Skip to main content

View Diary: Why Patents Can Stifle Innovation (74 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  As a small business owner and inventor, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dogs are fuzzy, Caelian

    my problem with the patent system is they are just too damned expensive. I can't afford to pay thousands to protect my ideas when I'm struggling to make rent each month. At least when it was "first to invent" I didn't have to worry so much, but now that it's "first to file", it's much worse. If I throw caution to the wind and market something without patenting, someone could take the idea, file a patent, then prevent me from using my own idea. It's a horrible system, and has prevented me from introducing new products.

    Mitt Romney = Draco Malfoy

    by ubertar on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 07:16:15 AM PDT

    •  You're being too harsh on Draco. (0+ / 0-)

      He could not kill Dumbledore. Romney would have.

      What's that sound you hear when Mitt Romney walks? Oh, yeah. Flip-flop flip-flop.

      by edg on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 11:25:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  IANAL, but if you're already marketing the... (0+ / 0-)

      ... product, I believe it becomes prior art and any patents filed after the fact are invalid.  Now proving they're invalid can be expensive.  Another way to protect yourself is to publish your idea on a web site and register the copyright, which was only US$35 per work the last time I checked.  This gets you an official time stamp for prior art.

      I think your chief danger with selling any product is that patent trolls will swoop in and demand Danegelt whether you're actually infringing their patents or not.  Proving you're not is so expensive that they get away with this far too often.

      JMO/IANAL

      Better to hide your tax returns and be thought a crook than to release them and remove all doubt. [Adapted from Abraham Lincoln]

      by Caelian on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 03:18:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That may have been true a few years ago, (0+ / 0-)

        but it's not true today. Up until recently, the US had a "first to invent" system. Now it's "first to file".

        Mitt Romney = Draco Malfoy

        by ubertar on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 06:59:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Patents still have to be novel, whether it's... (0+ / 0-)

          ... first to invent or first to file.  You can be "first to file" a patent on breathing, but since there's prior art, then nobody should be able to get a patent on it.  You aren't allowed to patent something that's already published, because the point of patents is to encourage inventors to disclose inventions so that others can improve them instead of keeping them secret.  If the invention is already disclosed, there's no need for a patent to encourage the inventor to disclose it.

          Of course, it's always possible to write patents obscurely enough to get them through USPTO and it's almost as expensive to fight a bogus patent as a valid one.

          JMO/IANAL

          For a clear explanation, talk to a lawyer.  For an unclear explanation, talk to two lawyers.  [Adapted from a joke about Rabbinical Law.]

          Better to hide your tax returns and be thought a crook than to release them and remove all doubt. [Adapted from Abraham Lincoln]

          by Caelian on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:36:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site