Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Blocking Technology

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.

Copyright Notice: We don't think much of copyright, so you can do what you want with the content on this blog. Of course we are hungry for publicity, so we would be pleased if you avoided plagiarism and gave us credit for what we have written. We encourage you not to impose copyright restrictions on your "derivative" works, but we won't try to stop you. For the legally or statist minded, you can consider yourself subject to a Creative Commons Attribution License.


French firm has patents on using computers to choose medical treatment

Is anybody here aware of the website, HarmfulPatents.org link here? It is a new ally in the fight against patent-based monopoly. Mike Masnick gets a hat tip for this one, in his site, link here. HarmfulPatents is run by a doctor-professor at Stanford, Dr. Robert Shafer. He had developed a database on HIV that is used to identify possible treatments. Then he and his university got sued by Advanced Biological Laboratories, a French firm which claims that its patents cover the use of computers to make diagnostic decisions. Stanford settled, but the doctor hasn't, starting the website and asking the patent office to re-examine and invalidate the patents. ABL's settlement with Stanford ends the suit against Dr Shafer and allows not-for-profit use of his database. Final irony in this outrage: the European Patent Office rejected the patents on the grounds they were obvious.


this interesting opinion on jdsalinger's court case:


Why not create a wiki patent system where anyone can write about their ideas? It can be rather free form. Anything first written in it, will be grounds for prior art for future trolls trying to patent things.

The problem is that most ideas fail to meet the standard for invention. They are ideas, not an implementation. Faster-than-light is an idea, easy to imagine philosophically. Actually travelling faster-than-light by using a particular invention is a non-obvious way of accomplishing the idea (well, the tachyon FTL drive might be considered sort of obvious, considering the number of times it has been discused), and would be patentable (unless the idea provided the specifics of how to go faster-than-light.

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