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Bucky Fuller indicts patents

I recently saw a play about Buckminster Fuller, an inventor, inveterate writer of mixed obscure and enlightening but wordy prose, and a teacher of considerable renown among his students and the colleges where he taught. That led me to his book Critical Path where he discusses invention and innovation. A quote: "Ideas are easy to come by; reductions to practice is an arduous but inspirationally rewarding matter."

Fuller was born in 1895 and died in 1983 and so is unlikely to be widely remembered or read today. He recounts his experience with patents, concluding that it was not worth it for inventors to get patents because of their cost and the long period between the idea and its fruition in saleable goods. He summed it up, "Most of my inventions have come into public use after my patent rights have expired."

He describes one of the major costs of protecting inventions as the patent attorneys whose services are essential because, "Vast knowledge of the precedents in court-decision history and of the patent strategy of great corporations is essential in the writing of claims."

Finally he quotes the corporate attorneys speaking to his lawyer, "Of course, the first thing my client asked me to do was to find a way of circumventing your client's patent, but you have written the claims so well that I was forced to advise my client to procure a license under your patent without exposing himself to almost certainly devastating infringement expense."

Fuller finds two truths from his experience, "... big business, which now makes its major profits out of know-how, deliberately steals know-how wealth whenever possible; the second is that if I had not taken out patents, you would probably never have heard of me ...."

He gave up on inventing for money and got his rewards from the renown of his patent disputes. So much for using his experience as justification for patents as encouraging invention.


Comments

Re Buckminster Fuller:

Though Buckminster Fuller generally counseled others against patents, for reasons that he explains in his book, "Critical Path," he also explained the tremendous value of patents to him. In fact, he speaks positively regarding patents in several places, specifically with the value patents provide with respect to spreading knowledge and documenting inventions that might otherwise be lost to mankind (reference pages 146-147).

The record also shows that the statement that "he gave up on inventing for money" is false. He states quite clearly on page 149 of his book that he never took out patents for the money, but for the documentation value of patents as well as showing what an individual inventor can accomplish.

Though not mentioned by John Bennett, Fuller also states on page 147 of his book that attorneys from more than 100 big companies came to visit his attorneys over the course of half a century to take licenses to his patents. He says this in a way that seems a little like gloating, so I suspect he made good money from those patents, his other comments aside.

Though Buckminster Fuller never became wealthy, per se, the reason is not that he failed to make money from his patents and his other work, but because, just like Nikola Tesla, he invested all his money in other inventions, experiments or projects. The difference between the two is that Fuller managed to keep enough money to pay bills and buy food. Tesla, on the other hand, put invention and experimentation first and food, clothing and housing secondary. The hundreds of thousands earned by Tesla disappeared into equipment for the next invention and he had a bad habit of spending more than his patents earned him.

Alonniemouse spouts on again, calling John Bennett a liar and prattling on about the supposed value of patents in encouraging disclosure.

1. Other publishing venues exist besides the patent office. If the patent office weren't available, a thing currently only published there would presumably have been published elsewhere, since someone clearly wanted it published and was even willing to pay to have it published even with a low expectation of any kind of return on that payment.

2. The patent system hasn't done anything to reduce the use of trade secrets, as recently discussed in the "World War 0" thread (which lived up to its name in large part thanks to you).

3. As Fuller and others have noted, it's not the idea that's important; ideas are a dime a dozen. The execution, the conversion of the idea into a marketable product or service, is what's important, and doesn't tend to get patented. It tends to be either open or a trade secret.

4. Fuller noted that his ideas tended to become embodied in products only after the patents had expired. One likely reason for this is that only after the patents have expired can many companies work with the idea without needing permission or having to pay just to try to make something out of it; not only are more heads better than one, but multiple competing companies banging on the idea have additional impetus to beat one another to the punch in developing a marketable product. If so, the patents' chief effect (besides to possibly bring Fuller's name some fame -- not however the purpose stated in the Progress Clause for allowing these awful monopolies) was actually to stifle innovation by delaying it (actually directly cotnravening the purpose stated in the Progress Clause). (Lasers and cellphones are two other areas where practical applications started showing up right after key patents expired, and have come up in previous debates with Lonnie).

Patents are evil monopolies. End of story.

Alonniemouse spouts on again, calling John Bennett a liar and prattling on about the supposed value of patents in encouraging disclosure.

I did not call anyone anything. What I did do was provide additional information that John Bennett neglected to provide from the book that he quoted.

1. Other publishing venues exist besides the patent office. If the patent office weren't available, a thing currently only published there would presumably have been published elsewhere, since someone clearly wanted it published and was even willing to pay to have it published even with a low expectation of any kind of return on that payment.

You may claim that "other publishing venues" existed, but as Buckminster Fuller clearly stated in his book, the same book from which Mr. Bennett quoted, those "other publishing venues" were unavailable to him, a person without the proper pedigree to use those venues.

2. The patent system hasn't done anything to reduce the use of trade secrets, as recently discussed in the "World War 0" thread (which lived up to its name in large part thanks to you).

I am unsure of why you are introducing trade secrets in this conversation. I said nothing about them in my post, and John Bennett said nothing about them in his.

3. As Fuller and others have noted, it's not the idea that's important; ideas are a dime a dozen. The execution, the conversion of the idea into a marketable product or service, is what's important, and doesn't tend to get patented. It tends to be either open or a trade secret.

Execution of an invention is not patentable, only the invention itself.

4. Fuller noted that his ideas tended to become embodied in products only after the patents had expired. One likely reason for this is that only after the patents have expired can many companies work with the idea without needing permission or having to pay just to try to make something out of it; not only are more heads better than one, but multiple competing companies banging on the idea have additional impetus to beat one another to the punch in developing a marketable product. If so, the patents' chief effect (besides to possibly bring Fuller's name some fame -- not however the purpose stated in the Progress Clause for allowing these awful monopolies) was actually to stifle innovation by delaying it (actually directly cotnravening the purpose stated in the Progress Clause). (Lasers and cellphones are two other areas where practical applications started showing up right after key patents expired, and have come up in previous debates with Lonnie).

Yet, even though, as you state above, that "Fuller noted that his ideas tended to become embodied in products only after the patents had expired," he also said that the attorneys from more than 100 big companies came to his attorneys for licenses over the course of 50 years. Ergo, lots of his inventions were embodied in products while the patents were in force.

Patents are evil monopolies. End of story.

Statement of opinion that is irrelevant in this conversation, which is about Buckminster Fuller's comments and putting those comment into perspective.

Alonniemouse sputtered some more pro-patent silliness:

"Alonniemouse spouts on again, calling John Bennett a liar and prattling on about the supposed value of patents in encouraging disclosure."

[calls John Bennett and I liars]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me or John Bennett are at all true.

You may claim that "other publishing venues" existed, but [rest of implication that I've been dishonest deleted]

There are other publishing venues and none of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

those "other publishing venues" were unavailable to him, a person without the proper pedigree to use those venues.

Incorrect. Aristocratic heritage-based denial of access to means of publishing went out of style several hundred years ago. In particular, scientific and technical journals are meritocratic and vanity presses require only money (and what they publish should still get archived by the Library of Congress).

I am unsure of why you are introducing trade secrets in this conversation.

I'm not. You did, by (yet again) getting a bee in your bonnet in terror of patent abolition on the grounds that inventions will supposedly (in your uninformed and/or biased opinion) never get disclosed without patents, remember?

"As Fuller and others have noted, it's not the idea that's important; ideas are a dime a dozen. The execution, the conversion of the idea into a marketable product or service, is what's important, and doesn't tend to get patented. It tends to be either open or a trade secret."

Execution of an invention is not patentable, only the invention itself.

Not relevant. Making the easy bit patentable and the hard bit not is just another failing of the patent system. Reversing that would be an improvement; making neither of them patentable would be a bigger one.

"Fuller noted that his ideas tended to become embodied in products only after the patents had expired. One likely reason for this is that only after the patents have expired can many companies work with the idea without needing permission or having to pay just to try to make something out of it; not only are more heads better than one, but multiple competing companies banging on the idea have additional impetus to beat one another to the punch in developing a marketable product."

Yet

Yet nothing. One likely reason for this is that only after the patents have expired can many companies work with the idea without needing permission or having to pay just to try to make something out of it; not only are more heads better than one, but multiple competing companies banging on the idea have additional impetus to beat one another to the punch in developing a marketable product.

the attorneys from more than 100 big companies came to his attorneys for licenses over the course of 50 years. Ergo, lots of his inventions were embodied in products while the patents were in force.

No, they weren't. Some companies started along the road to trying to develop products based on his ideas, but since he said his ideas didn't become products until after the patents expired, obviously those companies didn't, by and large, succeed. Yet once the patents were out of the picture companies started to succeed with many of those same ideas. Funny how that works, eh, Lonnie?

"Patents are evil monopolies. End of story."

[insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Abeefaeces pukes out some more nonsense:

I did not call anyone anything. What I did do was provide additional information that John Bennett neglected to provide from the book that he quoted.

Alonniemouse spouts on again, calling John Bennett a liar and prattling on about the supposed value of patents in encouraging disclosure.

I am looking at the comment you referenced and you have failed to point out a point where I called John Bennett a liar. Neglecting to provide additional information, which I will kindly do for you below, and saying he said something incorrect, are two different things.

1. Other publishing venues exist besides the patent office. If the patent office weren't available, a thing currently only published there would presumably have been published elsewhere, since someone clearly wanted it published and was even willing to pay to have it published even with a low expectation of any kind of return on that payment.

You may claim that "other publishing venues" existed, but as Buckminster Fuller clearly stated in his book, the same book from which Mr. Bennett quoted, those "other publishing venues" were unavailable to him, a person without the proper pedigree to use those venues.

[calls John Bennett and I liars]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me or John Bennett are at all true.

Nothing in the passage referenced by you, though deleted by you and restored by me, calls either you or Mr. Bennett a liar. Therefore, you are in fact, a liar.

There are other publishing venues and none of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

those "other publishing venues" were unavailable to him, a person without the proper pedigree to use those venues.

Incorrect. Aristocratic heritage-based denial of access to means of publishing went out of style several hundred years ago. In particular, scientific and technical journals are meritocratic and vanity presses require only money (and what they publish should still get archived by the Library of Congress).

From the book "Critical Path," from which Mr. Bennett was gathering the basis for his post:

Page 146, quoting Buckminster Fuller:

"...I have patented what seemed to me to be strategically important items amongst my inventions, and have done so as they occurred in all economically relevant countries around the world...I did so for the following reasons:

Having no academically earned scientific degrees I could not qualify for membership in any scientific societies and could therefore not publish my discoveries officially in their journals. I found that filing of patent claims established an equally valid scientific record of my discoveries and inventions. The preamble texts of patent claims are often philosophically and historically enlightening. Of necessity they are meticulously specific in respect to the technological means of practical realizations of the inventions."

I am unsure of why you are introducing trade secrets in this conversation.

I'm not. You did, by (yet again) getting a bee in your bonnet in terror of patent abolition on the grounds that inventions will supposedly (in your uninformed and/or biased opinion) never get disclosed without patents, remember?

I was quoting Mr. Buckminster Fuller, the topic of conversation. I have now reproduced the passage, above, that was the basis of my comment. There was no fear in my comment, neither was my position established. I merely relayed the comments of the person in question. You have falsely attributed the conveyance of that position to be mine.

As Fuller and others have noted, it's not the idea that's important; ideas are a dime a dozen. The execution, the conversion of the idea into a marketable product or service, is what's important, and doesn't tend to get patented. It tends to be either open or a trade secret.

Execution of an invention is not patentable, only the invention itself.

Not relevant. Making the easy bit patentable and the hard bit not is just another failing of the patent system. Reversing that would be an improvement; making neither of them patentable would be a bigger one.

I disagree. It is the creation of the invention that is the difficult part, and Buckminster Fuller also says so in his book. Once the invention is created, actually producing the invention is usually quite simple. If that were not the case, all inventions would be produced because that is the "easy" part. The rest of this response is your opinion and irrelevant.

Fuller noted that his ideas tended to become embodied in products only after the patents had expired. One likely reason for this is that only after the patents have expired can many companies work with the idea without needing permission or having to pay just to try to make something out of it; not only are more heads better than one, but multiple competing companies banging on the idea have additional impetus to beat one another to the punch in developing a marketable product.

Yet, even though, as you state above, that "Fuller noted that his ideas tended to become embodied in products only after the patents had expired," he also said that the attorneys from more than 100 big companies came to his attorneys for licenses over the course of 50 years. Ergo, lots of his inventions were embodied in products while the patents were in force.

Yet nothing. One likely reason for this is that only after the patents have expired can many companies work with the idea without needing permission or having to pay just to try to make something out of it; not only are more heads better than one, but multiple competing companies banging on the idea have additional impetus to beat one another to the punch in developing a marketable product.

"Critical Path," page 147:

"From time to time during the half-century since I obtained a patent, the patent attorneys of more than 100 of the world's most powerful corporations have called upon my patent attorneys to obtain a license under one or more of my patents. ...I was forced to advise my client to procure a license under your patent if indeed he wished to engage in the invention's manufacture..."

I am unsure of where you were going with your point. Mine was that regardless of what Fuller said about many of his inventions being produced after expiration of his patents, many of his inventions were also produced while the patents were in force. Fuller only had 28 patents. If "many" of his patents were expired before they were incorporated into products, that means that the remaining patents were in extremely high demand.

the attorneys from more than 100 big companies came to his attorneys for licenses over the course of 50 years. Ergo, lots of his inventions were embodied in products while the patents were in force.

No, they weren't. Some companies started along the road to trying to develop products based on his ideas, but since he said his ideas didn't become products until after the patents expired, obviously those companies didn't, by and large, succeed. Yet once the patents were out of the picture companies started to succeed with many of those same ideas. Funny how that works, eh, Lonnie?

According to Buckminster Fuller's words, and according to numerous other references, while "many" of his patents did not become products until after they expired (and Fuller explained why in his book), many of his patents did become products and were the source of numerous, paying licenses.

Fuller never said, as you claim erroeneously, that his "ideas" didn't become products until after the patents expired. What he said was the many of his inventions did not become products until after the patents covering those inventions expired. He never said all, which he knew was inaccurate.

There are numerous cases where Buckminster Fuller sued a number infringers (aircraft manufacturer North American Aviation and individual Ernest Okress, at least, and he apparently also did battle with none other than the U.S. Department of Defense in a Canadian lawsuit; I suspect if we look further that we would find further evidence of lawsuits). He also permitted "Popular Science" magazine to provide plans to build geodesic domes with a royalty to Buckminster Fuller built into the plans. Quite interesting that while Buckminster Fuller was "indicting patents," per Mr. Bennett, he was also suing people over them and routinely collecting royalties from them.

[Statement of delusion and paranoia deleted.]

Your protestation of mental illness is irrelevant to this conversation.

Alonniemouse expectorates:

Abee[insult deleted] [false accusation deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[calls me a liar]. What I did do was provide additional information that John Bennett [calls him a liar].

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about either of us are at all true.

"Alonniemouse spouts on again, calling John Bennett a liar and prattling on about the supposed value of patents in encouraging disclosure."

I am looking at the comment you referenced and you have [false accusation deleted]

No, you're the failure. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

You may claim that "other publishing venues" existed

I do claim that, and, moreover, it is true.

Buckminster Fuller clearly stated in his book, the same book from which Mr. Bennett quoted, those "other publishing venues" were unavailable to him, a person without the proper pedigree

Incorrect. Aristocratic heritage-based denial of access to means of publishing went out of style several hundred years ago. In particular, scientific and technical journals are meritocratic and vanity presses require only money (and what they publish should still get archived by the Library of Congress).

[calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Having no academically earned scientific degrees I could not qualify for membership in any scientific societies and could therefore not publish my discoveries officially in their journals.

That is not a matter of pedigree; it's a matter of qualification. And there are other publishing venues than journals and the patent office.

"I'm not. You did, by (yet again) getting a bee in your bonnet in terror of patent abolition on the grounds that inventions will supposedly (in your uninformed and/or biased opinion) never get disclosed without patents, remember?"

I was quoting Mr. Buckminster Fuller, the topic of conversation.

So? It still introduced trade secrets into the discussion.

You have [calls me a liar]

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"Not relevant. Making the easy bit patentable and the hard bit not is just another failing of the patent system. Reversing that would be an improvement; making neither of them patentable would be a bigger one."

I disagree. It is the creation of the invention that is the difficult part

In other words, you don't disagree. The idea is easy. Turning it into something that actually works is hard.

The rest of this response is your opinion and [insult deleted].

No! None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Yet, [misquotes me]

Do not misquote me again. Your post contained supposed "quoted material" that did not occur in the post that you followed up to nor summarize material that did. That is incorrect. Stop being dishonest.

Yet nothing. One likely reason for this is that only after the patents have expired can many companies work with the idea without needing permission or having to pay just to try to make something out of it; not only are more heads better than one, but multiple competing companies banging on the idea have additional impetus to beat one another to the punch in developing a marketable product.

I am unsure of where you were going with your point. Mine was that regardless of what Fuller said about many of his inventions being produced after expiration of his patents, [calls me a liar].

No! You're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

If "many" of his patents were expired before they were incorporated into products, that means that the remaining patents were in extremely high demand.

Non sequitur.

"No, they weren't. Some companies started along the road to trying to develop products based on his ideas, but since he said his ideas didn't become products until after the patents expired, obviously those companies didn't, by and large, succeed. Yet once the patents were out of the picture companies started to succeed with many of those same ideas. Funny how that works, eh, Lonnie?"

[calls me a liar]

No! You're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[vicious insult deleted] that his "ideas" didn't become products until after the patents expired. [calls me a liar]

No! You're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[Statement of [vicious insult deleted] deleted.]

[vicious insult deleted]

No, no, a thousand times no! You're the lunatic. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Regardless as to whether one is on the pro-patent or anti-patent side of the fence, one can't refute Fuller's point that any inventor who decides to patent an invention absolutely must consult a qualified patent law professional. Patent law is one of the most complex and specialized areas of law, and the last thing an innovator should do is go it alone.
Gena writes:

Regardless as to whether one is on the pro-patent or anti-patent side of the fence, one can't refute Fuller's point that any inventor who decides to patent an invention absolutely must consult a qualified patent law professional.

Only because a) the patent system exists, b) it is baroque, and c) he faces potential patent lawsuits from others whether or not he patents his own stuff.

Get rid of the patent system and the need to spend money on those leeches (which include Lonnie among their number) would go away -- an entire unproductive, parasitic profession, gone!

The last thing an innovator should do is go it alone.

True enough, but what he needs is a business partner, not a blood-sucking patent lawyer.

Beeswax Expels Flatus:

I did not call anyone anything. What I did do was provide additional information that John Bennett neglected to provide from the book that he quoted.

Beeswax says: No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about either of us are at all true.

So, providing additional information that John Bennett did not provide is a lie and is untrue? Note that I even provided page numbers. Did you happen to notice that all my comments were quite well supported?

Beeswax says: Alonniemouse spouts on again, calling John Bennett a liar and prattling on about the supposed value of patents in encouraging disclosure.

I am looking at the comment you referenced and you have failed to point out a point where I called John Bennett a liar. Neglecting to provide additional information, which I will kindly do for you below, and saying he said something incorrect, are two different things.

No, you're the failure. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

I see. You fail to point out where I call John Bennett a liar, and your only response to my detailed explanation is to say I am a failure, when it is you who have failed to rebut a factual argument.

Beeswax Says1. Other publishing venues exist besides the patent office. If the patent office weren't available, a thing currently only published there would presumably have been published elsewhere, since someone clearly wanted it published and was even willing to pay to have it published even with a low expectation of any kind of return on that payment.

You may claim that "other publishing venues" existed, but as Buckminster Fuller clearly stated in his book, the same book from which Mr. Bennett quoted, those "other publishing venues" were unavailable to him, a person without the proper pedigree to use those venues.

Beeswax says: I do claim that, and, moreover, it is true.

So, after reviewing what Buckminster Fuller says about the ability to get published elsewhere, in some sort of credible publication, below, are you then saying that Buckminster Fuller lied? Incidentally, if I have a choice in believing the words of R. Buckminster Fuller, a highly regarded and respected architect, inventor, author and futurist, and an anonymous person named Beeswax who is paranoid, illogical, aggressive, and a proven liar, I choose R. Buckminster Fuller.

From the book "Critical Path," from which Mr. Bennett was gathering the basis for his post: Page 146, quoting Buckminster Fuller:

"...I have patented what seemed to me to be strategically important items amongst my inventions, and have done so as they occurred in all economically relevant countries around the world...I did so for the following reasons:

Having no academically earned scientific degrees I could not qualify for membership in any scientific societies and could therefore not publish my discoveries officially in their journals. I found that filing of patent claims established an equally valid scientific record of my discoveries and inventions. The preamble texts of patent claims are often philosophically and historically enlightening. Of necessity they are meticulously specific in respect to the technological means of practical realizations of the inventions."

Beeswax says: Incorrect. Aristocratic heritage-based denial of access to means of publishing went out of style several hundred years ago. In particular, scientific and technical journals are meritocratic and vanity presses require only money (and what they publish should still get archived by the Library of Congress).

Yes, we know, you are calling R. Buckminster Fuller a liar. I should point out that he made the same statement in "Invention," in commencement speeches, and many other places.

Beesax says: No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Wait a moment. First you call R. Buckminster Fuller a liar, and now me? In your world is there a single person who does not call you a liar, liar?

Having no academically earned scientific degrees I could not qualify for membership in any scientific societies and could therefore not publish my discoveries officially in their journals.

Beeswax, knowing much more than R. Buckminster Fuller, says: That is not a matter of pedigree; it's a matter of qualification. And there are other publishing venues than journals and the patent office.

I wish Buckminster Fuller were still alive. You could explain how he got it all wrong.

Beeswax removed a portion regarding trade secrets, to which the following section applies:

I am unsure of why you are introducing trade secrets in this conversation.

Beeswax says: I'm not. You did, by (yet again) getting a bee in your bonnet in terror of patent abolition on the grounds that inventions will supposedly (in your uninformed and/or biased opinion) never get disclosed without patents, remember?

I was quoting Mr. Buckminster Fuller, the topic of conversation. I have now reproduced the passage, above, that was the basis of my comment. There was no fear in my comment, neither was my position established. I merely relayed the comments of the person in question. You have falsely attributed the conveyance of that position to be mine.

Beeswax says: So? It still introduced trade secrets into the discussion.

You are wrong. There is a difference between the loss of knowledge that was never protected because that knowledge was never placed where it could be preserved and knowledge that was guarded by contract or deliberate limited access to the knowledge. Buckminster Fuller stated, in multiple places, over and over again, that he was concerned that he would be unable to make the knowledge he had accessible to the world. Nothing to do with trade secrets.

Beeswax says: No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Yes, you lied about me introducing trade secrets into this conversation. That was you, exclusively.

Beeswax says: As Fuller and others have noted, it's not the idea that's important; ideas are a dime a dozen. The execution, the conversion of the idea into a marketable product or service, is what's important, and doesn't tend to get patented. It tends to be either open or a trade secret.

Execution of an invention is not patentable, only the invention itself.

Beeswax says: Not relevant. Making the easy bit patentable and the hard bit not is just another failing of the patent system. Reversing that would be an improvement; making neither of them patentable would be a bigger one.

I disagree. It is the creation of the invention that is the difficult part, and Buckminster Fuller also says so in his book. Once the invention is created, actually producing the invention is usually quite simple. If that were not the case, all inventions would be produced because that is the "easy" part. The rest of this response is your opinion and irrelevant.

Beeswax says: In other words, you don't disagree. The idea is easy. Turning it into something that actually works is hard.

No! None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Beeswax, I apologize. I thought you were one of those fools who claimed that patents cover ideas, and translating that idea into an actual working product was supposedly the hard part. Yes, ideas are a dime a dozen. Turning an idea into a patentable invention is the hard part.

Yet, even though, as you state above, that "Fuller noted that his ideas tended to become embodied in products only after the patents had expired," he also said that the attorneys from more than 100 big companies came to his attorneys for licenses over the course of 50 years. Ergo, lots of his inventions were embodied in products while the patents were in force.

Beeswas lies: Yet, [misquotes me]

Do not misquote me again. Your post contained supposed "quoted material" that did not occur in the post that you followed up to nor summarize material that did. That is incorrect. Stop being dishonest.

Liar. You made this statement in your post of 06/25/2010, 07:42 AM. Stop lying.

"Critical Path," page 147:

"From time to time during the half-century since I obtained a patent, the patent attorneys of more than 100 of the world's most powerful corporations have called upon my patent attorneys to obtain a license under one or more of my patents. ...I was forced to advise my client to procure a license under your patent if indeed he wished to engage in the invention's manufacture..."

I am unsure of where you were going with your point. Mine was that regardless of what Fuller said about many of his inventions being produced after expiration of his patents, many of his inventions were also produced while the patents were in force. Fuller only had 28 patents. If "many" of his patents were expired before they were incorporated into products, that means that the remaining patents were in extremely high demand.

If "many" of his patents were expired before they were incorporated into products, that means that the remaining patents were in extremely high demand.

Beeswas lies, again: Non sequitur.

Your statement is a lie for reasons that I previously provided, which I repeat here for you benefit.

the attorneys from more than 100 big companies came to his attorneys for licenses over the course of 50 years. Ergo, lots of his inventions were embodied in products while the patents were in force.

Beeswax claims, erroneously: No, they weren't. Some companies started along the road to trying to develop products based on his ideas, but since he said his ideas didn't become products until after the patents expired, obviously those companies didn't, by and large, succeed. Yet once the patents were out of the picture companies started to succeed with many of those same ideas. Funny how that works, eh…?

According to Buckminster Fuller's words, and according to numerous other references, while "many" of his patents did not become products until after they expired (and Fuller explained why in his book), many of his patents did become products and were the source of numerous, paying licenses.

Fuller never said, as you claim erroeneously, that his "ideas" didn't become products until after the patents expired. What he said was the many of his inventions did not become products until after the patents covering those inventions expired. He never said all, which he knew was inaccurate.

There are numerous cases where Buckminster Fuller sued a number infringers (aircraft manufacturer North American Aviation and individual Ernest Okress, at least, and he apparently also did battle with none other than the U.S. Department of Defense in a Canadian lawsuit; I suspect if we look further that we would find further evidence of lawsuits). He also permitted "Popular Science" magazine to provide plans to build geodesic domes with a royalty to Buckminster Fuller built into the plans. Quite interesting that while Buckminster Fuller was "indicting patents," per Mr. Bennett, he was also suing people over them and routinely collecting royalties from them.

Beeswax burbles: No, no, a thousand times no! You're the lunatic. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Responding to factual comments, reasoned argument and logic by claiming your opponent is a lunatic and is saying "nasty" things about you is irrelevant to this conversation. Return when you have facts rather than inane rhetoric and lies.

Alonniemouse strikes again:

Beeswax [false accusation deleted]:

[calls me a liar]. What I did do was [implies John Bennet was dishonest].

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me or John are at all true.

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about either of us are at all true.

So, providing additional information that John Bennett did not provide is a lie and is untrue?

No, your implication that he purposely omitted information and was dishonest is the lie. Moreover, your "additional information" itself is suspect. Since I don't believe John is actually dishonest, I don't think he would have omitted anything relevant. So your "additional information" must either not be relevant or not even be real. (Take your pick.)

Did you happen to notice that all my comments were quite well supported?

That's a laugh. Your comments going back at least a year and a half on this site have consisted partly of pro-patent dogma and largely of personal attacks, and those have primarily been aimed at me though with the occasional potshot at one of this blog's post-authors, of which your (cowardly, quasi-anonymous, and unsupported) accusations in recent threads of academic misconduct on the parts of John Bennett and David Levine have been but the latest two.

How can you claim anything at all of yours is well supported when all we see out of you is an endless stream of argumentum ad hominem? Really?

Alonniemouse spouts on again, calling John Bennett a liar and prattling on about the supposed value of patents in encouraging disclosure.

I am looking at the comment you referenced and you have [insult deleted]. [false accusation aimed at John Bennett deleted].

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me or John are at all true.

No, you're the failure. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

I see. You [false accusation deleted], and your only response to my [ad hominem attack] is to say I am a failure, when [false accusation deleted].

No. There can be no "factual argument" that either I or John lied, because we did not. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about either of us are at all true.

Other publishing venues exist besides the patent office. If the patent office weren't available, a thing currently only published there would presumably have been published elsewhere, since someone clearly wanted it published and was even willing to pay to have it published even with a low expectation of any kind of return on that payment.

You may claim that "other publishing venues" existed, but

But nothing. Other publishing venues existed and have done for roughly the last seventy thousand years, since humans began telling stories around campfires and thus began to have ways to broadcast some tidbit or another to their whole society at once. Indeed, you'll find on studying a little archaeology that since that time humans have had such methods more or less continuously, though as their societies have grown larger and more complex, these mechanisms have changed and grown more numerous over time.

Currently we have the book publishing industry, TV, radio, magazines and journals, newspapers, and the Internet, as well as your precious patent office, and of those anyone with some money can publish anything they like just about with any vanity press, an ad taken out in a newspaper, or online. Subject to acceptance they can also submit manuscripts to magazines and book publishers, proposals of appearances on TV and radio interview shows, and letters to the editors of newspapers. And yes, they can pay a fairly large amount (four figures IIRC) to submit an invention to the patent office, again subject to acceptance. Actually that's the poorest option, as it both costs a lot of money AND is subject to possible rejection; most of the other methods mentioned above either don't charge you or don't reject submissions, and most of the ones that charge you charge less, though maybe not vanity presses depending on how many copies you want.

those "other publishing venues" were unavailable to him, a person without the proper pedigree

You have repeated that lie three times now, and I've debunked it quite thoroughly the first two times. Now for time number three:

Incorrect. Aristocratic heritage-based denial of access to means of publishing went out of style several hundred years ago. In particular, scientific and technical journals are meritocratic and vanity presses require only money (and what they publish should still get archived by the Library of Congress).

I do claim that, and, moreover, it is true.

[falsely accuses me of calling Fuller a liar] Incidentally, [calls me a liar]

No! You're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Having no academically earned scientific degrees I could not qualify for membership in any scientific societies and could therefore not publish my discoveries officially in their journals.

There are other publishing venues than patent offices and limited-access journals, of course.

Incorrect. Aristocratic heritage-based denial of access to means of publishing went out of style several hundred years ago. In particular, scientific and technical journals are meritocratic and vanity presses require only money (and what they publish should still get archived by the Library of Congress).

[false accusation deleted]. I should point out that [implied insult deleted].

And Lonnie falls back on his tired old ad hominem routine again.

No! None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Wait a moment. First you [false accusation deleted], and now me? In [implied vicious insult deleted] is there [calls me a liar]?

No! You're the lunatic and the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Having no academically earned scientific degrees I could not qualify for membership in any scientific societies and could therefore not publish my discoveries officially in their journals.

That is not a matter of pedigree; it's a matter of qualification. And there are other publishing venues than journals and the patent office.

[implied insult deleted]

No! None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

I am unsure of why you are introducing trade secrets in this conversation.

I'm not. You did, by (yet again) getting a bee in your bonnet in terror of patent abolition on the grounds that inventions will supposedly (in your uninformed and/or biased opinion) never get disclosed without patents, remember?

[implies that I've lied]. I have now reproduced the passage, above, that was the basis of my comment. [calls me a liar]. I merely relayed the comments of the person in question. [calls me a liar].

No, no, no! You're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

You yourself have posted here many times professing your terror that without the patent system people and companies will resort to trade secrecy instead to "protect" their monopoly rents.

Why is it that in your latest few posts you seem to be trying to repudiate your earlier position? Perhaps because I've proven it so thoroughly wrong?

So? It still introduced trade secrets into the discussion.

You are [vicious insult deleted]. [babble babble babble].

No, no, no! You're the idiot. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Buckminster Fuller stated, in multiple places, over and over again, that he was concerned that he would be unable to make the knowledge he had accessible to the world.

Sure doesn't sound like trade secrecy is really a big threat, Lonnie. It sounds to me like what I said to you in a different thread: people with something new and clever want to show off and will find whatever means they can to publish their findings. Even pay handsomely to publish.

So much for one of the two pillars of your defense of the patent system, namely that it will prevent trade secrecy. Obviously it isn't needed, not even as a "publishing venue" in this day and age of the Internet.

As for your other pillar, that it will stop inventors from dying penniless, need I remind you that patents were in effect during Tesla's lifetime, and remind you that he even got some himself, and remind you of Tesla's fate?

No, you're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[calls me a liar]

No, no, no! You're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Making the easy bit patentable and the hard bit not is just another failing of the patent system. Reversing that would be an improvement; making neither of them patentable would be a bigger one.

I disagree. It is the creation of the invention that is the difficult part

In other words, you don't disagree. The idea is easy. Turning it into something that actually works is hard.

No! None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Beeswax, I apologize. I thought you were [insult deleted]. [nonsense deleted].

Yet, even though, as you state above, that "Fuller noted that his ideas tended to become embodied in products only after the patents had expired," he also said that the attorneys from more than 100 big companies came to his attorneys for licenses over the course of 50 years. Ergo, lots of his inventions were embodied in products while the patents were in force.

No. The licensing of a patent does not say anything about whether it was embodied in a product. A company may have licensed the patent but then failed to make anything based on it, for a variety of reasons. And, since Fuller claims his ideas did not become embodied in products until after the patents had expired, this indeed must have been the case. Unless you're calling Fuller a liar. Are you calling Fuller a liar, Lonnie?

[calls me a liar]

No, no, no! You're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Do not misquote me again. Your post contained supposed "quoted material" that did not occur in the post that you followed up to nor summarize material that did. That is incorrect. Stop being dishonest.

[calls me a liar]

No, no, no! You're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

You misquoted me. You said something -- call it "X Y". I quoted that inserting a comment of my own after, and in response to, "X". You then misquoted me as simply quoting "X Y" without my intervening comment. That was incorrect. Stop being dishonest.

I am unsure of where you were going with your point. Mine was that regardless of what Fuller said about many of his inventions being produced after expiration of his patents, [calls both of us liars].

No, no, a thousand times no! You're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me or Buckminster Fuller are at all true.

And the club of people Lonnie's called liars expands again. I seem to be in distinguished company here -- such luminaries as John Bennet, David Levine, David Brin, and even Buckminster Fuller are now with me in this club. :P

Fuller only had 28 patents. If "many" of his patents were expired before they were incorporated into products, that means that the remaining patents were in extremely high demand.

Of course not. It says nothing about "the remaining" patents, not even that their number was greater than zero. Lonnie once again is making stuff up out of thin air.

If "many" of his patents were expired before they were incorporated into products, that means that the remaining patents were in extremely high demand.

[calls me a liar]

Non sequitur.

[calls me a liar].

No, no, a thousand times no! You're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

It is indeed a non sequitur, Lonnie; your "that means ..." clause does not logically follow from the "If ..." clause. Don't bother trying to deny it.

the attorneys from more than 100 big companies came to his attorneys for licenses over the course of 50 years. Ergo, lots of his inventions were embodied in products while the patents were in force.

[insult deleted]

No, they weren't. Some companies started along the road to trying to develop products based on his ideas, but since he said his ideas didn't become products until after the patents expired, obviously those companies didn't, by and large, succeed. Yet once the patents were out of the picture companies started to succeed with many of those same ideas. Funny how that works, eh…?

[calls me a liar]

No, no, a thousand times no! You're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

[calls me a liar and repudiates his earlier claim that Fuller claimed his ideas didn't become products until after their patents had expired].

So, you're calling your own earlier statements lies? That means:

You're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

There are numerous cases where [calls me a liar]

No, no, a thousand times no! You're the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

No, no, a thousand times no! You're the lunatic. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Responding to factual comments, reasoned argument and logic by claiming your opponent is a lunatic and is saying "nasty" things about you is irrelevant to this conversation.

How fortunate then that I haven't done that. Of course it would help your case if you had ever posted anything resembling "reasoned argument and logic" instead of repetitive false accusations, mainly of dishonesty, aimed at your debate opponents.

On the other hand, my statements in self defense are quite relevant to "this conversation", given that "this conversation" consists largely of you calling me various names, me stating categorically that your accusations are wrong, wash, rinse, repeat.

[vicious insults deleted, including calling me a liar]

No, no, a thousand times no! You're the idiot and the liar. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Give it up, Lonnie. You know how this always ends: with you frustrated and me victorious. Dragging it out will just worsen your frustration in the end, without changing the outcome. You cannot win.


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