Friday, April 21, 2006

The Case Against Patents

Microcomputer pioneer Don Lancaster explains why individual inventors should stear clear of the patent system entirely when seeking their fortune, or even when seeking only to put food on the table to keep inventing.

A lot has changed since Lancaster first published this article. But then again, a lot has stayed the same -- patents still provide much stronger advantages for large companies than they do for inventors. One major change has emerged, however, and it starts with a 't' and ends with a 'roll'.


Anonymous game kid said...

Anyone who plans to (or does) make money only from patent infringements should seriously be shot in the head with an RPG.

I don't think I'm the first one here to have said that.

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's amazing how many people out there feel like the patent system is an entitlement for them to 'make money only from patent infringements.'

The even have the audacity to label themselves 'inventors,' tarnishing that name with their slimy greedy worthless patent hoarding.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The (mostly) uncreative and patently ignorant public here fails to remember that some of the most famous and prolific american inventors were, in fact, nothing but "trolls"...

Get some sense of reality, people,
stop being free advocates for big multi-nationals
Stop eating BS propaganda

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An advice from "guru":

"Third, publish all your key secrets and ideas in a major
magazine, leaving out no detail, and omitting no insider
secrets. This immediately can generate positive cash flow
for you and safely tucks all your ideas away in the public
domain, preventing most others from attempting to patent
them. This also will expose your new ideas to the widest
possible audience.
Fourth, try to set up some royalty arrangement with a
smaller to medium firm in some position to market and
distribute your invention. The normal royalty payment is
typically in the five percent range. Now for the tricky part:
They must come to you, and never vice versa. That is why
it is super important to publish your ideas and creations
and expose them as widely as possible."

He-He-He... Was he in his right mind when he wrote this ???

12:36 PM  
Anonymous george said...

"Get some sense of reality, people,
stop being free advocates for big multi-nationals Stop eating BS propaganda"

Me thinks you is nuts. Nutty. Nutcase. It isn't the big multi-nationals that are upset by things like Model Railroading patents -- it's us, the people and the innovators.

1:22 PM  
Blogger kenny said...

some of the most famous and prolific american inventors were, in fact, nothing but "trolls"...

Absolutely true. They were. David Sarnoff (television), Thomas Edison, even the Wright Brothers... they all slipped into slimy unethical behavior due to the incentives set up by the patent system.

Maybe this is the saddest fact of all -- that our system takes innovative, motivated individuals, and turns them into litigation-happy fruitcakes who electrocute cats, dogs, horses, and elephants on city street corners, impoverish the true inventors, suppress true genius, and squash competitors through anti-competitive means.

Maybe that's the model you want to follow?

Me, I just want the system to stop incentivizes abuse and unethical behavior, and start allowing us all the freedom to do what we please with our own minds and own labor. Patents prevent that.

1:39 PM  
Blogger jambarama said...

Paul Graham seems to agree. He advises his startups not to worry about patents. His conclusion is that patents don't matter on the margin, which some may disagree with, but I think for the most part his message is right on.

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul Graham is just another corporate stooge

9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A suggestion on how to attack this problem. Begin submission of patents on methods used by politicians to get elected or raise donations. I suspect that suing a congressman over methods in a campaign would raise awareness of the stupidity in these patents quickly!

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

shaddup you Paul Graham's a cool guy

6:13 AM  

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