Once Again: Patents Do Not Equal Innovation

from the lazy-press dept

It’s always disappointing to see reporters who know better assume that patents are somehow a reasonable proxy for innovation. It’s pretty common, even though research has shown (many times over) that the two are not linked. Yet, that hasn’t stopped Business Week from fretting about the US losing its lead in patents, suggesting that it’s a sign of innovation moving elsewhere. Of course, it appears the source for the story is also Ocean Tomo — the same company that fooled a reporter into believing that patent sales would increase during the recession, just weeks before Ocean Tomo’s own patent auction was a disaster.

The real reason for the decline in patenting may actually be buried at the bottom of the article: companies are realizing that patents aren’t particularly cost effective, and they’re cutting back, focusing on actual innovation rather than throwing money away on the patent system.

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Comments on “Once Again: Patents Do Not Equal Innovation”

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Willton says:

The real reason for the decline in patenting may actually be buried at the bottom of the article: companies are realizing that patents aren’t particularly cost effective, and they’re cutting back, focusing on actual innovation rather than throwing money away on the patent system.

That assumes that entities who use the patent system are not focused on innovation. That is so plainly false that I shouldn’t need to give you examples of such entities.

bigpicture says:

Dead Horse

Patent discussion IS a dead horse, there are basically two camps and the ones who benefit most and have the most lobby money perpetuate this thing forever.

The fact that it is some way tied into the Constitution enables these interests to bamboozle the politicians into thinking that this represents the people. When the consumers/people are the only ones who don’t benefit, and would not even notice if there was no patent system.

Willton says:

Re: Dead Horse

The fact that it is some way tied into the Constitution enables these interests to bamboozle the politicians into thinking that this represents the people. When the consumers/people are the only ones who don’t benefit, and would not even notice if there was no patent system.

I’d think they would notice when there are fewer innovative products around, like beneficial and possibly life-saving pharmaceutical drugs. I think leukemia patients would notice if there were fewer medicines like Gleevec around. I also think people would raise a stink about the lack of research going into green technology, especially nowadays.

Not all technology revolves around computers.

Ryan says:

Progress

I think Progress can be defined as Forced Change, as we would have gotten nowhere in history with the rules they constantly try to enforce.

Forcing them to get past this seems nigh impossible, and yet they make strides, for them anyway, to do better. Google was going to say this in response, but what kind of response is this?

This is like two different Index Card Sections in a Library, one flaunting how much it has that’s illegal, and one which says it always obeys the rules, but both point to the same books.

Yeah maybe you could argue they shouldn’t flaunt it, but so far that is what seems the be the crime in all of this.

I want a torrent site to come out, which says it obeys everything they say, does takedown requests, and seems friendly to studios or RIAA, but keeps on trucking, so to speak. I’d laugh when they got bought by them.

Bettawrekonize (profile) says:

and say that we find that the unanimous consensus of six elected officials is too easy (or difficult) to obtain. We can simply tweak the system to add 3 (or whatever) more officials and require all of their unanimous consensus (or say that we find a 2/3 majority among countries is too easy (or difficult) to obtain. We can tweak it to a 3/4 majority). The point is that the system is adjustable, we can tweak with the numbers until we end up with reasonable results. Or we can have twelves elected officials within a country and require a 2/3 majority. Or maybe every country can have their own individual system of approving patents but they only apply locally. Only if they get approved locally (to that country) may the patent owner apply for a global patent. If they apply for a global patent it goes to the system mentioned above (where you have one elected official from each country and you are required a 2/3 vote for the patent to apply to all relevant countries). So each country can have a specific, different system approving local patents, but all the countries have one unified (rigorous) system for approving a global patent (so global patents are very rare though the rarity of local patents may vary from country to country).

Bettawrekonize (profile) says:

and, for the most part, most patent requests (in most, though not necessarily all, countries (depending on how each country wants to tweak their specific local patent system)) are turned down. Most global patent requests are denied and not even considered (ie: like a summary judgment) for election. This prevents the patent system from being “backed up”, the supreme court isn’t really “backed up” since they simply deny most cases from even being considered.

Also, while the patent justices themselves may or may not be engineers, they can certainly consult with various experts in a field (each one can choose who he wants to consult with or they can even consult with the Internet or any blog or anyone they choose). Just like a judge (and jury) can consult with experts in various fields before making a decision about a case.

Bettawrekonize (profile) says:

Another good thing about my system is that it adds transparency. Just like with Supreme Court Justices, everyone should know how every “patent justice” voted and patent justices should also be able to leave comments as to why they voted the way they did (just like with supreme court justices). This way if a bunch of dubious patents are passed everyone knows exactly who to blame. There is also the possibility of impeaching patent justices (ie: for too many dubious patents or conflicts of interest) though, just like with supreme court justices, such cases should be rare.

Dave Calderone says:

Patents slow down the growth of innovations. Instead of many companies working to complete one common goal or create the same innovation as quick as possible only one company (The one that creates the patent) wastes lots of money to have the rights to that innovation. Thus instead of multiple companies working to do it first, and do it the best…one company sits on it and may not put as much effort into developing the innovation.

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