The so called experts are all legal proffessionals who have a vested financial interest in avoiding patent reform. The status quo is indeed very good for lawyers.
The current patent laws favor the patent lawyers plus two groups of companies. The first group is composed of very large companies like Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm, and so on, with extremely deep pockets to litigate. The second group are the so-called "patent trolls" who do not design, manufacture, or sell any products based on their patents. As such, they can not be counter-sued. This kind of immunity encourages them to bring in frivilous litigation. They have nothing to lose by litigating.
Who is the loser in our current system then? The small start-up companies where the real innovation takes place. They don't have money to burn on litigation, and they get bullied by both of the other two groups above.
We need patent reform, because the current sytem is not the best for creativity and innovation.
You nailed the problem with the patent system as it is currently administered. There needs to be provisions to restrict the activities of non-practicing patent holders and the P&TO unfortunately has set the bar too low for patent awards. There are far too many patents being issued for obvious and trivial cases. The explosion of patent awards simply feeds the litigation process by which companies use to "beat down" their competitors in the courts instead of in the marketplace. This is bad for both businesses and the consumers.
I guess in times to come or may be now when a new design is worked out, a patent engineer or staff would get involved from the very starting. Looks like soon engineerig colleges should introduce this as subject or separate discipline as such.
It reminds me of a case of Canadian police investigating themselves re: Taser use and concluding that there is nothing wrong with killing an innocent man at the Vancouver airport...the artcile title should had read: "Patent Reform? Experts who get paid by the patent system do not think so!"
The Innovation Act of 2013 as describe here (http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/2639) seems like it is merely requiring a minimal amount of due diligence on the part of the complaintant and not really something that will affect ANY change (other than possibly allowing legal clerks to exchange paper and a check-list of trivial prerequisites before the action is taken into courts.
It looks like a content-free/value-free bill that can be used to say that Congress (antipode of progress) has "reviewed patent-related issues" when someone asks more than something that will affect more than one lawyer publicizing a check-list on a legal document website for use in preparation for the case (regardless if it a patent troll or an actual infringement).
I agree with many of the previous comments with a bit of a twist.
1) Evaluating if reform is needed by patent lawyers is a conflict of interest
2) Patents are presently applied more for blocking than for innovation and even less for protecting investment - The thought process for "Slide to Unlock" was essentially "look at a useful feature that was previously not patented and patent it" more than a deep analysis/research investment in human-computer-interface. I see preventing it being used by others is like patenting a push button and saying it cannot be used.
3) There is Often almost no innovation in much of the stuff that is patented (many patents occur because of the bonuses offered or assertion by employers more than for innovation).
4) Despite the noted end of phone wars there will be yet another arena where patent lawyers can endulge their wordsmithing and presentation of content-free text. Let's limit the tools that make the cost of a product rise because of the need for deadwood employees who have to create work via ambulance - I mean patent chasing.
Just because they call it patent "reform" doesn't mean it is.
Property rights and jobs in America are now hanging from a frayed thread. Some in Congress and the White House continue to follow the lead of their multinational campaign donors like lambs...pulling America along to the slaughter.
All this patent troll and 'reform' talk is mere dissembling by China, huge multinational thieves and their paid puppets.
They have already damaged the American patent system so that property rights are teetering on lawlessness. Simply put, their intent is to legalize theft -to twist and weaken the patent system so it can only be used by them and no one else. Then they can steal at will and destroy their small competitors AND WITH THEM THE JOBS THEY WOULD HAVE CREATED. Meanwhile, the huge multinationals ship more and more American jobs to China and elsewhere overseas.
Do you know how to make a Stradivarius violin? Neither does anyone else. Why? There was no protection for creations in his day so he like everyone else protected their creations by keeping them secret. Civilization has lost countless creations and discoveries over the ages for the same reason. Think we should get rid of or weaken patent rights? Think again.
Most important for America is what the patent system does for America's economy. Our founders: Jefferson, Franklin, Madison and others felt so strongly about the rights of inventors that they included inventors rights to their creations and discoveries in the Constitution. They understood the trade off. Inventors are given a limited monopoly and in turn society gets the benefits of their inventions (telephone, computer, airplane, automobile, lighting, etc) into perpetuity AND THE JOBS the commercialization of those inventions bring. For 200 years the patent system has not only fueled the American economy, but the world's. If we weaken the patent system, we force inventors underground like Stradivarius and in turn weaken our economy and job creation. For a robust economy America depends on a strong patent system accessible to all -large and small, not the watered down weak system the large multinationals and China are foisting on America.
For the truth, please see http://www.truereform.piausa.org/ http://piausa.wordpress.com/ http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2014/04/18/for-whom-the-bell-tolls-the-us-patent-system/id=49067/ http://www.hoover.org/publications/defining-ideas/article/142741
I find your post enlightening. Yet, I do not consider it compelling toward what I think is your end goal... non-reformation of the broken patent system.
Any system that allows for patenting "Slide to Unlock" is inherently broken.
Any system that allows for patenting obvious/self evident methods/processes/principals is broken.
Any system that supports enforcing patents that are not planned within a product to be shipped within 3 years by its owner or a licensee is broken (this often is an indication of a patent that BARS innovation rather than propogates/supports it).
Any system that supports enforcing disallowing personal use of privately owned products in whatever method one chooses (aka installing Windows on a Macbook or installing OSX onto a standard PC) is broken.
If a patent was the result of research/development investment (not looking at an obsolete product and patenting something that was not previously patented as is often the case) and it is not being used/licensed for ship within ~3 years then it is obstuctive rather than constucive so it should be usable so others can build upon/with it.
If there was a real investment (technical not legal) into research and development then there is justification for ensuring that the patent owner has the ability to recoup or profit from the investment.
Legal investment is often the result of validation or pursuit of enforcement of the technical (real patent subject). So, it is equated to Cost of Patenting - not the patent itself and this cost should be capped or excluded from the term "real investment" in the above paragraph.
Simply put: Patents should NOT be used to prevent innovations that can build upon the foundation of the patent unless it is applied in the near future. Patents should not prevent the owner of a product from using it in a manner other than the "manufacturers prescribed use case" (e.g.: installing Android on an ipad because I like the hardware but the software prevents me from being productive - or so I can innovate therefrom).
(Please note: I use 3 years as an example - I have no strong justification for it not being less or even a Small duration more). I do have strong justification for it being within the range of less than 5 years as the "life span" of a patentable innovative trait is generally 3 years. After that 3 years then costs of development and often profit can generally be derived. Then, innovation founded on the trait can begin rather than the waiting 15 or 20 years because the patent owner decides it is useful to PREVENT innovation by competitors which may require more investment/innovation on his part to remain competitive.
If you are in the thinking business, chances are that your job is created to fend off people that may out invent your boss. In the case of "trolls" their patents are usually written by people who out invented the rest. Otherwise, their patent would be as useless as that of yours and cannot stand up in court.
Engineers should try to come up with better ideas earlier, instead of complaining about your creativity being blocked by others. They were there first, sorry dude, shut up and move on.
If it weren't for open source (aka Patent-free or patent-less) products like Gcc and subsequently Linux then the timeline to fielding a new system would be increased by YEARS to build a custom patent managed foundation to boot the system. I don't have to imagine I just have to remember when I had to write the tools from scratch (an iterative cycle that is worthy of a white paper that would be more useful for the author than for anyone else). With those (6-18 month development cycle) then the boot code, board initialization, ... (aka BIOS or u-boot) can begin for several months. Adding the next layer of an OS can be 3-5 years alone.
If we had patented those sources then the world would be a simpler place with fewer electronics and fewer innovations that build upon the shoulders of the FSF/Open source foundation.
Since these were not patented we got exponential increases in the rate from idea to beta. We'd still be using simple phones still. We'd have fewer life-improving products in safety and medical industries. We'd have an untold higher cost to fielding a new idea. This would have resulted in a huge increase in turn around for trials of ideas and then innovation on those foundations would be pushed off for the requisite duration for the beta to be done (see above). Results: a harddrive, cell phone, touch screen, ticket processing, data capture and presentation for all arenas (including medical and safety) would be decades back from their present position. Imagine that if you can.
An idea is often the foundation for other ideas that are both competitive and elaborative. An idea that is barred from use is an idea lost (for decades) or the waste of valuable resources reinventing the wheel (almost literally).
Imagine not being able to keep more than a trivial number of contacts on your phone, having slow or no connectivity to any device, having cans in the phone system rather than digital systems or VOIP. Consider the depth and breadth of the potential since almost every software product in the world started with some portion of the idea/innovation within Gnu/FSF/Open Source (I can barely imagine a portion and I remember a time before this freedom).
Since the unpatented ideas/resources are the foundation for most of the worlds recent software innovations we Must see the value of building upon innovation rather than reinventing it. Since many of the non-software innovations have leveraged the results of software innovations (imagine hand routing a few million gate chip or simulating a circuit at 200KHz).
So, it is not a matter of who patented it first (after all many of the patents are just documentation of ideas already in use). It is a matter of preventing progression beyond that foundation because of some antequated idea based on the perceived product life cycle that was in existence when we could not really comprehend traveling at 60 MPH and the meaning of "giga" was beyond 99.99% of the humans on the planet.
Welcome to the 21st century! We move faster, sleep less, create ideas on a whim. Move at the pace of THIS century not the pace of the founding fathers. We can and do share world-wide in near realtime (mostly because of unpatented foundations/innovation). If an entity cannot keep up and innovate better or differently and wants to sit on its laurels (old ideas) then it should consider closing the doors or replacing upper management rather than forcing others to move at a snails pace so they can avoid innovating the next best thing. Or even worse; shoving their noses in the way of those who will innovate through the archaic patent "system".
I hope there are more people who put their work out for everyone to freely use. I don't know who is paying for their time, but it is a good thing. Just like you can practice Communism by giving away everything you have to those in need, but you can't demand others to do the same.
The founding fathers got us here. USA is the biggest success story in human history, so far. They understand people with our flaws, and designed a system that facilitated innovation and competition. They designed an exceptional country. I don't understand why so many of you want to merge into some "global norm". For those who want to do that, they can always go back to _____(fill in the blanks).
Hi all, i'm not very familiar with Patent laws, but hate to cast doom and gloom, but i think it is all going the way of music, film, media, tv, etc.
To put it harshly, its a fugazi. Ideas are thin air. Like Music, film, etc it is an art form. And art is meant to be shared and enjoyed. No one 'owns' it.
The music industry fought the ridiculous, and fast becoming outdated, idea of copyright. They lost. Miserably.
Why? They were greedy on 2 counts.
They built a model based on thin air. Copyright.
They forced artists, consumers into a model of their choosing, with no other options. We'll copyright, dictate distribution, radio, etc.
And sure, it made them rich. It created huge industries built on a fugazi. Employed people, made a select few artists ridiculously rich. The size of which they didnt deserve. (Please don't retort with 'do you want them to do it for nothing'? Thats not what i said. And irellevant).
And when the public spoke, and basically said "stuff you, we're not paying for art, unless its genuine, we've had a chance to listen to see if we like it, and really we should only pay for live performances." . Right or wrong? Doesn't matter. That ship has sailed.
And what did the record companies do? Instead of realising their greedy ideas had run their course, they fought a losing battle. It was like watching a couple of bullies trying to fight the oncoming masses with paper swords.
So now they're gone (In their past form). Thank God. But the only real casualties are the employees in those industries. Harsh, but reality.
But when you build an industry on a house of cards, eventually it will come crashing down.
The pattern is repeating for film, and media. Protecting Content! Protect Copyright. Protect the artists! Please. It should be "protect our arses, because we know whats coming".
They will soon be morphed into a realistic, FAIR, and acceptable model for the public to consume.
Software, patents, etc will follow suit.
So, see the writing on the wall. Spend your money and energy on looking to the future. Innovate, don't legislate. You will perish if you don't.
Copying isn't theft, and it isn't piracy. Same with patents.
It's what we did for millennia until the invention of copyright, its an antiquated remnant of a censorship system from the sixteenth century.
It stifles creativity, sharing, collaboration. And promotes secrecy, mis-trust, crime.
And please don't shoot the messenger. It's the public that has spoken. In America, and around the world. It's a revolution of sorts. A kind of uprising, if you will, against the power and greed of many corporations and self interest bodies benefitting from outdated, greedy laws.
The public has pretty much deemed these laws of 'ownership' should not apply to thin air.
The 'on the street' evidence?
A few years ago, ppl used to be apologetic, make excuses, side step, etc when challenged if they 'download'. Now its not an issue. The moral discussions are nearly gone. The ship has well and truly sailed. So don't sell the old 'you are hurting the artists/creators', or 'its theft' line. The people don't buy it.
So don't blame me. Blame everyone. It IS going to happen,
In music the downloaders are millions of kids in hoodies who makes $15k a year.
For patents, however, it is engineers ripping off inventors for their employers that can afford to pay hundreds of millions in damages. You bet you can find people who is willing to go after the infringers.
Nobody will sue a poor guy. Claiming patents hurting small businesses is pure baloney.
Generally, it is true... the deeper the pocket the more a leech/ambulance chaser will want to get his piece of the cash pie of the alleged infringer through the patent courts.
If a small start up is perceived to be infringing and that startup is a threat to ANYONE then it may be strategic to kill the competition using the patent courts and leeches. It is not just the depth of the pockets that is the sole point of consideration when determining if a leech will be set-upon an alleged infringer. Sometimes it is just to kill competition by bleeding them through leeches for hire.
The notion that music downloaders are 'only' millions of teenagers on 15k a year is not true and kind of irrelevant.
That applied a few years ago, but in as little as a year or 2, NO ONE will pay for music, or film/TV/Media. Even now pretty much everyone i know does not pay for music. Factory workers, professionals, lawyers, etc. The notion its pimply teenagers hiding behind keyboards is yesterdays sterotype.
Regardless, these millions of 15k a year teenagers will in a few years be earning 50k, 100k, 1000k, They will be making decisions. And they will look at all this Copyright nonsense in a bemused fashion. They already do.
It's not even a debate. It IS happening, and will continue to happen. As soon as something is invented, it will be copied. And no amount of litigation is going to stop it. It will just slow it down for a while.
You wanted a global economy? You needed it to thrive? Well sorry, you can't cherry pick and manipulate it to suit. Wanted to open up to China for cheaper products? and then squeal that you can't compete? etc etc
You take the good with the bad. And you work out a way to make your economy work, or will the gap will continue to reduce in the 'Super Power' rankings. America is already being displaced by the 'Global' economy.
Again, Innovate. Innovation is also about adapting to suit the conditions and change in public sentiment. You fight against that, you lose. Eventually.
From a personal perspective, the notion that CopyRight, Patents etc is there to protect the creators is false, corporate/govt bullshit propaganda. It has done nothing to spur on creativity. Its a long debate that could go for hours, but we all know deep down it was invented as a way for companies to make money. Pure and simple. The rest is smoke and mirrors.
The 'protect the creators' emotional line is as thin as air. The people are quickly seeing it as the propaganda that it is. They are only stupid whilst their information is filtered. Well the Internet/Social media is putting paid to that. And quickly. The manipulated media is losing its grip. REAL truths can now be accessed and spread freely. I'm amazed (pleasantly) at the amount of people, young and old, who constantly come out with "Wow, i didnt realise they did this", "That's so wrong". etc etc
Without even knowing the details its pretty clear. Both sides of this patenting debate seem to be worried about their self interests. Understandable, but you still don't seem to be realising that, how can you make a model work with the reality of what is happening in the world, and will continue to happen? Litigation, Copyright Law, etc is NOT going to work. And its not my, or any pimply faced teenagers job to work it out for you...
Its taken a long, long time, but thank god its happening. My faith in humanity is being restored.
Regardless, doesn't matter what I, or any individual thinks. The public IS seeing it for what it is. And is speaking with their actions. REAL truth and fairness wins in the end.
If you can come up with genuine, fair, equitable model, there's a chance. Keep going with false truths, and greed, you're gone.
OPC: what an odd rant. What I try to tell you is that the enforcement problems that faced the music industry do not exist in the electronics hardware industry. Here the industry is too highly consolidated for innovation. Patent law is one of the few tools that can change this. Nobody would sue a hoodie who makes $10M a year.
Fmotta: yes, having a deep pocket but slow in innovation will indeed put you in danger. Deep pocket is not a license to steal. It is (still) the law, stupid. Have you ever thought of using that money to hire better engineers, in stead of trying to make stealing legal, with your expensive lawyers?
I don't know what those iPhones and samsungs do to your head. Maybe they are better than any of those old smokeable stuff came before them. Still, the talk of junking the founding fathers is kind of presumptuous.
me3 said:Fmotta: yes, having a deep pocket but slow in innovation will indeed put you in danger. Deep pocket is not a license to steal. It is (still) the law, stupid. Have you ever thought of using that money to hire better engineers, in stead of trying to make stealing legal, with your expensive lawyers?
I don't know what those iPhones and samsungs do to your head. Maybe they are better than any of those old smokeable stuff came before them. Still, the talk of junking the founding fathers is kind of presumptuous.
@me3: I speculate that I was either unclear or you hadn't read my posting or (the best option I can find...) you are creating your own variant of what I already stated.
My statement related to the use of leeches to gain an income rather than innovating seemed obvious to me to be a statement that hiring quality staff outside the business office is what generally creates innovation and hiring within the legal office can (at best) protect innovation (presuming good business and proper use of patents).
My statement regarding the founding fathers may be elaborated (toward further clarification)... have a look at just about any show/movie where someone is transported forward to the "present day" and you will find a trivial representation of the shock and fear and amazement over what can and is being done now. Our founding fathers are little different than the average man of ~200 years ago... copying a document (at that time) meant a scribe or clerk laboring for hours/days (for example). Just the process of patenting was time consuming! Getting hot water, illuminating the space, traveling, conversing outside fo ear-shot, controlling devices across large spaces, creating a new innovation, ALL were the results of many many hours/days of labor. I cannot see that there can be any representation that the founding fathers could even COMPREHEND the situation that we have today in principals much less in specific cases.
I say that as a person who was actually around at the time when wrapping core memory was still in practice. One of my favorite statements as I hold a microSD card with 64GB of storage space is "I remember when swallowing 512 bits would kill a person". The transition was immense! My 93 y/o friend who was a housewife and not exposed to tech is amazed every day I present her with a new idea even those ideas that are considered obsolete by current standards.
January 2016 Cartoon Caption ContestBob's punishment for missing his deadline was to be tied to his chair tantalizingly close to a disconnected cable, with one hand superglued to his desk and another to his chin, while the pages from his wall calendar were slowly torn away.122 comments