[iDC] global rights expropriation in the intersection between theindustrial and the information ages

Andreas Schiffler aschiffler at ferzkopp.net
Thu May 24 08:00:55 EDT 2007

Guido Sohne wrote:
>> So it comes down to the quality and definition of the service in my
>> view. What could change to make it better:
>> - broad patents should be ignored (or made to expire soon)
>> - expiry should be highly flexible depending on the field of the patent
>> (for example in the information technologies, things 'expire' faster)
>> - patent ownership should come with more obligations on the part of the
>> holders to make use of them
>> - give equal resources to the "voiding a patent" police, as compared to
>> the "grant the patent" process
> And here's where the big disconnect comes. If the patent regime is out
> of control, how would you ever be able to reform it to match what you
> speak of; where would the impetus for that change appear from? Does
> that not make rejecting the system completely, the best chance anyone
> has of implementing a better system?

Well, I guess one has to lobby, lobby and lobby again ... and hope for 
the best. After all one can find many people and media - from Wired to 
the NYT - calling for a patent reform. And this year the US system was 
actually changed somewhat for the better (OK, that may be debatable). 
The system is a political construct and thus one should be able to 
influence its structure using political means. There are also other 
stakeholders that may be able to assist in influencing the system such 
as inventors and the companies - including the likes of Microsoft and 
Oracle who have openly bitched about the system - themselves (although 
their proposed changes are likely NOT in the general publics interest 
but designed to save them money). It might seem like an uphill struggle, 
but it just may work.

And until then, why don't we 'harvest' the publically available patent 
information. Such a 'review' process could be implemented in a P2P way 
using delegate-and-conquer approach (too bad, the domain 
patentharvest.com is already taken by some patent-troll laywers). One 
could try to convert the thus-found info into useful bits of ideas, then 
create implementation recipes for the people 'on the ground'. Some 
practical stuff! After all, I don't think anybody would sue if a patent 
based idea is actually implemented by a private hobbyist in a garage 
especially when there is no financial gain involved. I think this is the 
crux - remove patents from their traditional economic context and the 
whole story looks quite different.

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