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May 10, 2009

Confined

Ron Wilson at EDN, with no patents to his name, has what he terms "a modest proposal": "prohibit assignment, sale, or any other transfer of patent ownership," except inheritance.

Posted by Patent Hawk at May 10, 2009 9:34 AM | The Patent System

Comments

Sounds workable.

Posted by: sensible at May 10, 2009 11:30 AM

Why stick only to Intellectual Property? Let's forbid ANY assignment, sale or other transfer of property ownership except inheritance for all property.

"sensible", you are anything but.

Posted by: Noise above Law at May 10, 2009 1:53 PM

I came up with that years ago, everyone poo poos it because they don't like to reward the inventor, they like to reward someone, maybe the inventor, maybe someone who mugs the inventor and takes his patent. But, as long as someone is rewarded by the system they're happy, and as long as it is really easy for corporations to maintain their deathgrip on production they're happy.

Posted by: 6 at May 10, 2009 2:05 PM

I should have added that perhaps a more sensible solution is to have the inventor always control 51% of the patent rights, or perhaps even better, require that the inventor receive a portion of all proceeds from the patent's enforcement. Like in Japan iirc. That seemed like a really good idea to me, a great incentive to invent useful stuff.

Posted by: 6 at May 10, 2009 2:08 PM

6 is the new Michael R Thomas, the only person of significance...

Posted by: Just sayin& at May 10, 2009 4:53 PM

Just wanted to reprint a smoking response at EDN:

at 5/10/2009 6:43:20 PM, Passing through said:

Let's explore just a couple of the dozen of things that make this the greatest suggestion since New Coke.
1) Inventors cannot afford to properly prepare/prosecute the patent applications.
2) Inventors cannot afford to properly license the patents.
3) Inventors cannot afford to litigate against infringers of the patents.
4) Companies that invest (sometimes hundreds of) millions in R&D get screwed when the inventor leaves the company.
5) Particularly for small, startup companies, whose sole value is in the intellectual property – who wants to buy/fund a startup that doesn't have ownership of their IP. "Patents today, as transferable rights to demand payment in the future under certain conditions, are a kind of financial contract not unlike some options contracts and swaps. As such, they can be purchased by investors and dumped into pools, so that investment banks can create financial derivatives based on them." So why haven't they already? The answer is that the risk inherent in procuring/enforcing patents are so varied and unpredictable that no sane investor would (should) invest in such a huge speculative venture. Inventors get paid a salary whether or not they invent. The act of invention is ancillary to their actual jobs. Inventors aren't being stripped of "just remuneration." When a company pays an engineer a salary, the company is making an investment that the engineer actually produces something useful. The invention is the return on the company's investment.

There are dozens of other reasons why this suggestion is just dumb and unworkable, but that is what you expect from someone who obviously has, at best, a peripheral knowledge regarding patents. I've read many ideas about the patent system over the past couple of years, but this has got to be one of the most half-baked, uninformed, unrealistic idea that I've ever read. I've heard more cogent suggestions from beauty pageant contestants when asked about "how would you achieve world peace?"

Posted by: Noise above Law at May 10, 2009 5:21 PM

I do not think that Passing Through has read some of 6's comments.

Posted by: Noise above Law at May 10, 2009 5:23 PM

"I believe that everyone in this discussion would be better served by a single, simple change in the law. We should prohibit assignment, sale, or any other transfer of patent ownership, save on the inventor's decease, to a named heir."

Hillarious !!!

I have a better suggestion: abolish money altogether... how about that ?

Even better suggestion -let's implement what Karl Marx and Lenin proposed:
"From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs"

And everybody will be happy forever...

Posted by: angry dude at May 10, 2009 5:47 PM

"1) Inventors cannot afford to properly prepare/prosecute the patent applications.
2) Inventors cannot afford to properly license the patents.
3) Inventors cannot afford to litigate against infringers of the patents. "

Ahh, but see, all of those served as perfectly good limitations on the patent system before corps that could afford all of that at their leisure were so numerous and so heavily invested in patents and wished to use them as they do today.

"Particularly for small, startup companies, whose sole value is in the intellectual property – who wants to buy/fund a startup that doesn't have ownership of their IP."

Presumably those companies are being made by the inventors, so they do own their IP...

"Companies that invest (sometimes hundreds of) millions in R&D get screwed when the inventor leaves the company. "

Sounds like a good incentive to keep that inventor on board to me.

"I've heard more cogent suggestions from beauty pageant contestants when asked about "how would you achieve world peace?" "

The answer should always be: Conquer it silly goose!

Posted by: 6 at May 10, 2009 8:58 PM

"The answer should always be: Conquer it silly goose!"

Perhaps in jest, but probably not - 6, don't you realize that that answer is precisely why we don't have world peace? The picked-on kid in you constantly rises to the surface. Your childhood must have sucked.

Posted by: Noise above Law at May 11, 2009 2:30 AM

"6, don't you realize that that answer is precisely why we don't have world peace?"

Um, no, the reason we don't have world peace is because bad-arse guys like my granddad went and fought in WW2 for all they were worth. That and the axis drew the US and Russia into the fight prematurely. Break open your history book son.

Although, yes it was in jest. Never the less, it is the only realistic way to expect world peace to break out anytime soon, or to have ever occured in the past. As such, it should be a sure win for you in your next pageant.

As to my childhood, rosy glasses included, it was pretty good on the whole. Although, yes, ignorant and stupd people did especially plague me in my younger days, after my youngest days where I was very much so a bully, who ran with the biggest of the bullies. We always had lunch money to spare ;)

Yours.

Also, I ran a very enterprising business. I started off with a quarter, bought a blow-pop, sold it at school for a dollar, then bought 4, sold them for a dollar apiece, and so on until I was making a few dollars a day. For a kid this was outrageously lucrative. And of course it was all contraband, because it was gum in school. Man, those were the days. The memories just fly back.

Monday mornings are the worst, waiting for stuff to get kicked back, or not. Guess I should do something.

Posted by: 6000 at May 11, 2009 3:04 AM

"Um, no, the reason we don't have world peace is because bad-arse guys like my granddad went and fought in WW2 for all they were worth. That and the axis drew the US and Russia into the fight prematurely. Break open your history book son."

Come again ? - the reason why we DON'T have world peace is because...? Reading is one thing, try reading COMPREHENSION.

Your ignorance is almost breathtaking, and only paralled by your conceit.

Posted by: Noise above Law at May 11, 2009 3:55 AM

the reason why we DON'T have world peace is because... the axis failed.

Put your thinking cap on boy. What happened if the Germans et al. took over the world? World peace!

Excepting murders etc. but I think we're talking intergov wars in terms of peace right? Even Miss universe can't stop murders.

On the other hand, she might could take over the world and rule with an iron fist. I know I would ;)

It's true, I am conceited. From many people's point of view. Alas, that particular trait has lost me more women than it has gained me. The problem though as I understand it is that it isn't really with my being overly proud, it is with them displaying overwhelming stupidity on a regular basis which contrasts rather strongly with my everyday thoughts. Kind of like your inability to reason through what happens when the world gets taken over by one power, miss universe. This contrasts rather distinctly with my ability to reason through this subject. It is this contrast which leads you to believe that I am conceited rather than you displaying an enormous about of stupidity. Because, really, in your view, how could I not be overly proud of such an occurance having taken place? Indeed, it is the only logical choice, since clearly in your view you could not be doing anything stupid, so I must be displaying an almost deity-like intellectual capacity. However, having seen that all that which is occuring is merely you displaying stupid, rather than my displaying some enormous intellect, I remain rather humble in this particular instance.

Posted by: 6000 at May 11, 2009 6:05 AM

"The problem though as I understand it is that it isn't really with my being overly proud, it is with them displaying overwhelming stupidity on a regular basis which contrasts rather strongly with my everyday thoughts."

No, it's your being overly proud AND displaying overwhelming stupidity. This better fits with Occam than the implausible deity-like intellectual capacity you purport to have or false humility you fill yourself with.

The women are merely showing average intelligence by leaving you.

Posted by: Noise above Law at May 11, 2009 8:34 AM

"The women are merely showing average intelligence by leaving you."

Nah, trust me, they're quite stupid. If they were of avg intel they'd either never have been with me, or would have left the next day.

How do I know this? Because I can contrast the ones that are never with me or leave me the next day with the ones that stay with me for awhile.

Alright alright, I've gone too far, I did have an intelligent gf one time (besides the one who is a doc now) who was with me for awhile. In fact, she's the first loser of an 02'(?) highschool national chemistry competition. She has to be more intelligent than me to have pulled that off. But I think it was because we were both equally conceited and thus understood one another well. Being conceited is, as in my case, all too often just a facade, a joking one at that, and if you care to look at it you can see through it. Sometimes I do wonder if she thought that I was conceited, arrogant, cocky (too much so), and condescending. I know some of the other gals have. Overall, I think that if she did, she probably thought of it as a positive. Yes, she's that fed up. She left me mostly because of physical attraction, and attraction overall in terms of activities that I'm into, and ones I'm not into. For awhile there I was at the office quite a bit of the week.

Irony is, now that I'm going to the gym, and can do anything all weekend long pretty much every weekend, I'm stuck with worthless girls of the moment.

Oh well, that's life. She wasn't all that n a bag o chips anyway. Still, I do miss her annoying complaining every now and again.

I'm out, gotta go do a final right fast.

Posted by: 6000 at May 11, 2009 9:00 AM

"1) Inventors cannot afford to properly prepare/prosecute the patent applications.
2) Inventors cannot afford to properly license the patents.
3) Inventors cannot afford to litigate against infringers of the patents. "

While I agree that making patents inalienable is a really dumb idea, I disagree that it is because of reasons 1-3 copied above. Inventors should be able to afford to prepare, prosecute, and license, and to a lessor extent litigate, patents. Our patent system has grown into an enormous monstrosity thanks to unnecessarily complex rules and a federal circuit that has added burden on top of burden on the patent applicant.

I remember when I joined the PTO in the early 90s as an Examiner, my boss showed me his copy of the MPEP from when he first joined the PTO, maybe 30 or 40 years ago now. It was about a 200-300 page, hard-bound book. And now, with the MPEP already an unwieldy mess, we have continuing proposals to apply band-aid over band-aid, such as post-grant review of issued patents.

Placing the patent system out of reach of the independent inventor is a relatively recent phenomenon that I believe is bad for the country and bad for our economy.

Posted by: Defector at May 11, 2009 9:07 AM

Just to note that Ron Wilson is echoing Intel's Andy Grove's recent remarks. In other words, Ron is doing his corporate toad thing.

Posted by: Patent Hawk at May 11, 2009 9:47 AM

"Placing the patent system out of reach of the independent inventor is a relatively recent phenomenon that I believe is bad for the country and bad for our economy. "

A m fin men.

Posted by: 6000 at May 11, 2009 10:26 AM

Come to think of it Hawk, he looks a little like a toad.

Posted by: Just sayin' at May 11, 2009 5:45 PM

"While I agree that making patents inalienable is a really dumb idea, I disagree that it is because of reasons 1-3 copied above. Inventors should be able to afford to prepare, prosecute, and license, and to a lessor extent litigate, patents. Our patent system has grown into an enormous monstrosity thanks to unnecessarily complex rules and a federal circuit that has added burden on top of burden on the patent applicant."

I don't know in what world you are living in? Any patent worth litigating is going to have damages in the millions. For example, if you just sell one "Sham-Wow" to one in every 30 people in this country, and you've netted just $2/per "Sham-Wow," you've got yourself a $20M profit. How much would you be willing to spend to get a cut of that $20M? How much would someone be willing to spend to keep that amount? When those types are monies are being thrown around, do you want someone with just an engineering background writing the claims? drafting the license agreement? prosecuting the application?

As the world becomes more and more complex, there are need for people that understand that complexity. 50 years ago, the average joe on the street could fix his own car. Today, the average joe might not be able to even change the oil on a new car. 100 years ago, most people grew their own food. There was a time when you went to the barber for surgery. Times change -- get over it.

Posted by: Passing through at May 12, 2009 6:31 AM