This is Simon Brooke's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Simon Brooke's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Simon Brooke
Recent Activity
If I had produced the innovation five years before the person who got the patent (and yes, in most of the cases I cite I can document that), how am I the one who is accused of 'copying'?
1 reply
I imagine pretty much all big industry would disagree with me. The patents system very effectively protects big industry against upstart innovators with disruptive technologies. A warchest of patents and a highly paid legal department can be used to crush pretty much any newcomer in pretty much any technical industry. That does not mean that patents confer benefits either on the innovator or on the community at large. I didn't patent my innovations largely because it is (thank God) still not possible to patent software in the United Kingdom; but also because most of the ideas were obvious to anyone with the appropriate technology available. The US patent office has for years been allowing patents for any trivial idea in software, with grossly inadequate tests for the non-obviousness of the idea. This undermines the whole idea.
1 reply
I don't believe the patent system either encourages or rewards innovation. Innovators innovate; I always have. There are twenty US software patents in existence to my certain knowledge where I had personally created prior art five years or more before the patent was first registered. All this means is that I can't sell my work in the US. In fact patents stifle innovation, because you can't use techniques which other people have registered, whether or not they originated them, because the cost of litigation is impossible for the lone innovator to bear. Having only ten patents in a year is not a good thing in itself, but it's much better thing than having a hundred, which in turn is a much better thing than having several thousand. Each patent that is issued is a drag on innovation and holds the whole economy back.
1 reply
Useful review; I'm reading the full paper now. However, one comment: "Of course, if you think individuals have no place in the patent system, this is not a good thing." The only possible justification for having a patent system at all - and personally, speaking as an innovator, I am not convinced that there is any justification - is to protect individual and small-enterprise innovators from having their innovation quickly copied by larger entities with better marketing budgets. So the primary entities who, in my opinion, have any place in a patents system, are individuals and small enterprises. As an aside, the patents system would be greatly improved if there were a strict limit - say ten - to the number of patents which could be issued world-wide in any one year, and that these were awarded to the ten innovations judged by an independent panel to be most significant in that year, in a manner somewhat similar to the award of the Nobel prizes.
1 reply
Simon Brooke is now following The Typepad Team
Sep 6, 2011