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Old 07-29-2011, 07:20 AM
 
454 posts, read 1,244,620 times
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Did anyone here catch the NPR broadcast about patent trolls. If not you can listen to it here.

Your jaw will drop once you listen to that!!

Its absolutely ridiculous what is going on.

Thoughts?
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Old 07-29-2011, 08:17 PM
 
Location: East Coast
2,932 posts, read 5,435,763 times
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Yeah, I caught the end of the segment on my way home from work. My thoughts? Wow...just wow.
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Old 07-30-2011, 11:12 AM
 
23,657 posts, read 70,687,352 times
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My thoughts? A lot of people ignore this, a lot of people make money off patent abuse, copyright abuse, and trademark abuse - ESPECIALLY companies like Disney. It will continue, because there is too much money at stake.

I have come to a conclusion that a lot of people won't like, but the conclusion is based on sound historical research. The world would be better off WITHOUT any of the intellectual property laws, such as patents and trademarks. I would suggest that a revamp of the laws might work, to bring them back to original intent, but such laws would be too tempting a target.

Starting out, the intent of intellectual property laws was to encourage invention and encourage educational writing, by allowing the inventor or author a time-limited payment for his service to society, based on the work, and not based on the largess of a patron. It is pretty obvious that it was NOT intended at that point in time as a massive source of profit for creators, but as a social contract with bright individuals, recognizing their value to society, and a way for them to avoid the abuses of the patronage system.

The thrust of the laws today is the exact opposite, and the effects are not only stultifying, but highly detrimental to all aspects of life. The inventor or author effectively has a choice of passing his "rights" to a corporation or group with the power to force enforcement and withstand repeated expensive legal battles, or see it ripped off, often by those same groups. There is little incentive for the back-yard inventor to invent anymore, or to attempt to market a product. The "patron" has simply gone from gentried individual to corporate patronage. A very few inventors make it through the minefield into wild success, fueling the gambling instinct that is now the only real incentive to many current day inventors. Who are those inventors, you ask? People like Bill Gates? Nope. Gates BOUGHT (under questionable legal circumstances) a version of the CPM operating system and massaged it into MS-DOS. Anyone remember, without looking it up, the name of the developer of that version of CPM, or know what his financial status was and how it changed?

Further, with the plethora of inventions and copyrights and trademarks, it has become inevitable that any individual who succeeds will run afoul of one or more of these. "Pea in a pod" or Peapod" when used in relation to pregnancy or the sale of maternity clothes is a trademark, and use of it can get you sued. Some enterprising a**hole tried to patent the wheelbarrow a while back and collect on infringements to his "patent." Fortunately, that one got shot down. Remember Disney trying to grab a trademark of the name of the military group that took out Bin Laden? Many products have to made with inefficient alternative technologies, to avoid patent infringement. Is all this insane? Yep.

Consider that the United States itself became a world power largely based on the intellectual THEFT of the design of the cotton looms and machinery used in England. China has become a world power largely because of a blind eye to intellectual theft of a multitude of products and creation of cheaper clones. It is patently obvious that intellectual theft generates more money and more social growth for the average citizen than rigid enforcement of intellectual property laws.

Creativity demands freedom. The current intellectual property laws stifle that freedom and actively prevent the growth of technology just as effectively as the guilds of medieval Europe did. We abide by them, and unwittingly force people to live the lives of serfs by denying a free transfer of intellectual thoughts into intellectually designed objects.
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Old 08-01-2011, 12:30 PM
 
454 posts, read 1,244,620 times
Reputation: 440
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
My thoughts? A lot of people ignore this, a lot of people make money off patent abuse, copyright abuse, and trademark abuse - ESPECIALLY companies like Disney. It will continue, because there is too much money at stake.

I have come to a conclusion that a lot of people won't like, but the conclusion is based on sound historical research. The world would be better off WITHOUT any of the intellectual property laws, such as patents and trademarks. I would suggest that a revamp of the laws might work, to bring them back to original intent, but such laws would be too tempting a target.

Starting out, the intent of intellectual property laws was to encourage invention and encourage educational writing, by allowing the inventor or author a time-limited payment for his service to society, based on the work, and not based on the largess of a patron. It is pretty obvious that it was NOT intended at that point in time as a massive source of profit for creators, but as a social contract with bright individuals, recognizing their value to society, and a way for them to avoid the abuses of the patronage system.

The thrust of the laws today is the exact opposite, and the effects are not only stultifying, but highly detrimental to all aspects of life. The inventor or author effectively has a choice of passing his "rights" to a corporation or group with the power to force enforcement and withstand repeated expensive legal battles, or see it ripped off, often by those same groups. There is little incentive for the back-yard inventor to invent anymore, or to attempt to market a product. The "patron" has simply gone from gentried individual to corporate patronage. A very few inventors make it through the minefield into wild success, fueling the gambling instinct that is now the only real incentive to many current day inventors. Who are those inventors, you ask? People like Bill Gates? Nope. Gates BOUGHT (under questionable legal circumstances) a version of the CPM operating system and massaged it into MS-DOS. Anyone remember, without looking it up, the name of the developer of that version of CPM, or know what his financial status was and how it changed?

Further, with the plethora of inventions and copyrights and trademarks, it has become inevitable that any individual who succeeds will run afoul of one or more of these. "Pea in a pod" or Peapod" when used in relation to pregnancy or the sale of maternity clothes is a trademark, and use of it can get you sued. Some enterprising a**hole tried to patent the wheelbarrow a while back and collect on infringements to his "patent." Fortunately, that one got shot down. Remember Disney trying to grab a trademark of the name of the military group that took out Bin Laden? Many products have to made with inefficient alternative technologies, to avoid patent infringement. Is all this insane? Yep.

Consider that the United States itself became a world power largely based on the intellectual THEFT of the design of the cotton looms and machinery used in England. China has become a world power largely because of a blind eye to intellectual theft of a multitude of products and creation of cheaper clones. It is patently obvious that intellectual theft generates more money and more social growth for the average citizen than rigid enforcement of intellectual property laws.

Creativity demands freedom. The current intellectual property laws stifle that freedom and actively prevent the growth of technology just as effectively as the guilds of medieval Europe did. We abide by them, and unwittingly force people to live the lives of serfs by denying a free transfer of intellectual thoughts into intellectually designed objects.
Yea I agree. You highlighted some of the issues (patents being sold to patent troll corporations). I think the biggest issue is the fact that patents are being issued for ideas/inventions which wouldn't be seen as inventions to the normal person. For example the patent that allows someone to put music on a server and stream it to some device. Thats not exactly an invention. At least, the basic idea. In that case, what should be patented is the underlying SPECIFIC protocol/algorithm that allows for streaming music.

We need to scrap generic patents as they are destroying the incentive to create businesses in the first place. If there is a patent for streaming music does that mean that no one else should be allowed to create products that have streaming music? In that case the patent could be used to create a monopoly on an entire industry because the patent holder goes around suing everyone who doesn't pay their 100$ million license fee.

Plus I am sure you can go overseas and not have to worry about this patent trolling. Take note that its only american law firms suing american companies or businesses that have set up some sort of subsidiary in the USA.
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