Patent Hoarding Firms Discover The ITC Loophole

from the that's-not-good-for-anyone dept

We've been discussing the ITC loophole, that allows patent holders to get two cracks at charging a company with infringement over the same patent (using different rules) for a while now. Patent holders can sue in court and they can complain to the International Trade Commission, which has the power to issue an injunction, barring the import of any "infringing" products. Even worse, the ITC doesn't necessarily need to follow the rules set forth by the Supreme Court over what is and what is not infringing. It gets to decide on its own. This has resulted in widespread abuse of the process, with many companies getting to use both processes to beat other companies into submission. Perhaps the one saving grace of the ITC loophole was that it was really only used by patent holders who actually had products on the market -- since there's a requirement that the supposedly infringing products represent a threat to a "domestic industry." That would (in theory) make it difficult for a company that just hoards patents to make a successful claim that a domestic industry is harmed.

But, of course, you should never underestimate the lawyers who deal with such non-practicing entities. Joe Mullin has the latest on one such attempt by an patent hoarding firm, Saxon, who is using the ITC loophole to go after a bunch of companies, including Nokia, HTC, RIM, Palm and Panasonic. Not surprisingly, on the very same day, it filed a patent infringement lawsuit (in East Texas, of course) against the same companies using the same patent. So, it's a perfect example of getting two cracks at the same issue. But how is Saxon claiming that a "domestic industry" is at risk to the ITC? From all appearances, it seems to claim that its domestic industry is patent licensing itself. And, the argument goes, allowing the companies listed above to continue importing their mobile phones would hurt that "domestic industry." Many lawyers think this is a pretty big stretch, and hopefully the ITC agrees. If not, expect to see many more companies that do nothing but hoard patents get an extra high-powered weapon in trying to force companies who actually develop products to pay up.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Luka Marinko, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 1:46am

    This patent situation is getting ridiculous, every time I read about it there is new low. I wonder when we are going to hit a bottom?

     

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  2.  
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    Ronald J Riley (profile), Feb 19th, 2009 @ 3:19am

    American Inventors v. Drones

    Michael Masnick, use of the ITC or the courts is not abuse.

    American ingenuity has always fueled our economic system. It is the patent system which protects our inventions and inventors from predatory large companies. In the end, new wealth is created by inventors and that wealth fuels the economy.

    Allowing patent pirating companies to take American’s inventions and the jobs and prosperity that they produce is stupid and if you actually understood either patents or economic issues you would be able to see this.

    Ronald J. Riley,


    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR act PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    eleete, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 3:27am

    Back

    Heeeee's Baaaaackkkkk

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Vincent Clement, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 4:41am

    Re: American Inventors v. Drones

    Ronald,

    Your comment made my morning. I love humor. Mike is well versed in economic issues. You, not so much.

    Again, thanks for bringing a smile to my face this morning.

     

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  5.  
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    Ben (profile), Feb 19th, 2009 @ 5:11am

    Patent hoarders and their mobile phones?

    Next time you talk to a patent hoarder or their representative, check what mobile phone or laptop or car or pen they use... they'd better use an entirely US-made one or you will have exposed one more level of their hypocrisy.

    Commerce is international, technology is international, innovation is international. No country has a monopoly on any of them. Not even the good-old US of A.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    DanC, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 5:47am

    Re: American Inventors v. Drones

    What's really funny is that he argues against what he (mistakenly) sees as defendants taking a second swipe at patent holders on one of his sites:

    all reexaminations a party has in process should be terminated upon a finding of infringement by the court. At this time patent pirates are being allowed to take another bite from the apple after a court has been determined that they are infringing a patent.

    But apparently he has no such holdups about allowing patent holders the ability to go through both the ITC and the court system.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 6:09am

    Re:

    The patent situation will hit bottom when plaintiff and their lawyers start dissappearing rather than reaching settlements.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Lonnie E. Holder, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 8:03am

    Mike has more problems with definitions...

    Mike claims that there is "widespread abuse" of the ITC system. According to a paper Mike linked to in a previous post, there are about 17.5 ITC complaints per year. Out of the 17.5 complaints, less than 4 result in products prohibited from entry into the country. So, 4 products out of the hundreds of thousands imported every year being prohibited from entry into the U.S. constitutes "widespread abuse"?

    I just recently discovered that Mike and I do not have the same definition of "innovation" and "invention." In general, I believe inventions should be something useful and preferably should be something desired in the market.

    On the other hand, "innovation" is literally defined as anything new, which means that inventions by definitions are already innovations. However, since an innovation may not be novel, it might not qualify as an invention.

    Because my definition of invention is that it should be useful and should provide value in the market place (after all, why would any company that makes a product want a patent otherwise?), it conflicted with Mike's definition of innovation, which has something to with making an invention marketable.

    A non-marketable invention is poor design. The non-marketable invention either needs tossed in the trash, or the inventor needs to get his behind in gear and make it marketable. That is not innovation, it is good invention, good design and common sense.

     

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  9.  
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    Ronald J Riley (profile), Feb 19th, 2009 @ 8:10am

    Re: Re: American Inventors v. Drones

    It is not a bite from the same apple. ITC actions are meant to stop infringing products at the border ASAP. Court enforcement is meant to extract compensation of infringement within America.

    Perhaps all of you should read about how the Japanese destroyed America's radio and television manufacturing business using numerous unethical and illegal tactics. ITC actions are meant to stop those tactics. Look at the defendant list, all but one is foreign and .

    Suggested reading is Agents of Influence and Hot Property by Pat Choate, an economist who does understand these issues. Mike does not, and considering his mindset is probably incapable of understanding them.

    This is a shame, because Mike is not stupid but he is blind to the truth.

    Ronald J. Riley,


    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR act PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Lonnie E. Holder, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 8:17am

    Re: Re: Re: American Inventors v. Drones

    Sometimes it appears that he may acting disingenuously.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Raybone, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 9:30am

    RJR please get over yourself

    Ronald,
    Even if I felt you had any good points to your positions on the subject, you undermine them with that ridiculous tag at the end of your posts. Who talks or even writes like that on a blog?
    "Speaking on my own behalf" Yeah, you don't say. Man you sound so insecure when you list all of that nonsense as if it will validate you beyond any other person on a blog. I'm sure deep down you have the potential to be one of the cool kids. I believe in you Ronald, you can ditch the crutch.

    El Raybonious,

    Speaking on behalf of secure egos and mental health
    Affiliations:
    President and Founder- www.Whogivesashit.org
    Author of the mighty treatise Dickheadia Principia
    -wherein I mathematically prove the concept of dickheads including an informative footnote on assholes-
    Proudly Independent Musician of Regional Reknown
    Senior Board Member of the Anti-Boor Coalition

    Now do you see how utterly VALID my position is? I'm an "expert"...

    To those who may take this too seriously, see the first few statements. No personal offense is intended. Ronald, please give it some thought.

     

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  12.  
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    kirillian (profile), Feb 19th, 2009 @ 9:43am

    Re: Re: Re: American Inventors v. Drones

    So...instead of addressing the issue at hand...again...you resort to attacking Mike himself:

    "This is a shame, because Mike is not stupid but he is blind to the truth."

    Even if I blindly just assumed that the rest of your statements are true (no, you did NOT make any effort to support your comments...you just declared that you were in the right), I am completely turned off by the fact that you ignored the argument altogether and just blurted out a bunch of crap.

    And I'm sure it's just coincidence that you happen to belong to a bunch of pro-IP and patent companies/organizations? You're probably not biased at all...

    Shill?

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 9:50am

    Re: Mike has more problems with definitions...

    Mr. Holder,

    In all fairness to Mr. Masnick, I do not believe he is stating in his various articles that an idea is unimportant, but only pointing out that its introduction into the marketplace depends upon many more disciplines being brought to bear. An idea begets a proof of principle. A proof of principle begets a prototype. A prototype begins to lay the foundation for placing the anticipated product represented by the prototype into a form suitable for sale at a competitive price. This latter effort I and others have typically refered to as "productization". During the "productization" process numerous other hands begin to "touch" the product. Manufacturing engineers optimizing the product for ease of manufacture at reduced cost, a technical data package prepared that serves in part to help identify what could/should be built in-house and what could/should be outsourced, marketing plans developed, product support plans developed, distribution means identified, etc., etc.

    I believe that Mr. Masnick is using innovation in the context of the entire process from idea to market. Where the divergence of opinion comes into play is that while many, including me, believe that the company that had the original idea should be accorded some period of time to accomplish this process before other companies jump on the bandwagon, he believes that once the idea is revealed to others those others should be free to use the idea to take the product springing from the idea to market.

    BTW, it is not at all unusual for "innovation" as used by Mr. Masnick to take place in the absence of an invention. One need only witness the "Pet Rock" to demonstrate this point. However, I do believe it is a fair statement that inventions are overwhelmingly the stimulus for the creation of products that significantly impact our lives.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    DanC, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 9:56am

    Re: Re: Re: American Inventors v. Drones

    Despite what you're saying Ron, the current situation provides a patent holder with the opportunity to bring two separate cases over the same thing, and it's disingenuous of you to deny it.

    Yes, the ITC is supposed to be dealing with alleged infringing products at the border. But while a company may be based in the United States, it's products may be manufactured in China or some other country. So if a patent holder decides to go after said company, they can file a suit in court over the supposed infringement, as well as go to the ITC for the exact same thing. That's double dipping.

    I understand why you support it: it allows a patent holder to cause as much trouble for the alleged infringer, which encourages a fast settlement rather than determining if an infraction actually occurred.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 10:08am

    Stop shilling !!!

    Good job, Mikey, shilling for your corporate masters

    They must be really proud of you and your shitty little blog full of lies

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 10:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: American Inventors v. Drones

    Mudak

    In the current situation small patent holders are f**** up, totally f*** up, without any hope of getting justice

    Morons like you just don't get it cause you'll never have your own patent

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 10:19am

    Re:

    Mudak

    We already hit the bottom

    Small american inventors have no incentive to file for patent protection in the current environment
    The balance of incentive between keeping invention a trade secret and filing for patent has clearly shifted towards trade secret strategy

    Just ask real inventors, not techdirt imbeciles

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    DanC, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: American Inventors v. Drones

    Morons like you just don't get it cause you'll never have your own patent

    For all we know, you don't have one either. It's not like you haven't lied before...many, many, many times before.

    But hey, why provide a coherent point when you can resort to pathetic insults you should have outgrown in high school, right?

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Mike, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 10:37am

    Re: Mike has more problems with definitions...

    Mike has more problems with definitions...

    Lonnie. I'm not sure when you went from being an interesting, thoughtful and reasonable individual, into someone who goes around making baseless statements like the one above.

    I am using the commonly accepted economic definition of innovation, first popularized (though it was used previous to him as well) by Schumpeter. It is widely accepted throughout the world and even used by the government as well. So I would suggest that maybe you should rethink who has a problem with definitions:

    http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/643.html
    http://www.acm.org/ubiqui ty/interviews/v5i39_schrage.html
    http://www.technologyreview.com/business/13595/?a=f

    Because if I do, so does our own gov't:

    http://tsapps.nist.gov/ts_sbir/resources/gcr02-841.pdf
    http://www1.eere.energy.gov/invent ions/pdfs/fromi2i.pdf

    And, so does... well... a ton of other people. And Lonnie, you are again wrong in suggesting that I don't believe invention is important... I just get upset when we build an incentive system that focuses so much on invention that it blocks innovation.

    But, actual research has shown how damaging it is when the focus is on invention rather than innovation:

    http://www.informationweek.com/news/management/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=197800211& amp;cid=RSSfeed_TechWeb

    And, of course, if I have a problem with the definitions, so do a ton of other people:

    http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/feb2006/id20060216_568704.htm
    http://www.ip frontline.com/depts/article.asp?deptid=5&id=16295
    http://www.sgi.nu/diary/2006/09/01/invention- versus-innovation/
    http://wistechnology.com/articles/4184/
    http://innovationcreators.com/wp/?p=202
    http://it.toolbox.com/blogs/techmeme/invention-innovation--10650
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/techn ology/3965265.stm

    And on and on it goes. Gov'ts, economists, researchers and businesses around the world all recognize this important difference between the two.

    Apparently Lonnie would prefer that we ignore all the research on the subject because his Merriam-Websters defines things differently than the way the world actually uses the words.

    Lonnie. You're a smart guy, and in the past I've enjoyed our discussions. But to attack me personally, saying I have a problem with definitions when it's quite clear I do not, is beneath you.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    DanC, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 10:47am

    Re: Stop shilling !!!

    Good job, Mikey, shilling for your corporate masters

    They must be really proud of you and your shitty little blog full of lies


    Simply amazing, really. Angry Dude manages to be both a liar and a hypocrite in the span of two lines.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Lonnie E. Holder, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 11:04am

    Re: Re: Mike has more problems with definitions...

    Mike:

    What about "widespread abuses"?

     

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  22.  
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    angry dude, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 11:26am

    Re: Re: Mike has more problems with definitions...

    Such a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG piece of shit from Mikey

    Mikey, what size is you toilet flush valve ?

    I suggest a Champion model - it flushes better

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Lonnie E. Holder, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 11:40am

    Re: Re: Mike has more problems with definitions...

    Mike:

    I am frustrated that what should be a simple issue of communication has become so complicated. As you know, when people become angry and frustrated they tend to take it out on someone.

    Anyway, I need time to go through your references. I hope to do so tonight.

     

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  24.  
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    Mike (profile), Feb 19th, 2009 @ 12:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Mike has more problems with definitions...

    What about "widespread abuses"?

    It's accurate. The report notes that in the majority of cases in the ITC have also been filed as lawsuits (getting two cracks at the same issue) and that more often than not the ITC is used by two domestic companies (an abuse, since the ITC is supposed to deal with *foreign* companies *unfairly* competing against domestic ones). The overall numbers may be small, but it's also worth noting that the number of cases before the ITC have tripled over the past few years, and the pace has only continued to increase.

    So, yes, I think that's widespread abuse.

     

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  25.  
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    ehrichweiss, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Re:

    Yeah, Mr, Inven...err, Techdirt Imbecile..

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 1:12pm

    Re: American Inventors v. Drones

    What a badass...

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    dinnerbell, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 2:29pm

    "...saving grace of the ITC loophole was that it was really only used by patent holders who actually had products on the market..."

    so it's ok for big companies to use this practice and not small entities? which big company is paying you to write this trash?

     

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  28.  
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    Mike (profile), Feb 19th, 2009 @ 2:40pm

    Re:

    so it's ok for big companies to use this practice and not small entities?

    Um. No. No one said that at all. Steve, I'm beginning to wonder about your reading abilities.

    Everyone is free to make use of the *court system*. And any company involved in the market is free to use the ITC. But the ITC is supposed to serve a very specific purpose: making sure that domestic industry isn't being undermined through unfair competition. Thus it simply makes no sense for a company not involved in the domestic market to go to the ITC. It goes against the very reason for the ITC to be around.

    You really ought to try reading before spewing accusations.

    which big company is paying you to write this trash?

    This always amuses me. You have been posting comments on Techdirt for just about a year now, and you have never failed to make this accusation, despite how laughable it is.

    No company pays us to write anything.

    The most amusing thing to me is that when I write about copyright, copyright system defenders accuse me of trying to bring down big companies. When I write about patents -- using the exact same logic -- patent system defenders accuse me of trying to destroy small businesses due to big companies paying me.

    Neither is true. My position is consistent, and accusing me of being a shill simply undermines your credibility (as if you ever had any).

    I find it doubly amusing that you and your friends never seem to present a single actual rebuttal to the points raised. You just scream and whine and insult. Very convincing.

     

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  29.  
    icon
    Ronald J Riley (profile), Feb 19th, 2009 @ 3:16pm

    Re: RJR please get over yourself

    I have given it thought and the point is to disclose who I am and what my affiliations are. Many people use an alias and even if they do sign their real name it may take a considerable amount of research to determine their associations and in so doing understand their biases.

    It is a fact that we cannot please everyone. I believe that full disclosure is the reputable way to operate. Mike has the gumption to post his real name and to accept criticism. Granted he seems to be incapable of understanding it but at least he is man enough to stand behind what he has to say.

    Ronald J. Riley,


    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR act PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 4:29pm

    >

    Ok, so let’s say that your writing is a loss leader to bring in business, much like all the “free” and “infinite goods” crap is a loss leader to bring in consulting business or to sell related products.

    In both cases the question is do you profit in any way from this blog. I think that the answer is obvious.

    >

    When you write about either copyright or patents you are consistent in advocating socializing either group’s property rights. There is a fundamental difference between copyright and patents. Copyright shifts wealth from one pocket to another while invention creates new wealth. It is ironic that as far as law is concerned that copyright is valued much higher then invention. Invention actually has much more innate value then copyright. This misalignment in treatment of the value is a distortion caused by the political clout of the media industry.

    >

    Mike, this is more of your BS. When it comes to patents you have no credibility while the person you are striking out at clearly does understand patents, inventing, and the economics of both.

    >

    Once again Mike, more of your BS. You consistently ignore the essence of rebuttals while relying on fringe sources and arguments. And when I asked how you came to use such poor reasoning skills, a problem which is probably related to your upbringing, you were clearly deeply offended and did plenty of whining yourself.

    Have you ever noticed how people compartmentalize their beliefs, accepting things like their political or religious beliefs even when such run contrary to rational thought processes? Have you ever known someone who shows well honed reasoning in some aspect of their life or profession while accepting things on faith as you do with all this “free” rubbish? Nothing in life is really free. Everything of value requires an investment of time and or capital by someone. There is nothing wrong with people accepting a contribution of such from those who are willing but there is much wrong with people having an entitlement mindset and taking the fruits of other’s labor by force as you constantly try to promote.

    By the way, how about we print up signs and distribute them in your community suggesting that the homeless should have a right to pitch tents on your property and that you should supply them with bathing and restroom facilities and feed those who come up short each month?

    Ronald J. Riley,


    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR act PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 7:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: American Inventors v. Drones

    But hey, why provide a coherent point when you can resort to pathetic insults you should have outgrown in high school, right?

    What makes you think he's not still in high school? I know he's been posting here for a few years now and that might make it seem likely that he's a little old for high school, but he may have been held back a few times.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 7:32pm

    Re: Re: Mike has more problems with definitions...

    I've disagreed with Mr. Holder on numerous occasions but he seems to have a point: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/innovation .

    By that definition it would appear that inventions are innovations, but innovations are not necessarily inventions. Like beagles are dogs, but dogs are not necessarily beagles.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 8:00pm

    ZAYEBALI

    Mike Masnick is a paid corporate stooge.
    Period.
    End of discussion.

     

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  34.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Feb 19th, 2009 @ 10:52pm

    Re:

    Ok, so let’s say that your writing is a loss leader to bring in business, much like all the “free” and “infinite goods” crap is a loss leader to bring in consulting business or to sell related products.

    In both cases the question is do you profit in any way from this blog. I think that the answer is obvious.


    Huh? No one pays me to write this blog.

    When you write about either copyright or patents you are consistent in advocating socializing either group’s property rights.

    Not at all. I don't believe in "socializing" anything. I am a strong free market supporter. Socializing means communal ownership. I do not believe in that. I believe in individual ownership and that means the right to do what you want with a product you have.

    There is a fundamental difference between copyright and patents. Copyright shifts wealth from one pocket to another while invention creates new wealth

    Fascinating. I've never heard anyone make that argument before, saying copyrights and patents are fundamentally different. Can you explain why other than just you saying so? I mean, can you actually give an economic explanation why protectionist monopolies are good in one case, but bad in another?

    Also, you seem to be talking about apples and oranges. Copyright covers content. Patents cover inventions. You are comparing inventions to copyright... which is meaningless. Do you mean to compare copyright to patents? Or invention to content?

    Mike, this is more of your BS. When it comes to patents you have no credibility while the person you are striking out at clearly does understand patents, inventing, and the economics of both.

    Heh. Well, you keep thinking I have no credibility on the subject, because if that's what you want to believe, have fun.

    You consistently ignore the essence of rebuttals while relying on fringe sources and arguments.

    Heh. You have never given a single rebuttal. You simply insult anyone who disagrees with you. Please. Try me.

    And, by "fringe sources and arguments" we're talking about Nobel Prize winning economists (and physicists!) who have released their actual data. So, if you're so smart, why haven't you picked apart their data?

    And when I asked how you came to use such poor reasoning skills, a problem which is probably related to your upbringing, you were clearly deeply offended and did plenty of whining yourself.


    Heh. You seem to be making up history as well. For those who want to see your comment on my upbringing, and my response, they can do so here:

    http://techdirt.com/article.php?sid=20080815/0346231992&threaded=true&threaded=fals e#c133

    See Ronald how this works? I present actual evidence that refutes your lies.

    What were you saying about credibility?

    Have you ever noticed how people compartmentalize their beliefs, accepting things like their political or religious beliefs even when such run contrary to rational thought processes? Have you ever known someone who shows well honed reasoning in some aspect of their life or profession while accepting things on faith as you do with all this “free” rubbish? Nothing in life is really free. Everything of value requires an investment of time and or capital by someone. There is nothing wrong with people accepting a contribution of such from those who are willing but there is much wrong with people having an entitlement mindset and taking the fruits of other’s labor by force as you constantly try to promote.

    Are you trying to justify your own fanciful beliefs? Because my belief is not based on "faith" at all, but sound economic evidence, which I have presented repeatedly. So far only you have been presenting things based on faith -- and to make it even more fun, you hide your lack of evidence through insults and name calling.

    And, since you clearly haven't understood anything I've written, I'll even be nice and give you a little lesson. No one ever said that everything is free. No one ever said that you don't need capital investment. What we have said is that you can get paid much more by charging for the scarcities, rather than trying to charge for the abundance. This is pretty fundamental economics. It has nothing to do with entitlement. It has nothing to do with "everything being free." It has to do with coming up with business models that make sense, and which aren't inefficient.

    By the way, how about we print up signs and distribute them in your community suggesting that the homeless should have a right to pitch tents on your property and that you should supply them with bathing and restroom facilities and feed those who come up short each month?

    Ronald. Let's try this once again: learn the difference between a scarce good and infinite good.

     

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

  35.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Feb 19th, 2009 @ 10:59pm

    Re: Re: RJR please get over yourself

    I have given it thought and the point is to disclose who I am and what my affiliations are. Many people use an alias and even if they do sign their real name it may take a considerable amount of research to determine their associations and in so doing understand their biases.

    According to some, your "affiliations" are basically invented by yourself:

    http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/palfrey/2006/08/07/hatch-leahy-patent-reform-proposal/#com ment-45671

    So... I'm not exactly sure what you believe you're accomplishing.

     

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

  36.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Feb 19th, 2009 @ 11:07pm

    Re: ZAYEBALI

    Mike Masnick is a paid corporate stooge.
    Period.
    End of discussion.


    Heh. There are times you really amuse me angry dude. In the past, for those who are wondering, angry dude has been caught lying about having a patent. He also has been asked to substantiate the bogus claims that I am "a stooge" and after direct questioning, he admitted (rather sheepishly, I might add) that he didn't think I was a stooge, but it was his way of letting out his anger.

    Yet, even having admitted that, he continues to call me a corporate stooge.

    To date, he has posted not one single shred of evidence to support his pro-patent position. Oddly, Angry Dude gets exceptionally angry whenever he hears of big companies abusing the patent system, and whenever it's pointed out that reforms might help, he suddenly starts screaming about how anyone who wants to reform the system is a corporate stooge, and then something about a dog eat dog world.

    Cognitive dissonance is strong with angry dude. He's upset that the system works against him (he once claimed to hold many patents, and then recently claimed to have just gotten his first patent -- but he refuses to reveal what it is, so we're pretty confident that he doesn't hold any patents at all), but any attempt to fix the system is somehow a personal attack.

    He could easily clear this all up by (a) pointing us to the patent he holds (b) presenting some shred of evidence for his bizarre claims (c) stopping the random insults backed up by nothing or (d) presenting proof that I am somehow a "corporate shill." The most amusing of all? He claims that one of the organizations I'm a "shill" for is the BSA.

    Go do a search on BSA in the search box above. If I'm shilling for the BSA, they're not getting their money's worth.

    Either way, no company pays me to say anything on this blog. We tend to make our money telling companies what they *need* to hear, not what they want to hear. I would think for anyone who has read this blog, that would be rather obvious. But, of course, angry dude has not displayed much in the way of reading comprehension over the years.

     

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

  37.  
    identicon
    Raybone, Feb 19th, 2009 @ 11:23pm

    Dear Ronald

    Hey Man thank you for the response. I appreciate you giving it some thought and responding. I am sure one that seems as intelligent as you are knows how listing your affiliations like that may come across to some. However, your reasons are noted. In general, for myself, it matters not what the bias of the person is since I'm judging the actual position, not the person postulating the idea. I have found wisdom can come from many sources; even those with an agenda. I tend more towards logic and practicality when weighing positions. In that light I will have to respectfully disagree with your positions on copyright. The American System has now criminalized more citizens than ever before in history. Copyrights and Trademarks are just a part of this. The reality is that piracy, like drugs and prostitution, will never be stopped. The attempts by governments and corporations to control only lead to less freedom, more draconian reality, money wasted, opportunities lost and an ultimate devolution of the species. We should have already been colonizing space by now.
    I will now return to my mixing duties. All apologies for the mini-rant.

     

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

  38.  
    identicon
    Lonnie E. Holder, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 5:57pm

    Re: Re: Deconstructing Innovation

    Sometimes you think things are nice and easy, only to find out that they are hard. Take, for example, invention. In the manufacturing world, the whole point of invention is frequently to develop a novel, produceable product. Done deal.

    On the other hand, there are those who want to separate the invention of the product from selling it. Perhaps that makes sense in some fields. For others, perhaps not so much. For example, let us say that you want to develop a new tire that channels water away from the tire to improve traction in rain. You work on the design, you test it, and ultimately you come up with a new tread design that does exactly that. The invention is done.

    Question: The invention is complete. It was designed to be manufacturable. Nothing else needs done to the invention to prepare it for selling, because manufacturing is done by previously existing processes. How does innovation enter this picture? Well, since the product was invented in a form that met a specific purpose, and was invented to be produceable, the only thing left for "innovation" to do is to present the product to customers and arrange for distribution. However, there is a problem with this picture, and that is that there is nothing new beyond the invention portion of the process, so everything that happened once the invention was complete cannot be called innovation or it becomes antithetical to the basic definition, which requires something to be new.

    Okay, since something new did happen, the tire, and since the tire did become commercially successful, then innovation had to happen somewhere. It did. Back to that in a moment.

    In 1986, Bruce D. Merrifield (Forces of Change Affecting High Technology Industries) defined innovation as consisting of three phases, invention, translation and commercialization.

    In 1992, George Land and Beth Jarman (Breakpoint and Beyond: Mastering the Future Today) noted that innovation included, among other things, invention, exploratory management, duplication, modification and improvement.

    Also in 1992, William G. Howard and Bruce R. Guile (Profiting from Innovation) noted that the innovation life cycle included three phases, beginning with emergence, which incorporates the development of a product, manufacture of the product, and its placement in the market.

    In 1980, Modesto A. Maidique (Entrepreneurs, Champions and Technological Innovation) describe five phases for the innovation process. Step two was invention.

    The current definition of innovation at the Bnet Business dictionary begins "the creation, development and implementation of a new product, process..."

    Now, if you go through the links provided by Mike, you notice an interesting artifact. Most of the links attempt to sever invention and innovation, but some, including the informationworld link, state that invention is a subset of innovation.

    Stepping back, just what does this mean for a definition of innovation? It means that there is no one, universally accepted, definition of innovation. It appears that the classic definition of innovation encompasses invention. Since about 2004, there appears to be a movement to segregate invention from innovation, for reasons I am unable to fathom.

    Now, back up to the tire example. Further, consider any highly engineered product that is, in effect, a gestalt. It is quite common to develop these products in a way that, once they have been invented, the "innovation" portion of the activity, meaning the new portion, is complete. This is generally true for many items, especially complex mechanisms such as combines, tractors, etc. Indeed, since the engineers doing the inventing are the ones selecting the materials to meet the requirements for the product, the product has to be complete on invention, or it will not work.

    Converse example: I have worked with manufacturing and marketing people wanting to change a product, to "innovate" it. However, such "innovations" typically are one of two things. Either they turn out badly, or they are a part of a new invention that frequently needs additional design engineering work to turn the idea into a produceable invention.

    Where does this leave the definition of innovation and invention? Well, if you are trying to say that innovation is not invention, then no where, because lots of people define innovation as a macroscopice phenomenon that encompases invention, and because there is an array of situations that range from the bulk of innovation being focused on invention to the bulk of innovation being focused on produceability and incremental improvement. When you deny that innovation includes innovation, then you deny innovation happens in many industries.

    I wonder whether the huge range of definitions for innovation happen because innovation can be focused at various stages, either invention, transformation and commercialization, depending on the product involved. There is no one answer.

    I also wonder whether there is wishful thinking on the part of some people who consider themselves innovators, believing that invention is unnecessary or undesirable. I see this when people claim that invention is relatively unimportant, and innovation is important.

    I liken this claim by the light bulb that it is the most important thing because it is supplies light and therefore contains the most value, and thus the generator that creates the electricity is a tiny fraction of the process. Well, a typical consumer only knows the light bulb, and certainly the consumer is only buying electricity because it causes the bulb to work, but the moment the generator dies, the bulb will not work regardless of how loudly the consumer complains or wishes. Customers in several Midwest states found out the difference between delivery of a good and the creation that goes behind it when their power went out recently after an ice storm.

    To be truly objective, all parts of the process should have equal value initially. Yet, there are two ways to view the invention portion of innovation and the transformation and commercialization portions of innovation. Since many innovators focused on transformation and commercialization claim that their portion of the process is more significant than the invention portion of innovation, then invention is highly leveraged, and from that viewpoint, more important. After all, if one invention innovation can yield ten transformation and commercialization innovations, which is more important? On the other hand, the customer truly values a product that perfoms a useful function, which, from a customer's viewpoint, is the most important part.

    When we stand back and view innovation as a process that extends from conceptualization to prototype, to testing and final design, manufacturing, and marketing, we realize that we need all the pieces of the puzzle to make innovation work.

     

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


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