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Is the Patent System Broken?

Posted October 10, 2008 8:13 AM

Thousands of engineers either alone or through their companies apply for patents to protect their intellectual property, but do the payoffs justify the time, costs, and labor involved? In their new book, Patent Failure, entrepreneur James Bessen and Boston University law professor Michael Meurer conclude that for many innovators the cost of defending against patent suits often outstrips the financial benefit from licensing. What's your view? Are patents worth all the trouble?

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#1

Re: Is the Patent System Broken?

10/10/2008 10:55 PM

IT IS GENERALLY AGREED IN THE PRACTICING ENGINEERING COMMUNITY THAT PATENTS ARE MOSTLY GOOD FOR TELLING SOMEONE ELSE HOW TO CAPITALIZE ON OTHERS' WORK AND THAT PATENTS MOSTLY SERVE LAWYERS, AND THOSE IN THE RESEARCH/AND OR SCHLOASTIC COMMUNITIES THAT NEED SOME RECORD OF ACCOMPLISHMENT ON THEIR RESUME TO JUSTIFY RAISES IN TITLE OR PAY.

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#2

Re: Is the Patent System Broken?

10/10/2008 11:50 PM

Of course it is broken if they never produce anything from the patent in my book. Just holding a peice of paper is like a banker that only lends money at interest and never contributes to the community he lives in. They were once considered paracites.

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Is the Patent System Broken?

10/11/2008 12:45 AM

If you ask me.... Patents aren't all of what they want us all to think that they actually are.

Meaning. Once you get that patent.... Its up on our USA patents office web site for all to see and re-engineer. And the WWW is world wide for those of you whom might have forgotten tha little important fact. And.... That just great for those that want to take it for free overseas or here in the USA as well.

I will say that. If patents had the same protection that military patents have. I would truly love it. But they do not.

And if you patent it here in the USA that doesn't mean it is automatically input into some world patent office. No way. That's just un-realistic. And that simply doesn't exist. Instead .,we are supposed to patent it elsewhere as well. Along with the super high cost's off hiring an overseas international corp attorney etc. And the above comments still apply...

My suggestion is: Get a patent pending and hit the market fast here and internationally if you can.

In the end. Countries don't go to war over stolen patents. Unless they might be military ones ? That's just a ?? question mostly.

So basically we are very much un-protected if you ask me.

Some of the above information mentioned by me was acquired by me via a phone conversation a few years ago with a then patent attorney at our USA patent office.

Thank You,

Sarah Angelina DeLagostti
www.DeLagostti-Industries.com
Manhattan, New York City
United State Territories

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Is the Patent System Broken?

10/11/2008 12:50 AM

So many people who actually build things with thier patents end up bankrupt defendong them in court. While those who build nothing with thier patents set back an live off the lawyers.

Many people are switching to Copy Rights because of the time limt for patents.

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Is the Patent System Broken?

10/11/2008 9:38 AM

It's not just the time limits.

You have to actively defend your patent.

Anytime someone tries to copy your patent you have to challenge them on it.

Once you fail to challenge someone that infringes on your patent, then you have no recourse for the next person that comes along and copies you.

Cases in point:

Samuel Morse failed to enforce his patent and as a result all kinds of different telegraphing agencies popped up.

Bell Telephone learned from Morse's mistake and strictly enforced their patent. Telephones were utilized by only the wealthy and big business. It wasn't until their patent expired that someone else was able to jump in there and establish telephone service for the rest of the people.

Standard Oil kept strict tabs on their patent. When Oil was discovered in Texas, it was too far away for Standard Oil to effectively defend their patent and that gave way to all the newer Oil companies that come and go.

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Is the Patent System Broken?

10/11/2008 9:03 PM

Is the patent system broken. I sure think it is and it has been and it wont get fixed anytime soon.

If Im wrong let me know... But I think not.

Thank You

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Is the Patent System Broken?

10/12/2008 8:00 AM

You're not wrong at all. However all should be considered in comparision.

Better to have some thing some broken than completely destroyed.

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#8
In reply to #6

Re: Is the Patent System Broken?

10/13/2008 10:13 AM

I'm not taking a position whether or not that it's broken.

I'm just saying that you have to be vigilant with your patent in order for it to remain effective.

As far as I can tell about patents is that when ever someone else applies for a patent, you are notified of the application and given the opportunity to challenge it in the event that you feel it infringes on your patent.

Maybe it was never broken because the examples that I gave are some of the ealiest examples when patents were first introduced and is working as intended. There isn't any agency that enforces patents, it is mearly a service for notification.

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#9

Re: Is the Patent System Broken?

10/13/2008 12:29 PM

It's been argued that up to 98% of patents break even or lose money- mostly lose (at least in the University sector, where I work). You can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars protecting your ideas, and never make them to market, let alone get them there and have them ripped off.

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#10

Re: Is the Patent System Broken?

10/14/2008 11:59 AM

A common tactic of big business is to litigate a small patent holder, over a patent that they want, into financial ruin then offer pennies on the dollar to legitimize what they stole.

The abuse of power by big money is one issue that needs fixed. Holding patents so they can not be used is also an abuse of power.

Brad

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#11

Re: Is the Patent System Broken?

10/15/2008 6:19 AM

The problem with this post is that mostly the adversely affected by the patent process or those who can least afford it, are reading it. That's sad.

All those who are successful patenters do not bother, (probably due to the fact that they are enjoying the fruits of their success).

I have said it once before. No one but the inventor owns the patent system. It is therefore the responsibility of the inventor to look after it: - worldwide. Nobody else gains from the system unless the inventor allows it.

After-all: NO INVENTORS - NO PATENT SYSTEM!!! And everything is invented at some stage. These are simple facts.

If no inventors were making money from their inventions via the patenting system, there would be NO patent lawyers, no Government Acts, laws etc.

No, the Patenting System is not Broken. It is though, in need of some attention, on a worldwide basis, by those that use it most, the inventors.

You must realise; there is absolutely nothing else out there to protect you the inventor. Nothing. No patent system, no protection. It has taken the best part of 100 years to evolve what we have now. It is up to us to keep the evolution going, to raise the level of protection we expect from our Governments, to whom we pay through the nose every step of the patent process way, then after in the production process, then the royalty streams and so on and on.

It is not broken, but it does need our continued harrassment of those in power to protect us, to place the bans on the abusers, whether they be companies or individuals, home or abroad. Whether they be communities, (religous or otherwise), or Countrys/Nations.

Yes, we do have to pay. Especially to counter those that would steal from us. If though, you're not going to profit from engaging those that steal, do not patent. Your invention would probably not be a commercial success. A personal success most likely, but a commercial success will chew up and spit out those that offend. Commercial successes mostly end up being big businesses or apart thereof.

I am not a Patent Attorney, or any type of Attorney, just an Inventor. Probably one of the most important jobs on the planet, as everything is invented. I am not educated, (booted out of school/home at 14), but I have learnt one thing as an inventor. I will (rather my inventions will), cop ten million times the abuse, or chances of abuse, without a patent than if I go to the trouble of getting one. In this I am an expert. I am in court now. Without my patent application I would be sueing today for absolutely nothing. Zilch. I did the right thing and applied for a patent and now have the right to sue for my losses. A very simple equation!

The patent system worldwide needs to continue to evolve, especially on a co-operative basis. Inventing IS the most important job in the world, and deserves the best system WE can give it.

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