02.17.17

Gemini version available ♊︎

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 in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

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.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 28/9/2021: New Fedora Beta and LibreOffice's 11th Anniversary

    Links for the day



  2. [Meme] Joining Red Hat After Jim Whitehurst Left

    The screenshots above are minutes old; insiders don’t think too highly of long-term careers at Red Hat (the latter seems to be the same person as the former)



  3. IPFS: The Good, the Bad, and the Exceptionally Ugly

    A personal and occasionally arduous experience with a whole year of IPFS; it may come across — on the surface at least — as an unconstructive rant, but IPFS is still a promising technology, albeit it has severe limitations that need to be properly understood (some can be technically overcome, too)



  4. Links 28/9/2021: GnuCash 4.7 and SuperTuxKart 1.3 Release

    Links for the day



  5. IRC Proceedings: Monday, September 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, September 27, 2021



  6. Links 28/9/2021: Inkscape 1.1.1 and 4MLinux 37.1 Release

    Links for the day



  7. “What the Heli, Battistelli?”

    "Ms Pyjamas" (Heli) and Ms Bergot, a notoriously "strong lady" (for marrying the 'right' man?)



  8. When It Comes to UPC, EPO is Still Stuck in Pre-Brexit Mindset (More Than Half a Decade in the Past)

    The sheer lunacy of Team UPC is up on display and the EPO links to a “webinar” from 5.5 years ago; they’re still living in a fantasy world



  9. Links 27/9/2021: Q4OS 4, Windows Breaks Itself

    Links for the day



  10. [Meme] Route de France

    At the EPO, facts catch up with you



  11. [Meme] Tech Companies: No Friends of Women

    Just another reminder that companies like IBM do not actually care about women; they are misusing genuine feminism for corporate objectives



  12. Links 27/9/2021: OpenSSH 8.8, Martine OS 2.0 and Airyx 0.2.2 Reviewed

    Links for the day



  13. GNU Turns 38 (Midday Today or 12:35:59 EST) and RMS Talks to Polish Medical Professionals This Evening

    Today GNU turns 38. Last week over 5,000 people watched the RMS talk in Ukraine using our WebM version of it; in a few hours RMS will speak in Poland and we’ll try to find a stream if one becomes available (we shall update this page).



  14. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, September 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, September 26, 2021



  15. Links 27/9/2021: Librem 14 Reviewed, Linux 5.15 RC3 is Out

    Links for the day



  16. Links 26/9/2021: GNU Wget2 2.0.0 and MenuLibre 2.2.3 Released

    Links for the day



  17. How Basic Laws and Fundamental Rights Got Crushed in the European Patent Office

    Our next series will show the sheer hypocrisy of the EPO, hiding behind the veil of (patent) law while so shamelessly violating just about every law in the books without facing any form of accountability



  18. Regrettable Acts of Self-Harm: OpenMandriva and Mozilla Being Outsourced to Microsoft Proprietary Software and Monopoly

    In another blow to software freedom, OpenMandriva and Mozilla decide to abandon their own systems and use proprietary software from Microsoft instead



  19. Links 26/9/2021: Mozilla Spends on PR, OpenMandriva Outsourcing to Microsoft

    Links for the day



  20. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, September 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, September 25, 2021



  21. Links 25/9/2021: GNU/Linux Recognition in Mainstream Media and Wine-Staging 6.18

    Links for the day



  22. Reminder: GNU Turns 38 This Monday Around Midday (When GNU's Founder Gives Talk in Poland)

    With media and Torvalds speaking again about anniversaries (this has gone on for the past week because Torvalds wrote about it yet again), it is important to recall the announcement that got the ball rolling and basically started it all (the GNU/Linux operating system) because it was in 1983, not 1991. We reproduce in full the announcement.



  23. Links 25/9/2021: Wine 6.18 and Chromium Complier Woes

    Links for the day



  24. [Meme] When the EPO Watches Everything ('Dissidents', Media, Etc.) and Isn't Being Watched by Anybody

    The EPO is taking Europe for a wild ride; Everything is a vehicle for the very same agenda, with nobody left to hold it accountable or ask any tough questions… (even the media is in the EPO’s back pocket or back seat)



  25. Virtual Oversight

    “eMeetings” that simulate an impression of oversight are like ‘ViCo’ to simulate access to justice; will that ever change and will oversight be restored at EPOnia, Europe’s second-largest institution?



  26. The Corporate Coup Against the Soul of the Free Software Community Is Not Over

    The erosion of community role in the development of GNU/Linux is a growing problem; part of the problem is that large corporations target technical and philosophical (perceived) leaders in coordinated smear campaigns, led by media they own



  27. IRC Proceedings: Friday, September 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, September 24, 2021



  28. Links 24/9/2021: GNU Coreutils 9.0, BattlEye GNU/Linux Support

    Links for the day



  29. [Meme] 'Linux' Foundation is Greenwashing Microsoft Again, Misusing the Linux Brand Like Nobody's Business

    Microsoft has weaponised the Linux brand to dub a toxic company like itself (helping notoriously polluting companies and generating lots of waste, both directly and through planned obsolescence, inefficient software, DRM, etc.) as "green"



  30. Richard Stallman to Speak (in Person) in Poland, Dedicate the Talk to Medical Professionals

    Days after his talk in Ukraine Richard Stallman plans to do the same in Poland (just announced)


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

Recent Posts