When Even Hilarious Web Comic Artists Are Mocking The Insanity Of The Patent System...

from the commentary-of-the-day dept

... isn't it about time that we recognize the patent system is really, really broken? Courtesy of the always awesome Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (and my friend Tom who sent this over), I present to you, yet another example of "the patent system" being a punchline:
Also, I splork we had more common sense around the patent system (and, since we're splorking, copyright and trademark as well).


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Sneeje (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 4:47pm

    To this idea I say...

    Splunge!

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 6:37pm

    Re: To this idea I say...

    FOR THE CHILDREN!

     

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

  3.  
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    arcan, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 7:04pm

    Re: Re: To this idea I say...

    TERRORISM

     

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  4.  
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    monkyyy, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 7:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: To this idea I say...

    THE AMERICAN SPIRIT

     

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  5.  
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    Shane C (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 7:32pm

    Don't forget!

    Don't forget the after/hidden panel! :)
    http://www.smbc-comics.com/comics/20120920after.gif

     

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  6.  
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    The eejit (profile), Sep 21st, 2012 @ 10:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: To this idea I say...

    CHILDREN, TERRORISM AND THE AMERICAN SPIRIT!

    introducing...

    THE NEW AVENGERS!

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    S. T. Stone, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 10:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: To this idea I say...

    AMERICA, FUCK YEAH

     

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  8.  
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    S. T. Stone, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 10:44pm

    Re: Don't forget!

    I think Apple will need an ice pack for that second-degree burn.

     

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  9.  
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    Rekrul, Sep 21st, 2012 @ 11:52pm

    Call me petty, but I'm really hoping that Google patented some key piece of their maps system, and that they now sue Apple over their native maps app. After all, Apple did copy them...

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2012 @ 2:58am

    amen to that!!

     

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  11.  
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    Manok (profile), Sep 22nd, 2012 @ 6:05am

    But we HAVE common sense around the patent system. It's only that common sense is not important. Big business, big money, and the politicians being able to have another 4-year run is and will always be the driving force.

     

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  12. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    staff, Sep 22nd, 2012 @ 7:56am

    more dissembling by Masnick

    The Constitution says “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”. Therefore, if an invention is useful and promotes science, it should be patentable. It’s that simple.

    In Federalist No. 43, James Madison wrote regarding constitutional rights of inventors, "The utility of the clause will scarcely be questioned. The copyright of authors has been solemnly adjudged, in Great Britain, to be a right of common law. The right to useful inventions seems with equal reason to belong to the inventors. The public good fully coincides in both cases with the claims of the individuals."

    Have you ever filed, or prosecuted a patent application? Have you ever invented anything, or had to fight off large infringers who ripped you off and thumbed their noses at you saying "so sue us"? All you and teh comic know about patents is you don't have any.

    Masnick and his monkeys have an unreported conflict of interest-
    https://www.insightcommunity.com/cases.php?n=10&pg=1

    They sell blog filler and "insights" to major corporations including MS, HP, IBM etc. who just happen to be some of the world’s most frequent patent suit defendants. Obviously, he has failed to report his conflicts as any reputable reporter would. But then Masnick and his monkeys are not reporters. They are patent system saboteurs receiving funding from huge corporate infringers. They cannot be trusted and have no credibility.

    http://truereform.piausa.org/default.html#pt.

     

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  13.  
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    Pixelation, Sep 22nd, 2012 @ 8:37am

    Re: more dissembling by Masnick

    Dude, you should write comics.

     

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  14.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Sep 22nd, 2012 @ 8:54am

    Funny thing...

    About patents and copyright...

    Is that it's a CONTRACT with the people.

    We act in good faith with said contract...

    Until it gets abused.

    Then, all bets are off.

    Guess what?

    When Congress kept extending copyright and allowed patents to become abused like they have...

    They broke the contract, because of that, people don't follow it anymore.

    And now, companies wonder why no one respects them when they wave around their contract.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2012 @ 9:09am

    Eli Whitney invents cotton gin gets patent - lawyers make lots of money.
    Eli Whitney invents way to make muskets by machine, ignores patents - Eli Whitney makes lots of money.

     

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  16.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Sep 22nd, 2012 @ 10:45am

    Re: more dissembling by Masnick

    Have you ever filed, or prosecuted a patent application? Have you ever invented anything, or had to fight off large infringers who ripped you off and thumbed their noses at you saying "so sue us"?


    Yes on both counts. So?

     

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  17.  
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    Keroberos (profile), Sep 22nd, 2012 @ 11:48am

    Re: more dissembling by Masnick

    "Masnick and his monkeys" have never argued against the idea behind patents and copyrights. They only speak against the abuses of the system that have been occurring with alarming frequency lately. The big ones being in your own post; "To promote the Progress"--seems to me could currently be read now as "To promote the profits of a few at the expense of society" and, "by securing for limited Times". In the tech industry the current terms for patents--20 years for utility patents and 14 for design patents--might as well be an eternity. Copyright already is for the most part eternal (they'll just keep extending the terms). Add in patents for the ridiculously obvious (rounded corners anyone?), and patents granted for things that have already been done with the only change being adding "on the internet", or "with a computer" to them. Coupled with all the non-practicing entities hoarding patents and charging the true innovators ridiculous licensing fees or, just outright suing them out of business (extortion?). I don't understand how anyone could think that there isn't a problem with patents and copyright that needs to be addressed here.

     

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  18.  
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    Aaron P., Sep 22nd, 2012 @ 12:17pm

    Re: more dissembling by Masnick

    The Constitution says “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”. Therefore, if an invention is useful and promotes science, it should be patentable. It’s that simple.


    It's the act of "securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right" that needs to "promote the progress of science and useful arts", not the invention. In other words, the act of patenting the invention itself needs to justify itself by promoting innovation.

    I have to seriously question the motives of anyone defending the status quo of the patent system as it is on the basis that it is plainly dysfunctional. In your second link, the discussion about patent trolls is deceptively focused on whether or not the person who owns the patent is the original inventor - but that's not the problem with patent trolls. The problem is a combination of overly broad patents that should have never been granted in the first place, patents for which prior art exists which should have never been granted in the first place, patents for things that are obvious ("...on the internet") that should have never been granted in the first place, a court system that favors entities with enough capital to survive lengthy and costly litigation, and the entities that take advantage of all of these things together to extort actual innovators and bully them out of the marketplace entirely.

    Let me ask you, have you ever been on the wrong side of a patent dispute, having to defend an invention of your own from a patent that should have never been granted in the first place by a person whose only contribution has been to take advantage of a broken system and punish people for actually creating something, a person who has no intention of producing any product and certainly did not invent anything themselves?

    Clearly, I don't need any of the writers of TechDirt to tell me that the patent system is broken. Even if you were to discredit them completely, and I don't see that you have, the patent system would still be broken. And, of course, it's easy to attack people while enjoying the anonymity they provided for you to do so. I don't suppose you're eager to reveal your own identity or personal conflicts of interest and reveal where exactly your stake in this debate lies?

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2012 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Re: more dissembling by Masnick

    On a mobile device, is another magic phrase to get a patent

     

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  20.  
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    gnudist, Sep 22nd, 2012 @ 2:32pm

    Re: more dissembling by Masnick

    An innovation shouldn't be patentable just becuase it's innovative, it should only be paatentable if granting the patent "promotes the progress of the useful arts" as per the costitutional justification for such a system.

    A pantent on an innovation even when patenting it would only harm further innovation is a bad patent.

     

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  21.  
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    gnudist, Sep 22nd, 2012 @ 2:35pm

    Re: Re: more dissembling by Masnick

    Man, I seem to love that word.

    So to get it out of my system: PATENTS PATENTS PATENTS PATENTS PATENTS PATENTS PATENTS PATENTS PATENTS PATENTS PATENTS

    *Takes breath*


    PATENTS PATENTS PATENTS.....

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2012 @ 6:31pm

    Re: Re: more dissembling by Masnick

    "as it is on the basis that it is plainly dysfunctional. "

    nearly 8 million patents, and a few exceptional cases hit the headlines.

    Would you care to address the other 99% of patents which seem fine?

    By your definition of failure, most doctors should stop performing operations and you most certainly shouldn't drive or take a plane. Heaven forbid you use an appliance or risk crossing a street!

    It's only a failure for those who try desperately hard to concentrate on a narrow group of cases, or a narrow period of time as whole new markets are opened up and spaced staked out.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2012 @ 9:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: more dissembling by Masnick

    So it only matters if it hits the headlines?

     

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  24.  
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    techflaws (profile), Sep 22nd, 2012 @ 10:16pm

    Re: more dissembling by Masnick

    It’s that simple.

    So how does locking up ideas (that someone else came up with just as easily) promote the progress in any way?

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2012 @ 5:10am

    In wonderland...

    'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'

    'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

    'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master — that's all.'

    ...

    'When I make a word do a lot of work like that,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'I always pay it extra.'

    'Oh!' said Alice. She was too much puzzled to make any other remark.

    'Ah, you should see 'em come round me of a Saturday night,' Humpty Dumpty went on, wagging his head gravely from side to side, 'for to get their wages, you know.'

    (Alice didn't venture to ask what he paid them with; and so you see I can't tell you.)

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2012 @ 6:49am

    Re: Re: Re: more dissembling by Masnick

    I don't suppose you're eager to reveal your own identity or personal conflicts of interest and reveal where exactly your stake in this debate lies?

    Really not eager.

     

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  27.  
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    Stephan Kinsella (profile), Sep 23rd, 2012 @ 7:12am

    Re: more dissembling by Masnick

    I've prosecuted hundreds of patents, am a EE, and have been listed as inventor on a few as well. Masnick is right. You are wrong. The patent system should be abolished. It is nothing but the leftover of mercantalism and protectionism. The state granting monopoly privileges to protect favored applicants from competition has nothing to do with the free market, capitalism, or property rights; in fact it is contrary thereto.

    The fact that the Constitution authorizes Congress to grant these horrible monopoly privileges does not mean Congress must do so, nor that it is justified. The Constitution has in the past and does not authorize (or permit) lots of unjust laws and policies, like chattel slavery, tariffs, a central bank, drug laws, war, income tax, prohibition, etc.

    See also this post about Jefferson's proposal to limit IP power: http://libertarianstandard.com/2011/12/01/thomas-jeffersons-proposal-to-limit-the-length-of-patent-a nd-copyright-in-the-bill-of-rights/

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2012 @ 10:31am

    Re: Re: Re: more dissembling by Masnick

    "nearly 8 million patents, and a few exceptional cases hit the headlines."

    We've played this game before. I can come up with more examples of bad patents than you can of good patents.

    In all the years of playing this game on Techdirt and requesting that IP extremists provide examples of good patents, I can only come up with a hand full of good patents. I can come up with a plethora of bad patents.

    and please don't confuse a 'good invention' with a 'good patent'.

    Where is the patent that tells me how to build my car, cell phone, computer mouse, etc... Where is a patent that tells me anything useful at all? and provide evidence that those inventions would not progress (as quickly) without patents.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2012 @ 10:33am

    Re: more dissembling by Masnick

    "Therefore, if an invention is useful and promotes science, it should be patentable. It’s that simple. "

    As already mentioned, the patent needs to be useful and promote the sciences, not the invention. To confuse the two is retarded at best and most likely a dishonest attempt to obfuscate the issue.

     

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  30.  
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    Minimum Wage Shill, Sep 23rd, 2012 @ 1:02pm

    Pirate Mike, you still haven't told us your position on patents and copyrights. That means you're in favor of theft.

     

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  31.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 23rd, 2012 @ 6:35pm

    Re:

    Pirate Mike, you still haven't told us your position on patents and copyrights. That means you're in favor of theft.


    No need to. Average_joe has already apparently defined what my position is, and no matter how many times I tell him he's wrong, he insists that the obvious answer is I'm dishonest, not that he's wrong.

     

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  32.  
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    Rtkwe, Sep 24th, 2012 @ 7:06am

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Sep 22nd, 2012 @ 9:09am

    Except Eli Whitney never did that. He staged a demonstration to defraud the government to get more money for the cotton gin litigation.
    Source: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eli_Whitney#section_2 and class lecture

     

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


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