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

Dmitry Strakovsky dima at shiftingplanes.org
Thu May 24 19:14:10 EDT 2007

Hi list,

I've come out of lurking/hiding. To put in my 2 cents about the  
patent issue.

I'm a fairly recent arrival into academia from toy industry. and  
basically the way things worked there was that you patented a  
specific feature of a toy (a design patent) and then if someone tries  
to bring something similar to the market you tie them up in court for  
a while. Just long enough to make a profit on your product. Someone  
much wiser then myself told me, "A patent is just a right to take  
someone to court." The way the problem was described to me (I am not  
a lawyer so this is not a professional opinion :) is that the us  
patent office is swamped with applications so they pretty much grant  
patents to anything and everything passing the problem down to the  
court system.

  Among idiotic patents that I have seen: color mixing by pulsing  
LEDs <-- yes, that's something that all the art nerds know how to do  
and using an h-bridge (driving a motor back and forward) to make a  
doll stand up <-- once again electronics 101 applied to a very very  
specific case.

A passing fashion fad backed by a reasonably good band of lawyers is  
protected fairly well. and let's face it, that's what really drives  
corporate sphere. That's the real problem with the system: no-one  
wants to think long-term, they run in, make a $ and run out ...well I  
guess no-one except for Disney :)



Dmitry (Dima) Strakovsky
Assistant Professor of Intermedia
University of Kentucky

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