This conversation is closed.

The removal of all patents

Just curious of what people's future would depict

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    May 16 2013: Good time for me to be reading this conversation as I am literally in the middle of writing a provisional patent application! I do think the original intent of the patent system seems valid and useful to me. I think it's gotten perverted by big businesses using them as a strategic weapon, buying up huge troves of patents they did not create, and intending to use them solely as a weapon.

    If we removed all patents, how would we protect inventors? If I invest $1M of my own cash and 10 years of my life to invent something new, useful, and not obvious, and there were no patent system, there would be nothing to stop others from stealing my ideas. That would discourage me from inventing something that could be easily copied, which would stifle innovation.

    I think we need to find a solution that really works before we eliminate patents.
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    May 15 2013: nobody knows the future. the abolition of slavery did not happen after thorough examination of future effects. universal suffrage did not happen after thorough examination of future effects. some things have to be done on moral basis, regardless of the future effects. intellectual property is immoral, thus has to go, regardless of the effects.
    • May 15 2013: You are close to being right.
      We need the Patent Libraries of Intellectual Creative Thought.

      Governments that use Commerce to mine intellectual property
      for profit and/or taxation, is immoral.

      An example of sorts.
      US Patent Law allows prices of drugs to be up-to 5 times the prices
      charged by our neighboring country, Canada. This causes a Black-
      Market so people who cannot afford US prices can get the benefit.

      Corporate America using Patent and Limited Liability Laws, continues
      to carve a class system. -- 1% super rich, and 99% poor.

      With our 2 party system working their paid advertising programs,
      I can see no change for the future.

      Patents remain BIG BIG Business among the elite Corporate Crowd.
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        May 15 2013: i don't believe in the power of capitalized phrases. you can call it anything, like Patent Libraries of Greatness, as long as you don't want to oppress me and limit me using my own stuff in any way i see fit (of course as long as i don't hurt anyone else).

        i agree though that patents are tools in the hand of the alliance of governments and megacorporations. however, one needs to notice that the power of governments comes from the people. they don't rule by power, they rule by deception. and deception can only be combated by spreading knowledge.
        • May 15 2013: Sounds like you are looking for someone to combat.
          Sorry, I don't feel like fighting.

          Patent Controls are BAD. That I agree with you about.
          The power once given by the voter, cannot be retrieved.
          Therefore, deceptive government is what is is, and cannot
          be held in check by spreading knowledge.

          That is why people rise up and change oppressive government,
          only to find they have only changed shoes.

          A never ending record. It spins on and on.
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        May 15 2013: to the best of my knowledge, power needs to be re-granted every 4 years.
        • May 15 2013: How they get around that 4 year thing is to control the media
          14/7/365 and on leap year 366.

          Both major parties spent over a Billion Dollars this last election
          and the 4 years leading up to it. The majority of that money was
          spent upon Advertising. The media is today, closely watched
          nationwide 24/7 by eager citizens looking for enjoyment.
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        May 15 2013: the media can't change my vote. i suppose can't change yours either. we are not special. we just might happen to know something that the majority don't. our task is to explain them.
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        May 16 2013: Hi Frank - you wrote something that surprised me and so I wanted to ask you about it. You said, "US Patent Law allows prices of drugs to be up-to 5 times the prices charged by our neighboring country, Canada." I am not aware of anything in our patent law that says anything about what prices may be charged for those patented products. If there is, I would most appreciate your passing along any references you might have on this topic.
        • May 16 2013: Danger,
          Thank you for catching that.
          - 'allows' might be my escape mechanism here. LOL

          Might I inquire as to your motive for your query?
          I cannot name the organizations who purchase lower priced
          Canadian Drugs, and transit to 'poor' victims of cancer, etc.,
          in the United States. I have been informed that it happens,
          perhaps illegally, perhaps not.
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        May 16 2013: Frank - I guess I have two motives here. First I am fascinated by the tension between the public good on the one side, and greedy personal/corporate profit on the other side. If someone invents something that does tremendous good such as curing a major disease, it does not seem moral to me to restrict the treatment by setting a price that is too high for poor people to afford, thereby causing needless human suffering in order to maximize corporate profits. But it also doesn't seem right to me to steal the invention outright and not give the inventor anything for their tremendous investment, as then you could well discourage a search for the cure in the first place. I think there should be a reasonable compromise, but perhaps that compromise was struck too much in favor of big pharma.

        My second motive, is that pat of my job involves IP issues and I just wanted to know for my own sake whether the price restrictions you mentioned were part of IP law or some other type of law.
        • May 17 2013: Danger,
          As you research, you may discover why many if not all of the larger corporations
          have full time Patent researchers employed. I know of a brilliant man who works inside
          a large Canadian corporation doing exactly that. I would contract him, but he is today
          working to get his new wife and her child from Russia into Canada. He has not been
          available to ask him anything.

          Changing direction here.
          Einstein worked in a Patent Office for I believe 7 years or so. His access may well have
          resulted in his many ideas. But most humans have no such access. So the possibility
          of a fertile mind coming into contact, with a prior well thought out idea, is remote.

          History here --
          As a young man, I found a treasure under the dome of a state capital building. A vast area under the dome, very dirty, musty, and not at all well lit, containing history, stored away, with no one to see. Why, it was so, I do not know. I spent 6 months, time stolen from my wife, and work, visiting and enjoying what I found. Reading and copying, and making changes, and writing policies that made me a wealthy man, and filling me with
          a zeal that lasted for years.

          Nary a cent did I pay to those unknown authors. Long dead, they gave me a chance
          to improve my lot and the lot of others. I wish I could remember who gave me access
          to the area under the dome. This story, is only a beginning to a wonderful trip through
          my memories. I wish I could do it again.
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        May 15 2013: it would give creators the fair amount of rewards. a composer still has the advantage of being able to perform first and writing personalized pieces. an inventor can still take advantage of being first, keeping some details secret, and being faster in continued innovation. for many thousands of years, there was no intellectual property, and we had many many songs written, sculptures made and innovations happen.

        you can not take labor. it does not make sense. what does that even mean?
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          May 16 2013: I can tell you that without patent protection, this inventor (me) would most likely not have invented my past inventions as it would be way too easy for someone else to steal all my hard work.
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        May 16 2013: imagine for example the case that there are no ip laws at all. someone comes up with the idea of the weaving machine. what is the more likely? case A: he says, nope, not going to implement it, because it does not grant any advantage over my competitors. or case B: let's implement it, it grants me and my competitors extra income.

        and of course, as i have said already, there are case C, case D and many many possibilities how to actually benefit from an invention before the competition does.
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          May 16 2013: I think your imaginary scenario of someone coming up with a weaving machine with no IP laws does not portray a complete picture. If there were no IP law, you would discourage innovation in the first place so that person may not invest the time and fortune required to come up with the invention in the first place. The reason you would discourage innovation is that it would be way too easy for someone much wealthier to steal my idea and all my hard work and money and leave me with nothing. I can't rely on out-innovating and staying ahead of someone funded 100x more than me who takes my hard work.

          Can you say what would prevent this from happening without any IP law?

          But assuming I wanted to invest the time and money anyway, let's look at what I would have to do to protect my invention. I now have to take the time and effort to figure out how to prevent a rich company from stealing my idea. Maybe I even compromise my product design to make it harder to copy. I may need to obfuscate my design. How else would I prevent a much better funded competitor from stealing my idea?
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        May 16 2013: it is unfortunate that you have repeated the same claims i've addressed already. your points are:

        1. without patent laws, nobody would invent new things
        2. without patent laws, inventors don't get the money the deserve

        and my replies were:

        1. "it would give creators the fair amount of rewards"
        2. " for many thousands of years, there was no intellectual property, and we had many many [...] innovations"

        i have also elaborated on how and why innovation would happen without IP laws. what is the point in reiterating the same claims over and over again?
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        May 16 2013: now you have added one new point: that i'm not worthy to participate in the debate. that is not very much. common sense says otherwise: since you are making profits based on IP laws, you are the one that should be excluded from the debate, based on conflict of interest. my position lies on a firm foundation of moral, namely self ownership and (real) property rights.
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        May 16 2013: "control and profit from their property."

        what property? IP is not property, it is just called so. property rights exactly tell me that i can arrange my property in any way i see fit, even if the arrangement happens to coincide an arrangement someone else came up with. IP limits property rights in the name of ... things.

        again, maybe repetition makes it more available. just because something is called (wrongly) property, it does not make it property. property is something that can be owned, because we have a limited amount of it. there can only be that many owners of it. either X or Y. an idea is not a property, it can be copied in unlimited quantities. property laws don't apply to ideas.

        that is the same kind of twisting of words as "legal person" is. just because the same word is (mis)used, legal persons do not become persons.
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        May 16 2013: and i should believe you because you say so? i studied the nature of property rights as well as theory of property as well as theory of ethics regarding property. as i have said, and you ignored, property implies exclusive ownership. one can not exclusively own an idea, because an idea can be multiplied in any numbers.

        i'm not talking about law. law is man made, and our current property laws are plain wrong. just as, for example, drug laws, work safety laws, and lot of other laws. it would be rather peculiar if we could not criticize laws, and it would be enough in a debate to simply that "that is the law, hence, it is moral". nope. laws are sometimes immoral. like IP laws.
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        May 16 2013: yes it is protected by law, and it is wrong. it should not be protected by law. because it violates property rights, and solid property rights are the foundation of a functioning free society.

        it is really getting boring, so as a closing statement, for those who care, i leave here a talk by stephan kinsella, an IP lawyer:
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        May 16 2013: you really require everything to be said multiple times? kinsella is a patent lawyer.
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        May 16 2013: he is not stupid not using a tool to his advantage, but suffering the consequences of others using it to further theirs. as long as it is in place, one has to play by the rules.

        but according to your own completely baseless accusations, i advocate abolishment of IP because it would benefit me. please try to explain why he advocates the same thing, and effectively call for the destruction of his own job. your turn.
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        May 16 2013: it is very hard to conduct a conversation with you. for example listen to this excerpt:

        me: " he is not stupid not using a tool to his advantage, but suffering the consequences of others using it"
        you: "NO ONE is required to use a copyright or patent"

        see the problem? i feel like wasting my time.
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        May 16 2013: except i didn't buy his books :) i linked a video that is free to watch. maybe you should.
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        May 16 2013: me: " kinsella is a patent lawyer"
        you: "Next time I suggest you research your links first because"
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    May 21 2013: Money is not always the purpose, Okay just tell me if no one read your question, no one would have replied( though the practical purpose would not have been solved of knowing the answer but emotional purpose might have got hurt) the same is with the other people applying for patent, not everybody does it for money, some due it for real name(you might have understood the movie "prestige"). This name was the reason achillies has fought TROY. appreciation, Name buddy
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    May 19 2013: I am concerned about the possibility of the U.S. Supreme Court allowing patents to be granted for human genes (and other genes). A decision is expected this June. Actress Angelina Jolie's recently announced double mastectomy (in the absence of any cancer) has brought increased focus to this issue because of her fame. From what I understand, the company named Myriad Genetics claims a patent on the gene responsible for her increased risk of cancer, and as a result, this would effectively deny testing for this gene to poorer people.

    I would certainly need to research this whole case to understand it, but on the surface of it, the concept of patenting a human gene seems wrong to me.
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      May 19 2013: I have heard this before also. Layman always want to get a patent but guys who have done it say just see if it sells, you best protection is distribution.
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        May 21 2013: can you please elaborate - you best protection is distribution ... please... it may help me take the decision about my new invention to be marketed,.. please
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          May 21 2013: It is a fair piece of change to go through the patent process.

          Guys who have many patents will tell you to see if the item sells. The reason is that all inventor types are absolutely convinced that they have the greatest idea ever so they are very secretive and go though many iterations and expenses before finding out if they have a viable product.

          The question ANYBODY has to ask before they start a business is:

          Do I have something that will sell .

          Until you get an answer to this it is all just mental masturbation. So why spend money on something that may not sell?
  • May 18 2013: As soon as the technology hits the market their is no protection so thier is no point in endless legal debates we need to focus and resolve this issue now because its just making us fight over ideas and products china or russia with take and make anyway.
  • May 17 2013: HI Luis,
    I think a patent is important in the protection of someone's creation. If patents were removed, ownership rights would probably be the next to go. Material would be copied, used, sampled, and sold for a profit of which the inventor receives no percentage. I have a feeling it could hinder creativity in general. There is a sense of pride in creation, that, to me, should remain intact, and protected.
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    May 16 2013: since i dug it up, maybe worth extracting it from the rather lengthy thread of back and forth, and place it in a nice own toplevel comment:

    stephen kinsella, IP lawyer, patent attorney lectures about the history, basics and economic effects of IP laws from a free market perspective. in short: IP was never intended to promote progress, it is not a real property, and it severely hinders the economy, not to mention that it is incompatible with a free market and freedom in general. the only logical solution is to abolish all IP laws altogether.
  • May 16 2013: There just has to be a better way to reward inventors.

    Patent Law allows the inventor protection for a period of time against price encroachment.
    Patent Law also provides for royalties.

    But what about requiring sharing, transparency, publication, open discussion, and free copy.
    The internet has blossomed with open sharing, p2p, etc. Not much reward here.
    And enormous growth for people world-wide.

    While governments, and those that deal in secrecy have only slowed things down.
    Microsoft, Apple, Google, Adobe, are little understood by the mainstream of people.
    These are the types that benefit from Patent Law rewarded in the $Billions of Dollars.
    Also, enormous growth for people world-wide.

    A conundrum.

    But since recorded history began, the humans have moved only slowly forward.
    P2P might just be the improvement necessary to stoke the fires.

    There just has to be a better way to reward inventors.
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    May 16 2013: Has there ever been a "thriving" society which did not protect an individual's, or corporation's, right to control all applications and utilizations of their inventions? Just between you, me, and Mr.Lampost (see below starting "Good time. . .") The idea of me profiting from your invention while you get nothing is patently (sorry) unfair. BOO, HISSS, terrible idea. Patent denied!
  • May 16 2013: What do you want from your patents anyway ?

    Fame, fortune, scientific acknowledgement ? Knowing all the lawyers in your region and learning the ICC ?

    With the death of money coming, how would that change your answer?

    You are never going to get to keep your invention if it really is revolutionary.
    It will be knocked off in a chinese factory before you can even get it into production. At another chinese factory.
    Or a corporation will claim an infringement, and sue even if it is not even remotely related.

    I think that what is going to eventually happen, is that we will end up having/getting to vote, kickstarter like , for projects toys, and tools, we want to go forward.
    You will also see that at some point, you will vote for state, regional, and nationwide projects the same way.

    Pick where to put highways, business parks, and finally, space projects and the like.

    If you don't log on and vote for projects, you won't get to vote for representatives and criminalizing laws.

    Would be nice if we got to vote on trade agreements and laws to remove too....
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      May 16 2013: What I want from my patents would take me a long time to think about, but I can easily tell you what I have gotten from patents as an inventor:

      1. Increased ability to raise funding, and increased valuation
      2. Increased barrier to competition
      3. Some marketing value
      4. As far as career development goes, I'm not ashamed to say that being recognized as the original inventor of something is helpful to my career.

      If I had to put my inventions all up for a vote, I would not be inventing. That's what the market is for. You vote with your $.
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      May 16 2013: My formula for cheap patents is:

      1. Spend some time researching how to file a provisional patent application.
      2. Spend the $110 it will take to file your patent with the US PTO
      3. Over the course of the next year, evaluate whether you want to invest further in securing that patent. If so, scrape together somewhere between a few thousand to as much as $10K (or even more, depending) to work with a good patent attorney and perfect your patent.
      4. As the process progresses, continuously evaluate whether you want to continue perfecting the patent, or just let it drop.

      There have been some historic patent victories in favor of the little inventor. Not a guarantee, but it can work.

      A copyright will only prevent someone from copying your exact product, name, logo, and so on. They can copy still your invention by making it themselves, and not violating your copyright.
  • May 15 2013: PATENTS are fine.
    The problem is not a Patent Library of Intellectual Creative Thought.
    The problem is Patent Law concerning Intellectual Property..

    Governments since earliest recorded history have confiscated
    and hidden away, as state secrets, Intellectual Creative Thoughts.

    Therein lies the rub.

    This Patent Law 'Pay to Use' mentality has cost us all two thousand years
    of marching-in-place.

    It is Obscene.
    It is 'Top Down' economics.
    It is reality.
  • May 15 2013: all But Hayek warns us of the problem with patents.
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    May 15 2013: Bad Idea