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Google

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Whew!

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Good...hate Oracle with a passion.

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Owned.

I really wish we would just abolish software patents completely though. They are a totally flawed concept that stifles innovation and just promotes patent trolling for money.

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I really wish we would just abolish software patents completely though. They are a totally flawed concept that stifles innovation and just promotes patent trolling for money.

Absolutely agree. (Y)

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Owned.

I really wish we would just abolish software patents completely though. They are a totally flawed concept that stifles innovation and just promotes patent trolling for money.

Eliminating software patents altogether would just bring a new set of problems. What we need is patent reform, redefining what is patentable in the first place, whether a person or company is worthy of a patent or not, and passing laws which will prevent patent hoarding.

Personally, I think patents should be "use it or lose it". If you patent something and have no intention to do anything with it other than sue others, then you should lose the rights to that patent or be forced to sell it.

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Personally, I think patents should be "use it or lose it". If you patent something and have no intention to do anything with it other than sue others, then you should lose the rights to that patent or be forced to sell it.

:yes:

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Whew!

I hear ya. I also here the folks at Google saying the same thing.

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Personally, I think patents should be "use it or lose it". If you patent something and have no intention to do anything with it other than sue others, then you should lose the rights to that patent or be forced to sell it.

That is the whole point of the patent expiration date.

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I knew a teacher that actually has a patent, and had good insight on the system.

The original system was designed for mechanical inventions, at the time computer / concepts were not around and that's why it's trickery / situation where in.

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I knew a teacher that actually has a patent, and had good insight on the system.

The original system was designed for mechanical inventions, at the time computer / concepts were not around and that's why it's trickery / situation where in.

Software patents are different from Design patents.

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That is the whole point of the patent expiration date.

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Term_of_patent_in_the_United_States

There's nothing in there stating that you lose the patent if you don't use it. As long as you pay the maintenance fees, you can sit on a patent for up to 20 years, do nothing with it, and wait until you can sue somebody with it.

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Personally, I think patents should be "use it or lose it". If you patent something and have no intention to do anything with it other than sue others, then you should lose the rights to that patent or be forced to sell it.

In addition, I believe that patents should be non transferable. The entire idea of patents is to protect one's innovation. If person A invents something and files a patent, person B shouldn't be able to come along and buy the patent - they didn't innovate, they just wrote a check - the patent is no longer 'intellectual property' at that point, it's just 'property', as the intellectual component is no longer affiliated with the patent once it's sold.

That is the whole point of the patent expiration date.

The expiration dates are way too generous. I don't know the exact number, but it's somewhere around 15-20 years. Think about what we were using twenty years ago - AT keyboards, DB-9 mice, ISA slots, dial up networking, etc. The problem is that, in technology, whatever is covered in the patent is completely irrelevant long the patent expires.

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https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Term_of_patent_in_the_United_States

There's nothing in there stating that you lose the patent if you don't use it. As long as you pay the maintenance fees, you can sit on a patent for up to 20 years, do nothing with it, and wait until you can sue somebody with it.

The 17-20 year period is what I was referring you to and that is how inventors make money. Would you not want credit for your ideas?

The expiration dates are way too generous. I don't know the exact number, but it's somewhere around 15-20 years. Think about what we were using twenty years ago - AT keyboards, DB-9 mice, ISA slots, dial up networking, etc. The problem is that, in technology, whatever is covered in the patent is completely irrelevant long the patent expires.

I agree the period should be revised because we are not able to put *certain* ideas to use much more faster. However, if you think of an idea that cannot be implemented successfully by anybody within say 5 or 10 years, the 17-20 year rule makes perfect sense.

I would be more ****ed if a company in the Oil industry held a Battery patent just to favor their business.

I would love for patents to be free and if humans were to be doing everything they do for the good of mankind, but that is not being realistic. LOL

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The 17-20 year period is what I was referring you to and that is how inventors make money. Would you not want credit for your ideas?

Here's how patents should work: "I have an idea. I'm going to patent it so nobody else can steal my idea. I'm going to look for investors to invest in my idea. I'll use that money to do research and build a prototype."

Here's how patent trolls work: "I have an idea. I'm going to patent it but keep it a secret and tell nobody else about it. I'm going to wait for somebody else to come up with the same idea and actually do something with it. Then I'm going to sue them because I came up with the idea first."

Ideas are useless if you do nothing with them.

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Here's how patents should work: "I have an idea. I'm going to patent it so nobody else can steal my idea. I'm going to look for investors to invest in my idea. I'll use that money to do research and build a prototype."

Here's how patent trolls work: "I have an idea. I'm going to patent it but keep it a secret and tell nobody else about it. I'm going to wait for somebody else to come up with the same idea and actually do something with it. Then I'm going to sue them because I came up with the idea first."

Ideas are useless if you do nothing with them.

My post above says exactly what you are trying to say, but you missed the two big pieces of the puzzle: Time and Credit. Who decides how long is long enough? You? Me? God? Obama? The King of Omicron Persei 8? 1 year? 100 years? 5 days? How does the "decider" give credit to the inventor?

Patents are public information. That's why ideas are patented so that you can declare to the public that you have claims on that idea for a certain period. If someone else came up with the same idea on their own, how does anyone know they didn't copy the patent itself?

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My post above says exactly what you are trying to say, but you missed the two big pieces of the puzzle: Time and Credit. Who decides how long is long enough? You? Me? God? Obama? The King of Omicron Persei 8? 1 year? 100 years? 5 days? How does the "decider" give credit to the inventor?

Life isn't perfect, and our government never will be. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try to come up with a better system and decide "how long is long enough". Because as it stands now, being able to sit on a patent for 20 years and do nothing with it is simply unacceptable IMO.

Patents are public information. That's why ideas are patented so that you can declare to the public that you have claims on that idea for a certain period. If someone else came up with the same idea on their own, how does anyone know they didn't copy the patent itself?

There are so many patents, some being very vague, that it's almost impossible to do anything without infringing upon one... or 132. So the simple fact that patents are public isn't good enough.

Also, I'm not saying that the person who patented the original idea shouldn't be given credit. One of my ideas was that if a person does nothing with a patent, then they should be required to sell it (e.g. auction it off), therefore the person would still get paid for their idea. But if a person does nothing with a patent, they don't deserve the hundreds of thousands of dollars that they sue these companies for.

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cat-owned.jpg

nuff said

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Life isn't perfect, and our government never will be. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try to come up with a better system and decide "how long is long enough". Because as it stands now, being able to sit on a patent for 20 years and do nothing with it is simply unacceptable IMO.

Nobody is sitting on a patent. Anybody who wants to use the idea for commercial purposes, simply should contact the patent owner and pay the inventor the appropriate royalties. Or some day the inventor will contact you with a lawsuit. It goes both ways. I am sure the inventor does not want to sit on a patent just as much a corporation wants to use the idea to create products to make money.

The problem you are referring to is how the patents are awarded. The patents should not be vague and I believe USPTO makes the effort to not accept vague patent claims in the patent applications, but there will always be human/machine errors which allow bad patents to fall through the loopholes.

Software patents are hard to analyze anyway, which is why you hear more of these, and I do agree that software patent awards definitely need some revamping.

Source: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_patent

Important issues concerning software patents include:

Where the boundary between patentable and non-patentable software should lie;[3]

Whether the inventive step and non-obviousness requirement is applied too loosely to software;[4] and

Whether patents covering software discourage, rather than encourage, innovation.[5]

More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_patent_debate

There are so many patents, some being very vague, that it's almost impossible to do anything without infringing upon one... or 132. So the simple fact that patents are public isn't good enough.

Also, I'm not saying that the person who patented the original idea shouldn't be given credit. One of my ideas was that if a person does nothing with a patent, then they should be required to sell it (e.g. auction it off), therefore the person would still get paid for their idea. But if a person does nothing with a patent, they don't deserve the hundreds of thousands of dollars that they sue these companies for.

Suppose you came up with a search algorithm and then thought of the idea about using it for advertising. You patented the idea in 1990. Now you sit on it for say 8 years and did nothing about it. And now the govt. is asking you to auction it off or give it up. In 1998, say, Google buys it from you for say $100k at an auction. You auction it thinking that, "I sat on it for 8 years. It's time to give it to someone else. It doesn't look like I am going to make anything by sitting on this egg.". Google already made >$100bn out of it in the next 12 years and it is making more money every year. You got nothing because you had no stake in the patent anymore because you auctioned it off.

Where is the incentive for inventors? The reason patents are not traded as securities in the open market is because of this reason. Auctioning patents off is bad for creativity. It takes away control of the patent from the inventor. It decreases the value of the invention, and thus the value of creativity. Heck, it's basically killing creativity and without creativity the human civilization would not be where it is now. It goes against the very idea of having patents - giving appropriate credit to the inventor.

A better investment for you, as the inventor, would have been to collect royalties for those 12 years and/or take up a research job at Google where you could have had a higher chance to continue your research and invent newer algorithms, or do something else at Google.

A better investment for Google, as the one who wants to use your invention, would have been to contact you directly and make you an offer for a job or to pay royalties. Otherwise, Google would get hit with a huge lawsuit when you find out they used your invention for commercial purposes without your permission, while your patent was still valid.

A bigger problem in the current patent system, like I mentioned before about oil companies owning battery patents, is of those patent owners (people/corporations/entities) who wish to curtail innovation by sitting on patents they will never use. They do not wish to make any money from it either, because their current cash cow businesses would be cannibalized if those patents were utilized. Now if only you would only point your anger towards those *******s. LOL

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Where is the incentive for inventors? The reason patents are not traded as securities in the open market is because of this reason. Auctioning patents off is bad for creativity. It kills creativity and without creativity the human civilization would not be where it is now. It goes against the very idea of having patents.

One could argue that patents themselves are bad for creativity. They limit what people can do because everyone has to worry about not infringing on the multitude of patents out there.

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One could argue that patents themselves are bad for creativity. They limit what people can do because everyone has to worry about not infringing on the multitude of patents out there.

I would love for patents to be free and if humans were to be doing everything they do for the good of mankind, but that is not being realistic. LOL

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Nobody is sitting on a patent. Anybody who wants to use the idea for commercial purposes, simply should contact the patent owner and pay the inventor the appropriate royalties. Or some day the inventor will contact you with a lawsuit. It goes both ways. I am sure the inventor does not want to sit on a patent just as much a corporation wants to use the idea to create products to make money.

The problem you are referring to is how the patents are awarded. The patents should not be vague and I believe USPTO makes the effort to not accept vague patent claims in the patent applications, but there will always be human/machine errors which allow bad patents to fall through the loopholes.

Software patents are hard to analyze anyway, which is why you hear more of these, and I do agree that software patent awards definitely need some revamping.

I agree that we need to redefine what is patentable and I think it would help, but I still don't think that would be enough to fix the problem of patent trolls. Even if a patent is completely valid, that doesn't stop a company from sitting on it for up to 20 years.

"but there will always be human/machine errors which allow bad patents to fall through the loopholes." You may take a company a court disputing the validity of their patent(s). If the court agrees with you, then the patent is rendered invalid. So even if there are errors made in the process, they can be fixed later on in the courts. The problem is that the current law allows for these patents to exist and taking them to court won't accomplish anything. We need the law to say "this is not patentable".

Suppose you came up with a search algorithm and then thought of the idea about using it for advertising. You patented the idea in 1990. Now you sit on it for say 8 years and did nothing about it. And now the govt. is asking you to auction it off or give it up. In 1998, say, Google buys it from you for say $100k at an auction. You auction it thinking that, "I sat on it for 8 years. It's time to give it to someone else. It doesn't look like I am going to make anything by sitting on this egg.". Google already made >$100bn out of it in the next 12 years and it is making more money every year. You got nothing because you had no stake in the patent anymore because you auctioned it off.

After 8 years, I had plenty of time to make use of my patented search algorithm. I could have asked for money from investors, I could have licensed the technology to one or more companies, perhaps create a partnership with another business, or I could have sold the patent myself for a price of my choosing. But I didn't, I did nothing, despite the government giving me adequate notice (<- I should have mentioned this earlier, if such a system were ever in place, I do think patent holders should be given adequate notice). Now it's too late and it's time for me to give up the patent to somebody else who will make it happen.

Where is the incentive for inventors? The reason patents are not traded as securities in the open market is because of this reason. Auctioning patents off is bad for creativity. It takes away control of the patent from the inventor. It decreases the value of the invention, and thus the value of creativity. Heck, it's basically killing creativity and without creativity the human civilization would not be where it is now. It goes against the very idea of having patents - giving appropriate credit to the inventor.

My view is that patents protect inventors from having their ideas stolen by others. If you come up with a new design for a gamepad and patent it, that will prevent Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo from stealing your design and giving you the opportunity to profit from it. But if a person patents an idea and does nothing with it for 20 years, where's the innovation in that?

A better investment for you, as the inventor, would have been to collect royalties for those 12 years and/or take up a research job at Google where you could have had a higher chance to continue your research and invent newer algorithms, or do something else at Google.

In this case, I actually went out and did something with the patent. But if the government notifies me that I'll lose my patent and I still do nothing, that's my own fault.

A better investment for Google, as the one who wants to use your invention, would have been to contact you directly and make you an offer for a job or to pay royalties. Otherwise, Google would get hit with a huge lawsuit when you find out they used your invention for commercial purposes without your permission, while your patent was still valid.

That's fine. But if I'm a patent troll, I could refuse to license the technology to them or ask for ridiculous royalties. What I'd much rather happen is that somebody infringes upon my patent so I could sue them for millions of dollars, and they could be forced to accept my deal because to work around my patent could cost them even more.

A bigger problem in the current patent system, like I mentioned before about oil companies owning battery patents, is of those patent owners (people/corporations/entities) who wish to curtail innovation by sitting on patents they will never use. They do not wish to make any money from it either, because their current cash cow businesses would be cannibalized if those patents were utilized. Now if only you would only point your anger towards those *******s. LOL

I have plenty of anger to go around. :p

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After 8 years, I had plenty of time to make use of my patented search algorithm. I could have asked for money from investors, I could have licensed the technology to one or more companies, perhaps create a partnership with another business, or I could have sold the patent myself for a price of my choosing. But I didn't, I did nothing, despite the government giving me adequate notice (<- I should have mentioned this earlier, if such a system were ever in place, I do think patent holders should be given adequate notice). Now it's too late and it's time for me to give up the patent to somebody else who will make it happen.

My view is that patents protect inventors from having their ideas stolen by others. If you come up with a new design for a gamepad and patent it, that will prevent Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo from stealing your design and giving you the opportunity to profit from it. But if a person patents an idea and does nothing with it for 20 years, where's the innovation in that?

In this case, I actually went out and did something with the patent. But if the government notifies me that I'll lose my patent and I still do nothing, that's my own fault.

Ah! Good point. You mean to say there should be some activity on the patent or some purposeful effort to put the patent into use and that this should be reviewed every certain period to see whether the inventor is putting in the effort to make it worth having an active patent. This may be an outside company coming in to ask for permission or you offering license(s) to other companies who may be able to utilize your patent. This should also apply to corporations sitting on patents and doing nothing with it with much stricter reviews because they have a lot more financial backing and resources to make things happen with patents they own. I am not sure if such a review system exists. It may not exist because the govt. would have to spend more money to hire people to do such reviews.

However, there are cases in which the technology is not advanced enough that your idea could be put into commercial use which would render your patent impracticable commercially. For instance, your search algorithm may not be commercially practicable during the period from 1990-2000 if the affordable Internet speeds were still around 14.4kbps, hard-drives cost $20/GB, processors cost $1,000/GHz, etc.; those are only a few issues. All the other technologies that your patent's application depends on must align accordingly to make your idea commercially practicable.

Companies like Google have special employees (Business/Product Planners) who look at the "Innovation Funnel" everyday to see which technologies would be worth the money to buy now or buy 1 year or 2 years or 5 years from now. If your patent doesn't qualify, then your patent won't be bought or licensed. This also counts as activity on the patent, however. As long as the inventor or the owner proves there was some activity to put the idea into use, that is good enough.

That's fine. But if I'm a patent troll, I could refuse to license the technology to them or ask for ridiculous royalties. What I'd much rather happen is that somebody infringes upon my patent so I could sue them for millions of dollars, and they could be forced to accept my deal because to work around my patent could cost them even more.

You can't be a troll for asking for ridiculous royalties for your patented idea. It's your right as the inventor. However, at each review [, if a review system exists,] the inventor must prove why he is asking for such ridiculous royalties.

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...

I was thinking about my idea and I realized such a system is probably better off not actively enforced by the government. How do you monitor the activity of thousands of patents? And such a system would waste tax dollars.

Instead, I think it would be better off being disputed in court. If a business is being sued for patent infringement, or has attempted to license the patented technology and failed, they could take the issue to court. Said business could claim that the holder of the patent is "sitting on it" (for lack of a better term) and that the holder has no intentions of making use of the patent. Then the holder can defend themselves by providing evidence that they are, in fact, actively pursuing options for making use of the patent. If the court rules in favor of the business, the patent holder will be given until a certain date to make some use of the patent or face losing their rights to the patent.

There are always exceptions which should be considered of course, and you made a good point about a patented idea being impractical at a given time (flying car?). Although my idea isn't perfect, I think it would be better than what we have now.

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I was thinking about my idea and I realized such a system is probably better off not actively enforced by the government. How do you monitor the activity of thousands of patents? And such a system would waste tax dollars.

Instead, I think it would be better off being disputed in court. If a business is being sued for patent infringement, or has attempted to license the patented technology and failed, they could take the issue to court. Said business could claim that the holder of the patent is "sitting on it" (for lack of a better term) and that the holder has no intentions of making use of the patent. Then the holder can defend themselves by providing evidence that they are, in fact, actively pursuing options for making use of the patent. If the court rules in favor of the business, the patent holder will be given until a certain date to make some use of the patent or face losing their rights to the patent.

There are always exceptions which should be considered of course, and you made a good point about a patented idea being impractical at a given time (flying car?). Although my idea isn't perfect, I think it would be better than what we have now.

You make it sound a little like a curse to be owning a patent. LOL I don't think inventors and non-inventors would like this. There is a certain stigma attached to being called into a court to prove yourself. Moreover, the inventor would have to spend good money to hire lawyers to fight the big-shot available-in-office-closet lawyers at the Googles and Apples and Microsofts. However, sure, that is a good idea, if someone is sitting on a patent and doing nothing with it.

It would be better if the inventor is required to tell USPTO when and with whom he is actively pursuing deals with to put his patented idea to use. The courts can reject or accept cases from those buyers based on that information to see if the inventor is sitting on the egg instead of making an omelette or a chick. Less load on the courts. No load on USPTO. Less burden and pressure from the judiciary on the inventor, but onus remains on the inventor to put in the effort to make his invention useful to the world.

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