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How to stop piracy. Part II

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Al, Apr 29, 2006.

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  1. Al

    Al Guest

    I hope I didn't violate anybody's patent by using a Roman Numeral in the
    heading ;-)

    Here is the text from the Constitution of the United States:

    Unfortunately, they did not specify what that limited time is. So we
    have people, or more correctly, companies that sit on patents and
    copyrights for decades. They may never sell anything that is based on
    the patent or copyright, but they prevent anyone else from using their
    "intellectual property."

    It is my belief that the term should be limited to that period during
    which the "Authors and Inventors" are acutally making money off their
    "Writings and Discoveries." I would suggest that if the author or
    inventor did not make any money for about a year, the writing and
    discovery should go into the public domain.

    This would prevent patent trolls and other parasites from stifling
    "..Progress of Science and the useful Art,..."

    However, I don't think this will ever happen as the "big boys" would
    have too much to lose. As a result, we all lose.

  2. Keith

    Keith Guest

    Patents have a maximum "life" of 20 years, from the date of filing, which
    is not too far from the 17year statute (from date of issue) of a couple of
    decades ago. It's not exactly forever.
    As is their right. Most will license their IP though. It costs money to
    keep patents in force. Most companies would like to see a return on
    How do you define "making money". Perhaps they're making a *lot* of money
    by *not* manufacturing the widget, or perhaps the market isn't ready for
    the widget yet. Most new technologies take *years* to bring to the
    market, some never make it. You'd strip patent rights for products that
    may be five years away?
    No, we all gain from patents. Technology is taught by the patent. Without
    patents these companies, you so hate, would simply make everything a trade
    secret. They'd still hold the cards but others would not have the
  3. Al

    Al Guest

    Nowadays, 20 yrs is "forever." Most products have a lifetime of say 3
    Yes, they should, but for a limited time.
    I define "making money" as selling the item to the public. If a patent
    or a copyright exists and no one is selling, it is not "making money."
    Yes, yes development costs and all that. But if you fail to market your
    invention because you are incompetent, and someone else has the same
    idea and can make a success of it, they should have the right to do so
    without your interference.

    I recently read an article where the author has a "patent" that to me is
    patently ( ;-) ) ridiculous. His patent is that someone who adds a tip
    to a check at a restaurant can use a percentage of the total meal to
    give a tip rather than a dollar amount. In my opinion, this should never
    have been granted.

    I read recently an article that showed us how progress can be made
    without patents. On page 6 of the IEEE Life Members Newsletter (4th and
    1st quarters 2005-2006) there is a letter entitled "Color Broadcasting
    Design" by F W Kieshauer. While working for Sylvania many years ago, he
    was doing research on color television. Let me make a couple of quotes
    from that letter. I hope I'm not violating someones copyright.

    "Within a year Sylvania announced their production of color receivers
    available for sale."

    "With no color broadcasting yet available, we set priorities for color
    broadcasting methods..."

    "Our group went to work. We finally designed a....and was adopted into
    the industry."

    "Sylvania did not want to patent this process and gave Frank Fleming and
    me the authorization to capitalize on the design."

    Yikes, what a forward looking company. Since receivers were available,
    but no transmitters were available, the company released the technology
    to the public so there could be progress.

    Yes, they made money on selling TVs. But they did not stifle innovation
    by trying monopolize the situation.

    If you consider color television progess, part of it was done without a

  4. Keith wrote:

    Not really. At least 99% of the patents have
    zero invention height. They are there for :
    1) hassle the competition
    2) make the patent lawyers rich

  5. Ken Taylor

    Ken Taylor Guest

    You forget:
    3) Because a loon thinks he's developed the first (insert inane idea here).

    We had a guy rock up at work wanting to sell us (for a mere $1 Million) his
    'patent' for his 'idea', which consisted of making up the term "satellite
    cellular internet timer". No, there were no other details involved. He had a
    letter from the patent office saying have a nice day, and one from Motorola
    which quite beautifully said the same worse without saying it, and adding
    that they weren't interested either. (I should have kept a copy.) Plus a
    letter from another company which suggested medical help.


  6. A lobotomy, or an enema? ;-)

    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
  7. Ken Taylor

    Ken Taylor Guest

    I have a feeling neither would have gone astray. :)


  8. Are you saying that he needed a "twofer"?

    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
  9. Speaking of lawyers, wasn't it Shakespeare who said, "First, we kill all
    the lawyers", or was it Plato or Socrates or somebody? I wonder what
    percentage of the 3000 or so victims of the 9/11 disaster were lawyers or
    in the employ of lawyers? I'd bet a paycheck that more than 50% of them
    had law degrees, and it's a sure bet that better than 90% of them were
    rich and white.

    I wonder if Der Fuehrer^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^HHomeland Security will
    start monitoring my on-line stuff now. ;-P

  10. Guest

    A good example of this is doing war time, the government doesn't
    abolish patents but sometimes greatly restricts them, as everyone knows
    much progess is made during war time, the Wright brothers patent on
    aircraft control and WWI is a good example as any

    "The Wright Brothers held several key patents on the airplane, and
    rightly so. Another inventor by the name of Glenn Curtiss (who
    coincidentally, was backed by Alexander Graham Bell) held patents on
    some additional aeronautic technology including ailerons, empennage,
    and a new engine. The Wrights wouldn't license their patents to
    Curtiss. Curtiss tried to build planes faster than the Wrights could
    litigate, and tried to invalidate some of their claims based on prior
    art from Langely and others. Years and years were wasted as these guys
    battled it out. Others also tried to build planes using the Wright
    innovations, but were largely stymied by the Wrights' demand for very
    high royalties. Meanwhile, Europe was progressing to flight at a rapid
    pace. Then WWI broke out.

    The United States government finally put an end to the patent strife in
    1917. Mindful of the impending war, it insisted that the rival parties
    form a patent pool - in effect, removing patent barriers to creating
    new airplane designs. Together with the war, the patent pool inspired a
    golden age of American aviation. The pool stayed in effect until 1975;
    companies who wanted to preserve a competitive advantage did so using
    trade secrets (such as Boeing's secret recipe for hanging jet engines
    under an airliner wing).

    (excerpt from the web site

  11. Sounds like a job for a six foot "Diversibit" ;-)

    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
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