Yet Another Study Shows How Patents Create Suboptimal Innovation

from the add-it-to-the-pile dept

Over the years we've covered numerous different economics studies that have shown how damaging patents are. Most of them have looked at the historical evidence, comparing different societies (one with patent protection and one without, or with weak, protections) at the same time, or comparing what happens right before and right after changes are made to patent law in terms of innovation. The vast majority of the evidence shows that patents create suboptimal results -- often slowing down the pace of innovation. They're usually used not to encourage new innovations but to allow companies to stop competition, and thus slow down the pace of innovation. I've been meaning to put together a comprehensive list of the research, and I hope to get to that soon.

However, now there's a new study to add to the list -- and this one is based not on the historical evidence, but trying to model different methods of rewards for innovatively solving a complex problem. And, once again, the study found that a free market solution greatly outperforms a patent monopoly solution where the "first" provider gets a monopoly. The research was led by economist Peter Bossaerts and a team of others -- and it made a point that won't surprise anyone who's studied the economics of monopolies. Patents tend to function just like any other monopoly system: it shrinks the overall market, decreases net social benefit, provides monstrously excess rewards to a single provider and harms everyone else. In fact, the research found that the patent system created a massive disincentive for many people to participate in the very process, even if their contributions could have been quite helpful in speeding along the innovation.

It's just one study, and the experiment is a bit simplistic -- but hopefully others will build on this research to create more complex models as well. In the meantime, though, it's yet another bit of evidence to throw onto the large and growing pile of studies showing how damaging patents can be. And, given how so many of them seem to approach the question from a different angle and still all come to the same or similar results... at some point you have to wonder why no one creating policy ever looks at this mountain of evidence.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 9:16am

    It s simple really, they can't see the mountain of evidence due the larger mountain of cash be pushed towards them by those in favor of stronger patents.

     

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    Anshar, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 9:47am

    Here's a question for discussion: Are patents really the problem or is the scope of these patents to blame? Some patents are ridiculously broad in scope (Example) and I think that does more damage to innovation than having patents on more specific inventions.

    Discuss.

     

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  3.  
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    CN, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 10:16am

    Another perspective

    One thing that seems to lost in the perspective that patents are bad, is the enormous cost surrounding their development. And that when working outside of academia, which relies on government funding, and student tuition to pay the massive research cost, companies have to find a way to pay the bills and support new developments.
    Having one company spend millions to develop something that is then given to rest of the world for free just does not work. If everyone was willing to work for free and provide their services for free, then we could develop new things and just give them away.

    The other point that these studies seem to miss is that forcing others to work around patents often pushes people to be more creative, and many new things come to life.

    The author,Peter Bossaerts, of the free market study linked in this article, has never left academia per his CV. He has never had to keep people employed based on making a profit.
    And not everything has a viable futures market like platinum, as Prof. Bossaerts tries to use as a real life example.

    However, I will say that the patent system needs an overhaul. There is a long list of patents that are just not worthy of the the title. They are not novel items that break new grounds of development. This is where the biggest problem lies. And also remember that while something may be patented, if it is not produced within a short time frame, then it is not defendable. The system does not let you just sit on the idea, you have to follow through and make it.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 10:29am

    It helps to have a copy of a paper in hand before commenting on its merits/demerits.

    See:

    http://www.hss.caltech.edu/~debrah/papers/kp080403submitted.pdf

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 10:30am

    I have no issue with giving an entity (ie. inventor, corporation, etc) a limited time to utilize a newly developed product in order to profitfrom its development. However, if during the time period they do nothing with it, they should surrender the patent. Likewise, if company 2 develops something similar, and company 1 has made no effort to capitalize on the pre-existing then they should not be allowed to block company 2 from utilizing the development. Having a patent for the sole purpose of forcing others to pay you for its use goes against the original reasoning behind the patent system. Realizing that being able to implement a development does not come over night, I would think a 7 year period would be sufficient time to utilize a patent before the development becomes public domain, however 10 years might not be to far of a reach either, but I wouldn't extend it beyond that. Just for the record, my feelings are pretty much identical for copyright, an absolute maximum of 10 years. if you haven't made anything by then, you probably won't.

     

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  6.  
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    angry dude, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 10:31am

    Re: Another perspective

    "And also remember that while something may be patented, if it is not produced within a short time frame, then it is not defendable. The system does not let you just sit on the idea, you have to follow through and make it."

    Who told you this, little punk ?

    You should read US Constitution, it's all in there:

    "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."

    Just where does it say you have to be a manufacturer to benefit from your invention ?

    why don't you get your GED first, techdirt lemming-punk

     

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  7.  
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    Will, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 10:33am

    Re: Another perspective

    >>remember that while something may be patented, if it is not produced within a short time frame, then it is not defendable. The system does not let you just sit on the idea, you have to follow through and make it.

    But it does, which is why all the patent trolls and patent hoarding firms exist. They don't make any product, their business is buying unworthy and overly broad patents and suing others who can be interpreted to infringe on them.

     

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  8.  
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    angry dude, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 10:36am

    Re:

    Let me ask you a question, little techdirt retard

    Have you ever invented anything new and useful in your entire life ?
    Or maybe you wrote some widely successful novel everybody reads ?

    I guess not

    You just want to freeload on the work of others

     

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  9.  
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    angry dude, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 10:38am

    Re: Re: Another perspective

    Mudak

    patents are property, just like any other property, they can be bought, sold, mortgaged

    One more time for clueless retards like you:

    PATENTS ARE PROPERTY

    GOT IT NOW ???

     

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  10.  
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    Anshar, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 10:42am

    Re: Another perspective

    The other point that these studies seem to miss is that forcing others to work around patents often pushes people to be more creative, and many new things come to life.

    This is a good example of why I think some patents are too broad. Patents like the one in the article I linked above are so broad that you can't work around them; everything you might try to do falls within it's scope.



    You're right about the system needing an overhaul and about some people not understanding the differences between theory and practice. I'm not so sure about your position that the system doesn't let one sit on an idea though. I agree that's the way it's supposed to work, but one look at all the patent-hoarders out there says that part of the system isn't working as intended.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 10:44am

    Re: Another perspective

    "And also remember that while something may be patented, if it is not produced within a short time frame, then it is not defendable. The system does not let you just sit on the idea, you have to follow through and make it."

    That's simply not true. You may be confusing an aspect of Trademarks with patents. I'm not a trademark expert, but I think you need to show use and defense of your trademark or over time you could lose it.

    As far as patents, you can sit on the idea all you want. You don't have to do anything about it. That's the real problem with patent trolls is they gather up patents and do nothing with them. Then when someone else comes up with a similar idea, they sue and make money that way.

     

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  12.  
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    CN, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 10:46am

    Re:

    As said the study as described in the paper assumes that the development of a product will have significant impact on the price a of another item. For a vast majority of patent cases this is rarely true. The patented item is often only a blip on the commodities it takes to make it. Unless you can sell futures in concepts, such as how things look on an iPod screen. Otherwise the buying up futures concept just does not hold water.

     

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  13.  
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    :Lobo Santo, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 11:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Another perspective

    HA!
    Ha ha ha!
    HA ha Ha hA HA ha Ha hA HA ha Ha hA HA ha Ha hA HA ha Ha hA HA ha Ha hA HA ha Ha hA HA ha Ha hA HA ha Ha hA HA ha Ha hA HA ha Ha hA HA ha Ha hA HA ha Ha hA HA ha Ha hA HA ha Ha hA HA ha Ha hA HA ha Ha hA HA ha Ha hA HA ha Ha hA HA ha Ha hA!

    Oh, Angry Dude, I haven't had such a good laugh in such a long time.

    "Patents are property." Oh god, that's just hilarious.

    Patents are an abstract... like numbers. Nothing more than a concept.

    But, next time you see a wild "five" or "eleven" bounding through the wilderness, snap a photo for me.
    :P

     

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  14.  
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    angry dude, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Another perspective

    blya
    shut up or you are gonna sit at a kiddie table tonight

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Another perspective

    Hey dickbreath (there's no reason to call you foul names in a foreign language -- we all know you're a narcissistic, egocentric, pig-headed dick),

    Some day maybe you should try making a constructive comment. Or is that just too, too difficult for your tiny brain cell to comprehend?

     

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  16.  
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    Willton, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re:

    As said the study as described in the paper assumes that the development of a product will have significant impact on the price a of another item. For a vast majority of patent cases this is rarely true. The patented item is often only a blip on the commodities it takes to make it. Unless you can sell futures in concepts, such as how things look on an iPod screen. Otherwise the buying up futures concept just does not hold water.

    This is one of the reasons why I think the study by Mr. Bossaerts is not only simplistic, as Mike concedes, but not even on target. My biggest issue with this study is that it does not confront the issue of how one is to profit from one's invention in reality. The patent system does not issue a cash prize for invention; it issues an exclusive opportunity to profit from one's creation. What one does with the invention afterward is the method of profiting, and this study does not address the issues surrounding that. The guy who comes up with the best method of packing a backpack is not given the opportunity to sell that method in either scenario. The only solution that's offered is purchasing futures in materials. That may be great if you work in metalurgy, but that's not very helpful for those who work in biological sciences and electronics.

     

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  17.  
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    Willton, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 11:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Another perspective

    Patents are an abstract... like numbers. Nothing more than a concept.

    The U.S. Code says otherwise.

     

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  18.  
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    :Lobo Santo, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 11:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another perspective

    You gonna make me sit at the kiddie table, grandpa?

    Guess your dementia with the whole real/abstract confusion thing going has got you screwed up in the cabasa.

    I wonder if you're actually reading what you think you're reading or if the content is hallucinated...

     

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  19.  
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    :Lobo Santo, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 11:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another perspective

    Yes, but then, aside from the Real piece of parchment it's written on, the US Code is just a concept too, isn't it?

    It's an idea, not a thing. So you've got a concept based upon another concept... show me the real part?

    (Answer: the fools who'll kill for a concept; especially those who cannot stand their precious ideas being disproved.)

     

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  20.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 6th, 2009 @ 11:33am

    Re: Another perspective

    One thing that seems to lost in the perspective that patents are bad, is the enormous cost surrounding their development.

    Really? I don't think that's been lost at all. In fact we discuss that all the time. The capex costs are definitely something you have to take into account, but we've yet to see an example where that has ever justified a monopoly on things.

    And that when working outside of academia, which relies on government funding, and student tuition to pay the massive research cost, companies have to find a way to pay the bills and support new developments.

    Yes. It's called selling products. I'm not sure why that's any different with or without patents.

    Having one company spend millions to develop something that is then given to rest of the world for free just does not work

    Actually, there's a ton of evidence that it *does* work. There are a variety of reasons for this.

    1. It's not so easy for the world to just "take it". The company that created it first understands it and the customers better and is better positioned to market it.

    2. The first mover advantage is quite strong (look at the publication of the 9/11 report as an example).

    3. Since innovation is an ongoing process, rather than a one-off, the company in the lead is often onto the next thing, by the time the "followers" catch up.

    The other point that these studies seem to miss is that forcing others to work around patents often pushes people to be more creative, and many new things come to life.

    Actually, if you look at this study, it didn't miss that at all. In fact, that was the very point of this study. It showed that the patents diminished the creativity by limiting the collaboration. So... no, I don't think that applies here at all.

    The author,Peter Bossaerts, of the free market study linked in this article, has never left academia per his CV

    That's a rather odd statement. You don't criticize the actual methodology, but you criticize his background?

    And also remember that while something may be patented, if it is not produced within a short time frame, then it is not defendable. The system does not let you just sit on the idea, you have to follow through and make it.

    As others have pointed out, that's just flat out wrong.

     

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  21.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 6th, 2009 @ 11:38am

    Re: Re: Re:

    This is one of the reasons why I think the study by Mr. Bossaerts is not only simplistic, as Mike concedes, but not even on target. My biggest issue with this study is that it does not confront the issue of how one is to profit from one's invention in reality

    I would disagree with that. The study does replicate that by proxy, in terms of the reward system. it basically shows what happens when you have a winner-take-all monopoly vs. one where multiple players get rewarded. As a proxy I think it's pretty good.

    I agree that more studies could help do more with it, but I disagree that it doesn't address the reward aspect. It does a rather creative job of doing so.

     

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  22.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 6th, 2009 @ 11:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Another perspective

    PATENTS ARE PROPERTY

    You keep saying it as if it's a magical incantation and if you repeat it enough someone will believe it.

    But that doesn't make it so.

    Patents are a gov't granted monopoly. That's all.

     

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  23.  
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    Willton, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another perspective

    Yes, but then, aside from the Real piece of parchment it's written on, the US Code is just a concept too, isn't it?

    No, the US Code is more than "just" a concept; it's the law. While the U.S. Code is indeed not tangible, it is not just a concept; it is a set of enforceable rules by which we govern ourselves.

    Likewise, while a patent is not tangible, that does not lessen its identity as property. Property is a legal concept that need not exist in tangible form. So patents are indeed more than "just" a concept; they are vehicles that convey ownership to certain rights, aka property.

     

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  24.  
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    Willton, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Another perspective

    Patents are a gov't granted monopoly. That's all.

    So are deeds to land. That does not lessen the land's identity as real property.

     

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  25.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 6th, 2009 @ 11:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another perspective

    So are deeds to land. That does not lessen the land's identity as real property.

    Not true at all, but nice try. You can exclude others from real property and limit their access to it via physical means. The same is not true of a patent. The concept of property predates the concept of gov't granted monopolies... so... nope. Wrong again.

     

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  26.  
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    :Lobo Santo, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another perspective

    First, you've restated exactly what I said:

    (To quote myself)"The fools who'll kill for a concept; especially those who cannot stand their precious ideas being disproved."

    Second: "Property is a legal concept" ?! What is that shit? Property is something real, aka tangible, aka 'I can see it, touch it, discern it's actual location.' Quit mixing mangoes and carburetors bro.

     

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  27.  
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    Esahc (profile), Mar 6th, 2009 @ 11:59am

    Re: Re:

    Like a Patent troll?

     

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  28.  
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    angry dude, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 12:08pm

    f****** punks everywhere

    I need a beer
    reading this shitty blog makes any normal person pull the remaining hair on his ass

     

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  29.  
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    :Lobo Santo, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another perspective

    You've got your concepts confused; try to follow along:

    LAND is property. In some places, land can have great relative value.

    A "Deed to Land" is a piece of paper which describes your property. The value of the paper? Maybe $0.02--after all, it has been used.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 12:14pm

    Re: f****** punks everywhere

    You're the last "normal" person alive, the rest of us are crazy--which makes you crazy and us sane.

    Just remember, you're as sane as the rest of the imaginary characters: Luke Skywalker, Jesus, Zeus, Perry Mason, Batman, Chuck Norris, or any of the others. ; )

     

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  31.  
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    angry dude, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another perspective

    Your mommy is calling you

    you are not allowed to leave kiddie table to blog on the internet
    or your little arse will be sorry

     

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  32.  
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    :Lobo Santo, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another perspective

    Be quiet or I'll tell her about your kiddie porn.

     

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  33.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Mar 6th, 2009 @ 12:18pm

    Heh

    I feel like whenever Angry Dude posts, we need to put up a sign that says 'Please do not feed the trolls'.
    His arguments don't even start off nicely or with evidence. Anybody who goes straight to deriding others and yelling should be ignored.

    Although I do not believe in blocking people to stomp out discussion, he sometimes makes me second guess that belief.

     

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  34.  
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    angry dude, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another perspective

    "kiddie porn" ??

    Sounds like a good name for this blog

    Porn, that is all it is

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Heh

    In the case of a.d., blocking would make no difference, since he contributes nothing of substance to the discussion.

    Plus, he would still be an asshole.

     

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  36.  
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    Igor, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 1:49pm

    Re: Re: Another perspective

    > Having one company spend millions to develop
    > something that is then given to rest of the world
    > for free just does not work
    >
    > Actually, there's a ton of evidence that it *does* work.
    > There are a variety of reasons for this.

    Mike, you are missing the point of patents. Without patents, the companies would still innovate. But they would sure keep their inventions secret (ie. make them "trade secrets"). So, unless one could reverse-engineer something (and companies would go to enormous efforts to make that difficult), no one would learn about the inventions, and our pace of innovation in the economy would slow down a lot (new inventions are often based/inspired by old inventions).

    There is a large economic cost to a society where no one shares their ideas with others (even if others than cannot in turn make money directly by using the learned ideas). What is needed is to make sure that only truly NON-OBVIOUS things get patented.

     

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  37.  
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    Willton, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 2:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another perspective

    Not true at all, but nice try. You can exclude others from real property and limit their access to it via physical means. The same is not true of a patent. The concept of property predates the concept of gov't granted monopolies... so... nope. Wrong again.

    That is a distinction without a difference. The legal effect is still the same: someone is excluding others from enjoying the use of something to which legal property rights are attached. Property is a legal term that does not have to be tied to a tangible thing in order for its definition to be satisfied.

     

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  38.  
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    Willton, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another perspective

    Second: "Property is a legal concept" ?! What is that shit? Property is something real, aka tangible, aka 'I can see it, touch it, discern it's actual location.' Quit mixing mangoes and carburetors bro.

    Look up the word "property" in the dictionary. You'll see that I am right. Just because something is tangible does not mean it must be someone's property, and likewise, just because something is property does not mean that it must be tangible.

     

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  39.  
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    Willton, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 2:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another perspective

    You've got your concepts confused; try to follow along:

    LAND is property. In some places, land can have great relative value.

    A "Deed to Land" is a piece of paper which describes your property. The value of the paper? Maybe $0.02--after all, it has been used.


    In every state in the union, the deed is what conveys those property rights to the land. Without that, you have to resort to physical means to keep people off said land. Land is not property unless the government allows it to be.

     

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  40.  
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    Weird Harold, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 3:21pm

    I am getting a real socialistic vibe on this article.

    One of the things that copyright / trademark / patent does is set up a system by which innovators are rewarded and duplicators are not. Without a reward, there is less desire for innovation, and more of "just getting by". Innovation often requires capital investment, time investments, major risk by the inventor.

    Without it, large companies would not have departments for coming up with new ideas, rather they would have spies to check what other companies are doing and exactly duplicate their products. Why spend the money to innovate when you can get a huge piece of the pie without spending any more or time?

    Risk should equal reward, it shouldn't be a punishment.

    Once again, sorry Mike, but I see you pushing an agenda here without considering the true larger scale implications. This all really reads like an invitation to live in a business commune where we all share means and sing Kumbaya.

     

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  41.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 6th, 2009 @ 3:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Another perspective

    Mike, you are missing the point of patents. Without patents, the companies would still innovate. But they would sure keep their inventions secret (ie. make them "trade secrets").

    Not true, actually. This is a huge myth. If they COULD keep them as a trade secret they WOULD ALREADY. Keeping it as a trade secret is seen as more valuable than patenting it. The only reason to patent it is because you KNOW that it can't last as a trade secret.

    So, unless one could reverse-engineer something (and companies would go to enormous efforts to make that difficult), no one would learn about the inventions, and our pace of innovation in the economy would slow down a lot (new inventions are often based/inspired by old inventions).

    That goes against all of the historical evidence. Recent areas where there have been no or weak patent protections have shown FASTER rates of innovation. So, this is just wrong.

    There is a large economic cost to a society where no one shares their ideas with others (even if others than cannot in turn make money directly by using the learned ideas)

    You assume, incorrectly, that the ideas wouldn't get shared.

    Patents are not about sharing ideas at all. Very few people use patents to get ideas.

     

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  42.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 6th, 2009 @ 3:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another perspective

    That is a distinction without a difference

    Uh, Willton, that's the ENTIRE difference. You and I have disagreed before, but if you honestly can't tell the difference between property and a monopoly on a concept... uh... then man I feel bad for your legal clients.

     

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  43.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 6th, 2009 @ 3:37pm

    Re:

    One of the things that copyright / trademark / patent does is set up a system by which innovators are rewarded and duplicators are not. Without a reward, there is less desire for innovation, and more of "just getting by". Innovation often requires capital investment, time investments, major risk by the inventor.

    Uh, no. That's the theory, not the fact. The evidence shows that there is just as much, if not more innovation in societies without those laws... so, all your theory is wrong. But, you know, you're Weird Harold who has so far shown himself totally ignorant of anything factual.

    Without it, large companies would not have departments for coming up with new ideas, rather they would have spies to check what other companies are doing and exactly duplicate their products. Why spend the money to innovate when you can get a huge piece of the pie without spending any more or time?

    Again, if that actually happened, you'd have a point. Except it didn't. Why? Because actual competition drives innovation. Just duplicating a product gets you nowhere. You need to be better. So the more competition, the MORE INNOVATION because everyone keeps trying to one-up each other. The pace of innovation is FASTER in societies without patents.

    Once again, sorry Mike, but I see you pushing an agenda here without considering the true larger scale implications.

    You might try reading some of the research, but since you have been displaying near total ignorance in the comments for the past week or so, why does it not surprise me to find you totally ignorant once again.

     

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  44.  
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    Weird Harold, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 4:51pm

    Mike, you can stack up all the one sided studies that you want, nobody has shown that the alternatives are really any better. There is some supposition of short term gain (ie, everyone can make their own) but nobody has shown how it has a long term effect on the economy and business investment in development of new products and ideas.

    Duplication of a product, without any other development, puts you on level ground with the people who spent all the time and money to generate the original idea, with none of the sunk costs. So you can either sell the same thing cheaper (because you don't have to recoup the development) or sell it for the same price and make significantly more money. Add a single winky blinky whatever to it, and you could dominate the market, leaving the original creator with nothing to show for his efforts.

    I read the attached article. It was amusing, but near meaningless because it didn't reflect anything in the real world. Development in and of itself isn't an end, but a start. We also rarely have a large group of companies are working on exactly the same product with only one winner and no other choices (see HD DVD and Blu-Ray, example). There is rarely ever exactly and only one winner, at least not at the outset.

    By eliminating any reward for the developers, you remove the financial motivation for companies to support development or even to pay for developed products. They just have to look at the product and make a copy, done deal. Then who wants to bother developing at all?

    Don't tear stuff down without a viable replacement. It just leads to the economic version of urban blight.

     

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  45.  
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    Willton, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 5:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another perspective

    Uh, Willton, that's the ENTIRE difference. You and I have disagreed before, but if you honestly can't tell the difference between property and a monopoly on a concept... uh... then man I feel bad for your legal clients.

    First of all, a patent is not a legal monopoly on a concept. It is a legal monopoly (subject to many restrictions) on an invention that has been reduced to practice.

    Secondly, a patent conveys a set of rights to an inventor that he may assert against others. By definition, that is property.

    A person who owns property in a piece of land owns a bundle of rights that he may assert against others with respect to that piece of land: he has the right to use it, the right to exclude others from using it, the right to convey possession of title in it, the right to license use of it, the right to waste it, and the right to abandon it, among other property rights. The same goes for someone who owns a piece of personalty, like a computer. In essence, a person who owns that piece of property has a legal monopoly over that specific piece of property, allowing no one else to use it if he so chooses.

    Patents and copyrights have fewer rights tied to the things that they protect than property in realty or personalty do, but that does not change their identities as pieces of property. What makes something property is not the identity of the thing; it is the bundle of rights that are tied thereto.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 5:08pm

    Re: Re:

    Just duplicating a product gets you nowhere. You need to be better.

    In so many areas one only needs to copy and sell it for much less to be better.

     

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  47.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 6th, 2009 @ 5:22pm

    Re:

    Mike, you can stack up all the one sided studies that you want, nobody has shown that the alternatives are really any better

    Um. Other than reality? And history?

    Apparently you live in a reality free zone. Those studies aren't "one-sided studies." They're looking at actual data. Apparently you're unfamiliar with such things.

    Duplication of a product, without any other development, puts you on level ground with the people who spent all the time and money to generate the original idea, with none of the sunk costs. So you can either sell the same thing cheaper (because you don't have to recoup the development) or sell it for the same price and make significantly more money. Add a single winky blinky whatever to it, and you could dominate the market, leaving the original creator with nothing to show for his efforts.

    Assumes INCORRECTLY that it's easy to just copy. Assumes INCORRECTLY that once you copy and are late to the market you can sell it better than the original company. Assumes INCORRECTLY that the original company hasn't already moved on and made a better product.

    You really ought to stop assuming.

    By eliminating any reward for the developers, you remove the financial motivation for companies to support development or even to pay for developed products. They just have to look at the product and make a copy, done deal. Then who wants to bother developing at all?

    Uh, you didn't eliminate any reward. The reward is still in the marketplace, and as HISTORY has shown time and time again, it DOES NOT remove the financial motivation at all, because the market for the product still exists.

    But, you clearly do not live in a reality based world.

    Don't tear stuff down without a viable replacement. It just leads to the economic version of urban blight.

    The viable replacement is there. It's called selling products.

    Harold (or Alex or whatever your real name might be), by now we've displayed about 50 different times that you don't know what you're talking about. Is it really enjoyable to spend your time trolling the internet as an ignorant moron?

     

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  48.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 6th, 2009 @ 5:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another perspective

    First of all, a patent is not a legal monopoly on a concept. It is a legal monopoly (subject to many restrictions) on an invention that has been reduced to practice.

    Ok, the patent lawyers keep making this claim, but I'm going to call bullshit on this. That's not what happens in practice at all. Patents are covering "concepts" all the time. To deny that is to deny reality -- which I know is a popular pasttime among some of you patent system defenders, but let's just face facts. Patents are used to cover "concepts" all the time.

    I'd rather we called things as they are rather than pretended to beat around the bush with false definitions.

    Secondly, a patent conveys a set of rights to an inventor that he may assert against others. By definition, that is property.

    To a patent lawyer perhaps. But not to anyone with common sense.

     

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  49.  
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    Willton, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 5:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another perspective

    Ok, the patent lawyers keep making this claim, but I'm going to call bullshit on this. That's not what happens in practice at all. Patents are covering "concepts" all the time. To deny that is to deny reality -- which I know is a popular pasttime among some of you patent system defenders, but let's just face facts. Patents are used to cover "concepts" all the time.

    Perhaps that is how they are used, but that does not mean that is what they actually protect. If I were to have a patent on a mousetrap, that does not mean that I own the rights to use all mousetraps, even though I could present a fiction that says I do in order to shake down other mousetrap users. Edison had a patent on an incandescent lightbulb, but that does not mean that he owned a patent on all incandescent lightbulbs. What patents represent and how they are used are not necessarily congruent, unfortunately.

    I'd rather we called things as they are rather than pretended to beat around the bush with false definitions.

    Well then you better stop setting up false definitions of what is and is not property. Property does not depend on tangibility. Any stock trader knows that.

    To a patent lawyer perhaps. But not to anyone with common sense.

    Then perhaps you should strive to obtain more than just common sense.

     

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  50.  
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    Weird Harold, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 7:21pm

    Re: Re:

    Mike,

    If I can come to the market a few weeks late (on a product that will sell for years) with a duplicate product and charge a lower price, damn straight I am on it. Most good products take months and years to actually develop from scratch, and in many cases hours to duplicate. I suggest you take a trip to China one day and see how quickly things can be turned out. Safe to say without patent / copyright style protections, the Chinese would be killing the US marketplace even worse than they already are.

    So what incentive would a Nike or a Gucci or any other company have to develop the next product, knowing the market will be flooded with duplicate products? It's already an issue at this point on the black market, remove the "black" part of that market and allow copyrights, patents, and trademarks to be openly abused and you have a wide open field of crap products flooding in with no hope of control. Remember, Patent, copyright, and trademarks and the three legs of the economic chair that makes it possible for companies to invest, develop, and market their products. Kick any one of those legs out, and the whole things falls.

    I suggest you spend some time in China (not the westernized cities, go inland for a while). They can duplicate anything and sell it for 90% less than Americans can. They don't come to the US market because they can't get around the patents and trademarks. If those protections are tossed, well, I suggest you learn to speak mandarin and learn to enjoy eating rice, because they will run pretty much everyone out of business.

    "Selling stuff" isn't a viable replacement - because you haven't shown where the stuff will come from in the first place. Nobody will invest in development without a chance at a return.

    As for my name, well, I would think that a respected webmaster and business owner would be smart enough NOT to reveal private information provided. You may want to consider a quick edit, really.

     

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  51.  
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    Weird Harold, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 7:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, all his study shows is what happens when you have a winner take all game, where the prize isn't particularly large and there is no incentive for long term success.

    It also assumes that there is only one total goal in the world, which is simplistic and fails to address how various companies can come to various solutions to similar problems. Number of items in a bag is nice, example, but perhaps someone woudl be developing a more flexible bag material, which another is looking at ways to remove space from the items through compression or dehydration.

    By setting something up with a single winner, it in no way duplicates anything except basic game play. Using a study like this as the basis of "let's get rid of the whole patent and copyright system" is laughable.

    BTW, how much do you get paid to appear at conferences and spout off this nonsense?

     

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  52.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 6th, 2009 @ 7:46pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    So what incentive would a Nike or a Gucci or any other company have to develop the next product, knowing the market will be flooded with duplicate products?

    Wow, did you ever pick a *bad* example. Gucci and Nike are in the clothing design business... and there have been NUMEROUS studies that have shown that piracy in the fashion industry actually has INCREASED the value for the big brand name designers like (oops) Gucci and Nike.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20070405/194853.shtml
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20 070824/012422.shtml

    It's like shooting fish in a barrel with you. You are so sure you're right when all of the evidence shows you're wrong.

    Remember, Patent, copyright, and trademarks and the three legs of the economic chair that makes it possible for companies to invest, develop, and market their products. Kick any one of those legs out, and the whole things falls.

    Well, if you ever bothered to read (to date you've shown no inclination to do so), you'd know that trademark is entirely different than patents or copyrights. Patents and copyrights are designed to create a monopoly. Trademarks are about consumer protection. I have no problem with trademarks for the sake of consumer protection (so you don't think that Bob's soda is actually Coca-Cola), but I do have a problem when ignorant folks seem to think it's also about monopoly protection.

     

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  53.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 6th, 2009 @ 7:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    By setting something up with a single winner, it in no way duplicates anything except basic game play. Using a study like this as the basis of "let's get rid of the whole patent and copyright system" is laughable.

    Well, then good thing I'm NOT using this as the basis. But you combine this with about 50 other studies and you might begin to see something useful...

     

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  54.  
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    angry dude, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 8:22pm

    Re:

    "Once again, sorry Mike, but I see you pushing an agenda here without considering the true larger scale implications"

    Don't be sorry, dude

    Mikey is a shill and corporate stooge posing as independent blogger

     

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  55.  
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    Willton, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 11:24pm

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

    Well, then good thing I'm NOT using this as the basis. But you combine this with about 50 other studies and you might begin to see something useful...

    If so, then it is due to the presence of those 50 other studies. This one adds nothing substantive to the conversation.

     

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  56.  
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    Willton, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 11:27pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Just duplicating a product gets you nowhere. You need to be better."

    In so many areas one only needs to copy and sell it for much less to be better.


    Indeed. Mike has apparently never heard of competing on price.

     

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  57.  
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    Azrael, Mar 7th, 2009 @ 12:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another perspective

    Please remember that no smart guy is smart enough to convince an idiot that's an idiot and stop arguing with the idiot, it's useless.

     

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  58.  
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    Azrael, Mar 7th, 2009 @ 12:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another perspective

    Brain rot is bad for you.

     

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  59.  
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    Azrael, Mar 7th, 2009 @ 12:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If a product can be manufactured and sold for a much smaller price then the original manufacuturers were greedy bastards and deserve to be ripped off.

     

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  60.  
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    Weird Harold, Mar 7th, 2009 @ 5:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Mike, pointing at a couple of pages on your own site that point to very narrowly selected opinion pieced is proof of anything, except perhaps your desire to create a reality that doesn't exist. So the only thing shot here is your own foot.

    We aren't talking piracy here, we are talking duplicate products sold side by side in the same stores, Gucci at $500 and the knockoff at $80. Remember, if you don't give the companies the rights to control their designs, their name, etc, then there is nothing stopping stores from selling it.

    What do you think the value of a Nike shoe is if you can buy the chinese knockoffs in WalMart for 19.95?

    Trademarks, copyrights, and patents are three legs of the same stool in the end. They allow companies to create products, brand them appropriately, and not have to compete with people stealing their intellectual property. If you take away one, the other two are meaningless in the end, because they won't get used. Without patent and copyright, brands are meaningless, because the companies will not develop new products. Why bother, when your work can be ripped off 2 minutes after you hit the market, and brought back to the market minus the logo a few weeks later and 25% of the price?

    It's one of the problems of theoretical fantasy lands, they never seem to line up with reality. It is incredibly easy to clamber to tear it all down, but you have to build something functional in it's place. So far I am not seeing any functional replacements for what you are trying to get rid of.

     

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  61.  
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    Gene Cavanaugh, Mar 7th, 2009 @ 3:42pm

    Patenting again

    Two comments:
    1. Pegging again - it's as if, when someone runs over a child, we should ban cars!!
    2. AS THEY PRESENTLY EXIST; patents tend to be bad - in fact, I would argue they are putting us behind the rest of the world in innovation, and will eventually create a MAJOR problem for us - as they could be implemented, they are very useful, and "promote the arts and sciences" as the founders felt they would.
    WE AREN'T THERE YET; but we could be with the right changes.

     

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  62.  
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    angry dude, Mar 7th, 2009 @ 9:06pm

    Re: Patenting again

    Dude, just get lost
    You are not a patent attorney
    Why are you lying about your credentials ?
    You have none

     

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  63.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2009 @ 10:09pm

    Re: Re: Patenting again

    I believe you are quite likely correct, unless, of course, the USPTO register concerning persons admitted to practice before the USPTO is erroneous.

    BTW, your comments almost invariably make me laugh and I find them entertaining (in a good way).

    Apparently this site is willing to tolerate them with the webmasters only rarely making comments. It seems that I, on the other hand, provoke many comments by the webmasters, likely because I challenge the never-ending stream about of invective concerning what the law is all about that is in many, if not most, instances plainly wrong.

    Sadly, far too many who comment on webmaster articles are uninformed about the law and only too willing to accept such articles at face value...what strike me as almost Pavlovian responses.

     

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  64.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 8th, 2009 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If you take away one, the other two are meaningless in the end, because they won't get used.

    Once again, history says otherwise. You do know that patents and copyrights existed for many years prior to patents, right? And you do know that copyrights were greatly limited for a while, and the original plan in the US was mainly focused on patents?

    Of course not! You're Weird Harold where history or facts mean nothing compared to the world you think exists.

    Why bother, when your work can be ripped off 2 minutes after you hit the market, and brought back to the market minus the logo a few weeks later and 25% of the price?

    You keep saying that despite TONS of evidence that doesn't happen. Do you honestly think that continually repeating something that isn't supported by the evidence, that it will magically become true?


    It's one of the problems of theoretical fantasy lands, they never seem to line up with reality.


    Um, dude, so far you are the only one talking "theoretical fantasy lands." We're talking REAL evidence, which shows that the disaster you keep claiming would happen... DOES NOT HAPPEN. In fact, the opposite does. Remove the monopolies and MORE COMPETITION and GREATER INNOVATION and GREATER CREATIVITY happen. That's what the evidence shows.

    We're all waiting for you to catch up to reality. Somehow I doubt it will happen any time soon however.

     

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  65.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 8th, 2009 @ 11:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Patenting again

    Apparently this site is willing to tolerate them with the webmasters only rarely making comments. It seems that I, on the other hand, provoke many comments by the webmasters, likely because I challenge the never-ending stream about of invective concerning what the law is all about that is in many, if not most, instances plainly wrong.

    What does "tolerate" mean? We respond to angry dude often enough -- but he never seems to have any substance, just insults. It's odd that you think that's amusing. Quite telling about you, honestly. Given your inclination for insulting others I guess it's no surprise.

    Anyway, it's actually quite rare that you've shown us to be wrong. At times you have disagreed with an interpretation -- while plenty of patent attorneys we deal with have agreed that our interpretation was correct over yours. Good thing those folks have reputations in the space. So far as I can tell, no one's heard of you.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2009 @ 12:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Patenting again

    Anyway, it's actually quite rare that you've shown us to be wrong. At times you have disagreed with an interpretation -- while plenty of patent attorneys we deal with have agreed that our interpretation was correct over yours. Good thing those folks have reputations in the space. So far as I can tell, no one's heard of you.

    I presume those attorneys are among the group with which you talked about Bilski, and who you related indicated to you that Bilski would likely have little impact on patents directed to software. I believe you used the word "loophole" in relation to what you were told, whereas I noted that "eyelet" was much more appropriate. The BPAI seems at this time to have adopted "eyelet" as its standard. Of course, there are many others who share my view, including some intimately involved with such subject matter who view Bilski, unless overturned by the USSC, as being akin to a death knell for "software" patents.

    As for who within your sphere has heard about me (a totally irrelevant matter), I daresay I have likely never heard about them since it is doubtful I have ever worked with them. This is not at all unusual since I happen to work on the East Coast and not in the SF Bay area. Moreover, I am not prone to publishing articles, as is true of the overwhelming majority of professionals who practice in this area of the law.

    If, as you state, it is rare that I have shown you to be wrong concerning a matter of law, then it is a fairly safe bet you have read my comments through a very narrow and highly selective filter. For example, your constant refrain that "progress" impliedly embodies a constitutional imperative of "economic progress" is plainly wrong. Try that argument with the USSC and see how far you get.


    BTW, my use of the word "tolerate" was to signify that by and large those of you at techdirt pay AD no heed. Commenters, on the other hand, are quite the opposite.

     

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  67.  
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    Mike (profile), Mar 8th, 2009 @ 1:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Patenting again

    I presume those attorneys are among the group with which you talked about Bilski, and who you related indicated to you that Bilski would likely have little impact on patents directed to software

    Uh, no way. That was a conference call held by a bunch of folks on your side of the fence...

    For example, your constant refrain that "progress" impliedly embodies a constitutional imperative of "economic progress" is plainly wrong. Try that argument with the USSC and see how far you get.

    I think that's the only common sense reading of it. You have yet to show why it makes sense otherwise... And, trust me, there are plenty of lawyers who agree with me on this one.

    Either way, that's not a point of law, but a point of a *reasonable* understanding of what the Constitution intended.

    If you honestly think that only lawyers can read the constitution, you are even more far gone than you have indicated in the past.


    BTW, my use of the word "tolerate" was to signify that by and large those of you at techdirt pay AD no heed. Commenters, on the other hand, are quite the opposite.


    I'm curious what "heed" we should pay him when he has never added anything substantial to the conversation other than throwing out an insult. He's also an admitted liar, who claimed in the past to have many patents, then that he had just received his first, and then later that he never actually had that patent. He regularly accuses me of shilling for companies, despite the fact I disagree with the companies he names on nearly everything.

    What heed should we pay him? I'm sorry, but anyone who thinks AD is worth paying attention to has to be either drunk or stupid. I'm not just saying that. There's no way anyone could read what he posts here and think that he has anything worth adding. We've asked him in the past to provide ANYTHING to back up one of his statements and his response was that I should shove my head up my ass.

    This is who you take your lessons from? Yikes.

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Mar 8th, 2009 @ 3:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Patenting again

    ha-ha-ha-ha-ah......

    Mikey takes a whole passage to rationalize his reaction to my shitty comments

    Relax, dude

    I just take 3 min shitting breaks on your blog

    That is about the only use of techdirt.com, quite frankly

    BTW, can you do us all a favor and become a professional organ donor ?

    This way you could at least contribute something useful to society

    This blog of yours just does not qualify as a useful contribution

    (Of course, I understand that you make your living by shilling for your corporate clients. But that's your choice. Everybody has to make a living)

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2009 @ 5:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Patenting again

    :-)

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2009 @ 9:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Patenting again

    Some time ago we engaged in an exchange about the meaning of the phrase "promote the progress...of science" at the time the first copyright law was enacted in 1790, with my point being that the fundamental underpinning of copyright law as originally enacted was for the encouragement of learning. The below quote reiterates my earlier comments, albeit that I did not see the need to take matters back to the founding of copyright law since it was clear we were earlier talking about copyright law at its inception

    For example, your constant refrain that "progress" impliedly embodies a constitutional imperative of "economic progress" is plainly wrong. Try that argument with the USSC and see how far you get.

    Your response above challenges that position by stating:

    I think that's the only common sense reading of it. You have yet to show why it makes sense otherwise... And, trust me, there are plenty of lawyers who agree with me on this one.

    While I can easily point to many journal articles examining the genesis of the phrase as it appears in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8, I direct your attention to one such article that elaborates on the meaning of the various terms as used in the 1700's. I can be found at:

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=337182

    I will, of course, readily concur that with time the original meaning has been expanded into a contemporary term denoting not only with the advancement of learning, but also the promotion of original works of authorship. We now have a duality where the two concepts co-exist.

    The Jeffersonian view concerned itself with the dissemination of materials that contributed to the education of the public at large, a useage of the term "science" consistent with how the term was employed at the time the Constitution was enacted. In fact, even the title of the original copyright act reflects this useage, not to mention that the act in large measure derived from the Statute of Anne that employed virtually the same title.

    If, as you state, many lawyers agree with your interpretation of what the original act was all about, then all I can say at this point is that they should study the history of US copyright law at the time it was enacted into law.

    Obviously, economic benefits are likely realized by the broad dissemination of information contributing to learning and education, but such information also provides the important benefit of enlightenment that does is not necessarily the functional equivalent of economic benefits. Enriching the mind is an important benefit as well, as noted above having been the motivating factor for the enactment of our original copyright law.

     

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  71.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2009 @ 7:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Patenting again

    BTW, my above comment is not intended to be a "see, I am right and you are not" comment. It is intended to note that my reading of journal articles over many years has informed me that "learning" was the lichpin of our original copyright law. Of course, it is possible that the authors of these articles may have overlooked other relevant information that may place their conclusions in a somewhat different light. Thus, I am always interested to learn about any other journal articles that present a different approach towards studying the issue.

    I urge that it be read with the above understanding.

     

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  72.  
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    moelarry, Mar 9th, 2009 @ 8:38am

    math

    what country over the last 100 years has had the strongest patent rights? The US.

    what country over the last 100 years has led the world industrially? The US.

    do the math.

     

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  73.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Mar 9th, 2009 @ 9:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Patenting again

    It is intended to note that my reading of journal articles over many years has informed me that "learning" was the lichpin of our original copyright law.

    I'm reading an interesting book right now (manuscript -- the book isn't pubbed yet) that should be of interest to you... will be writing a review soon...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Mar 9th, 2009 @ 9:22am

    Re: math

    what country over the last 100 years has had the strongest patent rights? The US.

    what country over the last 100 years has led the world industrially? The US.

    do the math.


    Apparently you failed math (or at least statistics).

    Say it with me: correlation does not mean causation.

    Look at the actual evidence, learn some math, learn some stats, learn some economics. Then you'll know why you are wrong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Mar 9th, 2009 @ 9:27am

    Re: math

    Mikey doesn't know math

    He is a PR hack

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2009 @ 9:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Patenting again

    I will be glad to read it as well. Perhaps contrary to perception, I am always open to new views that may serve as educational tools.

    Please do bear in mind that my comments are directed to my understanding of the genesis of copyright law in the US, and not to their current state. As I have noted before, it is my opinion that patent law has stayed closer to its constitutional roots than is the case with copyright law.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    identicon
    mkam, Mar 9th, 2009 @ 10:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What do you think the value of a Nike shoe is if you can buy the chinese knockoffs in WalMart for 19.95?

    Have you ever been to Walmart and seen the 4 stripe knockoff Adidas shoes? They are on the market right now in exactly the same way that you say they are not. You know what, it only takes you one time of buying the knockoffs before you learn why they are $19.95, and you go back to buying a $40 pair of shoes, with some quality construction.

    Your example doesn't make since and isn't even close to reality.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    identicon
    another mike, Mar 9th, 2009 @ 2:14pm

    first provider my foot

    "first provider gets a monopoly"?! When has that ever happened? The first provider releases an innovative new product and gets immediately sued by some patent troll.

    Here's my idea for patent reform. If you're not making a product based off your patent, you have no grounds to sue when someone comes to market with something you think is covered by your patent. If you claim patent infringement, your patent gets a mandatory review and the default action is 'invalidate'. You have to have sold unit one on open market to claim monetary damages from infringement.

    I know it'll never get adopted; much too logical.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    identicon
    Willton, Mar 9th, 2009 @ 3:06pm

    Re: first provider my foot

    Here's my idea for patent reform. If you're not making a product based off your patent, you have no grounds to sue when someone comes to market with something you think is covered by your patent. If you claim patent infringement, your patent gets a mandatory review and the default action is 'invalidate'. You have to have sold unit one on open market to claim monetary damages from infringement.

    I know it'll never get adopted; much too logical.


    No, it will never get adopted because it's much too expensive and would discourage the Patent Office from doing a good job in examining patents in the first place. If I were an examiner, why would I bother making a good faith effort in determining the validity of a patent application if after a patent issues, I get the legal equivalent of a "no confidence" vote before anyone sees my work? Your idea for patent reform is administratively untenable and would encourage poor examination at the outset.

    Your "reform" also prejudices small entity inventors who do not have the means of making a product for sale that corresponds to the patent. Non-profit organizations invent plenty of things, but under your system, they would never be able to assert patent rights against anyone because they do not produce items for sale. And who would purchase a license from these people if they knew that they would never be liable for infringement if they created a product for sale that corresponded to a patent owned by a non-profit organization? Your proposed reform would eviscerate the bargaining power of small entities.

    Your proposed reform is not logical at all; it's overly emotional.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    identicon
    The Real Mike, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 1:17pm

    Masnick, it's clear you have no grasp of property law. You'll notice that job description such as IP attorney has that one particular word - attorney. That means that these people went to law school and have an understanding of property law. So just let it alone.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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