07.08.08

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Nobel Laureates Come Out Against Intellectual Monopolies

Posted in America, Intellectual Monopoly, Law, Patents at 5:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

H

ow many senior figures does it take convince large companies to set aside greed in favour of science and technology. It has already been shown before that software developers, for instance, favour copyrights and see no need for software patents, which are perceived as a hindrance to progress. Speaking more broadly about Intellectual Monopolies (not just software), noble and Nobel people explain why it’s all wrong. [via Digital Majority]

Intellectual Property Regime Stifles Science and Innovation, Nobel Laureates Say

Patent monopolies are believed to drive innovation but they actually impede the pace of science and innovation, Stiglitz said. The current “patent thicket,” in which anyone who writes a successful software programme is sued for alleged patent infringement, highlights the current IP system’s failure to encourage innovation, he said.

Another problem is that the social returns from innovation do not accord with the private returns associated with the patent system, Stiglitz said. The marginal benefit from innovation is that an idea may become available sooner than it might have. But the person who secures the patent on it wins a long-term monopoly, creating a gap between private and social returns.

Software Patents Even Worse Off

According to the following article, it may be impractical to examine collision in software patents.

An examination process that utilizes the expertise of the industries in which applications lie has now become essential in the very difficult to examine fields of software, pharmaceuticals, and business methods.

This is exactly what Richard Stallman has been arguing for years. In large programs that are written rapidly, there’s no chance of checking for implementation overlaps that are conceptual. There are just too many of them. It’s mathematics at the most fundamental level, but forms of abstraction are used. At the moment, the USPTO is labouring hard only in attempts to re-examine 4 silly patents. What an utter waste of time.

RIM wins delay in Visto patent suit

[...]

The trial was scheduled to begin next Monday in Marshall, Texas, but the judge said a postponement is warranted while the US Patent and Trademark Office re-examines the four disputed patents.

The USPTO, in its current state, should really be reformed or shut down already. Even those who make a living out of the mess which is Intellectual Monopolies are beginning to feel slightly embarrassed by the ‘civil wars’.

…there are a number of companies where there is IP awareness. The problem here though is that they see the IP system in so many different ways and want very different things from it. The recent Patent Reform Act debate in the US showed this very clearly. And what it also demonstrated is that when IP owners fight among themselves, it leaves very big spaces for people with a general anti-IP message to exploit; something that harms all rights owners, no matter what side of a specific argument they are on. The same thing happened in Europe with regard to the CII Directive and could well happen again if there is ever any political agreement on the Community patent and the European patent court.

In other words, they can’t figure out what they want. On the one hand, they want ‘protection’, but then they get stung, so they cry crocodile tears. Which way would it be? Crying because there is legal chaos or crying because people are compelled to share ideas rather than defend ownership of every single idea that is neither genuine not defensible.

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