|How to fix the patent mess|
|By Thom Holwerda on 2012-07-05 23:07:28|
|Since I want to get this out of my system: here's a set of proposals to fix (okay, replace) the current failing patent system. No lengthy diatribe or introduction, just a raw list.|
|A very good starting point|
|By obsidian on 2012-07-05 23:24:15|
Your post is a very good starting point for discussion about patent reform, Thom. |
One of my "pet peeves" is patents about "appearance".
For example, patents on "rounded corners" of a window on a screen, or rounded corners on a device. Patents for a particular "finish" on a product - even patents for *colours*!
I believe that all patents for "appearance" should be declared invalid, and that patents should only be granted for novel *functionality*. This move in itself would cut out a lot of patent-trolling.
Edited 2012-07-05 23:25 UTC
|- Score: 7|
|By fretinator on 2012-07-05 23:28:23|
I think most people have a serious misunderstanding when it comes to patents. They believe patents are created to ensure inventors obtain profit from their invention. The is a consequence, NOT the purpose, of patents. The focus on the rights of patent holders at the expense of innovation in society is the problem. As you mention, patents are to foster benefit for society at large. When patents serve to block progress, then something is amiss. Every patents should be examined for how it benefits society. |
From this, it follows that all the inane patents on software and business practices SERVE NO USEFUL purpose to society at large. I like your list of changes, as they would swing the balance back towards benefiting everyone, not just the inventor.
|- Score: 10|
|Comment by yokem55|
|By yokem55 on 2012-07-05 23:29:56|
Do you have a working legal definition of a "software" patent? What exists in the US are process/method patents implemented using a computer. Some of those methods could be implemented in hardware and hardware functions can be translated and implemented in software. Where do you draw the line and what working legal definition do you use? I know it when I see it? |
I hate the patent mess as much as anyone, but reform is a sticker problem than some hand waving can accomplish.
|- Score: 2|
|By Delgarde on 2012-07-05 23:35:11|
Regarding the weakness you point out, that seems to be a direct consequence of assuming that a human being must own the rights to a patent, not an organisation. |
But while I know treating corporations as people isn't approved of, this is one place where it does make sense. If a patent is created by a team being payed to do so by their employer, it's not unreasonable that the employer be the owner of the work they produce. You won't achieve your goal of encouraging innovation if the people paying for it are afraid that the work will simply walk out the door once done.
|- Score: 5|
|By Declination5 on 2012-07-05 23:42:27|
|I believe the simple solution to this problem is either a patent is filed as personal or as contract labor. In the case of a personal patent, then the authors scheme would stand. In the case of a contract labor patent then the patent would be filed as belong to a corporation. In this case, the patent would remain valid for the term and the only provided mechanism for transferal would be in the event that the owning corp. was purchased in its entirety.|
|- Score: 2|
|By Hiev on 2012-07-05 23:52:27|
I got an idea, create a different website to put all those opinions and stop contamination osnews.com of your personal agenda againts patents. |
Is tiresome, if this site could provide some kind of filter, but no, we are forced to view your personal attacks and view point, witch really I don't care any more, it was relevant before but now is tiresome.
For the record, I think the patents system is broken, but not to the level of being obssesed day and night.
Edited 2012-07-05 23:54 UTC
|- Score: -1|
|RE: A very good starting point|
|By curio on 2012-07-06 00:03:01|
"One of my "pet peeves" is patents about "appearance"." |
You're right about this because because patents about appearance are redundant concepts. Trademark law more than adequately addresses this issue in a far more sane, understandable manner.
It's called Trade Dress.
Some products such as tablets are so minimal and basic that it's pretty hard to not look at least something like other tablets. To go as far as Apple wants to push the issue would actually cripple all competing products. That's not right. The Slate/Tablet form factor has been around for much longer than the iPad.
In such cases the packaging and logos are pretty much the only obvious differentiators.
Think about soda/soft drink cans/bottles. Many bottlers use the exact same containers from often times the same suppliers. The nature of this product dictates that the label is the only obvious differentiator.
|- Score: 7|
|By Thom_Holwerda on 2012-07-06 00:09:43|
|You are forced to read OSNews?|
|- Score: 7|
|By transami on 2012-07-06 00:11:18|
I am glad you are creating conversation about patent reform. Hopefully continued conversation can get tje snowball rolling. |
There are however serious weaknesses with many of your proposals. I will just point out one. To reduce the holding term to 5 years would be a disaster. If anything they should extend the length. This allows costs to be amortized over longer periods. If an invention is very expensive to create and the window of profitability too short, there will be no incentive to develop the invention, thus defeating the whole purpose of the system.
I do agree with you that there needs to be some mechanism to ensure market availability of inventions. One of the worst practices of companies (especially fossil fuel industry) is to gain ownership of technologies and squirrel them away so no one can utilize them. We can't prevent the resell of patents, but we could require fair market value access.
|- Score: 2|
|By Hiev on 2012-07-06 00:14:14|
Not really, but is not fun anymore, I've been reading this site since 2002, yeah 10 yeears, and is not the site I got addicted to read daily, now is more your personal tool, you don't care about the reader interests like before, you care about your own interests. |
So, yeah, I'm not obligated and I prolly will stop visiting this place because now is boring.
Btw, I'm sure I'm one of the few people who never used adblock in this site.
|- Score: 2|