts with the assumption that the circuit is in the powered up state (as opposed to turned off,) and does not normally deal with when the circuit is first turned on (soft-start circuits are one exception;) all circuits at input are generally shorts circuits when first turned on, and is the reason most failures happen when first turned on (while working at Lockheed Marten, we were not allowed to turn anything off, considering the age of much of the equipment.) Mr. Kearns’s innovation was to recognize this, and arranged the components to take advantage of the initial short circuit to start the wiper cycle; it was too simple a solution for the engineers at the auto industries to think of (I can make my own with 5 cents in parts,) as they were looking for more complicated solutions. On that note, as far as I understand, all Mr. Kearns’s wanted was to start a manufacturing company for his children to inherit, and Ford should have let him (he was insulted at least twice: his creation and his persistence/ability,) or perhaps he should not have shown them his prototype, and have gone to a different company or investors, but he made the mistake of trusting them; I believe because they thought the solution to the intermitted wiper was too complicated for a start-up to keep up with supply (I wonder if retailers require an established manufacturing company to produce the Pet Rock.)

    To Mike,
    Mr. Kearns failed to sell to them because they did not need it; they stole his circuit design. You sound like a crooked business man; someone I find very hard to trust. It appears you make money from advertisement/contributions? I noticed you sidestepped a question about you ever developing a product, by writing you bring products to the market; creating a website is very little like a product that requires the engineering R&D process like the intermitted wiper did. On the other hand, if a corporation can’t make something work, why should they get all the royalties (money…and credit) because they have the power to steal someone else’s working prototype (not obvious as you suggest, because it was the most simple and economical way to do it, so it should have been the first thought that came to mind) and finances to bring it to market; did you pay, write, or steal the software for your site? I am sorry to be forward, but your opinion on this subject matter makes life a wreck for many people, and is very similar to the guy in the office that parties all night, and steals ideas from others to move up the ladder.

    The Jupiter scenario misses the point, because Robert Kerns succeeded in producing a very profitable working model. What if the Jupiter guy stole the Earth guy’s idea, and because he had the economical means, he got away with it?

     

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