Patenting ideas and theories.

Yours and mine. This is where you can gas on about how you think the universe works. To a point, after that we'll expect you to actually test your stuff and report.

Patenting ideas and theories.

Postby chrismb » Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:06 pm

[I was about to hit 'reply' to this in Doug's 'new approach - beams' thread, but that would be a diversion. Seems appropriate in this forum, though.]

Doug Coulter wrote:I'm afraid you're in error on that.

Which bit, Doug? That the beam-fusion device I posted [http://www.coultersmithing.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=366&start=10#p2457] will be rejected?

It will definitely be rejected. For example, General Fusion's patent applications (all 5 of them to date, 2 more now filed) have all been rejected even though those guys have put it into practice and even have a few neutrons to show for it. I can assure you it will be rejected.

In regards other 'process' patents, that whole deal has been unsticking in recent years and the scene has changed alot now. The 'business process patent' was, as it were, taken to the US court in the last year, but the final ruling still left too much scope for manoeuvering. For sure, this is not great but the USPTO, and other such IP offices around the world, now look very dismally on such applications.

Doug Coulter wrote:You could also look into the submarine patent on bar codes and the extortion that guy pulled for a decade -- having the patent granted AFTER everyone was using it, due to a tricky filing and delay process. So no one could even know they were infringing till this guy comes out of the woodwork and demands billions from all the chain stores -- and gets it....

It is general international practice (at least it is for US and UK) that if someone has been using the patent before it is made public then they have a legal right to carry on using it. But those who have not yet used a patented thing do not have the right to use it.

It is not implicit that something that has been used before is not patentable - the question is whether the patent makes clear something that was not previously clear. For example if someone did something similar, or even had 'accidentally' done the self same thing, if that person had not anticipated the full principle or had incidentally, rather than by intent, used some process then it is reasonable that someone else might establish the process formally, to the benefit of public knowledge, and in so doing benefit from formalising and improving the process in a publication.

I will stand by my argument for doing so - it is a motivation for people to develop and improve processes, and if there was no means by which they could profit from doing so then why would they bother to do so? Further, I will point to the countries of the world that have a strong and vigorous patent system and show them to be the technological leaders. For sure, there are winners and losers in that process, and often in an unjust manner as we well know, but the ultimate goal of improvement of the technological knowledge made available is clearly achieved and I would argue that it is because of the patent system, and not in spite of it.
chrismb
 
Posts: 620
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:32 pm

Re: Patenting ideas and theories.

Postby Doug Coulter » Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:08 pm

You are arguing right and wrong, while the law doesn't even practice justice.

Spend a few hours reading the last 7 or so years worth of this:

http://www.groklaw.net/

All true, all documented (including actual court records and transcripts); you're just not informed very well on this one. You're saying how it's 'sposed to be -- not how it IS.

In US, you can file for a patent, then delay and keep it secret -- request a delay while you add and amend claims, while others use it (unknowingly) then spring up and sue them -- and the bar code guy did and won for 10 years...then declared bankruptcy when they came to get it back after winning in court. You just don't understand how the system can be manipulated, and is on a daily basis. Sure, you might win in the end, but you'll be dead or broke by then, and the law can't fix that.

There are other tricks. Are you aware of the .gif debacle? How about almost the same thing with .mp3? How about Rambus....I follow all these cases in the media and have for decades.

I can come up with endless specific, concrete, documented examples of patent trolling, more than you'll ever bother to read.

Apple really does have a patent on the rectangular box. If they can get that, why not this guy?
Posting as just me, not as the forum owner. Everything I say is "in my opinion" and YMMV -- which should go for everyone without saying.
User avatar
Doug Coulter
 
Posts: 2964
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:05 pm
Location: Floyd county, VA, USA

Re: Patenting ideas and theories.

Postby chrismb » Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:11 pm

I've not suggested that people can't distort the system. I'm just saying that scrapping patents isn't the answer.

What is the answer? I don't know.

Is the system of today imperfect? - Yes, there are clear cases to show this.

Is there a better system for today that can still motivate people to invent? - What is it, then?
chrismb
 
Posts: 620
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:32 pm

Re: Patenting ideas and theories.

Postby chrismb » Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:25 pm

The US has;
35 U.S.C. 273 Defense to infringement based on earlier inventor.

(b) DEFENSE TO INFRINGEMENT.-

(1) IN GENERAL.- It shall be a defense to an action for infringement under section 271 of this title with respect to any subject matter that would otherwise infringe one or more claims for a method in the patent being asserted against a person, if such person had, acting in good faith, actually reduced the subject matter to practice at least 1 year before the effective filing date of such patent, and commercially used the subject matter before the effective filing date of such patent.


The UK has;
1977 Patent Act

64 Right to continue use begun before priority date.E+W+S+N.I..(1)Where a patent is granted for an invention, a person who in the United Kingdom before the priority date of the invention—.
(a)does in good faith an act which would constitute an infringement of the patent if it were in force, or.
(b)makes in good faith effective and serious preparations to do such an act,.
has the right to continue to do the act or, as the case may be, to do the act, notwithstanding the grant of the patent; but this right does not extend to granting a licence to another person to do the act.


I will agree with you that the US is weak because it appears to permit a person to make claims of infringement over matters that someone else might've been oblivious to for some time after the actual filing date. But that's the US law as it is written, and I agree it is unfair. Go write to your Congressman to change it to the UK conditions!
chrismb
 
Posts: 620
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:32 pm

Re: Patenting ideas and theories.

Postby Doug Coulter » Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:06 pm

I'm afraid it's going the other way with things like ACTA and the DEA (yours, not ours). And I and all of us together can't outbribe Microsoft, Intel, IBM, Apple, and all of Hollywood, which uses both monetary bribes and "publicity" to get the best laws money can buy - for them. The only new thing in this story is just how blatant they now are about it all.

There are even several books out now about which banks (for example) paid the most lobbyists and campaign contributions. Guess which ones were bailed out, and which were allowed to fail?
Neither the figures or the history are in any dispute. No one cares who can do anything about it. At election time, we only get to choose between candidates that have already been vetted by the parties and who are bought already -- it matters not at all who we vote for. Anybody out there see any real difference between our last two presidents? Any actual policy changes? Anything but utterly broken campaign promises? Do we still have Gitmo? Yes. Do we still shoot people all over the world? More than before. Did we just pass a so called health care law that empowers the very people who made it so expensive and ineffective, in effect mandating we all pay into the corrupt private insurance system and can no longer opt out? Yep. Are warrantless wiretaps, and even the secret parts of the misnamed Patiiot act all still in place? Yes, more than before. Did the government block suits and FOIA requests from the phone companies to cover up their own illegal acts -- yes. Is writing my "representative" going to do any good? Surely you live in the land of unicorns. Can't even shoot them, the sympathy backlash would only make things even worse.

In the financial field -- did you know they (congressmen) are allowed to do trading on insider knowledge? -- They know which companies are about to get lush government contracts and aid. It's illegal if I do that - and they only have to report yearly, so I can't find out what they are buying either. That they are exempt from all these nasty laws they force us to obey? Old news, but maybe not widely known outside USA. Have any of their banker-owners gone to jail for defrauding the taxpayers here and worldwide? Not one -- only small time crooks have been busted, not the big ones. Can I vote out Barney Frank, whose idea this all was? Nope, not in my district. Will his own people vote him out? Never, he's got seniority and brings home the bacon for them at my expense. It's like being Germany in the Euro and having to bail Greece -- anyone ask the Germans if they wanted to do that or care what they thought? No so much. Is it a coincidence that our "Fed" banking is all populated with Goldman Sachs alumni? Or that 100% of them after leaving government service get high paying jobs back there?

Like I said, the only thing new under this sun is that they no longer care if everyone knows it.

Isn't the timing of the Strauss-Kahn thing interesting -- busted for rape just before he was about to tell the truth about the Greek bailout -- which forces them into sure default, but only after the banks unload their debt and CDSs (which is really a French-German bank bailout) and now set free since he's no longer a threat?

Funny what dealing with the uber rich as I do for a living lets you in on a lot of how the world is actually run. The laws and theories are nice, but....only there to keep the sheep on the couch drinking beer and watching TV instead of out in the streets.

Trademarks are permanent, and copyrights might as well now be. Ever since Walt Disney raped the public domain to make cartoons, not one copyright has ever expired.


Patents are now merely a tool in the arsenal of the bigs to prevent any upstart competition -- they can cross license, no money changes hands. You can't do anything, even write a few lines of code, without breaking one, and it's so bad that the legal advice now is to not look as that makes your infringement "willful" - and it's a big reason most software isn't open source, as it all contains patent violations. You don't have enough stuff to cross license. It's not that the bigs don't hate one another, they do, but they fear any innovation they don't own that might be disruptive, so they've long ago locked that down.

Or usually they cross license. The gold rush in the mobile space currently has 100% of the mobile manufacturers in lawsuits with 100% of the others -- actually it's more than that, as many are multiple suits and if you look at what they are over -- not one of those things should have been patentable by law. Doesn't matter, there's a patent and any decent lawyer can get delays, injunctions and so on and destroy you over the years it takes to get settled. NYT and WSJ newspapers have shown graphics of "Who is suiing who" and the lines obliterate the space.

All the M&A in the business world is a tacit admission that there's no more innovation coming from those guys - they are just buying more customers, laying off people and fighting over the size of the slice vs increasing the size of the pie.

Your quote of US law (if it's still current and hasn't been changed, which is quite likely) is missing the point. Note that it's "filing" time that counts. That's just what I was saying -- you can file a patent, and keep it secret for however long (the record is, I think 19 years), wait for someone to start using it - because it was obvious enough they invented it themself, then call back the filing delay, get your patent and sue them and win. It's common here, and probably there too. Which is why we call it a submarine patent.

Let's suppose this -- I figure out that now that there are super strong permanent magnets, someday someone is going to start making things like cyclotrons out of them -- or some other obvious use, say, tiny gyroscopes. I file for a patent on that, never having done it, of course, because I can't afford to yet, or the other tech isn't yet there, but it's obvious that it will be in the next 10 years or so. I keep the patent in limbo - filed but not issued, and thus a secret, for years (they let you do that) while I keep my eye on the market, and add and adapt claims as others start doing this, heck, it's obvious. When the market is big enough in adoption of "my patent" -- I stop doing that, let them issue it, and bingo -- I can sue all the cyclotron manufacturers all day long, and win. This is what the bar code guy did -- same in all but details of the invention. Any fool can patent something tech doesn't yet exist for, extrapolate that during some time it will come into existence, and it will if it requires no new science -- patent early, keep it a secret, and use that "filing date" junk to claim priority later, even for claims added at the very last second. And it's done all the time, and we have a particular federal district court in Texas that helps this along, every single time -- its where they all file these suits.

In other words, its perfectly legal to file an utterly bogus patent now, change the claims over ten years, then get it issued, and still have priority on those late claims from the filing date, not when I added them last week.

I obviously haven't read the guys claims, but I'd bet real good money that patent flies right through. The only people who get rejected are those with a really bad preceding reputation issue, or a lawyer who doesn't know how to write obfuscated claims.
Posting as just me, not as the forum owner. Everything I say is "in my opinion" and YMMV -- which should go for everyone without saying.
User avatar
Doug Coulter
 
Posts: 2964
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:05 pm
Location: Floyd county, VA, USA

Re: Patenting ideas and theories.

Postby Doug Coulter » Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:27 pm

Some links other than Groklaw:

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/guest- ... -interests

Read the comments on this -- chilling. Contains links to several published books that show the corruption, and who paid for and got what. No libel suits must mean something eh?

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/caught ... mi-release

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/its-of ... ions-euros

You know what's going to happen when the Chinese come for their money back, right?

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/iea-re ... tbtf-banks

Just another part of the scam. We were already letting the banks (yours too) borrow from the discount window at 0 to .25% interest, as long as they bought most of the US debt with the money (paying 3 or so percent). For some reason, not one of them has had a losing day trading in the last year. Not one day.


And it didn't take long to find evidence of corruption - one site and I didn't have to go back a whole week to fill this page with links about *newly revealed* things.
The rest - you have to go back nearer to when it happened. So much for the rule of "law". So much for our constitution -- 4th and 5th amendments declared in the way by our executive branch years back...The other sites I frequent are a little more laid back about all this, and don't shout so loud, but not always. It's just a given that we have a government about the same level of corruption as say, the Afghan warlords, or Somalia, or Yemen. Here's one of the more staid sites (most of it is more laid back, and I post there as often as here)
http://seekingalpha.com/article/277622- ... to-get-off

And you should note - it's the actions of our government "creating liquidity" that are a main reason you're paying so much for oil and food lately -- the banks sank the free money into commodity speculation. With a side benefit of creating enough starving Arabs to get them on the streets to be killed by their dictators.
Maybe YOU should write my CONgressmen.

Don't worry, we'll have another war or something to stimulate the economy and keep the sheep on the couches watching so we forget about all this till we can't kick the can any further down the road. And we find out they've raided our pension funds (they have already in most cases - and no way to pay up on the IOU's they put in the file cabinets, it just hasn't struck home here yet).

Am I in a high blood pressure state about it? Yeah. Is there anything I can do about it whatsoever. Nope, not really. I can tell people. I can buy a little political favor myself -- but they're not honest enough to stay bought, frankly, but I can't fix or really even affect the overall issues. Patents are just one case of the rule of law going by the wayside on our side of the pond, and probably not the most important one.
Posting as just me, not as the forum owner. Everything I say is "in my opinion" and YMMV -- which should go for everyone without saying.
User avatar
Doug Coulter
 
Posts: 2964
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:05 pm
Location: Floyd county, VA, USA

Re: Patenting ideas and theories.

Postby chrismb » Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:49 am

Doug, I am trying to find this case where a guy sued for bar codes after keeping it secret. Sorry, can't find anything.

I found this; http://www.cioinsight.com/c/a/Retail/US ... tent-Case/ that says 'Lemelson' owned bar codes patents but that a) they took too long to pursue infringements and b) the technology of today is actually far more advanced than then, and the patent doesn't apply anyway.

So the bar code infringement case has been thrown out, and was not due to issues of filing time versus infringement.

This doesn't look like a case where a filing was kept secret, only that it was not pursued for an excessively long time. I am interested to see what might happen in a case of infringement during application, though, because the US law does look unfair on this point, but I'd like to see how such a case pans out in court before I deride it totally. If it were my country and I was animated about the topic, then I'd write to the politicians to change it.

I'm still unclear on the alternatives you are proposing, though, Doug. Do you think it is better to have no patent system at all, then?
chrismb
 
Posts: 620
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:32 pm

Re: Patenting ideas and theories.

Postby chrismb » Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:09 am

I've looked up the GIF thing aswell and found this;

http://www.cloanto.com/users/mcb/19950127giflzw.html

For sure, it looks confusing and does hark onto the subject matter of having a patent and no-one knowing about it. UniSYS had the patent for LZW compression, which GIF uses. And, yes, they did get around to pressing their claim only years later when it surfaced. Similarly, UniSYS wasn't aware the GIF used LZW - so how could they press their claim!

The point is - neither UniSYS nor Compuserve appear to have sought to impose any restrictions/royalites on software already issued, only for newly issued software. And there is the rub - if you don't want to pay the royalty, don't use LZW! Simple! If it is that good, then pay the piper for his tune!!

I don't see the issue here for GIF or barcodes, unless the article has missed out detail.
chrismb
 
Posts: 620
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:32 pm

Re: Patenting ideas and theories.

Postby chrismb » Sat Jul 02, 2011 4:14 am

MP3: Looks like Microsoft got stung for $1.5bn even though they bought a licence from Fraunhofer, but is Fraunhofer the licencee in the US? Each jurisdiction needs its own agreements and licences. There are no 'global patents' yet and if you do business in a country then do business in that country! But again the facts must be clear and I don't know what the concluding arguments were to judge this myself.

There are also 'player' patents from SigmaTel who sold them and they ended up with a Texan firm who is prosecuting them rigorously. Well, that's why they bought them. What's the issue there? These 'player' patents look rather obvious (non-inventive steps) but that are easy to work around nonetheless. It seems tough to be caught on this, but I've not seen enough detail to know if I can judge this 'unfair'.

Then there is Sandisk who is getting 'bullied' by the licencees (presumably that have bought or that licence on behalf of Fraunhofer), but don't appear to have a licence, so what's the issue there?
chrismb
 
Posts: 620
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:32 pm

Re: Patenting ideas and theories.

Postby chrismb » Sat Jul 02, 2011 4:26 am

Barcode infringment case: thrown out - right decision.

LZW case: there is something unreasonable that it was published apparently as 'public domain' but later transpired to be patented. But patent claims were not pursued retrospectivley, simply that licence conditions for further distribution were stated - non issue - it's their patent and they've said 'don't use it if you don't want it. If you want it and are going to profit from it, pay us for our efforts of inventing it for you'

MP3: Possibly some funny goings on, but many different threads to that. If microsoft bought the licence from someone other than the US licence holder, tough on them! diddums! If sandisk's only point of case is that their getting bullied by MP3 licence holders tough! Make up your own compression code to translate MP3 into your native format, then! If SigmaTel want to sell their 'player' patents to someone else who will pursue infringments aggressively it's their IP, they can sell it to whom they like.


I see no issues. None of these examples are 'back-door' covert tactics to beguile folks into infringement unexpectedly. It seems that there is a mix of some who didn't even realise they HAD a patent on something, some who thought they has a patent, whereas there are others who will push for every possible claim they can make. And why would, or should, it be any different?

Patents are a case-by-case, country-by-country affair. There are winners and losers, and the losers can get mighty sore over losing, then the hearsay starts to flow big time. I see things that look like they might have been 'poor decisons' at the hearsay level of discussion, but have seen nothing yet that shakes my feeling that patents are, overall, a net force for good.
chrismb
 
Posts: 620
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:32 pm

Next

Return to Theories and speculations

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest