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Do Patents Stunt Technological Development?

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Dododecapod
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Postby Dododecapod » Sat Oct 16, 2010 7:42 pm

Concordeia wrote:
Hydesland wrote:
This sort of thing is actually quite a popular suggestion among many free market oriented economists, funnily enough.


Wait, so the current patent system does NOT restrict the use of technology by other individuals/companies?


No. It does reduce profitability, though, since it increases outlay, unless you own the Patent.
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Hydesland
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Postby Hydesland » Sat Oct 16, 2010 7:43 pm

Concordeia wrote:Wait, so the current patent system does NOT restrict the use of technology by other individuals/companies?


The current patent system puts the use of the technology by other individuals at the discretion of the patent holder (subject to certain constraints), all I'm saying is that there are some economists out there, like you, who only want patent holders to be entitled to a return or percentage of profit/equity for each company that uses such technology but do not want to allow them 'monopolistic' control over the intellectual property.
Last edited by Hydesland on Sat Oct 16, 2010 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Concordeia
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Postby Concordeia » Sat Oct 16, 2010 7:50 pm

Hydesland wrote:
Concordeia wrote:Wait, so the current patent system does NOT restrict the use of technology by other individuals/companies?


The current patent system puts the use of the technology by other individuals at the discretion of the patent holder (subject to certain constraints), all I'm saying is that there are some economists out there, like you, who only want patent holders to be entitled to a return or percentage of profit/equity for each company that uses such technology but do not want to allow them 'monopolistic' control over the intellectual property.

Huh...all this time I thought it was much more restrictive...

But wait, doesn't that mean that the patent holder can still withhold use of the technology? How is that fair? They still have complete control over the technology!
Funny Quotes:
Falkasia wrote:
Concordeia wrote:Dammit, and I got accused of tech-wanking for using megawatt-scale free electron laser CIWS on my (nuclear powered) vessels to block missile spam! And I'm freakin early PMT! :mad: :(

I gotta say it. First time I read through this, I could have sworn it said something like this:
Dammit, and I got accused of tech-wanking for using megawatt-scale free electron laser CIWS on my (nuclear powered) vessels to block spam missiles!

I was like, "Who the hell are you fighting... or more importantly, was your lunch meat laced?"


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Take the World Census 2011 at http://forum.nationstates.net/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=83868

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Hydesland
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Postby Hydesland » Sat Oct 16, 2010 7:58 pm

Concordeia wrote:But wait, doesn't that mean that the patent holder can still withhold use of the technology?


Yes.

How is that fair?


What matters is what is best at motivating people to invest time, and often a great deal of money (often many small time inventors have to mortgage their house to see it through) to create new products or find new solutions to problems that will be of value to many individuals, allowing jobs and wealth to be created.

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Concordeia
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Postby Concordeia » Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:07 pm

Hydesland wrote:
Concordeia wrote:But wait, doesn't that mean that the patent holder can still withhold use of the technology?


Yes.

How is that fair?


What matters is what is best at motivating people to invest time, and often a great deal of money (often many small time inventors have to mortgage their house to see it through) to create new products or find new solutions to problems that will be of value to many individuals, allowing jobs and wealth to be created.


But some people may be more quick to develop useful applications for the technology than the original inventor. I'm of the opinion that a technology will be integrated and developed by society faster if the technology is available to everyone right off the bat.
Funny Quotes:
Falkasia wrote:
Concordeia wrote:Dammit, and I got accused of tech-wanking for using megawatt-scale free electron laser CIWS on my (nuclear powered) vessels to block missile spam! And I'm freakin early PMT! :mad: :(

I gotta say it. First time I read through this, I could have sworn it said something like this:
Dammit, and I got accused of tech-wanking for using megawatt-scale free electron laser CIWS on my (nuclear powered) vessels to block spam missiles!

I was like, "Who the hell are you fighting... or more importantly, was your lunch meat laced?"


Grossrheinland Reich wrote:
CTALNH wrote:3 words: S&M and BSDM

Let it be known that God hates you.
OOC: so fkn hawt


Take the World Census 2011 at http://forum.nationstates.net/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=83868

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Concordeia
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Postby Concordeia » Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:44 pm

bump.
Funny Quotes:
Falkasia wrote:
Concordeia wrote:Dammit, and I got accused of tech-wanking for using megawatt-scale free electron laser CIWS on my (nuclear powered) vessels to block missile spam! And I'm freakin early PMT! :mad: :(

I gotta say it. First time I read through this, I could have sworn it said something like this:
Dammit, and I got accused of tech-wanking for using megawatt-scale free electron laser CIWS on my (nuclear powered) vessels to block spam missiles!

I was like, "Who the hell are you fighting... or more importantly, was your lunch meat laced?"


Grossrheinland Reich wrote:
CTALNH wrote:3 words: S&M and BSDM

Let it be known that God hates you.
OOC: so fkn hawt


Take the World Census 2011 at http://forum.nationstates.net/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=83868

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Postby Caninope » Sat Oct 16, 2010 9:22 pm

Concordeia wrote:
Hydesland wrote:
Yes.



What matters is what is best at motivating people to invest time, and often a great deal of money (often many small time inventors have to mortgage their house to see it through) to create new products or find new solutions to problems that will be of value to many individuals, allowing jobs and wealth to be created.


But some people may be more quick to develop useful applications for the technology than the original inventor. I'm of the opinion that a technology will be integrated and developed by society faster if the technology is available to everyone right off the bat.

It might not.

Development will only happen with necessity. Unless the immediate product needs to changed or further developed for necessity, there isn't much of a reason to develop it further, and not that much of a reason to give it to companies to develop.

Further, it might turn off companies from buying the new and improved mop. Why? Because everybody can make it, and therefore nobody wants to pick up on a product like this.

Furthermore, if there's a problem, is it easier to recall it from one source, or have 100 companies recall it?
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Rolling squid
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Postby Rolling squid » Sat Oct 16, 2010 9:47 pm

Much like anything, patents are good and bad. On one hand, the ensure there is value in invention. On the other hand patent trolling needs to be reigned in. As G&D mentioned, drug patents are absurd. I can take a fully functional drug, add a benign function group and get it patented. Furthermore, as has already been mentioned, concept patents are just wrong. And of course, there is the whole problem of gene patenting.
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Natapoc
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Postby Natapoc » Sat Oct 16, 2010 9:59 pm

In their current form they do stunt technological development as does copyright in some areas.
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Postby Panzerjaeger » Sat Oct 16, 2010 10:02 pm

Not only should we get rid of the Patent system we should also club Intellectuals to death.
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Postby Natapoc » Sat Oct 16, 2010 10:04 pm

Panzerjaeger wrote:Not only should we get rid of the Patent system we should also club Intellectuals to death.


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Postby Panzerjaeger » Sat Oct 16, 2010 10:07 pm

Natapoc wrote:
Panzerjaeger wrote:Not only should we get rid of the Patent system we should also club Intellectuals to death.


Pol pot!? They told me you had died! Where have you been hiding all these years?

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Caninope wrote:Toyota: Keep moving forward, even when you don't want to!

Christmahanikwanzikah wrote:Timothy McVeigh casts... Pyrotechnics!

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MisanthropicPopulism
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Postby MisanthropicPopulism » Sat Oct 16, 2010 10:29 pm

Hydesland wrote:
Do Patents Stunt Technological Development?


No, it encourages such. There is much empirical evidence to suggest that the industrial revolution, and the rapid technological advance seen in the 20th century on the whole, was predicated largely on the strengthening of intellectual property rights.

But there is a tipping point between protecting rights and overprotecting rights. We crossed it a long time ago.
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The Cat-Tribe
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It would be nice if some of you understood patents

Postby The Cat-Tribe » Sat Oct 16, 2010 11:32 pm

and how they work.

For example:
1. Patents are all made public. That is part of the whole point. There is no keeping the invention secret.
2. One can freely improve upon the patent and in doing so create a new product not covered by the patent.
3. Thus, technological development is encouraged by the patent process.

I don't have the time or patience to argue with people about whether patents are a good idea and/or explain the various erroneous statements made so far about patents.

NOTE: I am the last person to say the U.S. (or any other) patent system is perfect, some patents (and even categories of patents) are abused/absurd, that there isn't room for improvement, etc.

Here is some good background material on patents:
http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/do ... .html#faqs
http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/do ... lawpat.pdf (14p pdf re patent law)
http://www.wipo.int/patentscope/en/patents_faq.html
http://topics.law.cornell.edu/wex/Patent
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/35/
http://www.howstuffworks.com/patent.htm

Here are some sources (some good, some dubious) on why patents are/may be good:http://www.commerce.gov/sites/default/files/documents/migrated/Patent_Reform-paper.pdf (11p pdf)
http://www.uspto.gov/news/speeches/2010 ... speech.jsp
Intellectual Property: A Power Tool for Economic Growth (20p pdf)
THE ECONOMICS OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY (230p pdf)
INTERNATIONAL PATENT SYSTEM: AN EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS (67p pdf)
http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/ind ... ort_en.pdf (127p pdf)
http://www.patent-innovations.com/docum ... terest.pdf
http://www.nutechventures.org/blog/why- ... ood-thing/
http://www.uspto.gov/news/speeches/2009/2009Dec9.jsp
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Postby Nazi Flower Power » Sat Oct 16, 2010 11:44 pm

Concordeia wrote:Huh...all this time I thought it was much more restrictive...

But wait, doesn't that mean that the patent holder can still withhold use of the technology? How is that fair? They still have complete control over the technology!


Only until the patent expires. I don't see what the problem is.

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Postby The Cat-Tribe » Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:04 am

OMGeverynameistaken wrote:Depends, really. The present patent system does, I feel, stunt technology since you can copyright literally almost anything.

I believe a common example is:
Using an arrow to indicate what direction you should go in a video game. Owned by, if I remember right, Ubisoft.

So anybody who wants to point somebody in a certain direction in a video game has to pay Ubisoft for 'their' concept.

Another is the whole Microsoft/IE Flash debacle where a company threatened to sue Microsoft for using the idea of 'not having to click on something in order to activate it' in relation to Flash items in IE.

That sort of thing stunts development, because nobody wants to risk developing something only to get sued into oblivion because some guy owns the copyright for 'the use of rectangular advertisements'.

To my mind, a 'concept' shouldn't be copyrightable. A specific device, yes, a piece of code for a game, certainly, but the entire IDEA of using an arrow to point at something? No. Does not fly. The US government needs to take over the patent office again :\


1. The U.S. government does run the Patent Office.

2. Copyright and patents are completely different.

3. A pure "idea" or concept such as you describe is generally neither patentable nor copyrightable.
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The Cat-Tribe wrote:With that, I am done with these shenanigans. Do as thou wilt.

Can't miss you until you're gone, Ambassador. Seriously, your delegation is like one of those stores that has a "Going Out Of Business" sale for twenty years. Stay or go, already.*snip*
"Don't give me no shit because . . . I've been Tired . . ." ~ Pixies
With that, "he put his boots on, he took a face from the Ancient Gallery, and he walked on down the Hall . . ."

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UnitedStatesOfAmerica-
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Postby UnitedStatesOfAmerica- » Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:07 am

The real issue I see is people trying to patent and copyright ideas. In the past, you could only patent specific devices or copyright specific arrangements of words. These days, people are patenting techniques that have been around for hundreds of years or that are basic common sense. People are copyrighting phrases they did not invent and that predate even the US. It also used to be that copyrights only applied to a certain use of a phrase, now if you use the phrase for any purpose at all, you can be sued.

Copyright and Patent law have been changed by extremists to give all power to the rich and to take away the freedom of innovation from the masses by figuratively telling the masses, "You are only allowed to think what we tell you think."

A classic case is that of the abbreviation WWF. The World Wrestling Federation and the World WIldlife Fund came out at the same time. For awhile they had agreed to the rule that companies can use the abbreviation in different settings as long they did not conflict with each other. The World Wild LIfe Fund used it in the area of conservation, and World Wrestling Federation used it in the Context of wrestling only. They never crossed each other's paths.
The problem then came up that World Wildlife Fund claimed total and exclusive use of the WWF abbreviation in any and all sectors of society. The Courts in England ruled that the Fund had the right to ban all other people from using the abbreviation even when it was used in a different sector and this is what stifles innovation. At the rate it is going we will have to invent a new alphabet for people to create their abbreviations and acronyms from. That or change the law back to what it was originally intended to be in the USA.

If you say, "That's hot", Paris Hilton might sue you for copyright infringement. That is how ludricrous this has become.
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The Cat-Tribe
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Postby The Cat-Tribe » Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:09 am

greed and death wrote:Yes and No. the problem with current patent law is it is a one size fits all shoe. For mechanical things a 20 year patent before others may use your design to as a basis to improve upon your own is reasonable. Where as with software by the time 20 years have passed the 3d engine from a formerly state of the art game would only be considered worthy of making sprite cartoons. In this way no one is able to use others code to create soemthing new and more advanced.

Also drug patents need to reigned in, when people need a drug to live or lead a fulfilling life it is unconscionable to all companies to charge unreasonable prices for the drug. IT is about time the US take the approach of the rest of the world and work with drug companies to set reasonable prices for these drugs. I would then be open to giving them longer patent protection periods in exchange.


Like the other poster, you confuse patents and copyright and misunderstand both.

Improvements upon a patent can be independently patentable and sold -- it depends on whether they still infringe the original patent. And the patent process makes the invention details public record so that others may work on such improvements.

Software code itself is usually copyrighted, not patented -- although there are patents on methods that cover software. It is complicated, but it doesn't work the way you describe.
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The Cat-Tribe wrote:With that, I am done with these shenanigans. Do as thou wilt.

Can't miss you until you're gone, Ambassador. Seriously, your delegation is like one of those stores that has a "Going Out Of Business" sale for twenty years. Stay or go, already.*snip*
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Concordeia
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Postby Concordeia » Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:19 am

Nazi Flower Power wrote:
Concordeia wrote:Huh...all this time I thought it was much more restrictive...

But wait, doesn't that mean that the patent holder can still withhold use of the technology? How is that fair? They still have complete control over the technology!


Only until the patent expires. I don't see what the problem is.

This could take a decade or two.
Funny Quotes:
Falkasia wrote:
Concordeia wrote:Dammit, and I got accused of tech-wanking for using megawatt-scale free electron laser CIWS on my (nuclear powered) vessels to block missile spam! And I'm freakin early PMT! :mad: :(

I gotta say it. First time I read through this, I could have sworn it said something like this:
Dammit, and I got accused of tech-wanking for using megawatt-scale free electron laser CIWS on my (nuclear powered) vessels to block spam missiles!

I was like, "Who the hell are you fighting... or more importantly, was your lunch meat laced?"


Grossrheinland Reich wrote:
CTALNH wrote:3 words: S&M and BSDM

Let it be known that God hates you.
OOC: so fkn hawt


Take the World Census 2011 at http://forum.nationstates.net/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=83868

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Numerika
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Postby Numerika » Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:24 am

Software patents do. It's because of the sort of commentary like on this thread, too. The people running the patent system don't understand how software works, so they continue to treat it as if it's the same as traditional patents. The vile thing is when (software) patent trolls are under the same tent as the corporate protectors against lawsuit abuse. Software patents must end.
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The Cat-Tribe
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Postby The Cat-Tribe » Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:27 am

UnitedStatesOfAmerica- wrote:The real issue I see is people trying to patent and copyright ideas. In the past, you could only patent specific devices or copyright specific arrangements of words. These days, people are patenting techniques that have been around for hundreds of years or that are basic common sense. People are copyrighting phrases they did not invent and that predate even the US. It also used to be that copyrights only applied to a certain use of a phrase, now if you use the phrase for any purpose at all, you can be sued.

Copyright and Patent law have been changed by extremists to give all power to the rich and to take away the freedom of innovation from the masses by figuratively telling the masses, "You are only allowed to think what we tell you think."

A classic case is that of the abbreviation WWF. The World Wrestling Federation and the World WIldlife Fund came out at the same time. For awhile they had agreed to the rule that companies can use the abbreviation in different settings as long they did not conflict with each other. The World Wild LIfe Fund used it in the area of conservation, and World Wrestling Federation used it in the Context of wrestling only. They never crossed each other's paths.
The problem then came up that World Wildlife Fund claimed total and exclusive use of the WWF abbreviation in any and all sectors of society. The Courts in England ruled that the Fund had the right to ban all other people from using the abbreviation even when it was used in a different sector and this is what stifles innovation. At the rate it is going we will have to invent a new alphabet for people to create their abbreviations and acronyms from. That or change the law back to what it was originally intended to be in the USA.

If you say, "That's hot", Paris Hilton might sue you for copyright infringement. That is how ludricrous this has become.


Um. Almost every word of this is untrue (including your distorted account of the WWF trademark dispute arising from the wrestling groups admitted breach of the agreement with the Wildlife Fund).

Among things you might want to learn are: the concept of prior art; that copyright does not protect names, titles, slogans, or short phrases; that copyright does not protect ideas, concepts, systems, or methods of doing something; and copyright only protects "“original works of authorship.”
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The Cat-Tribe wrote:With that, I am done with these shenanigans. Do as thou wilt.

Can't miss you until you're gone, Ambassador. Seriously, your delegation is like one of those stores that has a "Going Out Of Business" sale for twenty years. Stay or go, already.*snip*
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With that, "he put his boots on, he took a face from the Ancient Gallery, and he walked on down the Hall . . ."

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UnitedStatesOfAmerica-
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Postby UnitedStatesOfAmerica- » Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:43 am

The Cat-Tribe wrote:
UnitedStatesOfAmerica- wrote:The real issue I see is people trying to patent and copyright ideas. In the past, you could only patent specific devices or copyright specific arrangements of words. These days, people are patenting techniques that have been around for hundreds of years or that are basic common sense. People are copyrighting phrases they did not invent and that predate even the US. It also used to be that copyrights only applied to a certain use of a phrase, now if you use the phrase for any purpose at all, you can be sued.

Copyright and Patent law have been changed by extremists to give all power to the rich and to take away the freedom of innovation from the masses by figuratively telling the masses, "You are only allowed to think what we tell you think."

A classic case is that of the abbreviation WWF. The World Wrestling Federation and the World WIldlife Fund came out at the same time. For awhile they had agreed to the rule that companies can use the abbreviation in different settings as long they did not conflict with each other. The World Wild LIfe Fund used it in the area of conservation, and World Wrestling Federation used it in the Context of wrestling only. They never crossed each other's paths.
The problem then came up that World Wildlife Fund claimed total and exclusive use of the WWF abbreviation in any and all sectors of society. The Courts in England ruled that the Fund had the right to ban all other people from using the abbreviation even when it was used in a different sector and this is what stifles innovation. At the rate it is going we will have to invent a new alphabet for people to create their abbreviations and acronyms from. That or change the law back to what it was originally intended to be in the USA.

If you say, "That's hot", Paris Hilton might sue you for copyright infringement. That is how ludricrous this has become.


Um. Almost every word of this is untrue (including your distorted account of the WWF trademark dispute arising from the wrestling groups admitted breach of the agreement with the Wildlife Fund).

Among things you might want to learn are: the concept of prior art; that copyright does not protect names, titles, slogans, or short phrases; that copyright does not protect ideas, concepts, systems, or methods of doing something; and copyright only protects "“original works of authorship.”



The Wildlife Fund has claimed, successfully, that they can ban everyone from using the abbreviation WWF for all purposes, including those not associated with the Wildlife Fund's sphere of activities. That World Wrestling violated an agreement between the two does not negate this. If you use "WWF" as the name of your restaurant or your auto manufacturing plant you can be sued by the World Wildlife Fund even though you are not doing business in their sector of the economy.

This was the ultimate lesson of World Wildlife Fund vs World Wrestling Federation
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The Cat-Tribe
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Postby The Cat-Tribe » Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:47 am

UnitedStatesOfAmerica- wrote:
The Cat-Tribe wrote:
Um. Almost every word of this is untrue (including your distorted account of the WWF trademark dispute arising from the wrestling groups admitted breach of the agreement with the Wildlife Fund).

Among things you might want to learn are: the concept of prior art; that copyright does not protect names, titles, slogans, or short phrases; that copyright does not protect ideas, concepts, systems, or methods of doing something; and copyright only protects "“original works of authorship.”



The Wildlife Fund has claimed, successfully, that they can ban everyone from using the abbreviation WWF for all purposes, including those not associated with the Wildlife Fund's sphere of activities. That World Wrestling violated an agreement between the two does not negate this. If you use "WWF" as the name of your restaurant or your auto manufacturing plant you can be sued by the World Wildlife Fund even though you are not doing business in their sector of the economy.

This was the ultimate lesson of World Wildlife Fund vs World Wrestling Federation


First, nice job of ignoring the rest of your gross errors.

Second, kindly link the statutes, caselaw, etc., which support this "lesson" regarding the WWF trademark.
I quit (again).
The Altani Confederacy wrote:
The Cat-Tribe wrote:With that, I am done with these shenanigans. Do as thou wilt.

Can't miss you until you're gone, Ambassador. Seriously, your delegation is like one of those stores that has a "Going Out Of Business" sale for twenty years. Stay or go, already.*snip*
"Don't give me no shit because . . . I've been Tired . . ." ~ Pixies
With that, "he put his boots on, he took a face from the Ancient Gallery, and he walked on down the Hall . . ."

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Nazi Flower Power
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Posts: 21112
Founded: Jun 24, 2010
Ex-Nation

Postby Nazi Flower Power » Sun Oct 17, 2010 4:44 pm

Concordeia wrote:
Nazi Flower Power wrote:
Only until the patent expires. I don't see what the problem is.

This could take a decade or two.


There is no incentive for someone to withhold an invention from the market completely, so I doubt it happens often, even while the patent is in effect. Regardless, if someone invented something, it's their invention -- why shouldn't they have control over it? You have to find some balance between protecting the inventor's right to their own work and allowing competition. The balance we have is that people can patent their inventions, but not permanently. Patents give people a motivation to invent in the first place, and having them expire guarantees that in the long run people will have access to new technology. You can't keep it to yourself forever.

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Tekania
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 21321
Founded: May 26, 2004
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Tekania » Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:00 am

Concordeia wrote:I've been wondering about the effects of patents on society. I understand that their primary purpose is to ensure the inventor of a new device or technique is properly credited and remunerated for his/her creation by making sure nobody else can make or use said creation without permission, but I see several problems with this kind of system. One, if the inventor is stingy or exceedingly greedy, they may choose to simply withhold their invention. Two, a company may choose to buy the patent and withhold it in order to preserve profits made from an older creation. Three, a patent essentially gives either inventor, whether an individual or a company, a complete monopoly over the technology until the patent expires, restricting it's use.

Wouldn't it be better for the inventor to be recognized for his/her invention as well as receiving a monetary reward in exchange for having the invention placed under public domain so that anybody can develop and utilize it?


One of the best ideas would be to effectively elliminate the capacity of inventors (or more importantly, companies which purchase from inventors) from being able to sit on patents simply to profit off of existing technology utilizing the expansion of existing loopholes in the system, primarily the loophole dealing with a requirements that a patented idea has to be both original and non-intuitive (that is, it has to be original, and also someone else can't simply arrive at it themselves independently through intuition of basic systems).... Say, CM patents his idea for a Cold Fusion reactor, and sells this to PowerCo who makes money selling coal based power to clients simply to keep cold fusion from being used to maintain market dominance.... Well, let's say I independently with no fore-knowledge of CM's patent arrive at the same Cold Fusion reactor design simply applying physics knowledge... This should be grounds to invalidate PowerCo's purchased patents as being non-original and intuitive, and therefore patentable.

This type of thing happens very frequently with software patents.
Such heroic nonsense!

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