If you spilled your morning coffee last week when you read that the Chinese army is behind the cyberattacks on US businesses, then we need to talk.
It may have raised eyebrows that the Chinese military was called out so publicly -- so much so that they quickly denied any involvement. But that the Chinese are hacking North American (and other countries') networks should surprise no one, especially in the electronics industry.
In summary, it is not ok to steal IP, but not every patent actually contains IP. Some patents would be declared invalid if someone thought it was worth the money & effort to challenge the patent in court.
Your example about the H-bridge-in-a-defibrillator patent might seem like case in point, but I suspect the court might rule this to be a valid patent if the inventor was the first to combine those two things.
That might seem ludicrous to we engineers, who learned about H-bridges many years ago from a college textbook, and who are also aware that defibrillators have been around for decades. But the USPTO often considers combinations of prior art -- even fairly obvious combinations -- to be "new IP." This is yet another way in which our patent system is broken.
I wouldn't go so far as to despise the word "inventor," because occasionally a genuine inventor actually comes along and, well, invents something -- really invents something.
But I fully appreciate your disdain for those who simply capitalize on the lack of an existing claim on obvious combinations of existing inventions.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.