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Problem here is, Rick, that there wasn't that much
innovation. A lot of burglary and rebranding, but
not as much innovation as is claimed. I don't
disagree with your essential point that cooperation
is the better way, but if patents aren't filed,
under the current system, the small companies will
be muscled out of business.
The reason to fix the global patenting systems
is that they have become a means to extort. A
company with means to file patents can invade the
technical means of markets that they don't participate
in and use their size (yes, the bigCos do waaay
more damage than the little companies all hype
to the contrary) to hold the innovative companies
hostage. So the little companies with marketshare
MUST patent as fast as they can. Does that suck?
The web made this worse. Email and other means to
send messages directly to desktops have made it
possible to get a thin patent, then use the medium
(including lists like this) to ensure knowledge of
the patent goes directly to the CIOs, CEOs and other
corporate officers who are then obligated to go
to their legal departments with the information.
An interesting read is the history of the Wright
Brothers struggle to get their patents. Because
at that time patent applications meant one could not
demonstrate the invention, they had to face down
the whole country of France where it was claimed
powered flight was invented. They had to fight
Curtis who got an advanced look at the Wright Flyer
and ripped off their concepts for wing warping.
So, having the web where we regularly discuss our
ideas is a pretty dangerous thing UNLESS one wants
to be open with ideas. Even then, anyone with
Google or a good spider can harvest these lists
daily and patent like mad.
From: Rick Jelliffe [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Unfortunately, just because the USPTO is a laughing stock among
programmers does not mean that its influence is not strong elsewhere.
Venture capitalists still look to pupported IP when evaluating companies,
and researchers are frequently rated by how many patents they get.
Looking at the major advances or sources of innovation in the last 15
years, the WWW and XML in particular, they come out of co-operation and a
renunciation of the private ownership/control of infrastructure standards.