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Patently Offensive

2002-01-04 21:36:55+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

Patently Offensive is my latest ineffectual rant on how patents are strangling innovation.

[ related topics: Intellectual Property ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:34:11+00 by: TheSHAD0W

So what's your opinion? Should the patent system be modified? Or abolished entirely? What about copyright? Trademarks?

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:34:11+00 by: Larry Burton

There is a place for patents. The problem I have with the current system is that it just requires one to think of an innovation and apply for a patent for it before someone else thinks to do it. It doesn't require an active attempt at development of the patented idea. Also, regardless of the technology a patent is for the term of a patent is twenty years from the date on which the application for the patent was filed in the United States. That may be fine for some things but that is just way too long for a utility patent covering software.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:34:12+00 by: TheSHAD0W

Darn. And I thought you had promise.


#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:34:12+00 by: Dan Lyke

I think that something like patent protections are necessary for some inventions. I'd rather see an extension of the trade-secret system, where the transaction with purchasers is done as a sort of license thing, and simultaneous inventors might have to document the process of invention to prove that they didn't get it from a privileged transaction.

This would also help force protected innovations to be innovations of work, rather than afternoon brainstorms.

Trademarks in the US seem to be administered about as fairly as I could possibly imagine. The only change I'd make to copyright might be to limit the term of unregistered copyright to 15 years or so, and make registered copyrighted materials carry a serial number, and be renewed every so often. This way we'd have a way for books, music, and other materials which fall out of print to become part of the cultural legacy, while still retaining the rights of authors and creators who maintain an active interest in their work.