EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

02.17.17

Patents Are Not Property, They Are a Monopoly, and They Are Not Owned But Temporarily Granted

Posted in Patents at 6:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Privatisation of mere actions or thoughts — not just devices — a symptom of patent scope gone awry

History of patent law
Reference: History of patent law

Summary: Patent maximalism and distortion of concepts associated with patents tackled again, for terminology is being hijacked by those who turned patents into their “milking cows”

IN his writings about USPTO-granted patents, Professor Crouch recently looked at pertinent laws and went somewhat philosophical. Yesterday he deconstructed a patent where one of the supposed merits or inventions is that the operator of a vehicle needs to be present. To quote: “The claims require that the operator platform “support an entire body of an operator” during operation use of the vehicle.”

“We certainly hope that the Patent Office sticks to the principle that human operation (a la business methods) as opposed to mechanics should not become patentable.”We have no issues with patents on mechanics, however to name a human being as some sort of ingredient is approaching the territory of the laughable. Lawn mowers have existed for a very long time (nearly 200 years according to Wikipedia) and having an operator present on top isn’t entirely novel, either. We certainly hope that the Patent Office sticks to the principle that human operation (a la business methods) as opposed to mechanics should not become patentable.

“The “public rights” issue is complicated,” Crouch explains. “but the basic outcome is simple – if patents rights are not public rights (but instead private rights) then an administrative agency cannot lawfully revoke a patent once issued (without the permission of the patentee).”

“Well, a patent is a government-granted monopoly and not a “property” or an “asset” per se.”Crouch later posted some more thoughts, noting that “[i]n the “land patent” system, ownership is originally vested in the sovereign and then transferred to the recipient, but it seems to me that the patents on inventions probably work differently. In the end, I expect that this may have some impact on the public-rights cases.”

Well, a patent is a government-granted monopoly and not a “property” or an “asset” per se. Artistic wordings that attribute physical properties to ideas are worse than dishonest; that’s how the recording industry paints copying (or sharing) as “piracy” and “theft”. Saying things like “ownership” (or similar, e.g. someone “bought” a patent or “stole” a patent) makes as much sense as “eating” an idea.

Patents are not rights but exceptional privileges with burden of justification on the recipient. If the “administrative agency cannot lawfully revoke a patent,” to quote the above, even when a patent was obviously granted in error or is doing a disservice to public interests (not so-called ‘public rights’), then maybe it’s time to return to the drawing board. The history of patent systems is checkered and complex and if anything is to be learned from this history, it is that no patent system should be taken for granted and blindly accepted. We need to evolve in lieu with dissemination of concepts over the Internet, the programmability of computers without having to reconfigure hardware (mechanics), and many other advancements.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

4 Comments

  1. Anton_P said,

    February 17, 2017 at 8:42 am

    Gravatar

    Strange then that the UK patents act states “any patent or application for a patent is personal property (without being a thing in action)” don’t you think?

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    The word “property” is overused here (estate also). Even our patent office is called IPO, where two letters stand for things that it isn’t. In the not-so-distant past people too were described as “property”.

  2. Anton_P said,

    February 17, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Gravatar

    Didn’t Proudhon cover this issue?

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    “In the book, Proudhon most famously declared that “property is theft”.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What_Is_Property%3F I thought it was Native Americans who said that.

What Else is New


  1. Team UPC Excited Over Nothing, President Campinos Rarely Even Mentions UPC Anymore

    President Campinos started his term with UPC advocacy, but he has barely even mentioned the acronym since then. In fact, it seems increasingly unlikely that UPC can ever materialise with just month left before Brexit



  2. Battistelli's Bodyguard Has Been Arrested, But Battistelli Should Join Him

    Alexandre Benalla and Vincent Crase end up in prison; will French investigators bother checking Benalla's past with Battistelli as well as other Battistelli scandals (incidents of law-breaking and of corruption)?



  3. Links 22/2/2019: GNOME 3.32 Beta 2 Released and Fedora 30 Flicker-Free Boot

    Links for the day



  4. Links 20/2/2019: digiKam 6.0.0, Cockpit 188, Mesa 19.0 RC5

    Links for the day



  5. How Long Can the EPO Bend the Rules Before the Avalanche of Invalid Software Patents?

    A 35 U.S.C. § 101/SCOTUS moment in Europe will likely squash loads of abstract European Patents granted by the EPO; shouldn’t the EPO foresee this and immediately cease granting such obviously bogus patents, whose main beneficiary is a bunch of patent trolls?



  6. Battistelli Trashed 223 Millions (of Stakeholders' Euros) on a System That Destroyed the European Patent Office and Made Few Private Corporations a Lot Richer

    A quarter of a billion euros later the EPO finally admits in private that this was a massive failure



  7. Links 19/2/2019: Mesa 18.3.4, Cutelyst 2.7.0, Plasma Pass 1.0.0

    Links for the day



  8. What Happened in the United States Now Happens in Europe: Lots of Patents Turn Out to Be Bunk, Fake, Bogus, Invalid and Thus Worthless

    Worthless patents — not opposition to such patents — are the greatest threat to the legitimacy of the patent system, yet bureaucrats fail to heed the warning in the name of short-term profits



  9. Stephen Rowan's and Nellie Simon's Letter to EPO Staff: eDossier Has “Not Reached the Required Quality Levels.”

    We've just commented on it; here is the raw letter in full, explaining that eDossier and related frameworks will be abandoned entirely and indefinitely within less than a fortnight



  10. Search Matters Not at the European Patent Office

    The EPO has found out that "System Battistelli" has been catastrophic for the quality of patents; it stops short of openly admitting it as such and in fact it keeps the message strictly confidential (explained to insiders, who will inevitably notice a system being abandoned)



  11. António Campinos Still Needs to Undo Battistelli's Union-Busting Activities at the EPO

    Solidarity and support for Laurent Prunier are needed because the new French president lacks empathy even for fellow Frenchmen whose sole 'crime' is that they represented EPO staff



  12. Links 18/2/2019: Linux 5.0 RC7, RISC-V Spreading Fast

    Links for the day



  13. António Campinos Still Needs to Hold Team Battistelli Accountable for Illegally Bringing Weapons to the EPO

    It is imperative that, in order to repair the reputation of the European Patent Office (EPO), António Campinos should pursue accountability for the managers who brought Benalla and firearms to the Office (very serious breach of German law, jail sentence included)



  14. Links 17/2/2019: Compiz 0.9.14.0, Geary 0.13.0, GNU FreeDink 109.6, Debian 9.8, Texinfo 6.6

    Links for the day



  15. Amazon's Patent Policy Should be Enough of a Reason to Boycott Amazon and AWS

    There are many things to criticise Amazon and its founder for; but rarely does the mainstream media bring up the company's appalling patent policy



  16. Don't Use Cloudflare Because You Impose This on People Who Least Want It

    Reasons to stop making the World Wide Web so heavily dependent on some dubious companies like Cloudflare, which already has a worrisome track record



  17. How Many/Most EPO Examiners View 'President' António Campinos

    Based on what readers/insiders have told us, there’s a prevalent perception that António Campinos is afraid of (thus controlled/directed by) Bergot, who is still doing Battistelli’s biddings at the European Patent Office (EPO)



  18. Techrights' Priorities Over the Years

    An old priority of ours, eliminating software patents in the United States, is no longer quite so relevant because such patents are perishing in US courts, with or without outside intervention such as activism



  19. Courts in Disagreement: Warning on Wrongly-Granted European Patents and the Looming Collapse of All Software Patents in Europe

    By devaluing patents and reducing their perceived worth (as is happening in China and Europe) patent offices risk decreasing participation in the very system they fundamentally depend on



  20. Computing Will Not Necessarily Make the World a Better Place

    The vision of "happy world" (because each person has a so-called 'smart' 'phone') is a yuppie delusion that overlooks business models and corporate interests



  21. EPO Grants Fake European Patents -- Including Software Patents -- and European Courts Keep Rejecting These

    The demise of the legitimacy or perceived validity of European Patents is measurable and the system isn't the same anymore; the EPO makes no effort to change this for the better, either



  22. Nobody But Patent Trolls and Litigators Will Benefit From the Corruption of the European Patent Office

    IAM, EPO leadership, Iancu and the rest of these raiders are enabling corruption and facilitating or supporting a racket; that money they collect comes at the expense of future victims of their "clients" or "customers" (that's what they call applicants, to whom they grant dubious monopolies as a matter of urgency)



  23. WSL is a Misleading Acronym/Name Because There's No Linux in It, It's Just Windows

    When Microsoft says "Linux" (as in "Microsoft loves Linux") what it actually means is Windows and/or Azure



  24. Links 16/2/2019: Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS, PyCharm 2019.1 EAP 4

    Links for the day



  25. Outline/Index of the Alexandre Benalla/Battistelli Scandal

    Our writings about the scandals implicating Benalla and the European Patent Office (EPO)



  26. Reading Techrights on a Mobile Device Running Android

    A new Android app for reading this site is being tested



  27. Links 14/2/2019: “I Love Free Software Day” and Mesa 19.0 RC4 Released

    Links for the day



  28. “EPO Lawlessness Again”

    Blackberry uses bogus European Patents (on software) for lawsuits; "all of them pure software patents. Patents on programs for computers as such," as Müller puts it



  29. Unitary Patent (UPC) is All About Imposing Patent Maximalists' Ideology of Greed and Self Interest on Courts in the Name of 'Unification' or 'Consistency' or 'Community'

    Pushers of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) are upset that they don’t always get their way when independent judges get to decide; as it turns out, many European Patents are just fake patents, more so under António Campinos



  30. Battistelli's Bodyguard, Part V: Mediapart Explains the 'Raid' Attempt, Reporters Without Borders Involved

    Mediapart, an investigative site that unearths a lot of incriminating things about Battistelli's former bodyguard Alexandre Benalla, was the target of a raid attempt some weeks ago


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts