Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate


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.

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But you try telling an inventor that patents aren't in their best interest (let alone incentives for what they did) and should be abolished, and they'll think you're worse than a multinational corporation.
That's business as usual. One can see that the means of competition are price, quality and innovation ...
Crosbie, once patents are in place, it indeed is in the best interests of the inventor to exploit them. In a patent environment, it is even more in the interests of the inventor to spend more time patenting and defending against other patentees claims than inventing.
Yes Samuel, but if patents are abolished...

Come on. Think man, think!

If patents were abolished? Then many inventors would no longer bother to disclosure their inventions, or would no longer invent in the first place.
What's your proof of that assertion? (Keep in mind that there have been inventors all through the ages, and there have been patents for only the last ~300 years.)
If inventors don't disclose their inventions then they're relying on trade secrets to protect their invention. That may work well for Coke, but we're not living with the Guilds of the Middle Ages in Europe any more. Once it's known that something is possible you can count on someone out there either figuring out how it's done or simply coming up with a better way to do it.

As far as inventors not inventing, well, there's two classes of inventor, the independent and the employee. The independent is not getting paid anyway, and is unlikely to have the money (5 million?) to defend a patent suit. So patents do him no good. The employee is getting paid to invent anyway. Have any evidence that corporations will cut their R&D budgets further than they already have? (Don't forget to include all the money corporations will save on lawyers.)

@Karl ding ding... you figured it out. Those who think patents ARE worthless to the independent inventor.. you're absolutely right. In this day and age, patents make you a target more than a force to be reckoned with. I'll just bullet the list out and you can come you your own conclusion.

1. If you're developing a business around a patent you intend to prosecute, you WILL receive a preemptive suits from those that want to use your patent. The cost of counsel is in the millions and the only thing you have to do is cross license, and perhaps even pay them to take your patent. I've sat in on several lectures discussing various tactics to disarm an inventor seeking licensing fees. This one was my favorite. The inventor would just be served with a summons in the most expensive districts in the nation, including East Texas, if it's a patent suit. 2. So, you're really going to be a non practicing entity if you intend to license your patent. That doesn't sound like fun, or the business you intended to start. Not one bit.

3. Let's say you have the money, and lets say you have the chutzpah, you also have... a greater than 70% chance of loosing the case and ending your quest for licensing to other companies.

4. Let's say you win, you will have to start all over because the appeals process can, and does, drag on for years.

5.... if you need more reasons :) But look at it from another prospective. If you're smart, and you publish your work in certain places. For example if you publish software as open source, that counts as prior art. While you may not victimize, you wont be a victim either... and isn't that the best way to live after all?

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