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Patents have not hurt every field | 354 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Well... sorta
Authored by: OpenSourceFTW on Saturday, November 24 2012 @ 02:09 PM EST
In today's world, I think we possibly have outlasted the usefulness of patents.

We need to at least cut down their effective life, like in half (or more).
Software patents though, need to completely die. It's useless double protection,
you already have copyright protecting your code

Technology develops so fast today, that patents don't need to be 20 years in
length. Look back at how far we've come in 20 years. In 1992, the internet was
waaay smaller than today, and dialup was the preferred means of connecting
(Side note: Imagine if someone had a patent on the process of connecting to the
internet. It would have just expired. Think about the implications).

As far as pharmaceutical companies go, I think they need some kind of initial
protection for their discoveries as an incentive to develop (After all, we are
talking about helping sick people here), and if they can't see any payback for
their investments, they won't do it. However, I don't think they need to have 20
years of protection.

I think we need to go back to having people submit working models (or at least
computer diagrams showing how they work).

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

True, there is evidence that patents have hurt nearly every field
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 24 2012 @ 08:31 PM EST
where they were allowed; both hurt the scientific development of the field, and
hurt the economic development of the field.

It's not at all clear that patents have any social value whatsoever. The
economic studies on this all say that they don't. There was a potential slight
benefit in pharma, but strong negative results in practically everything else.
These are easy enough to find.

That said, people could make other arguments for patents: they could say that
they work to discourage trade secrets. Well, since that has failed in software
and 'business methods', where the patents are deliberately perplexing and
obscure, it's perfectly clear that patents are worse than useless in those
fields.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

  • Rephrase - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 26 2012 @ 09:58 AM EST
Patents have not hurt every field
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 25 2012 @ 04:15 AM EST
They have enriched the field of patent law. That is why efforts to get rid of
them are doomed to fail. The "thugs" as you call them, are running the
country.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

There is only one rational solution
Authored by: soronlin on Monday, November 26 2012 @ 11:18 AM EST
Fire was not protected by patent, it was protected by trade-secret.
Unfortunately for the inventor, it was the "stolen" and published.
Since the secret of fire was public and could not be retrieved, damage was
obviously irreparable and the courts of the day imposed massive penalties on the
person responsible. So massive I probably shouldn't tell them here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prometheus

Those were the days -- when the justice system had real teeth... well, beaks
anyway.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

I wouldn't say fire was invented
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 26 2012 @ 01:37 PM EST

... or are you saying lightning strikes in forests never produced fire until man gave it a name?

Fire was a discovery. Not an invention.

Various ways to produce fire - like the match - would be the inventions. But not fire itself!

Finding two rocks and discovering they make sparks when you bang them together would be a discovery. Possibly considered innovative if you thought to bang them together deliberately and see what happens - but not inventions. You wouldn't be responsible for having made those two rocks.

That's part of what's sad about how some view the words "invention" and "innovation" - they somehow see themselves as inventor of something found in Nature rather then recognizing their role for what it actually was: a discoverer.

RAS

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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