"basically guaranteeing that such lawsuits could only be brought where social networking companies wanted them to be brought."
And what would be wrong with that?
Not that I'm all for click through EULA's (indeed I think they should simply be banned outright in any form that they might be made to appear). But, if they are going to allow them to exist then I see no issue with twiter or whomever making their customers agree to bring patent cases in their home turf. Indeed, it seems like more companies ought to do this.
""What is becoming more and more evident is that Sony has been the victim of a very carefully planned, very professional, highly sophisticated criminal cyber attack designed to steal personal and credit card information for illegal purposes." "
Which was probably carried out by a 15 yr old. lulz.
"There's the infamous case of Giles Rich, the patent lawyer who wrote a large part of the 1952 Patent Act... and then went on to become a judge at CAFC where he ruled on the interpretations of the law he, himself, had written. "
There are those that would say "that rit thare's how it's done son"
Note also that I am not for this type of billing as I am myself a heavy user. But just assuming they're going to do it, and the question of metering does come up, then I do believe we ought to go ahead and invent a meter that works.
And, if you think that Nielsen's patent covers *accurate* metering, you've clearly never talked to anyone who runs a website."
Ok, cool, I'll totally trust you on that.
I have another idea, why doesn't someone invent a meter that works in this context?
But let me guess, when someone does invent a meter that works, we'll all be pissed because they patented it, right? Because hey, everyone is in the field trying to make a meter that works because there is a huge market for such meters and we totally need them.
To be truthful, these "software" meters probably ought not be patentable. But hey, if they require a box at your house to meter it then I see no reason why that box and whatever parts are inside should not be patentable.
I note that such a box might already exist and may in fact already be patented.
Oh hey, I have an idea, why doesn't someone invent a meter that works?
Oh wait, didn't we address this last week?
"Why bother competing if you can just get a patent instead? Nielsen, who was once sued for violating a patent ("5675510") for the invention of a "computer use meter and analyzer," has now sued competitor Comscore over the same patent, which it eventually came into possession of after settling the lawsuit by buying the patent from Jupiter Media Metrix. Once again, however, this seems to demonstrate the pointlessness of the patent system. Metering and analyzing internet traffic is something that came about because everyone needed it and lots of people tried to tackle the problem. No one went into that space because there was the availability of a patent. People got into the space because there was a need and a market. And, now, Nielsen seems to want to beat the competition not through competing with better products, but by suing over a questionable patent."
"During the Constitutional Convention of 1787-89, Madison opposed a patent system. Jefferson, an inventor, wanted a strong system."
You got those two turned around there bucko. Even though Jefferson was an inventor, he did not initially support the patent system, while Madison did. Eventually they reached a compromise. And Jefferson became the first examiner as it happened.
Individuals tend to only see beyond their own nose and typically don't bother to consider the wider implications of their decisions. They don't even realize the long term consequences to themselves, never mind any one else."
Many artisans don't consider the wider implications, but I do. And I specifically choose to have those wider implications apply FOR ME and AGAINST ME (should I choose to go into business).
The only "problem" is that people without a clue, who are barely affected by the whole system, and who are not artisans within the useful arts have no comprehension of what it is like to advance one's art. They have little comprehension of the time and money put into schooling gaining experience to the point to where you even CAN advance your art.
Well, besides the obvious problems with the current implementation of the patent system. Ala business methods, software, long waits for examination blah blah blah.
"This is why we have societies and governments, to balance multiple competing personal and group interests."
And they balanced it. And what you see is the balance.
"Although a big problem here is that the term "invention" has been diluted to the point where it is pretty meaningless"
I agree with you that it is substantially diluted in this day and age. However, the courts have tried to clamp down on things. See the KSR decision, Bilski decision, etc.
Except the common man (much less the legal community) doesn't see issuance of a patent for a specific contribution as being corruption. Never has, and never will.
Furthermore Mike, you don't really have a monopoly if the court won't issue an injunction against the infringer. And those aren't so easy to get post-ebay. You just get some royalties from the infringer. Practically the only way you get a monopoly is by building yourself an awesome company selling/using the invention and you can show harm to your business by an upstart infringer.
"I recognize that logic"
It isn't logic. It is a desire.
But carry on, just so long as you're clear that you're fighting a battle in which you will make 0 headway within your lifetime, and the situation will only change when skilled artisans are no longer needed to promote the useful arts, or we do away with money. It is going to be several thousand years for the former, at the least, and I'm all for the later.
"Studies have shown, time and time again, that patents do not, in fact, promote innovation. "
Your studies will never trump the real world Mike the economist. Unfortunate, but true.
I wish your studies mattered more than they do, I really do. I find them quite interesting. And one day, I would love to have a patent free world, or at least one where the term is shorter.
You can beat the drum all you like, but it isn't going to change anything, the powerful people who produce the inventions upon which the useful arts are promoted are all pretty sure they want patents. That's the end of it. You (and everyone else) get like 0% say in the matter. They get 100% say in the matter. Why? Because they're the ones that produce (and perhaps more importantly, decide to disclose or not) the inventions.
The same goes for copyright of course, but copyright will probably eventually fade away on its own. Once everyone can hold the entire works of the world on a disk that fits in a computer you can pretty well bet that it'll be gone. Look on the bright side, it's only like 20 years away probably. Eventually the useful arts themselves might do the same, in like 500 years or something crazy like that.
Besides that Mike, as a person of some skill in my art, who is perfectly capable of spitting out several inventions on the spot, I personally say that within this monetary system you "money/financial/bankers etc" people set up I'd like a patent if I so desire to get one on something I come up with in my art. And everyone else in the art would too, I know them, they're pretty much all in agreement, and what the other 99% of the world says doesn't matter. It really doesn't.
Unless and until the pirate party takes over. Which is fine by me, but they aren't exactly growing by leaps and bounds here.
"Instead, what promotes innovation are two key things: need and competition. Need gets people to invent stuff, and competition gets them to improve it. The rewards is there too. It's called *selling stuff*."
I might 100% agree with you. Not really quite 100%, but it doesn't matter either way. Fact is, even if that is reality it just doesn't matter. I want a patent if I invent something, and so do the rest of the skilled artisans of the world. That's why patents have existed from the beginning of this country. Sure, they're there to promote the arts, but they exist because skilled artisans want them. If the skilled artisans all said "do away with them" then they'd be gone tomorrow. Until that happens, what you say really doesn't matter man.
God bless you, but it doesn't.
Capiche? Your studies, and even reality, will never change what me and people like me want within this monetary system we have. If we lived in some utopian society like star trek or whatever, then fine, no patents.
On the other hand, feel free to fight software patents etc. within the bounds o da law. And feel free to advocate however you wish. But understand what you're up against. You're up against the people that want a patent. And they have the people with power's ear. Want to change the system? Become one of them, refuse patents, get congress's ear with your billions.
But like I said, I agree the patent system has its problems, but you're never going to weed them out as long as congress controls the system.
I'm going to leave you with one final thing for you to think about though Mike. Within the Useful Arts there are a lot of little tricks of the trade, many of which are quite valuable and nobody would be able to reverse engineer in a reasonable time if nobody published how they figure out how to do it, those are the real gems that the patent system sometimes brings to light. The modern patent system doesn't focus on those, which I feel is kind of a downside to our current patent system, but, alas, we find ourself strapped with a legacy system from the days of yore when knowledge was scarce and enticing soemone into publishing pretty much anything was a really good deal for the gov. at 17-20 years patent term.
""Certainly sir, well it's a nice broad patent that you can't possibly build something like that without and we have a monopoly here so that'll be a gazillion pounds please.""
As I understand it the avg might be closer to 10k per year for a po-dunk patent, but it depends on what patent you're talking about. For instance, my uncle's company is about to be talking to this company that advertises on its website that it tries to get 10% of all the gross sales, but they keep the actual amount they get from their licensees secret. That 10% is roughly in the millions for my uncle's company. So, they might try to negotiate, they might try to find some prior art, they might threaten litigation and an attempt to kill the patent (which is currently licensed to a dozen or so other companies, thus pulling in $$$ for the patentee). You never know what they'll do. They might get sued themselves. They might not infringe at all.
But like I said, it happens every day in the business world, and somehow some companies (all the ones you know of plus all the rest in the world) are still standing. Some companies get sued out of existance. It's true. That is a downside.
Um, no, you need to read and understand the gov's brief.
The issue is not how much of an impact there will be, the issue(s) which the gov. brings up is just a legality. Specifically it is that congress may have spoken to the issue in a statute, and also, the PTO is entitled to administrative deference for their decisions. Both of which , I note, are not anywhere near the "problem" or "issue" of this instant decision affecting all that many cases in the future.