Inventors Protest US Patent Bill

Legislation in the US Senate which would limit damages for patent infringement and allow patents to be more easily challenged has sparked protests among some inventors. Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway and holder of 440 patents, was one of a group of inventors who have testified to the US Senate against the proposed law. The bill is being supported by Microsoft and Cisco, which claim that they are at the mercy of companies that own a patent on small portions of much larger applications and use this to reap substantial pay outs. Kamen, however, warned that the legislation, if passed, would be disproportionately harmful to inventors.

"You do not shut down the national pastime of baseball because some players are using steroids," Kamen told the San José Mercury News. "You can go after 'trolls' and other bad actors without unintended consequences that are harmful."

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15 Comments

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Surely if they are talking about changing patent law then intellectual property (ip) has to fall under the SAME laws? After all, ip is just another form of patent... bet this won't even be discussed.

Well, IP is "marketing speak" from CEOs and such. There is no "IP law". There is copyright, patent and trademark laws. The term IP is vaguely applied to mean these three, plus Trade Secrets (like the secret formula to Coca-Cola).

So Patent Law applies only to Patents. Not to all "IP".

markjensen said,
Well, IP is "marketing speak" from CEOs and such. There is no "IP law". There is copyright, patent and trademark laws. The term IP is vaguely applied to mean these three, plus Trade Secrets (like the secret formula to Coca-Cola).

So Patent Law applies only to Patents. Not to all "IP".

I'm well aware of the legalities, but "legal" and "common sense" are rarely in the same sentence. If the law was in the least bit ..just.. (as it's supposed to be) then legally there would be no difference between ip and patent.. As the demand is to make patent law favour the multinationals and NOT the patent owner (usually the inventor) then it definately wouldn't suit them to open up the same kind of discussions over ip... which SHOULD be done as there is very little difference beteewn ip and patent (just the wording on the contract.)

Of course M$ supports this bill, makes it easier to steal other's ideas..... What do you expect? After all, Bush and Cheney both are corporate men first and foremost and leaders of the USA a distant second. They're going to look after their masters first and the people of the USA last, if at all if they can get away with it.

Kinda surprised to see Cisco supporting this. Weren't they in litigation with Apple over the iphone name?

I'm for the patent bill. I am sick of every little company suing each other because "I patented 2 lines of code that was in your program" or other stupid things. Its like, stop acting like little *** kids and grow up.

I am for one part of the bill, but very much against another part.

For: Limits on damages to the value of the patented item (versus the whole product it is included in, as it is now)
Against: Patent goes to first filer, regardless of who actually invented patentable concept.

As for stopping frivolous lawsuits, this won't magically cure that.

Patents is something big industries use to sue the hell out of everyone who's weaker.

Invention is something big industries want to rip out of you for a miserable amount of money to gain bigger profit. (explained before.)

EduardValencia said,
Patents help protect intellectual property!

Hint: U.S was taken out of the T.V market by japanese,because of.....


Because they made better TVs. Much like why you guys are driving Japanese cars nowadays, it's because they simply made BETTER products.

The patent system is nothing short of an extortion system to force smaller businesses / competitors to either bleed or get out completely.

lol i'm talking in behalf of the benefit of the population.U.S must retain their patent system to assure the survival of some portions of the economy,it's all about the benefit of U.S citizen,not the World.

daPhoenix said,

Because they made better TVs. Much like why you guys are driving Japanese cars nowadays, it's because they simply made BETTER products.

The patent system is nothing short of an extortion system to force smaller businesses / competitors to either bleed or get out completely.

I think it's actually generally a two-stage process.

Step 1: Enter the market by undercutting existing competition or picking market segments that have been ignored.

Step 2: Transition to a "respected" market entry, often by adding quality or diversifying the product line.

A more recent example is how the Korean carmakers have pried the doors open. They started out offering one or two models, of poor quality, but exceptionally low price; now they offer very solid warranties and full ranges of products.