Harry Reid Bows Down To Trial Lawyers And Big Pharma In Killing Patent Reform

from the same-old-story dept

Tuesday evening, I had a discussion with a friend who was working on patent reform efforts. I said that the reform effort was dead, but my friend insisted that it was being negotiated as we spoke, and that the folks working on it wouldn't be doing so if it died. But, of course, by Wednesday morning it really was dead, and basically everyone who had been working hard on it pointed their finger at one person: Harry Reid. Within minutes of Leahy announcing that patent reform was dead, a whole bunch of people reached out to all say it was Reid's fault. And, that story got out fast. Basically everyone is saying that Harry Reid called Leahy and told him to kill the bill after trial lawyers and the pharmaceutical industry complained to Reid. Reid, fearing a loss in donations from those groups that often support Democrats in an election year, killed the bill.

Most of the reports said that Reid told Leahy he wouldn't allow the bill to come to the floor, but we heard a slightly different story: Reid didn't want it to come to the floor, and if it passed out of the Senate Judiciary with strong bipartisan support, he would be forced to bring it to the floor. That's why it was killed before it even had the chance, and Leahy had to pull it off the agenda without even allowing the Judiciary Committee to vote on it.

This is politics as usual. The same groups killed patent reform efforts in 2004, and basically every two years after that until they got a watered down bill in 2011. Unfortunately, if the same pattern holds, we may not see patent reform until 2021, by which time it too will likely be useless. And all the while actual innovation and our economy suffers.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2014 @ 4:31pm

    And with that, I'm done respecting copyright and I'm going to encourage everyone I know to do the same.

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2014 @ 4:38pm

    Re:

    and the Jews for sinking the Titanic. wait... what?

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2014 @ 4:54pm

    Re: Re:

    Internet Jaywalking.

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2014 @ 5:12pm

    I can't imagine America keeping the status quo until 2021 if it keeps this crap up. A young generation of voters are starting to realize that the democracy they were promised is nothing but smoke and mirrors, and they're getting pissed about it. If big industries continue to be so obvious in its string pulling, it won't be pretty.

     

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

  5.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), May 22nd, 2014 @ 5:26pm

    Some completely unrelated data

    Sen. Harry Reid: Campaign finance/money

    Top 5 Industries, 2009 - 2014, Campaign Cmte

    Lawyers/Law Firms
    Total: $3,692,267
    Individual: $3,381,821
    PAC's: $310,446

    Securities & Investment
    Total: $1,218,998
    Individual: $1,074,898
    PAC's: $144,100

    Lobbyists
    Total: $1,031,441
    Individual: $1,006,331
    PAC's: $25,110

    Health Professionals
    Total: $837,556
    Individual: $492,756
    PAC's: $344,800

    Real Estate
    Total: $765,611
    Individual: $672,751
    PAC's: $92,860

    Source:
    https://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cid=N00009922&cycle=2014

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2014 @ 5:54pm

    say it isnt so

    Are you telling me the Democratic leadership has corporate overlords? I thought that was only the Republicans. Liberals are such sheep, the leadership can tell them anything and they will believe it. I bet they thought that if they liked their health care plan they could keep it too. The really sad part is they can be lied to repeatedly and they will just keep voting party lines

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2014 @ 5:59pm

    Re: say it isnt so

    Yes young Padawan learner, the real world can get a bit rough.

     

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

  8.  
    icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), May 22nd, 2014 @ 6:01pm

    Shocked, I say

    I'm shocked! Shocked I am that a politician would vote with moneyed interests. Whatever can this world be coming to?

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2014 @ 6:29pm

    Maybe Richard III had it right. First we kill all the lawyers...

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    zip, May 22nd, 2014 @ 6:36pm

    no surprise

    No surprise here. Harry Reid has got to be one of the most corrupt politicians in the country, and I don't say that lightly.

    But unlike his fellow Washington Hall-of-Famers Tom DeLay and Dan Rostenkowski, Reid has managed to avoid jail.

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2014 @ 6:57pm

    Harry Reid involved in something shady? Shurely you jest. /sarc

     

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

  12.  
    icon
    Mystiq (profile), May 22nd, 2014 @ 7:26pm

    A Perfect Example

    This is a blatant, perfect example of why lobbying needs to go suck a cock. Just because a special interest wants something one way doesn't mean a perfectly good bill should get destroyed.

     

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

  13.  
    icon
    madasahatter (profile), May 22nd, 2014 @ 7:29pm

    Congress Quotes

    A few quotes from Mark Twain:
    "Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself."

    "It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress."

    "It is the foreign element that commits our crimes. There is no native criminal class except Congress."

    "Whiskey is carried into committee rooms in demijohns and carried out in demagogues.
    ...I never can think of Judas Iscariot without losing my temper. To my mind Judas Iscariot was nothing but a low, mean, premature, Congressman."

    From Will Rogers:
    "Congress is the finest body of men money can buy."

    From Speaker of the House (1890's) Thomas Brackett "Czar" Read:
    "They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge."

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Darth Colonel Sanders, May 22nd, 2014 @ 7:57pm

    Another site said Patrick Leahy helped kill it?

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2014 @ 8:02pm

    Re: Congress Quotes

    These quotes are all from a century+ ago.

    Corruption increases over time as special interests get better and better at gaming the system.

    Do the math.

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2014 @ 8:21pm

    Some more quotes just to help you out.

    "This is my idea of fun." – Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) on the government shutdown

    "Thing thing is...I need my paycheck. That's the bottom line." - Rep. Renee Ellmers

    “Literally, if we took away the minimum wage — if conceivably it was gone — we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level.” - Congresswoman and GOP Presidential nominee Michelle Bachmann

    It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them. ~ Mark Twain

    Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform. ~ Mark Twain

    We have a criminal jury system which is superior to any in the world; and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding twelve men every day who don't know anything and can't read. ~ Mark Twain

    In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards. ~ Mark Twain

    "...when you are in politics you are in a wasp’s nest with a short shirt-tail..." ~ Mark Twain

    "The government of my country snubs honest simplicity, but fondles artistic villainy, and I think I might have developed into a very capable pickpocket if I had remained in the public service a year or two." ~ Mark Twain

    "History has tried to teach us that we can't have good government under politicians. Now, to go and stick one at the very head of government couldn’t be wise." ~ Mark Twain

     

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

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2014 @ 9:08pm

    Re: Re: Congress Quotes

    I find this difficult to believe, as it would imply that people long ago acted in a saintly fashion. This is clearly not the case.

    It is more likely that the tools of corruption have become better as time progresses. As far as doing the math ... it is not quite clear what I am supposed to be calculating - the exponential increase in ironic quotes?

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 22nd, 2014 @ 9:12pm

    "The problem with internet quotes is that you can't always depend upon their accuracy" -Abraham Lincoln

     

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

  19.  
    icon
    nckhawk (profile), May 23rd, 2014 @ 1:02am

    While I am no fan of Harry Reid, there is much more to this story than Patent Trolls and Lawyers. The House and Senate versions of the Patent Reform bills also kill off the individual inventor's rights and incentive to continue to invent. This country was built on those rights and almost every major innovation of value manifested under the protection of the patent system. We need to ask Congress to stop skimming the $1.5B to date in funds from patent fees from the USPTO and let them improve their systems. Trolls can be stopped but killing off the individual inventors rights in the process only opens the door for domination by others, such as Alibaba/China. If you want to learn more - check out @savetheinventor.

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    Bruce, May 23rd, 2014 @ 1:08am

    The problem here is that you ignore who was pushing the legislation - the big tech companies who lose many millions of dollars to patent infringement. Some of it is because they are big targets, but much of it is because some of them routinely appropriate the technology of others. We are talking esp. companies like Google, Microsoft, etc. Ask yourself, what has Microsoft invented? DOS? Spreadsheets? Windowing OS? Word processing? Web browsing? (My answer - Visual Basic, which is a nice little language from their original expertise as a compiler company). And, ask yourself what has become of the companies that invented all of these things? Some of the companies pushing this iteration of patent reform are notorious for finding the next great thing, and jumping in with their billions, crushing the original innovators, and taking over the market. This legislation, just like the AIA, was being pushed by tech companies that found that money spent in DC on lobbying was a much better investment than the money spent on paying patent infringement damages. (And, yes, the AIA was enacted because, for the last six months before passage, about as many lobbyists were pushing the legislation on the Hill as there are members of Congress in both Houses - $100+ million spent on lobbying that year on this one bill. Leahy celebrated its enactment at an IBM facility in Burlington). Up until the last minute, this patent reform legislation looked like a massively funded lobbyist driven steam engine that was impossible to slow down. The hearings had been heavily stacked in favor of passage, hearing only from representatives of the companies that would benefit from passage. Leahey (and his counterpart in the House, along with their corresponding ranking members) made sure that the opposition was not heard, and wasn't at the bargaining table.

    This legislation started as a well intentioned attempt to rein in injunctive relief for patent infringement. Up until several years ago, probably the biggest worry about losing a patent infringement suit was the almost automatic injunction that came with it - often meaning that the target of the suit had to pay much more than a reasonable royalty to keep in business. The Supreme Court addressed that problem, making injunctive relief much harder to get, by pointing out that normal rules of equity applied. But by then, the tech companies behind this legislation had come to see this legislation as the answer to a lot of their other patent infringement vulnerabilities, and started shoveling in a bunch of other pro-infringer elements. Most egregious, maybe, was the "plaintiff pays" provision, that ultimately got converted into "loser pays", which means that plaintiffs would end up paying typically >3X their litigation costs if they lose - paying all those $1,000 an hour litigation attorneys that the biggest companies hire when sued for patent infringement. (And, as we see with the opposition of the trial lawyers, eliminating contingency fee litigation, which is the only way a lot of even legitimate cases get filed).

     

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

  21.  
    icon
    cc young (profile), May 23rd, 2014 @ 1:30am

    Trial Lawyers?

    I think title is conflating "trial lawyers" with "patent attorneys". Trial lawyers have a long history of opposing "Big Pharma", not supporting them.

     

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

  22.  
    identicon
    David, May 23rd, 2014 @ 1:42am

    Re: A Perfect Example

    This is a blatant, perfect example of why lobbying needs to go suck a cock.

    Oh, it most certainly did.

     

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

  23.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), May 23rd, 2014 @ 4:43am

    Re:

    The House and Senate versions of the Patent Reform bills also kill off the individual inventor's rights and incentive to continue to invent.

    Not even close to true. The bill focused on abusive practices and bad patents. It changed nothing for legitimate inventors with high quality patents.

    This country was built on those rights and almost every major innovation of value manifested under the protection of the patent system.

    You're joking.

    If you want to learn more - check out @savetheinventor.

    Oh, sorry. You're a shill.

     

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

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 4:49am

    Re:

    "almost every major innovation of value manifested under the protection of the patent system."

    I doubt that. Fact is, many "major" inventions were not patented. The whole mantra about patents = inventors is silly.

     

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

  25.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), May 23rd, 2014 @ 4:50am

    Re:

    The problem here is that you ignore who was pushing the legislation - the big tech companies who lose many millions of dollars to patent infringement.

    Not true. It was mainly being pushed by *small* tech companies being extorted by patent trolls.

    We are talking esp. companies like Google, Microsoft, etc. Ask yourself, what has Microsoft invented? DOS? Spreadsheets? Windowing OS? Word processing? Web browsing? (My answer - Visual Basic, which is a nice little language from their original expertise as a compiler company).

    Microsoft was among those fighting *against* the key parts of this reform. You are misinformed.

    Even so, you should learn the difference between invention and innovation and why the latter is important.

    Some of the companies pushing this iteration of patent reform are notorious for finding the next great thing, and jumping in with their billions, crushing the original innovators, and taking over the market. This legislation, just like the AIA, was being pushed by tech companies that found that money spent in DC on lobbying was a much better investment than the money spent on paying patent infringement damages.

    I know this is the line that the pharma companies have been pushing, but you have no idea how laughable that claim is.

    This legislation started as a well intentioned attempt to rein in injunctive relief for patent infringement. Up until several years ago, probably the biggest worry about losing a patent infringement suit was the almost automatic injunction that came with it - often meaning that the target of the suit had to pay much more than a reasonable royalty to keep in business. The Supreme Court addressed that problem, making injunctive relief much harder to get, by pointing out that normal rules of equity applied. But by then, the tech companies behind this legislation had come to see this legislation as the answer to a lot of their other patent infringement vulnerabilities, and started shoveling in a bunch of other pro-infringer elements.

    Uh, no. The MercExchange ruling on injunctions happened years before the AIA. So if the focus was on stopping injunctions and getting legislation passed, that happened years ago.

    This new legislation had nothing to do with injunctions. It was in response to the increasing action of patent trolls extorting companies doing real innovation -- which the MercExchange ruling and the AIA did absolutely nothing to fix.

    Most egregious, maybe, was the "plaintiff pays" provision, that ultimately got converted into "loser pays", which means that plaintiffs would end up paying typically >3X their litigation costs if they lose - paying all those $1,000 an hour litigation attorneys that the biggest companies hire when sued for patent infringement.

    You appear to be woefully misinformed on information that is easily findable. This legislation STARTED as "loser pays." Nothing was converted. The very first proposal in the House (from DeFazio) was *solely* about loser pays. And it's an incredibly smart idea, given how many bogus patent lawsuits are brought solely to force companies into settling.

    I realize you're just repeating talking points someone fed you, but, come on, at least find ones that are somewhere close to accurate.

     

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

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 4:57am

    Re:

    "companies who lose many millions of dollars to patent infringement"
    - Looks like a wild ass claim to me.


    "routinely appropriate the technology of others"
    - wtf does this mean?

    "what has Microsoft invented"
    - software should not be afforded patent protection as it is protected via copyright.

    "This legislation started as a well intentioned"
    - The sad sad story of every bill ever.

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    P. Aaron, May 23rd, 2014 @ 5:22am

    Re: no surprise

    Uh, Delay avoided jail because his 'conviction' was overturned.

     

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

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 5:45am

    Re: Re:

    Is there a place that lists "major" inventions that were not patented?

     

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

  29.  
    icon
    nckhawk (profile), May 23rd, 2014 @ 5:59am

    To Mike Masnick Re: Re:

    No sir you are wrong- I am an inventor and I make a living in licensing and royalties. The House and Senate bills did not take the individual inventors funding, licensing and infringement needs into account. They were written to eradicate the worst of troll practices but also wipe out the rights of the individual inventors and universities in the process. There are many specifics in the draft that are overkill. Several of the authors of the House bill have since lamented that they moved too fast and did not take inventor rights into consideration - it is a constitutional right and you do not appear to know your history. Patent rights were seminal in the monetization of inventions from Edison, Bell, Tesla, Singer, Howe and many others. The patent system was established so that ANY inventor could protect their invention including slaves when it was written. You must be a lobbyist for one of the big boys.

     

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

  30.  
    icon
    nckhawk (profile), May 23rd, 2014 @ 6:03am

    Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    I challenge you to name an successful invention that was not protected by patent coverage besides Instagram. The right to patent is not silly, it is a right granted by our founding fathers to protect us from the tyranny of the British. We must now protect ourselves from the tyranny of the new internet oligarchs. I do not support trolls and am for some form of accountability for many of their practices but we must not kill off the marshlands of invention in the process.

     

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

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 6:33am

    Re: To Mike Masnick Re: Re:

    "No sir you are wrong- I am an inventor and I make a living in licensing and royalties."

    Oh, so you're not an inventor, you're a shill. You're the type of person we need a bill passed to put out of business because you are an abuse of the system.

     

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

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 6:34am

    Re:

    But then how would we tell lawyer jokes or pretend to be rich lawyers to pick up women. Wait, are lawyers needed to do prenups? We can just put down 'MINE BITCH' right? Theres no miscommunication due to legalese.

     

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

  33.  
    identicon
    Ted Burke, May 23rd, 2014 @ 6:36am

    Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    @nckhawk - "I challenge you to name an successful invention that was not protected by patent coverage besides Instagram"

    Easy answer = the formula and process for making Coca-Cola.

     

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

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 6:36am

    Re: Re: A Perfect Example

    That's basically what lobbying is if you think about it.

     

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

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 6:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Congress Quotes

    Perhaps an algebeaic formula calculating corruption along a timeline where special interest skills are converted to "XP" points divided by gaming and carry the 2, um..whassit...please excuse my de-OH RIGHT! I got it. The answer is apple sauce. It all makes sense now. And hey, congress does too! Fuck my head hurts...

     

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

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 6:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Congress Quotes

    Algebraic**

     

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

  37.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), May 23rd, 2014 @ 6:50am

    Re: To Mike Masnick Re: Re:

    "also wipe out the rights of the individual inventors and universities in the process."

    Can you support this assertion?

    BTW, you'd do better to leave universities out of the argument, as univerisities' use of patents is highly controversial in itself.

     

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

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 6:57am

    Re: Re:

    So, what happens when the players on the board that are pushing out a good product are wiped out because of bad patents and litigation and all that's left are those responsible for it? Who are they going to blame? What are they going to bitch about to the powers that be? OH MY GOD. Who are they going to SUE!? Think of the children. At least the politicians can still fill up on all the bullshit they get fed.

     

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

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 7:04am

    Re: To Mike Masnick Re: Re:

    Are the instructions\recipe for making slaves in the public domain yet? I got a garden needing tended to this summer.

     

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

  40.  
    identicon
    jj72, May 23rd, 2014 @ 7:07am

    Re: say it isnt so

    The dems are owned by Hollywood, wall street, environmentalists, lawyers and unions. Basically, rich white people who provide crumbs to the poor (mostly minorities) while convincing the poor that the republican's efforts to fix the schools and grow the economy are evil and the status quo of poverty, terrible inner city schools and high crime are good for them.

     

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

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 7:10am

    Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    Snow sled made out of a reused cardboard box. Success is rather subjective, no?

     

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

  42.  
    identicon
    JEDIDIAH, May 23rd, 2014 @ 7:23am

    Re: Trial Lawyers?

    Yes. That is an interesting wrinkle. In order to be a patent attorney you have to have a degree in something other than underwater basket weaving. The number of lawyers that are even eligible to apply to the patent bar is a tiny minority.

    They are the "nerds" of the bar.

    Do the "jocks" really care about the "nerds" in this instance? It's not a forgone conclusion. But lawyers in general make great scapegoats.

     

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

  43.  
    identicon
    Lasciata Speranza, May 23rd, 2014 @ 7:29am

    Re:

    It wasn't Richard III. It was Dick, the butcher of Ashford, in Henry VI, Part II.

     

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

  44.  
    icon
    nckhawk (profile), May 23rd, 2014 @ 7:46am

    Re: Re: To Mike Masnick Re: Re:

    How can you make such a statement. I make a living inventing and am pretty good at it. What do you look for living besides create lies on the internet?

     

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

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 7:52am

    Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    Benjamin Franklin and electricity, the copy and paste functions you use on your computer, Issac Newton and his contributions to science.

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=patent+absurdity&page=&utm_source=opense arch

    http://levine.sscnet.ucla.edu/general/intellectual/against.htm

    The founding fathers were very skeptical of patents (ie: Benjamin Franklin didn't get patents for his work, Thomas Jefferson was first against patents but eventually changed his mind provided they were very limited in scope) and their skepticism and the fact that it limited the scope of patents helped spur American innovation at first.

    Just because we have a system now where every incremental invention gets patented by some patent troll that's really not needed doesn't mean patents are necessary. In fact, much of the innovation has been moved to parts of the world that aren't so strict on patents.

    There is little to no evidence that patents have done much to promote the progress and almost all of the evidence suggests they have only hindered progress (and that includes the pharmaceutical industry).

    Heck, much of human history didn't have patents and yet our knowledge did advance.

    To claim that innovation and advancement won't happen without patents is a lie. It has happened in the past and will continue to happen. Patents should only occur on advancements that won't otherwise happen because otherwise the only thing the patent is doing is increasing the price on advancements that would otherwise occur.

    Since patents are a privilege that no one is entitled to that causes economic harm (ie: monopolies) the burden of proof should be on the person wanting them to prove that they are necessary. If you can't do that and if you can't distinguish between a patent worthy idea vs a non-patent worthy idea and prove that these are patent worthy ideas (ie: that they would not have otherwise occurred) then patents should be abolished.

    The majority of patents never even make it to product. Every patent that doesn't make it to product by the patent holder that applied for the patent is a bad patent because all it's doing is being used to increase patent cross licensing agreement bargaining leverage, find someone that accidentally trips on your patent so you can troll them, or it's being used for defensive purposes so that no one else can apply for that patent and sue you. So the majority of patents are bad ones.

    Just because someone somewhere may have gotten a patent on every possible idea that anyone can come up with (Ie: some patent troll got a patent on some idea that someone else independently came up with and later implemented but since it's much easier to simply come up with an idea and get a patent on it than it is to implement by the time the poor innovator got to market with his idea the patent troll already got a patent on it that he can use to sue the innovator) doesn't mean patents were necessary to facilitate those ideas.

    I've made this challenge here before. Give me examples of good (preferably relatively recent) patents and prove (the burden is on you) that these ideas would not have otherwise occurred and lets see if we can come up with more examples of bad patents than you can of good ones. Oh, and make sure your patents are good because if they're obvious or bad or whatever it will be pointed out.

    Where is the patent that tells me how to build my laptop? My mouse? My monitor? My car? The Windows operating system (which is closed source)? Etc... All of these companies have large patent portfolios yet none of them tell me anything useful. All of that is protected by trade secrets. The patents are merely on general, non-patent worthy, ideas that tell me nothing useful.

     

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

  46.  
    icon
    nckhawk (profile), May 23rd, 2014 @ 7:56am

    Re: Re: To Mike Masnick Re: Re:

    Where to start? Lets begin with Google, which came from a Stanford IP / Patent license. Google would have never gotten venture funding on their 5th try if loser pays (as presently contemplated in the House & Senate bills) was tied back to investors and original IP owners. Here's a great place for those of you with questions to go get educated on the value of innovation from smallco's and universities:

    http://www.ipwatchdog.com/

     

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

  47.  
    icon
    nckhawk (profile), May 23rd, 2014 @ 8:02am

    Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    Is that all you can come up with? Coke leverages IP protection via trade secret law. It's IP law nonetheless. Micky Mouse is protected via Copyright law. Disney is lobbying Congress for another 10 year extension to Copyright extension law as well.

     

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

  48.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), May 23rd, 2014 @ 8:03am

    Re: To Mike Masnick Re: Re:

    No sir you are wrong- I am an inventor and I make a living in licensing and royalties

    Ah, got it. So you don't innovate. You know nothing about bringing a real product to market and you demand money from those who actually do.

    The House and Senate bills did not take the individual inventors funding, licensing and infringement needs into account.

    Yes, they did. They absolutely did -- and I know this because I argued with them about it, because they went TOO far in your direction.

    Several of the authors of the House bill have since lamented that they moved too fast and did not take inventor rights into consideration

    Haha. No, those who had pharma and IV lobby them made statements like that, but no one believed it.

    it is a constitutional right and you do not appear to know your history.

    Heh. Just a suggestion: never get into a pissing match when you have no idea who you're pissing against.

    Patents are NOT a constitutional right. The Constitution grants Congress the right to grant patents IF (and only if) they "promote the progress of the useful arts." Patents are not a right. They are an option that Congress is allowed to pursue if they think it will help promote useful arts.

    The patent system was established so that ANY inventor could protect their invention including slaves when it was written

    No, but someone's been feeding you misinformation.

    You must be a lobbyist for one of the big boys.

    So, when you're wrong and defensive you just start making up shit?

    I am not a lobbyist. I am not working for anyone. I'm not even interested in "the big boys" who abuse patents just as much, if not more, than trolls. I worry about innovation because (1) I know the difference between innovation and invention and (2) I see the harm that patent holders do to real innovators on a daily basis.

     

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

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 8:05am

    Re: Re:

    It gets tiring when the shills keep coming here repeating the same lies over and over. They have no conscience because they know what they are saying are lies. The thing is it's easy to simply lie without providing any support for it whatsoever, ignore the fact that the burden is on the person telling this lie to provide support (since patents are a privilege that no one is entitled to and monopolies are known to cause economic harm), and require everyone else to point out that they haven't provided any support because there is none and to keep providing a ton of supporting evidence to the contrary.

    These people have no conscience. They keep repeating the same lies over and over and over. They're lies. Everyone knows they're lies. By now they should know that everyone knows they're lies. Yet they keep repeating them. Do they really expect to be taken seriously? What's wrong with these people?

    We should just create a generic link refuting all these lies and pointing to it every time a shill keeps repeating them instead of having to keep repeating ourselves.

     

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

  50.  
    icon
    nckhawk (profile), May 23rd, 2014 @ 8:06am

    Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    Broad patents don't get issued. Worthless patents are mainly the product of the patent law profession turning the crank. Patent portfolios is where the value chain presently exist. We have patent trolls because of the inefficiency of the system. To quote the US Chamber of Commerce - chew on the following facts:
    America’s IP is worth $5.8 trillion, more than the nominal GDP of any other country in the world.*

    IP-intensive industries provide over 40M US jobs and account for over 1/3– or 38%– of total U.S. GDP.*

    IP industries in the US also have 72.5% higher output per worker than the national average, valued at $136,556 per worker.*

    IP accounts for 66% of all U.S. exports- which amounts to nearly $1 trillion.*

    America’s IP driven innovation accounts for more than 40% of U.S. economic growth & employment.*

     

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

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 8:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    "Coke leverages IP protection via trade secret law."

    Which is exactly the point. Why get a patent on something useful, non-obvious, and/or difficult to copy when you can just leverage trade secret laws. Instead just focus your attention on getting patents on very obvious, general, ideas that everyone will simply independently invent regardless.

     

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

  52.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), May 23rd, 2014 @ 8:10am

    Re: Re: Re: To Mike Masnick Re: Re:

    That doesn't support your assertion. What in the bill would have the effect that you state, and how?

     

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

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 8:13am

    Re: Re: Re: To Mike Masnick Re: Re:

    No, you are a patent troll. You don't innovate, you sit around all day and come up with ideas. Anyone can do that. You're not even particularly skilled in any art. You're a loser with no merit.

    Do you have a degree in engineering or any relevant field? Do you have experience working in these fields (and by that I don't mean simply coming up with ideas all day and getting patents)? Do you honestly think you can do a better job at inventing than those that do, those that are trained in the field? What's 'innovative' to a loser like you is obvious to experts in a field. and that's one problem with our system, the patent system doesn't really have experts in relevant fields evaluating the validity of a patent.

     

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

  54.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), May 23rd, 2014 @ 8:24am

    Re: Re: Re: To Mike Masnick Re: Re:

    Google would have never gotten venture funding on their 5th try if loser pays

    Bullshit. I saw this in an article recently and it's simply false. Google got its initial funding having nothing to do with its patents. Here's an interview with Andy, in which he describes why he funded Google. Please point to where he says patents. http://www.dw.de/von-bechtolsheim-i-invested-in-google-to-solve-my-own-problem/a-4557608

    Its venture funding had nothing to do with its patents, and Google has NEVER (not once) proactively asserted its patents against anyone else -- so "loser pays" wouldn't have impacted them at all.

    And what do you mean "it's 5th try"? Do you not know that basically every VC firm in the valley was dying to invest in Google? That Google basically got to write its own rules for the investment? That it was one of the only times that KP and Sequoia invested together, because despite the fact that two firms hate each other, they both so desperately wanted to invest in Google because of it's astounding growth that they actually agreed to coinveset after Larry and Sergey made that a key term? It had NOTHING (at all) to do with patents.

    Go read the history of Google at http://www.thegooglestory.com/ and you'll see (1) KP and Sequoia were both desperate to invest and (2) Larry and Sergey threatened to shun both of them unless they agreed to coinvest and make sure Larry and Sergey still had power and (3) no one mentions patents anywhere.

    Seriously. Whoever told you they only got investment on a fifth try and because of their patents has flat out lied to you.

    I mean, seriously. If you're going to make shit up, at least try to have some basis in fact.

     

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

  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 8:24am

    Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    Benjamin Franklin's experiments with electricity were exactly that, experiments. As such, they were not patentable then, and would not be patentable now.

    Math is not patentable as well. Essentially, math is a way of describing something. While math could potentially be covered by copyright, it has long been held that you can't copyright math either.

    As for Isaac Newton, first, Newton died before the English patent system came into being (I'm excluding the letters patent for monopolies, which had nothing to do with inventions), and second, virtually everything that Newton did would not have been protectable by a patent, according to present patent laws. Even the few things he did do that might be covered by a patent (i.e., the improved reflecting telescope), were so difficult to make that patenting them would have done little except grant him even more recognition, which he did not need.

    You made an interesting statement, for which I would like to see some support:

    "In fact, much of the innovation has been moved to parts of the world that aren't so strict on patents."

    You also said:

    "Every patent that doesn't make it to product by the patent holder that applied for the patent is a bad patent because all it's doing is being used to increase patent cross licensing agreement bargaining leverage, find someone that accidentally trips on your patent so you can troll them, or it's being used for defensive purposes so that no one else can apply for that patent and sue you. So the majority of patents are bad ones."

    Except, this is a gross generalization that is inaccurate, at best. Many companies file for patents for advertising purposes. Others do so because their board of directors establish them as goals that demonstrate to shareholders that a company is doing something with its R&D department besides drinking a lot of coffee. Furthermore, in some fields, up to 90% of all knowledge is documented ONLY in patents.

    You also said:

    "Give me examples of good (preferably relatively recent) patents and prove (the burden is on you) that these ideas would not have otherwise occurred and lets see if we can come up with more examples of bad patents than you can of good ones."

    US Patent #3,220,392 - The Jake Brake...Over 20 years to develop, all with the money of a private individual.

    US Patent #3,541,541 - The Mouse (how it all started)

    US Patent #1,909,537 - The Drive-In Theater

    But, here's the thing. Invention has happened all through human history. Admittedly, prior to the 19th century, invention was abysmally SLOW. When we say slow, we mean, invention happened, but at the rate of a couple of significant inventions per century. Sure, eliminate patents and inventions will still happen, though likely the rate of invention will decrease.

    What patents did was to drive people to invent. Are all inventions "valuable"? I have seen this subject debated endlessly, and the Libertarians who claim that any invention that is not used is worthless are on one side, with those who believe all knowledge is valuable on the other. The former say the market solves all things, and the latter point to how many inventions that were not successful spurred others to make those that were.

    The debate will go on.

    Perhaps more telling is that countries that have little or no patent protection also have little or no innovation. You can point to several countries that consciously said, "We need to be more inventive rather than waiting for others to invent so we can copy," and then created patent systems or strengthened those they had. These countries include South Korea, Taiwan, and, most recently, China. If patents are so horrendously awful, you would think these countries would not have adopted such a terrible institution that is so clearly bad that no one in their right mind would ever do such a thing. Oh, but they did, and South Korea now often eats Japan's lunch with respect to invention and innovation, and China is nipping at everyone's heels.

     

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

  56.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), May 23rd, 2014 @ 8:28am

    Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    I challenge you to name an successful invention that was not protected by patent coverage besides Instagram.

    The Polio Vaccine

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erHXKP386Nk

    When asked who owned the patent on the polio vaccine, Jonas Salk replied: ""The people, I would say. There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?"

     

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

  57.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), May 23rd, 2014 @ 8:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    Broad patents don't get issued.

    Must be cozy under that rock of yours, my friend:

    http://www.techdirt.com/search-g.php?q=broad+patent


    To quote the US Chamber of Commerce....

    First off, the US Chamber of Commerce is nothing more than a lobbying group for large entrenched corporations.

    And secondly, I believe those figures are based on that silly study that included grocery stores as an "IP intensive industry".

    How about some figures from an unbiased source?

     

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

  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 8:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    "US Patent #3,220,392 - The Jake Brake...Over 20 years to develop, all with the money of a private individual."

    This maybe an example of a decent patent and is one of the few I've seen.

    "US Patent #3,541,541 - The Mouse (how it all started)"

    "Independently, Douglas Engelbart at the Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International) invented the first mouse prototype in 1963,[citation needed] with the assistance of his lead engineer Bill English.[9] They christened the device the mouse as early models had a cord attached to the rear part of the device looking like a tail and generally resembling the common mouse.[10] Engelbart never received any royalties for it, as his employer SRI held the patent, which ran out before it became widely used in personal computers."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mouse_%28computing%29

    So basically the patent didn't actually help the inventor any.

    As for a drive in theater that's not a patent worthy idea. Once you have an idea of a theater the idea of just having vehicles park their car and watching a movie is obvious to come up with.

     

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

  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 8:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    "Benjamin Franklin's experiments with electricity were exactly that, experiments. As such, they were not patentable then, and would not be patentable now."

    He also invented a lot of things, like the lightning rod, and was asked why he didn't patent anything.

    "Well, it wasn’t by patenting his most famous invention, the lightning rod. In fact, Franklin didn’t patent any of his inventions or scientific discoveries, since he believed that everyone should be able to freely benefit from scientific progress. In his autobiography, he explained: “As we enjoy great advantages from the invention of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.” In this way, he was sort of an eighteenth century open-source advocate."

    http://www.benfranklin300.org/etc_article_entrepreneur.htm

    "Many companies file for patents for advertising purposes. Others do so because their board of directors establish them as goals that demonstrate to shareholders that a company is doing something with its R&D department besides drinking a lot of coffee."

    All of which are an abuse of the system. Patents are directing the focus away from creating something useful and towards just getting patents for the sake of getting patents.


    "Furthermore, in some fields, up to 90% of all knowledge is documented ONLY in patents."

    Citation needed.

    If someone wants to document knowledge they can simply publish it. Getting a patent for the sake of 'documenting knowledge' is another abuse of the system being that those documenting the knowledge are not doing anything with the patent and are only potentially deterring others who would independently come up with similar ideas from implementing them. Why would a rational for profit entity (the entities that patents are supposed to be targeting) get a patent just to document useful knowledge if they don't plan to actually use it for anything? How is that encouraging invention and innovation?

    It's really simply deterring it. It's a form of dictator ship, I can tell you what you can't do without paying me and getting my permission just by first getting a patent on that which I don't want you to do.

     

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

  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 8:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    (but when I ask for citations I don't expect you to actually provide citations for any of your lies because you can't).

     

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

  61.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), May 23rd, 2014 @ 8:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    Perhaps more telling is that countries that have little or no patent protection also have little or no innovation. You can point to several countries that consciously said, "We need to be more inventive rather than waiting for others to invent so we can copy," and then created patent systems or strengthened those they had. These countries include South Korea, Taiwan, and, most recently, China. If patents are so horrendously awful, you would think these countries would not have adopted such a terrible institution that is so clearly bad that no one in their right mind would ever do such a thing. Oh, but they did, and South Korea now often eats Japan's lunch with respect to invention and innovation, and China is nipping at everyone's heels.

    Or, you can point to the *actual research* that says the exact opposite. Countries with little or no patent protection were incredibly innovative and actually helped build up massive industries. The key research here is by Eric Schiff, who wrote Industrialization Without National Patents, and found that there was greater innovation without patents.

    And yes, those countries later put in place patents but the ONLY DID SO by the companies who had ALREADY built up successful businesses, and then wanted to protect themselves against upstarts and competitors.

    In other words, the patents were then used to slow down competition and innovation.

    This is clearly seen as well in the Italian context of pharma patents. Prior to 1978 there weren't patents on drugs in Italy and it had a thriving drug industry. Yes, some of it was generics, but Italy was also one of the leading developers of new chemical agents for drugs. That all went away after the patent system was expanded to include drugs. Instead of having over 200 pharma firms, most either shut down or were bought up by foreign multinationals. Italy is no longer a drug powerhouse.

    But, by your reasoning, there should have been more innovation.

     

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

  62.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), May 23rd, 2014 @ 8:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    Broad patents don't get issued.

    You can't be serious.

    To quote the US Chamber of Commerce

    The country's largest lobbying group, hired by patent maximalists is not exactly an unbiased source.

    IP-intensive industries provide over 40M US jobs and account for over 1/3– or 38%– of total U.S. GDP.*


    Misleading to inaccurate. That study counted just about anything as "IP intensive". The leading "employer" in that study? Grocery stores. http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120607/10055319241/feds-say-we-need-stronger-ip-laws-because-groc ery-stores-employ-lots-people.shtml

    Sorry, but the kid bagging my veggies and milk isn't doing so because of patent protection.

    Third on the list of employment? The big tech companies you claim want this patent reform.

    Fifth on the list: consultants. Yeah, I'm sure they're all in business because of patents.

    Sixth on the list: clothing stores.

    I mean, come on. Don't quote from studies you don't understand.

    America’s IP driven innovation accounts for more than 40% of U.S. economic growth & employment.*


    "IP driven" -- weasel words from Steve Tepp at USCOC. When you declare everything as IP driven you can make that argument. But if you look at who's actually in that stat, you'll find that it's not IP driven at all.

    I suggested earlier that you not get in a pissing match with people who actually know what they're talking about. You, clearly, have no clue about this subject and have taken talking points from people with an agenda. You're being used.

     

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

  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 8:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    "Broad patents don't get issued."

    Yes they do

    http://jkranak.blogspot.com/2011/08/overly-broad-patents.html

    " To quote the US Chamber of Commerce - chew on the following facts:
    America’s IP is worth $5.8 trillion, more than the nominal GDP of any other country in the world.*"

    Really, the chamber of commerce is the source you're going to give? Of course they're going to be pro-monopoly, it's a trade group not interested in the public interest but interested in the interests of industry and industries want monopolies. Hardly a reliable source.

    and these numbers have been debunked so many times that it's an outrage anyone would keep citing these lies.

    Also the monetary value of a patent doesn't say anything about its social value. Of course the government granting a monopoly to a monopolist is going to have monetary value to the monopolist. But it comes an expense to the rest of society.

    "Worthless patents are mainly the product of the patent law profession turning the crank. Patent portfolios is where the value chain presently exist."

    All of which are an abuse of the system and distract from actual advancement and towards patent acquisitions.

    Patents shouldn't be about 'the patent law profession turning the crank'. That's not creating advancement, that's just a bunch of people sitting around and thinking up ideas all day. Anyone can do that and it doesn't contribute anything particularly useful.

    and patent portfolios being about creating 'value chains', again, does little to promote the progress and advance technology. It just creates a deadweight industry that parasites off of those that do innovate.

     

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

  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 9:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    and part of the reason U.S. companies started investing in Japan and China and moving operations there is because they weren't so strict on patents (as even the IP defender above admits). and that's why they started having a lot more engineers and a lot of technology and advancements started being made there and exported to other countries.

    But the IP extremists will simply keep telling their lies over and over without providing any support.

     

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

  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 9:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    "Math is not patentable as well. Essentially, math is a way of describing something. While math could potentially be covered by copyright, it has long been held that you can't copyright math either.

    As for Isaac Newton, first, Newton died before the English patent system came into being (I'm excluding the letters patent for monopolies, which had nothing to do with inventions), and second, virtually everything that Newton did would not have been protectable by a patent, according to present patent laws."

    I think you're missing the point. This highlights the fact that fields that aren't subject to patents have enjoyed the most advancement.

     

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

  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 9:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    "I think you're missing the point. This highlights the fact that fields that aren't subject to patents have enjoyed the most advancement."

    Really? I would like to see your evidence of that. Some people believe just the opposite is happening, that we are so focused on the next great technological advancement, and after the almighty dollar, that math and science, those cores of technology that are neither patentable, nor, if they were patentable, would they typically be worth patenting, are languishing. Which is correct? Are math and science advancing faster than ever because they are not covered by patents, or are they languishing because everyone is focused on something else?

     

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

  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 10:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    Depending on who you talk to, Italy is in fact a significant force in drug development. Indeed, Italy is #3 in Europe for biotechnology development, and is the sixth largest exporter of drugs in the EU (moving up one place in 2013), making Italy one of the most significant producers of drugs in the world.

    http://aretusa.ice.it/SchemaSite/images/UserImageDir/146/EN/Investing%20in%20Research%20and%20 Innovation%20in%20Italy%20-%20Focusing%20on%20Biotech%20FINAL.pdf

    http://www.tradecommissioner.gc.ca/ eng/document.jsp?did=144641

    http://www.worldstopexports.com/italys-top-10-exports/2420

    The mere existence of patents is only one factor with respect to the development and production of drugs in Italy, and not necessarily the deciding factor. Many and perhaps most of the drugs previously being manufactured in Italy moved to India, not because of patents, but because India had decided that pharmaceuticals would be an area of focus, and indeed, while Italy may have had 200 pharma firms, India currently has 20,000. It is hard to compete with 100 times more firms with cheaper labor.

    I will also note that in 1980, which is immediately after Italy adopted patents on pharmaceuticals, Italy exported 0.688% of the world's drugs. Italy may have been a "power house" around that time, but they were not a world power house.

    Now Italy has 318 pharma companies, which employ 65,000 employees. More than 60% of Italy's pharma production is exported. Now THAT'S a power house.

     

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

  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 10:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    Eric Schiff provides an interesting case study of the Netherlands and Switzerland in the era from 150 to 100 years ago. It would be interesting to see how such a study could be performed in modern times, when many circumstances have changed.

     

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

  69.  
    icon
    Sloop (profile), May 23rd, 2014 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re: Trial Lawyers?

    Patent litigation is indeed in the hands of the trial lawyers and has been for the last decade or two. Patent bar attorneys, in general, because of that 'nerdiness" (ie .big intellect egos, poor persuasion/ personal interaction skills) are in the current era most often NOT the litigators in patent cases. This one legal culture change upped the cost of patent litigation and correlated with a marked increase in success of plaintiffs. That curve rate is changing now as the other side is employing more litigation savvy defense but the inconsistency, asymmetric costs and extreme unpredictability remain. Given also that few judges anywhere are patent lawyers, much of litigation exploits naive generalization and misunderstandings of technical details, maybe unwittingly so.

    For patent drafting and prosecution (and rexam, divisional crap etc ) the patent bar attorney is required. Hairs are split but vague patents that fail to meet the lawful requirements off pointing to an valid eligible invention with particularity or clarity are somehow still granted by the USPTO. In reality most patent attorneys even those with some practical experience (entry level really) or higher degrees have a limited practical understanding of the actual process and market realities of product development. The typical patent examiner maybe less, and certainly there are ESL and cultural/institutional knowledge difficulties aplenty at the PTO. I regularly read patent specifications and claims that include factually wrong details. Bottom line is as long as the one entity that by law patents are directed to, the skilled artisan (PHOSITA), remains a mere mythical construct (or denounced as in many cases) the system will be remain unjust and be definitionally broken.

     

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

  70.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), May 23rd, 2014 @ 12:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    Math and science are certainly advancing faster than ever. As to whether or not this is related to the lack of patents, I don't know.

    But I do know this: the idea that innovation would end if there were no patent system is absurd. (And yes, I actually do think that there is a positive role for a good patent system. I just wish the US had one.)

     

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

  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 12:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    John:

    I agree that innovation would absolutely not end, and might even be helped by the lack of patents. Furthermore, invention would also not end in the absence of patents. Whether invention would continue at its present pace seems unlikely.

    Some argue that many, and perhaps most, inventions are a "waste" of money because they do not yield a product. Certainly, without a patent system, the focus would be only on those inventions that have a high likelihood of ending up in a product. In the extreme, that could mean that 98% of the things that are presently invented would not be - depending on whose numbers you believe. Does that mean society benefits from not creating those inventions, or does it mean that without the benefit of those inventions other inventions that were inspired by those inventions that do have substantial benefit are never created? Perhaps a philosophical conundrum that will never have a satisfactory answer.

    Suffice it to say that I do not believe anyone who says that elimination of patents will turn Earth into paradise, and fairies will be dancing on flowers in the meadow.

     

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

  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    John:

    What evidence do we have that science and math are advancing faster than ever? I have seen many articles debating whether we have entered a period of scientific stagnation. While I have seen articles argue the opposite direction, most of the articles seem like opinion pieces rather than factually based.

    Incidentally, I differentiate technology from the underlying advancements required in science and math, and presume you are doing the same thing. Technology is advancing faster than ever, with some people estimating that we will have more innovation in the next decade than we had in the entire history of mankind. Talk about acceleration!

     

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

  73.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), May 23rd, 2014 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    "What evidence do we have that science and math are advancing faster than ever?"

    I gauge this by the rate at which we discover entirely new facts about the universe, mostly in the fields of physics and chemistry. We have been having an explosion of such discoveries, at an increasing rate, over the past 50 or so years.

    "presume you are doing the same thing"

    Yes, I am. Technology is not science, really. It is the application of science. That said, they are kissing cousins and have been smooching it up quite a lot, particularly in the materials arena. What I mean by this is that technology cannot significantly advance without advancing the underlying science as a side-effect, and vice-versa. So you can (very roughly) take one as a proxy for the other. They advance more-or-less together.

     

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

  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    John:

    I grant you that portions of science are advancing, as evidenced by the discoveries in astronomy. I also grant you that there have been numerous discoveries in materials. However, I am less certain about other fields of physics, and I am really uncertain about math.

     

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

  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 4:44pm

    Re:

    > Maybe Richard III had it right. First we kill all the lawyers...

    Yeah -- let's go back to trial by combat!


    (or maybe we could re-think our purely adversarial legal system paradigms?)

     

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

  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 5:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    Besides the Lightning Rod, his most famous invention would have been the Franklin Stove.

    And Franklin not only didn't patent his inventions -- he firmly resisted suggestions that he ought to patent them.

     

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

  77.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 6:01pm

    Re: Re: say it isnt so

    lol - are you here all week?

     

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

  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 7:13pm

    Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    The diagonal seatbelt was released without a patent so cars could copy it everywhere and improve survival rates in automobile accidents. You're saying that's not successful?

    If you don't support trolls, why are you against laws that would stop them from suing anyone who scans a document and attaches it to an email?

    Unless, going by the description of your "job", that sort of litigation is your meal ticket?

     

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

  79.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 7:17pm

    Seriously, Ronald J. Riley. The least you could do is find good shills to cocksuck you.

     

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

  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 7:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    and to point to South Korea as an example of a country that doesn't innovate on the basis of not having patents is hilarious and shows how desperate he is.

     

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

  81.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2014 @ 7:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    "Whether invention would continue at its present pace seems unlikely."

    Patents are a privilege that are known to cause harm (monopolies are known to cause economic harm). If you want them to exist you need to prove their utility. That it is your personal opinion that advancement will not happen at its present pace without them is not nearly enough. You have to do better than that.

     

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

  82.  
    icon
    nckhawk (profile), May 24th, 2014 @ 6:37am

    Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    Trade secret works well for chemistry that is hard to reverse engineer. Why doesn't your theory work for drugs? Novelty is a requirement for a patent and after 20 years, it belongs to the public whether it either remains valuable or worthless.

    My job is running a venture capital company that enables invention, the capture of those inventions and the placement or licensing of those inventions to start-ups or corporations. I have been in two major litigations where I had to defend MY IP and won both one from a Fortune 500 company that stole IP and committed fraud. I've gone broke twice and earned my stripes.

    Congrats to those who could name a handful of examples from the past 100 years where a successful company or product was built without "patents". Besides the fat one over the place, you lost the argument though.

    The present legislation also takes out the ability of individual inventors and small companies to fund, develop and protect their IP. Universities would have to assume much higher liabilities and that would stop research funding for many.

    I oppose true trolls, who aggregate IP then terrorize for settlements. The value of patents, if you're good at obtaining then, must presently be extracted from an inefficient marketplace or by placement of your IP into companies who can monetize them which is hard and risky work.

    I'm good at that and will fight anyone to the death who threatens what I'm good at. If you want to help - lets get Congress to leave the patent fees in the USPTO so that they can modernize systems and improve their process. Google has managed to take over the Director's job with an interim appointment post-Kappos so all of that it moot until the next regime moves in.

    This has finally evolved into a good discussion.

     

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

  83.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2014 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    Others here who are anti-patent have already made the argument for me, or were you paying attention? If it is true that 98% of all inventions are not commercially successful, then in the absence of patents, why would they ever be invented in the first place?

    Let's say that conservatively, 75% of all patents are for inventions that are for protection of for technological options that were never pursued during the life of the patent. We know that approximately 1/3 of all patents are abandoned when the first maintenance fee is due (four years after issue), and a second third are abandoned after the second maintenance fee is due (eight years after issue). It seems as though there would be merit in saying that these inventions would not take place in the absence of patents.

    Now, there is quite the cottage industry in mining expired patents for inventions that are potentially useful in new products (many major companies have entire departments that do such mining). So, if 75% of all inventions never happen in the absence of patents, then clearly those inventions would never be available for others to exploit.

    In answer to your comment, no, it is not my personal opinion, it is the opinion of the anti-patent crowd, but it is supported by an array of corollary evidence.

     

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

  84.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), May 25th, 2014 @ 6:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    My job is running a venture capital company that enables invention, the capture of those inventions and the placement or licensing of those inventions to start-ups or corporations.

    That is *not* venture capital. I know venture capitalists. They fund *innovation* and *companies that make things*. You are the quintessential description of a troll. Real venture capitalists know that patents are a complete disaster.

    I note, by the way, you never responded to my pointing out you were completely full of it in claiming Google only got funding because of its patents. Not true. Ask most of the top VCs and they'll say that patents are the least of their concerns when funding a company. It's usually about the team, traction and the idea.

    I have been in two major litigations where I had to defend MY IP and won both one from a Fortune 500 company that stole IP and committed fraud. I've gone broke twice and earned my stripes.

    "Stole" IP? Can you reveal the two cases? Did the companies see your patents and copy it? Or did they just independently invent something obvious, and then have you come in and take a toll, even though you failed to actually do anything in the market?

    Congrats to those who could name a handful of examples from the past 100 years where a successful company or product was built without "patents". Besides the fat one over the place, you lost the argument though.

    You insisted there were no examples. People gave you a ton of examples. And you still declare victory? You're funny.

    Besides, these days, most innovative companies have to patent for defensive reasons, otherwise trolls like you will jump in with other patents and sue them. Just because companies get patents doesn't mean they need them. Just like because grocery stores "use" trademark it doesn't mean all their baggers have jobs because of IP as you falsely claimed earlier (funny, you never responded to that either).

    The present legislation also takes out the ability of individual inventors and small companies to fund, develop and protect their IP. Universities would have to assume much higher liabilities and that would stop research funding for many.

    There was a carveout for universities in the latest draft, so no. Seriously, you should inform yourself what was actually being negotiated, rather than taking talking points from the Chamber of Commerce or whoever.

    I'm good at that and will fight anyone to the death who threatens what I'm good at. If you want to help - lets get Congress to leave the patent fees in the USPTO so that they can modernize systems and improve their process. Google has managed to take over the Director's job with an interim appointment post-Kappos so all of that it moot until the next regime moves in.

    Oh my goodness. You're a conspiracy theorist. I know Michelle, and if you honestly think she's there doing Google's will, you're completely clueless.

     

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

  85.  
    icon
    nckhawk (profile), May 25th, 2014 @ 10:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    You come across as extremely arrogant - what drives you? Are you unable to invent and monetize - you appear to be very good as a tear down artist - we have plenty of those in this country already so how do you add value to society?

    IP is capital if you have the guts & means to put it to work. I am an inventor and based on my combat training in the courts and moderate success spotting value, continue to invent and also help other inventors realize value from their creations. We have more than 300 filings and a 20x over the USPTO average for getting high value patents issued that are in products, not the hands of trolls. We know what we are doing. Our main goal is spin-off and placement. Putting creativity, hard work and fungible assets to work and creating value has been what this country has always been about.

    You have the air of one of those free software types - does that describe you? Do you accept the fact that Congress skims patent fees from the USPTO for projects elsewhere? How do you make your living?

    Regarding the IP examples, I should have specified technology companies but failed to do so. The examples were few but they were great. The point is that the vast majority of invention wealth created in this country over the past 200 years was backed by patents. Keep arguing if you'd like.

    Google and Facebook got this regime a second term - payback is taking place. Since you know so much, why doesn't Obama nominate Kappo's replacement? You might even know why why Kappos got forced out?

    I am not aware of university carve out and look forward to learning more about that. What did they do for independent inventors? The great news is that inventors won this round and you apparently lost. For troll control progress is being made as loser pays is now at the judges discretion in IP wars. We'll see what the judiciary does next. In the meantime - there is value to be created and money to be made. I am personally thrilled that Harry Reid gets credit for this. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

     

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

  86.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2014 @ 5:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    "Trade secret works well for chemistry that is hard to reverse engineer."

    The IP extremists have long argued that part of the purpose of patents is to get companies to release their secrets to the world instead of keeping them a secret and profiting from them. But if they're protected by trade secrets then what's the point?

     

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

  87.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2014 @ 5:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    "If it is true that 98% of all inventions are not commercially successful, then in the absence of patents, why would they ever be invented in the first place?"

    If they're not commercially successful because there is no commercial value in them then resources should not be wasted on a patent office trying to collect them. It's not that only the patent holder has some magic gift that no one has and so only the patent holder can come up with these ideas it's just that the idea sucks.

    "Let's say that conservatively, 75% of all patents are for inventions that are for protection of for technological options that were never pursued during the life of the patent. We know that approximately 1/3 of all patents are abandoned when the first maintenance fee is due (four years after issue), and a second third are abandoned after the second maintenance fee is due (eight years after issue). It seems as though there would be merit in saying that these inventions would not take place in the absence of patents."

    Anyone can sit around and come up with useless inventions all day long. Having a patent office catalog those inventions on taxpayer money is a waste of resources.

    "Now, there is quite the cottage industry in mining expired patents for inventions that are potentially useful in new products (many major companies have entire departments that do such mining). So, if 75% of all inventions never happen in the absence of patents, then clearly those inventions would never be available for others to exploit."

    Well, no, innovators don't sit around and read (expired) patents for good ideas. That's a fabrication of your imagination that you would need proof of.

    What often happens is that some patent troll or some entity with a large patent portfolio has a bunch of patents. This entity is not gifted. They don't have an ability to come up with ideas that no one else can come up with. We can all sit around all day and come up with ideas. But because thinking up ideas and acquiring patents is easy while actually innovating is hard work patent trolls who are positioned to get as many patents as possible can quickly acquire a patent before anyone innovates. This deters others from innovating until the patent expires. The result is not that the patent brought anything useful to society. The result is that the patent hindered the advancement of a given technology until the patent expired.

    "So, if 75% of all inventions never happen in the absence of patents, then clearly those inventions would never be available for others to exploit."

    That 75% of all inventions that would never happen (ie: succeed in a market) without patents is something you need to substantiate. The burden is on you and so far you have provided nothing to substantiate your claims.

     

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

  88.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2014 @ 5:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    I'm still waiting for examples. What are these genius non-obvious inventions that only you can come up with that no one else can?

     

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

  89.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2014 @ 5:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    That 75% of all inventions would never happen ...*

     

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

  90.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 25th, 2014 @ 5:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    "We have more than 300 filings and a 20x over the USPTO average for getting high value patents issued that are in products, not the hands of trolls."

    So you are getting patents that are already in products so that you can sue the manufacturers for money? Sounds like trolling to me.

    "We know what we are doing."

    Yeah, you're running an extortion racket. Yes extortion maybe profitable but that doesn't make what you do any more ethical. I really hope legislation is crated to specifically put you out of business.

     

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

  91.  
    icon
    nckhawk (profile), May 26th, 2014 @ 4:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    Nothing of the sort whichever of the anonymous cowards you are. The display of enormous arrogance and ignorance in your know-it-all statements continues to amaze. How do make a living? Teardown artist usually don't get paid very much. We create and build companies.

    We're actually in litigation with a troll right now - we have won thru the appellate level. A state Chamber of Commerce has taken the troll's side as the case moves to to our state Supreme Court on the bad guy's appeal. We're going to win that as well.

    Independent inventors rights need to be upheld and protected. Our future depends on it. In the meantime, I'm sure I'll see you in the funny pages.

     

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

  92.  
    icon
    nckhawk (profile), May 26th, 2014 @ 4:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    Most trade secrets can be reverse-engineered these days. That is the tricky part in deciding whether to patent or go the TS route. Invention needs investment and the ability to generate a protected return before the copycats get a turn is what fuels innovation. The world wants to copy. Look at Makerbot - he was open source until he got copied and had his business model threatened. He changed his model, protected his IP and got bought for $1B all in very short order. If you know what you're doing, the great thing about patents is that you have a 20 year timeframe to practice your invention. After that, it reverts into the public domain for the good of society. If you're too early in your first go at commerce and profit then you, or your investors, get a 2nd or 3rd chance at a return with IP. It is interesting that IP is almost always the most valuable asset that sells when companies cycle out or fail.

     

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

  93.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), May 26th, 2014 @ 6:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    You come across as extremely arrogant - what drives you? Are you unable to invent and monetize - you appear to be very good as a tear down artist - we have plenty of those in this country already so how do you add value to society?

    I work with innovative companies every day. Companies bringing amazing things to market -- and nearly every single one of them gets hit with bogus threats and/or lawsuits from patent holders, who hold overly broad patents that had nothing to do with these companies innovating.

    I've seen the harm that patents do to our economy, to innovation and to health. I'd like to live in a better world and the patent system today clearly hinders that.

    Nearly all evidence suggests that the costs associated with patents massively outweighs the benefits. Economists who have studied the patent system note that the system makes no sense at all and does much more damage than good.

    Monopolies are bad for innovation, especially when innovation is an ongoing process of improving on ideas to build better products. What patents do is slow that down by putting a toll on obvious improvements that build better products.

    We have more than 300 filings

    Again, you confirm that you are a part of the problem.

    You have the air of one of those free software types - does that describe you? Do you accept the fact that Congress skims patent fees from the USPTO for projects elsewhere? How do you make your living?

    I make my living because I built a business that makes money -- it makes money by providing a product that people willingly pay for. Not one that they have to be threatened and cajoled and litigated into paying for.

    If you can't understand the difference, you're a part of the problem.

    The point is that the vast majority of invention wealth created in this country over the past 200 years was backed by patents. Keep arguing if you'd like.

    You continue to assume, incorrectly, that companies that got patents did so because they value those patents, rather than because of the defensive nature and the need for patents due to parasites like you who demand money from companies who actually innovate.

    Google and Facebook got this regime a second term - payback is taking place. Since you know so much, why doesn't Obama nominate Kappo's replacement? You might even know why why Kappos got forced out?

    Kappos didn't get forced out. Obama hasn't nominated someone new because getting approvals through is nearly impossible these days. This is basic politics 101.

    I am not aware of university carve out and look forward to learning more about that. What did they do for independent inventors? The great news is that inventors won this round and you apparently lost.

    No. The trolls won this round, and EVERYONE lost. You're killing innovation. Shameful.

    We'll see what the judiciary does next.

    Indeed. Happy to see smart companies like NewEgg about to get paid for beating a slimey troll.

    In the meantime, you still haven't responded to my points. I wonder why.

    1. Why did you lie and claim Google only got funding because of patents? Can you admit you were wrong?

    2. Why did you lie and claim that no major inventions didn't require patents? Can you admit you were wrong?

    3. Why won't you say who you're in litigation with so we can assess for ourselves if you're really not a troll?

     

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

  94.  
    icon
    nckhawk (profile), May 26th, 2014 @ 6:35am

    Re: Re: To Mike Masnick Re: Re:

    Why leave Universities out of the argument? Lets just use Stanford as an example. They have earned almost $1.5B in licensing and royalty fees on Stanford generated IP since the 1970s. Last year they spent $8M on patents and had $76M in revenue with a staff of 24. IP is a huge money maker for the school. Patents are critical to this process. How is monetizing your research via IP licensing controversial?

    In the contemplated legislation that just went down in flames, apparently much to your dismay, original investors were liable in loser pays litigation. Play that forward in the University research environment and see what kind of answer you get.

     

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

  95.  
    icon
    nckhawk (profile), May 26th, 2014 @ 6:42am

    Re: Re: To Mike Masnick Re: Re:

    Okay - so you're a protector of innovation and apparently most inventors who get patents are just out to destroy the innovators. What protects the innovators once they get a product to market and make enough money to attract the attention of the copy cats? Lets take water cleaning for fracking as an immediate example. There are 3 technology leaders in that arena right now - all small companies doing incredible work. Should a bigco be able to just copy their innovation and underprice / outmarket them. Who protects the innovators in your world?

     

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

  96.  
    icon
    nckhawk (profile), May 26th, 2014 @ 6:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    congrats - you found broad patents from 100 years ago. No one is getting broad patents issued these days that stand. There are people who think of ideas then put them to work - I have a company built around those folks. We learned the hard way after having bigs steal our ideas. I've figured this out after winning fraud, BOC and unjust enrichment from not one but TWO multi-billion dollar companies that tried to steal my inventions when they were in the prototype stage. We have 2 unanimous jury verdicts which are very fulfilling after years of our opponents using money and the legal system to levitate and attempt to bleed us to death.

    The inefficiencies of the patent system will eventually be improved. Unethical attorneys responding to "just get me a patent" demands are one of the reasons why so many worthless patents are issued. No one seems to want to respond to the $1.5B drained from the USPTO as a way to improve issued patents. Lets as Congress to start by leaving USPTO patent fee revenue alone. Any takers?

     

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

  97.  
    icon
    nckhawk (profile), May 26th, 2014 @ 6:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    You just wait - China is going to start caring about IP. They are moving into a phase of innovation instead of stealing / copying. We already see signs of that awakening. India as well.

     

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

  98.  
    icon
    nckhawk (profile), May 26th, 2014 @ 6:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    You don't deserve any citations - you're an unworthy teardown artist.

     

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

  99.  
    identicon
    Within Reason, May 27th, 2014 @ 8:32am

    Re: Re: say it isnt so

    You're being ironic, right?

    If fixing the school means cutting funding and banning critical thinking and growing the economy means laissez-faire economics, the Reps are the wrong choice.

    Other parties exist. Find out about them and tell everyone else about them.

     

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

  100.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2014 @ 5:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    I disagree with your comment about the drive-in theater patent. Functionally, the various portions of the technology, of which there were many, never came together until the time of the patent. Further, at the time of the patent "drive-in" anything was something that had yet to be invented. Drive-in's of various types were coming, but they had yet to arrive. How novel to figure out how to get sound to hundreds of individual vehicles, how to project an image bright enough to see hundreds of feet away, how to focus at that distance, and how to create a surface for the best viewing experience. Drive-in theaters became an instant and huge hit, and remained so for decades, strongly influencing dozens of other businesses in the process.

    Obvious? Only after the patent. Before that, it was a completely unheard of concept and many problems to solve.

     

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

  101.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2014 @ 6:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    Citations:

    This paper discusses the uniqueness of patents and reference rates of patents starting on page 23. At the time of this study, the highest rate of utilization of patents was in the chemical field, at around 68%. One of the findings of the study that was significant is that the majority of patents provided information that was unavailable in non-patent literature, which means that patents are a significant repository of knowledge.

    Here's another study referring to the store of knowledge in patents that does not exist in non-patent literature:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3096506/

    There was another recent study that I read (and I am still trying to find) that found that approximately 90% of all information about new chemicals was found only in patents and not in non-patent literature. How awful would it be to lose that source of knowledge?

     

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

  102.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2014 @ 6:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    Coca Cola has over a thousand US patents. They protected Coke with a trade secret because chemicals can be difficult to reverse engineer, and apparently Coke is. On the other hand, Coca Cola has over 1000 US patents. Just because Coca Cola protected a chemical formula with one form of IP does not mean they avoid other forms; they are just smart about it.

     

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

  103.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 30th, 2014 @ 6:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Dear Anonymous Coward...Re: Re:

    You know, I hear this unsupported comment about "ideas that everyone will simply independently invent regardless," and yet, our system seems to indicate otherwise.

    Until recently, we had a system of interferences that adjudicated disputes between two inventors who filed patent applications within a year of each other. In spite of the alleged prevalence of "independent invention," in the period 1998-2002, only 4 interferences occurred for every 10,000 patent applications filed, a rate of 0.04%. That statistic alone suggests that very little independent invention is actually taking place.

    Beyond that statistic, there have been several credible estimates of the actual number of patents that have been disputed in patent litigation. Assuming that each patent in litigation is directed to someone who independently invented something (which leans things WAY in the favor of independent invention), and knowing that approximately 1.5% of all patents are ever litigated, that suggests that independent invention rarely happens. Furthermore, given that many of the 1.5% of patents that are litigated are probably over-applied according to sites such as TechDirt, we could probably drop that percentage by 50% or more, which indicates that independent invention is happening somewhere around 0.7% of the time - which any reasonable person would have to say is rare, if not extremely rare.

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Advertisement
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Support Techdirt - Get Great Stuff!

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.