A way to help balance the USPTO while *ahem* preserving it's business model: create an adversarial patent system.
At present, individuals pay to file and refile and, once granted, hold the patent until it is challenged in court. Since, as has been pointed out several times before, their operating budget is predominantly (if not entirely) derived from their filing fees, the economic incentive is to encourage people to FILE AS MANY TIMES AS POSSIBLE - they make it difficult by rejecting patents, but only artificially so, as you can simply refile a modified patent with a new fee for reconsideration. After a rejection or two, they are likely to approve, since they don't want to DISCOURAGE you from filing at all - that would take away a revenue stream!
What if they instituted the ability to file a counter "anti-patent" displaying prior art and obviousness? Such an system would essentially "crowd source" the entire patent approval process and shift the balance of their incentives. By allowing individuals to submit prior art and obviousness research for a small fee, they can streamline and speedup the entire patent review process (for both new and old patents), lower fees for filing while increasing their revenue, decrease their operating costs (thereby maximizing profits), AND present themselves as "open source, modern government" with maximum transparency!
With this new system, to maximize profit, they must ensure as ROBUST AND PUBLIC DEBATE AS POSSIBLE.
If people can present counter evidence to a patent, then the patent will be reject/'on-hold' by the "reviewer" until the patent seeker files their counter argument against said claim. If they can't, they've lost their bogus patent and no one is worse off (though they may be free to refile, and the process begins again, but with precident from the counter-patent filers...)
"But wait!" (I hear you cry) "If they essentially crowdsource patent applications for us to do THEIR work, why do we need USPTO in the first place?!?"
Patience, Grasshoper. For now, they still are needed to be arbiters of the evidence provided. But one day... One day...
Walking your dog without a leash = tasered
Sharing culture with internet links = extradition and trial on foreign soil
Operating a cyber locker = Full on SWAT assualt by Seal Team 6 (who were complaining that they couldn't use deadly force...)
Steal millions under a fake investment Ponzi scheme = police escort to shield you from the media
Bribing politicians and laundering money/prostitution = Job as a media political analyst
Stealing BILLIONS via mortgage backed securities and eviciting hundreds of people from their homes = Government fines you 10% of your ill gotten money.
I'm left without a humorous, possibly snarky comment to make...
*slow claps* Go team!
Even if this is just "passing the buck" to the EU, everyone faltering on it because they're afraid of public backlash will push ACTA to die.
A vagrant with no citizenship, no land to claim as his own.
Pity him, feel his pain, his uncertainty.
Poor, destitute, and downtrodden, he'll wander the blighted, war-stricken landscape, searching for news of his family.
But his parents SOPA and PIPA have already died in the war, and he hasn't heard from his brother TPP for months.
It's a tsunami of information!
A torrent of data!
A media hurricane!
An explosion of details!
A flood of facts!
A deluge of discussion!
A squall of statistics!
A fire of figures!
A cyclone of knowledge!
An earthquake of news!
HOW MANY MORE NATURAL DISASTERS DO YOU WANT ME TO USE??!!
This just in...
Every millionaire in America has just become an LLC.
Hermn... If corporations are people... then it's illegal to discriminate against my LLC when I transfer my employment status over to it...
Combined with a severely reduced tax bracket with a three year startup exemption and all the write offs I can take...
This money bath is going to feel so good! - C-3POlas
I don't think they really care whether they win or lose. All they have to do is file a patent extension, and they'll be back at it in a year or so with ANOTHER set of patents to sue everyone with AGAIN.
Too bad RIAA/MPAA aren't considered "companies" for the purposes of trust-busting. I would love to see them targeted for their crooked dealings, bribery, and collusion at the expense of the general public in order to pad their pockets.
Unfortunately, with the market-centric manner in which anti-trust laws are applied, there is a tendency to ignore the capacity to abuse their power with supra-market forces.
Laissez-faire economics = Great (it's why monopolies fail long term)
Laissex-faire politics = insidious evil (it's the only thing keeping the IP old-guard afloat)
And create a method to "unfollow" or "opt out" of specific individuals comments? That way a troll like this would only be capable of truly insulting you once before you can just decide that you have no interest in what they have to say?
Loosing an audience for your trolling won't stop you entirely, but it DOES limit the overall volume of offensiveness while simultaneously not imposing on anyones right to speak freely.
You can speak, I just have a right to ignore.
On the other hand, this has the potential to exacerbate "echo chamber" issues on the net. Every solution has its unintended consequences, I guess.
At this rate, it will blow "Definitely NOT co-ordinating with" Colbert SuperPAC fundraising out of the water.
Wonder if Kickstarter can be used to fund an election campaign?
Do we think we can muster the support to create a new form of crowd-funded politics, where we actively work to supplant uninformed, corporately bribed politicians with intellegent, tuned-in, publicly "bribed" (in RIAA-speak) ones?
RIAA/MPAA - "You forget - I have LOTS of money, and extortion has proven itself to be a valuable and worthwhile business model. It's technology proof! As long as I have the power to bludgeon you, I have a cash flow!"
A large swath of religious Jews openly embrace the digital revolution with ebooks of sacred texts, yet will gladly pay $60 or more for a folio of Talmud that's leather bound and laser printed for them to take their copious notes in. But you can get all that and more on your phone with a $15 app.
People value high quality physical products, whether as a status symbol, an expression of inner self, or as a means to a connection with others.
Re: Yes, it was Google-- and the people Google pays....
And the tinfoil industry is secretly funded by the aliens themselves! It won't protect you - it merely makes your brain a better receiver of mind control waves!!
1) The critical event of Jan 18 was THE PUBLIC speaking up, not Google lobbying. If you were watching twitter, you got a front row view of it happening. Wikipedia Et Al came on later after a lot coaxing and member discussion tree: protest and npov.
2) This blog existed long before Google entered politics and operates it's own business models.
In my experience, law students are the likeliest individuals to blatantly accept the law irrespective of whether it makes sense or has negative consequences: law is inherently virtuous. And such a presentation is most likely to be attended by impressionable first year students studying constitutional law.
What is really scary to me is that even though they are clueless about technology, they know precisely where to strike to further their goals and encourage artificial, damaging protectionism.
The citizens of the Web need to stage a counteroffensive, and either present opposite these corporate shills or contact the professors involved and work with them to encourage an honest, rigorous debate.
Facing their cannons with our Truth is the only way we can prevail.