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Eliminating patent examination

encouraging patent applicants to do prior art searching for themselves ...and put me out of a job ;)
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Patents are a method of encouraging innovation and distributing knowledge (but not necessarily the best/optimal means to achieve these goals).

Some problems with patents are a) the large cost difficulty of examination, and b) the difficulty of challenging a patent's validity.

The cost of examination is due to employing a large number of scientists/engineers to assess the validity of each patent. The cost of examination is passed onto the patent applicant thus making the patent application process expensive (particularly for small and medium size businesses).

The difficulty of administering patents is becoming increasingly problematic for patent offices around the world. The difficulty is due to the a) increasing number of patent applications, b) the increasing complexity of patent applications and c) increasing amount of prior art that needs to be searched. This difficulty is manifesting itself in large backlogs of patent applications and (possibly) decreasing quality of examination.

There have been many suggestions of how to deal with these difficulties, for example: 1) restricting the technologies that can be patented, 2) increasing the threshold of inventiveness, 3) increase co-operation between patent offices to reduce rework.

Unfortunately all of these suggestions have already been tried (to various degrees), without much success. The problem is these suggestions try to reduce the workload without attacking the underlying problem.

One solution is to remove all patent examination and assume each patent application is valid until challenged by a competitor. This solution would also require the competitor to provide proof of invalidity and/or fees, (this additional requirement is to prevent automatic challenging of all patents). An advantage of this system is that it focuses effort only on contentious patents, rather than wasting time on trivial/uninteresting patents.

I believe this is a partial solution, but it still puts too much of a burden on the challenger and leaves the validity of each patent in doubt until such a challenge has taken place.

So my solution is to remove all patent examination (as described above) but also put some of the burden of prior art searching onto the patent applicant themselves. Basically, the patent applicant would have to disclose the 3 most relevant prior art documents they can find. The patent applicant would also have to explain how their invention differs from these three prior art documents. To challenge the validity of a patent, the challenger must identify at least one patent that is *more relevant* to the invention than the 3 identified patents. Deciding whether the one identified patent was *more relevant* than the 3 identified patents would be the new role for the patent examiners. If more challenger’s prior art is found to be more relevant than all 3 identified prior art documents, the patent would be found to be invalid and hence revoked.

This system has similarities to the present system, but is subtly different. For example, the current US and European systems require that the patent applicant disclose prior art that they are aware of. But this encourages either a) deliberate ignorance on the part of the applicant, or the opposite b) disclosing every prior art document under the sun (thus hiding the really relevant document in an extensive list).

The current patent system also has a procedure for competitors to challenge patents, but this requires a very high level of proof of why the patent is invalid. This procedure also allows the patent applicant to overcome the reasons for invalidity (by, for example, amending the patent) without too much difficulty.

My proposed patent system has several advantages over the current system: 1) it encourages the applicant to be honest about what prior art they are aware of; 2) it encourages the applicant to do a good quality search before applying for a patent; 3) it puts the role of searching in the hands of the person who is knowledgeable about the invention (rather than the patent examiner who might know very little about the particular technology); 4) it also encourages the challenger, who is also knowledgeable about the technology, to be honest and do thorough prior art searching. Thus it encourages a peer-assessment of patents.

This system is particularly advantageous because it would only require a small change in how patent attorneys draft patent applications, and would not require the patent system to change too much overall.

xaviergisz, Jun 01 2008

Automated invention, and so prior art machine Automation_20of_20t...Inventive_20Process
[not_morrison_rm, Sep 08 2014]

[link]






       //The cost of examination is due to employing a large number of scientists/engineers to assess the validity of each patent//   

       Anything that puts these people out of their business won't fly.
neelandan, Jun 02 2008
  

       //What about a different interpretation of one or more of the three documents themselves?//   

       This is where the existing systems of examination would come in handy. When a patent is challenged, the examiner would consider both sides of the argument and then make a decision.   

       //need the three documents be patents, or could they be something else?//   

       like the current system, the prior art could be patents or any other type of disclosure. There just needs to be proof that the prior art is published before the patent filing date.   

       //Anything that puts these people out of their business won't fly//   

       I think the growing workloads will (eventually) force patent offices towards more efficient practices.
xaviergisz, Jun 03 2008
  

       Surely there is often a fairly significant divide between the qualities of an inventor and that of a researcher?
hidden truths, Jun 03 2008
  

       hmm. so a "good faith" system for identifying the state of the art? How do we punish the offenders if you can easily claim that you simply overlooked all competing patents?
WcW, Jun 03 2008
  

       //Surely there is often a fairly significant divide between the qualities of an inventor and that of a researcher?//   

       Very true. But now there is a large incentive for the inventor to either a) learn how to do a high quality search or b) employ a researcher.
xaviergisz, Jun 03 2008
  

       I don't see the new idea here.   

       // assume each patent application is valid until challenged by a competitor.//   

       Thats already what happens. Owning a patent doesn't give you anything, other than more ammunition to sue infringers.   

       //encouraging patent applicants to do prior art searching for themselves// This is already being accomplished by the "expensive" application process. Nobody wants to waste money on an application that will fail, so they do at least a rudimentary search first to check their idea for originality
CaptainCrunch, Jul 15 2008
  

       How is this new? In some countries you register your patent and it issues without examination.
ldischler, Jul 15 2008
  

       5 by 5
popbottle, Aug 28 2014
  

       This sounds like a good idea.   

       // How do we punish the offenders if you can easily claim that you simply overlooked all competing patents? //   

       // How is this new? In some countries you register your patent and it issues without examination. //   

       Did you miss the part where a patent is rendered invalid if even one slightly more valid prior art is found? So a patent for an invention that is completely original, innovative, etc. might list relevant prior art that is 20% relevant, but when someone finds some prior art that is 50% relevant, the patent can be invalidated.   

       To me it seems like you might need the option to list more than 3 in case you are having a hard time deciding the top 3 of 5 old patents. Maybe require listing the 3 most relevant instances of prior art, but allow listing up to 6 more in the application. A patent could be invalidating by finding prior art more relevant than the top 3 that is not already included in the other 6.
scad mientist, Aug 29 2014
  

       I don't like this - I appreciate the need for a more efficient system, but I don't like the idea of the filer having to find the prior art.   

       From the filer's perspective, it means that they can never be sure how solid their patent is - they would lose the not-quite-guarantee of validity that a proper search provides.   

       From the perspective of someone else wanting to exploit a technology, it means that they will have to hack their way through an even larger number of patents, successfully challenging many of them.   

       I don't like the cost and delays of the current system, but I do like knowing that if I get a patent it's likely to stand up. I also like knowing that if I want to use a technology invented by someone else, it's not likely to be have been patented in a frivolous way that causes me the annoyance of having to challenge it.   

       In the short term, there's probably no good solution except to increase the degree of international cooperation (patents should really be worldwide these days) and to encourage more people to be examiners.   

       In the mid term, there are opportunities to consolidate and organize information to aid the search process. The dis-organization of historical information is a major problem for patent searches; it is to be hoped that information becomes more accessible and searchable over time.   

       In the longer term, perhaps the patent system will become unsupportable. The cycle time for new inventions gets shorter each decade, and the patent process may just not be able to keep up.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 29 2014
  

       Although I stand by my idea, I was also trying to show that the patent process is expensive; whether the prior-art searching work is done by the patent examiner or patent applicant, someone has to do the work.   

       The details of the idea can be modified. The penalty for not finding the best prior art could be a reduced term of patent (15 years vs the usual 20) rather than invalidation of the patent. The number of prior art documents could be increased from 3 to 10.   

       There are a lot of simple ways the patent system could be drastically improved, but I won't go into to those at the moment.   

       //So a patent for an invention that is completely original, innovative, etc. ...//   

       I have looked at a lot of patents and I can't remember ever seeing one that didn't have reasonably close prior art (either solving the same problem as addressed by the patent, or using the same features to solve a slightly different problem). If you've got an example, I'd be very interested.
xaviergisz, Aug 30 2014
  

       // I have looked at a lot of patents and I can't remember ever seeing one that didn't have reasonably close prior art (either solving the same problem as addressed by the patent, or using the same features to solve a slightly different problem). If you've got an example, I'd be very interested. //   

       Yeah... I got a few of those.
Can I do that and still retain confidentiality?
  

       Here's a question for you; I've been told several times now by patent lawyers that an attorney is not allowed to have any percentage of profit in a clients' patent since it is a conflict of interest. Any advice given to the client is really in the lawyers best interest.
I get that.
(I don't like it since, as the client, it should be my right to be able to decide if my best interests align with another persons or not, if it is mutually agreed upon, but that's beside the point)
  

       Hypothetically... can an attorney ethically file for patents themselves based on a prior arrangement of intellectual property licensing 'before the fact' in such a way that no money changes hands? If there is no client... there is no binding attorney/client privilege to violate?   

       Strictly speaking I, (I mean they), would not then be a client but more of a buddy spit-balling ideas for a friend to run with if that friend feels confident enough in the concepts to take the risk for a small kick-back of whatever generates a profit.   

       You know... hypothetically speaking.   

       I suspect anyone claiming to be a patent attorney would not enter into such an arrangement.   

       However - you don't need a patent attorney to draft your patent. Joe Public can draft and file a patent; you could do it yourself.   

       The point of a patent attorney is that they have recognised expertise. They should make sure that everything is done correctly and that the right things happen at the right time. And they should also be able to help you draft the patent in the best way - to make the broadest allowable claims, to advise on rebuttals etc.   

       So, you really want a proper patent attorney if you can afford one, and a proper patent attorney won't (can't) enter into any hokey arrangements.   

       Of course, if you have a friend who isn't a patent attorney but who understands the process well, then there's no reason why they can't be made a business partner or given some other reward in exchange for assistance.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 30 2014
  

       Yeah, that's what I figured.   

       Maybe that's why legitimate patent attorneys see so few applications with no prior art.
When you take the thoughts from the 99% and give them to the 1% for resale, that will tend to happen.
  

       The patent system was meant to protect the rights of independent inventors, not just rich independent inventors.   

       It is failing at that goal.   

       //Yeah... I got a few of those. Can I do that and still retain confidentiality?//   

       Anything communicated to me in confidence will remain confidential. I am happy to sign a statement or NDA.   

       //Hypothetically... can an attorney ethically file for patents themselves based on a prior arrangement of intellectual property licensing 'before the fact' in such a way that no money changes hands? If there is no client... there is no binding attorney/client privilege to violate?//   

       Like MB said, this is extremely dodgy and no attorney would risk their career over such a senario.   

       There are plenty of angel investors and venture capitalists who will happily fund the patenting fees and R&D for a share of your patent/company. You only have to look at a website like techcrunch to see how much VC money is pouring into various start-ups.
xaviergisz, Aug 31 2014
  

       //The patent system was meant to protect the rights of independent inventors, not just rich independent inventors. //   

       [2-fries], I'm still not clear what your gripe is: the fact that disclosure here on the HB has prior-arted your patent; or the fact that patenting is too expensive.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 31 2014
  

       My gripe is both.
My original thoughts are just that, mine. Just as any original thoughts that you may have are your own.
Give credit where credit is due. Any other course of action stifles innovation.
Is the patent system meant to stifle innovation?
  

       This is the computer age people. Everything is being recorded real-time for the first time in history.
The victors no longer get to re-write the truth. It can all be transparent if we choose.
  

       So I ask again;
Should any human being, regardless of station, have to purchase the right to lay claim to their own original thoughts from any other person?
Should the next generation have to purchase their own thoughts from others based on todays' decisions?
  

       If so... why?   

       There are copyrights, and there are patents,... and then there is this vast wasteland between those two where people are not looking to capitalize on but just to share their art and not get shit on for it.
It is a wasted resource since the only current incentive is secrecy.
  

       ...speaking of which, thank you [xvgz], I am sorely tempted to take you up on that offer, if for no other reason than to show you that I'm not lying, (and every patent buff should get to see at least one patent-worthy idea with no prior art right?), but I should probably start playing my cards a little closer to the vest shouldn't I?
See, I thought we were playing chess, and I'd like, pawned my way to the back row or something.
  

       Poker's a whole nother critter entirely though.
Sure hope there's no problem with wild cards.
  

       //My original thoughts are just that, mine.//   

       The thing is, it is quite possible that your idea is not as original as you think. The thing about inventions is that lots of people come up with very similar ideas independently. This is because a lot of people will face the same problem, and (in my opinion) there are only a small number of good solutions (i.e. inventions) to each problem.   

       This is in constrast to artistic works, where the chances that two people will come up with the same artisitic work (e.g. the same combination of words) is quite improbable. Of course it does happen occassionally, but the courts adequately prepared to deal with the small number of occurances.   

       Consequently, it has been decided that inventions need to be registered (and then assessed for validity) at the patent office whereas copyright does not need to be registered.   

       Filing a provisional patent for $100 (or not even doing that and relying on the grace period) and then having a year to find a backer for your invention seems to be quite reasonable to me. Try and be circumspect and look at it from everyone else's perspective rather than just your own.   

       //...speaking of which, thank you [xvgz], I am sorely tempted to take you up on that offer, if for no other reason than to show you that I'm not lying, (and every patent buff should get to see at least one patent-worthy idea with no prior art right?), but I should probably start playing my cards a little closer to the vest shouldn't I?//   

       If you have any hesitation, don't do it - you have (to your mind) a lot to lose and not much to gain by showing me (having said that, I think I could perform a pretty decent prior art search for you). I'm not the person you should be trying to convince anyway. If your idea is as original and valuable as you think it is, find a backer - as others have said, a lack of patent (only on what you have already disclosed) is probably not determinative of your potential success.
xaviergisz, Aug 31 2014
  

       //The thing about inventions is that lots of people come up with very similar ideas independently. This is because a lot of people will face the same problem, and (in my opinion) there are only a small number of good solutions (i.e. inventions) to each problem.//   

       But... I don't just come up with ideas because of the problems I face. I come up with ideas for the things I wonder about.
I don't really understand y'all, so the things I wonder about haven't necessarily been wondered about before, so I, (and others like myself), should not have to pay one whit more than we already have.
  

       You guys know I'm no math wiz, but if 'first-to-invent' being an actual original patent claim with no prior art only applies to 1 in every 2.7 million patent applications, then... that's like over three hundred completely original trains of thought derailed before they even build the tracks every year... now isn't it?   

       On average, how many patent applications are there per year again?
...and how many aren't there?
  

       I am not trying to convince anyone here that any of my ideas are legit.
I am asking if I, (or anyone else including the next generation), should have to pay so much as a single dime to register original thoughts as our own, and not receive credit for them accordingly?
  

       If so, why?   

       //I am asking if I, (or anyone else including the next generation), should have to pay so much as a single dime to register original thoughts as our own, and not receive credit for them accordingly?//   

       I'm sort of with you. But also sort of not.   

       With no patent system, you have an idea and someone else rips it off, and you have no recourse.   

       With a patent system, if you choose to use it by patenting your invention, you have written proof that the idea was yours, and a basis for prosecuting anyone who rips off your idea.   

       Yes it should be cheaper. But I don't see why it should be free.   

       Note also that the patent system does not require you to "buy" your own idea. You can just publish without patenting, and then nobody else can take the idea away from you (by patenting it themselves), and this costs you nothing.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 01 2014
  

       //You can just publish without patenting, and then nobody else can take the idea away from you (by patenting it themselves), and this costs you nothing.//   

       Really?
That is what I inadvertently did by posting Submercycle. Do you think I will get credit as the originator of the concept when all of the applications find their way into reality?
Is this credit not my due?
  

       //With no patent system, you have an idea and someone else rips it off, and you have no recourse.//   

       That's only true because of the first-to-file amendment.
While first-to-invent was still in place that recourse existed. It has been stolen from every independent inventor.
It sounds an awful lot like you're asking, "If I wasn't taking your lunch money, then who'd protect you from the bullies?" to me.
  

       So here's another question for you;   

       Given the current incentive programs in place for independent inventors, should I be going through my ideas posted prior to Mar 16 2013 and seeing just how many patents out there are infringing on my first-to-invent rights and submarine those?
Because that would seem to be the way the rules of this game have been set up by hundreds of years of wise men.
Hmmm let's see... I'm pretty sure that Omnioculars have been patented by now, and Gyroscillation is probably part of more than a few. Cymetchasketch will get patented any old day now and, ooh I almost forgot about Full Color Magnadoodle... etc. etc.
  

       It boils down to this:
Our original thoughts are not anyone's commodity to sell back to us. Period. Non-negotiable.
  

       You smart guys had best figure out how to fix all this crap your grandpappy's started or the next generation is not going to have my restraint and they will tear you all new assholes.   

       Tell me you can't feel it coming...   

       //Really?//   

       Yes, really. Nobody else can claim a patent on your idea.   

       What I'm saying (and perhaps I'm missing something here) is that the patent system doesn't take anything away from you; if you ignore the patent system and just make your idea public, you're no worse off than if there were no patent system.   

       //should I be going through my ideas posted prior to Mar 16 2013 and seeing just how many patents out there are infringing on my first-to-invent rights and submarine those?//   

       Well, if there are any patents granted that are anticipated by your posted ideas then, yes, you could argue to have those patents overturned. This would only benefit you if you wanted to manufacture some of those things, and were being prevented from doing so by their patents. You don't have any "first-to- invent" rights, as such, except the right not to have someone else patent an idea which you can show you invented beforehand.   

       //Our original thoughts are not anyone's commodity to sell back to us. Period. Non-negotiable. //   

       Nobody is trying to sell you back your original thoughts. Nobody is stopping you from manufacturing the thing you invented. If they do try (by filing a patent and ignoring your publicly- disclosed prior art), you can have that patent overturned.   

       In what way is anyone trying to sell you back your invention?
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 01 2014
  

       // yes, you could argue to have those patents overturned. This would only benefit you if you wanted to manufacture some of those things, and were being prevented from doing so by their patents.//   

       Or file for patents on them myself and force these established companies to license them back from me if they wish to continue to make their product, no?
Isn't that how submarine patents work?
  

       //In what way is anyone trying to sell you back your invention?//   

       Can I license the rights to 'my' original ideas without first purchasing them?
Do I get credit as the inventor without having to first purchase them?
Is this credit not an inventors' due?
  

       We need a guild or something.   

       So... I'm all out of lunch money, do you think my baseball card collection will be enough to keep the bullies from ripping me off?   

       //Or file for patents on them myself and force these established companies to license them back from me// No, because your prior art is in the public domain, so _nobody_ can get a patent.   

       //Can I license the rights to 'my' original ideas without first purchasing them?// If you posted your ideas publicly, then _nobody_ has to pay anybody to use them.   

       The basic idea is: if you put an idea in the public domain, it becomes public property - anyone (including you) can use it for free.   

       If instead you patent the idea (and pay to do so), the idea remains "yours" and nobody else can manufacture it unless you sell them the patent or license it to them.   

       FWII, I agree patenting should be cheaper. But the patent process isn't stealing your idea - it's just giving you the opportunity to provent others from stealing it, for a fee.   

       // do you think my baseball card collection will be enough to keep the bullies from ripping me off?// Who is ripping you off? And how? Is someone else manufacturing your product and not acknowledging or paying you? Is anyone trying to prevent you from manufacturing your idea?
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 01 2014
  

       //Given the current incentive programs in place for independent inventors, should I be going through my ideas posted prior to Mar 16 2013 and seeing just how many patents out there are infringing on my first-to-invent rights and submarine those? Because that would seem to be the way the rules of this game have been set up by hundreds of years of wise men. Hmmm let's see... I'm pretty sure that Omnioculars have been patented by now, and Gyroscillation is probably part of more than a few. Cymetchasketch will get patented any old day now and, ooh I almost forgot about Full Color Magnadoodle... etc. etc.//   

       You're getting angry because of your own misunderstanings about the patent system.   

       First-to-invent is no longer available, but even if it were still available the ideas you have listed would be ineligible because you have not even come close to providing a 'reduction to practice' or an 'enabling disclosure'. You have provided the barest of details in those ideas and consequently the disclosures would not form either: a) the basis of full patent applications, or b) enough detail to invalidate other people's patents.   

       You want acknowledgement that you were the originator for your ideas? Well, you can show everyone you know your halfbakery posts. Keep in mind that someone else could have come up with the ideas independently and perhaps before you did.   

       Re: costs of patenting. I suppose costs can be driven down by: a) tax-payer subsidizing the patent application process (at the moment patent fees cover the costs of registration and examination), b) paying patent examiners less, c) loosening the rigour of examination, and/or d) making the examination process more efficient (e.g. this idea).   

       It is notable that the cost of applying for a patent is typically smaller than the patent attorney fees. So a patent in a single country would typically cost $1,000 whereas the patent attorney fees for drafting the patent application and getting it through the patent office would be at least $2,000 for a very simple and relatively unique invention, and more realistically at least $5,000. Should the taxpayer also subsidize the patent attorney fees?
xaviergisz, Sep 01 2014
  

       //Is anyone trying to prevent you from manufacturing your idea?//   

       I do not wish to manufacture my idea, I wish to license the rights to it, and yes, I am being prevented from doing that because the first-to-invent rug got yanked from under my feet while I was busy y'know, doing the whole original inventing thing that only happens once in every two point seven million attempts.   

       //You're getting angry because of your own misunderstanings about the patent system.//   

       I am not angry, I am disgusted.
Should anyone be required to understand the ins and outs of the legal system or have to pay any other person in order to register their original inventions? If you answered yes, then congratulations! You've just helped eliminate 99% of the population of Earth from claiming what should be their right by birth.
  

       //Should the taxpayer also subsidize the patent attorney fees?//   

       If everything is transparent, free, open-source and infringers have to pay court costs of a losing case for not doing their due diligence in finding their products' originator... well then we don't really need patent attorneys other than to defend our rights in a court of law now do we?   

       Your system is broke, just like most of your independent inventors.
Necessity, not greed, is the mother of invention... Edison might disagree with that though.
  

       Forcing any inventor to either pay for the rights to sell their own invention, or give it away... is extortion pure and simple.
You force people to pay for their own thoughts if they wish to do anything with them besides making them public property.
  

       You can spin it anyway you want. It's still going to smell like bullshit to the next generation.
and rightly so
  

       I suspect "Eliminating patent examiners" is more what you had in mind.
not_morrison_rm, Sep 01 2014
  

       Nope. Eliminating the need for patents. My thoughts are not another mans' commodity.   

       [2-fries], you keep making the same mis-statement - namely that the system is making you pay to "buy back" your invention. That's simply not the case.   

       Your invention is yours; you can do what you like with it. Nobody has stolen your idea.   

       The patent system is a means of getting a legal document proving that you are the inventor; and providing an opportunity for you to stop others from stealing your idea. One requirement of the system is that you don't leave the idea sitting around in the public domain for over a year beforehand.   

       //Forcing any inventor to either pay for the rights to sell their own invention, or give it away... is extortion pure and simple.//   

       You have completely misunderstood everything. Nobody is forcing you to pay anything, and you can sell or give away your own invention (unless, of course, somebody _else_ invented it _even earlier_, and has already patented it).   

       If the entire patent system did not exist, you would no worse or better off than you are now. So enough with this idea that your idea has somehow been stolen from you.   

       Perhaps what you want is some system whereby you can say "I invented this. Nobody but me is allowed to make it unless they pay me a royalty."? Well, why should such a system be free?   

       Stop, take a deep breath, and engage the brain.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 02 2014
  

       //Your invention is yours; you can do what you like with it. Nobody has stolen your idea.//   

       I can do what I like with it? Can I license the rights to my completely novel invention to a manufacturer for royalties of the profits it generates them? Or do I have to first purchase those rights?
and the rights to the three other novel concepts which are part of my inventions workings?... I must purchase those from someone else before they are mine or forfeit them as well, don't I?
  

       Must be nice to be rich.   

       //If the entire patent system did not exist, you would no worse or better off than you are now. So enough with this idea that your idea has somehow been stolen from you.//   

       Very comforting. Is that how you'll explain to 99% of the next generation why the rights to their own original thoughts must be purchased from society or forfeited by default?   

       They won't listen to that bullshit. The masses may not understand red-tape, but they understand extortion well enough.
You bureaucratic big-wigs out there need to either figure out how to level this playing field, or it will be levelled for you.
  

       Don't kill the messenger.   

       //I can do what I like with it? Can I license the rights to my completely novel invention to a manufacturer for royalties of the profits it generates them? Or do I have to first purchase those rights? and the rights to the three other novel concepts which are part of my inventions workings?... I must purchase those from someone else before they are mine or forfeit them as well, don't I?//   

       Oh gods. Where to begin.   

       First. //I can do what I like with it?// Yes - you can do what you like - you can licence it to a manufacturer, or you can make it yourself, or you can sell the plans to the Chinese. However, because you (a) disclosed publicly and (b) didn't seek any sort of protection, people are free to ignore you and make it anyway. This is what the world is like.   

       Second. //do I have to first purchase those rights?// What rights? You don't have to purchase anything.   

       Third. // I must purchase those from someone else before they are mine or forfeit them as well, don't I?// What?? No.   

       Let's stop for a moment, and I'll put things as simply as I can.   

       If you've invented something, you've invented it. You can do what you like with your invention, and nobody can stop you
If you don't want other people to copy it, you can either:
(a) Keep it secret or
(b) Try to prosecute those other people for using your idea.
  

       If you go for (b), then you need a certificate, saying that a panel of people have agreed that you're the real inventor. That's basically what a patent is. There is a fee for that service which (unreasonably large though it may be) is _meant_ to cover the time and effort of the patent examiners.   

       So what exactly is it that you want? You want someone to protect you from people copying your idea, and to certify you as the genuine inventor, but to offer that protection for free?
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 02 2014
  

       Thank you for simplifying that for me.   

       Just for the record, telling people that, //This is what the world is like.// isn't going to cut it for much longer.
You don't have to have heard a camels' back breaking to know that the straws are piling up pretty deep.
  

       //So what exactly is it that you want? You want someone to protect you from people copying your idea, and to certify you as the genuine inventor, but to offer that protection for free?//   

       Yes.
If I am indeed the original inventor of a concept which is completely original and has absolutely no prior art and not a single other inventor to contest the authenticity of my claim... then yes, as an incentive for true innovation.
Since it only affects one in every two and a half million patent applications this should not pose too much of a drain on our struggling legal system.
  

       I also want every spare moment of the last year of my life back, but I'll settle for that first bit.   

       //Just for the record, telling people that, //This is what the world is like.// isn't going to cut it for much longer//   

       For goodness' sake. I'm simply pointing out that people tend to copy good ideas. It's not me personally who's going to copy your idea, so there's no need to make it personal.   

       Without a patent, there is nothing to stop them doing so - you're back in the middle ages, every man for himself.   

       With a patent, you at least have a chance of preventing people copying your idea. A patent costs money. So does conveyancing a house or getting a divorce.   

       If you like, you can pretend that there is no such thing as a patent. In that case, you are not one iota worse off than if patents didn't exist.   

       I'd love it if patenting something were simpler and cheaper. But then I'd like it if conveyancing a house were cheaper. I get that you'd like patents to be cheaper.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 02 2014
  

       Ok, this is all getting a bit off topic.   

       2 Fries has two separate issues: a) the patent system needs to be radically changed, b) 2 fries is, for various reasons, unwilling/unable to apply for the patents he wanted.   

       Addressing a). I think we understand your proposal for a new system. It resembles the copyright system in that there is no registration or examination necessary; only the courts to decide whether or not someone has infringed. We can argue all day about whether this system would be better or worse than the current patent system, but I think both sides have made their case and there's not much point discussing it much further (at least on this HB post).   

       Addressing b). We understand the reasons why you are unwilling/unable to apply for the patents you wanted (cost and self prior publication). We acknowledge that you feel disappointed. There are varying levels of sympathy from different halfbakers for your situation. I don't think dwelling on the situation within the posts of halfbakery is the place for it; there are other forums for that.   

       I will be deleting further comments that are not on topic.
xaviergisz, Sep 02 2014
  

       It's nothing personal.
I'm just tired of getting ripped off and I think that the way should be a bit more paved for anyone who can pull original ideas out of thin air instead of every incentive being geared toward secrecy.
  

       All of society seems designed to reward the things I suck at while placing nothing but road-blocks in front of the things I'm good at.   

       I took the first few original concept rip-offs with much more grace than this one.
I never suspected that the idea I posted here violated anything and I was completely blindsided.
As far as I was concerned my first disclosure was to the company who asked me to build the prototype, which gives me months to file yet.
  

       I still think that a person should not need to know the law and have wealth in order to innovate and keep their intellectual property any more than a lawyer should need to invent something and take a vow of poverty in order to file an affidavit.   

       I find almost all of the actions of humanity to be quite insane... but I mean that in the nicest possible way and hope you all regain your sanity soon.   

       : ]   

       Not wishing to reopen an old wound, but a quick trawl on HB came up with "Automation of the Inventive Process", so basically you could have some modest revenge, by creating prior art for every idea in the world, except your own.   

       Obviously take back-handers off Apple et al to fund developments of your own ideas.
not_morrison_rm, Sep 08 2014
  

       //I still think that a person should not need to know the law and have wealth in order to innovate and keep their intellectual property any more than a lawyer should need to invent something and take a vow of poverty in order to file an affidavit.//   

       There's not always a need for wealth but there's no workaround the absolute necessity for knowledge. That's how you need to arm yourself. Nobody can stop a determined person from educating themselves, in your case about patent law, but whatever the chosen field. Once you've got the wealth of knowledge the other benefits will follow as long as you add a little elbow grease. And by a little I mean a lot.   

       Like I said, I've got several patents and I've never paid a lawyer a dime, but I read a LOT of books and did a lot of research. It took time but I'm familiar enough with the process that now for instance, I can pretty effectively critique patents that are created by "professional" patent attorneys. Many are useless and to a shocking degree.   

       Too many poor people have gotten rich to justify bemoaning an unfair system that keeps people down. Nobody can stop an educated, determined, smart person with realistic and well planned out goals who can pick themselves up and start over again if they fall along the way.   

       In my opinion anyway.
doctorremulac3, Sep 08 2014
  

       Thank you.
I apologise for my melt down. These sour grapes do not compliment the crow dinner.
  

       //Nobody can stop an educated, determined, smart person with realistic and well planned out goals who can pick themselves up and start over again if they fall along the way.//   

       I get all that, but I am not educated, though I am learning at as fast a pace as my life will allow.
The amount of learning I had to do on the fly to make this thing work without math stretched my abilities to their limits, (not saying much), but wading into the legal system had no part in its construction.
While I'm used to having to watch my back around uneducated people I assumed that dealings with my betters would have a bit less back stabbing.
  

       I wish to practice inventing, not law.
By eliminating first-to-invent from the patent system any uneducated persons' original concepts have been taken from them and given to whomever can afford to file.
Does that really sound right to you?
  

       An original musical score doesn't require knowledge of the law.
An original painting doesn't require a knowledge of the law.
An original sculpture doesn't require knowledge of the law.
  

       Well... this inventing thing that I do is 'my' art.
Why does my art require knowledge of the law and a hefty price tag in order to ply it and not have others take credit for it?
  

       Everything I have ever invented has been moving sculptures and nothing more.
Laying claim to my original artworks should not come with a price tag.
  

       It's insane.   

       2 frys, you know Iove ya bro, but I gotta sort of differ from you on one particular point:   

       //An original musical score doesn't require knowledge of the law.//   

       Won't get into it but I'll just say, if in my youth I had more knowledge of intellectual rights and business law in general I could have retired a long time ago. Yes, original art doesn't require knowledge of the law, but protecting any money it might generate does.   

       I've got an old copy of "Patent It Yourself" by Nolo press lying around here someplace. I'd send it to you but you're probably better off dropping 30 bucks or whatever it costs and getting the latest updated edition. Easy to understand layman's language, no friggin' Latin legalize gobbledygook.   

       Knowledge is your only real possession anyway. It's the only thing that they can't take away from you. Might as well build on it.
doctorremulac3, Sep 08 2014
  

       // While I'm used to having to watch my back around uneducated people I assumed that dealings with my betters would have a bit less back stabbing. //   

       They are more educated, not "better". They may appear more civilized because they won't physically stab someone in the back. But why steal someone's wallet when you can pass a law that forces them to pay every time X occurs? Why kill an enemy and end their suffering? The strong prey on the weak, the smart prey on the dumb, and the educated prey on the uneducated.   

       But remember there are a lot of good people out there who use their strength, intelligence and education to help others.
scad mientist, Sep 08 2014
  

       Absolutely. Their stories just don't make for good ratings on the 9:00 news so you never hear about 'em, but they're out there.
doctorremulac3, Sep 08 2014
  

       //By eliminating first-to-invent from the patent system any uneducated persons' original concepts have been taken from them and given to whomever can afford to file.//   

       No. N - o. Niet. Non. Nien. Seriously, [2-fries], you have misunderstood.   

       Nobody else can "take" your original concepts and patent them. That is the whole point of prior art - it doesn't matter how rich I am, I can't patent your invention because it's already been disclosed.   

       If necessary, please feel free to re-read the previous paragraph until it sinks in.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 08 2014
  

       Yup. Once it's out there and the time has expired for the inventor to file for patent protection it's public domain.   

       I'm telling ya, "Patent It Yourself" by Nolo press. (no, I don't work for them) Very well written, very simple to understand, written in layman's language. It'll save you a lot of frustration.
doctorremulac3, Sep 08 2014
  

       (+) on Nolo Press -
normzone, Sep 08 2014
  

       Thank you. I will certainly be boning up on IP law.   

       //Nobody else can "take" your original concepts and patent them. That is the whole point of prior art - it doesn't matter how rich I am, I can't patent your invention because it's already been disclosed.//   

       That sunk in some time ago. I simply question the sanity and morality of these laws and I disagree with society forcing inventors, not in a position to patent, to either publicly disclose or keep their ideas secret. The system becomes self defeating as it becomes more advantageous to patent and suppress in order to maintain the status quo relegating those like myself to the role of spoiler.   

       I can never know which ideas I post here in play will violate future inventions.
...and play is where they come from.
  

       Dark half bakery sub set, where people can go look at stuff, with obligatory non-disclosure?   

       Or just email it to us...   

       <in the manner of Superman going to the phone booth> If you take off the "not_" bit and tack on at (greatly above ambient temperature) mail dot com, you get me </superman>
not_morrison_rm, Sep 08 2014
  

       //I can never know which ideas I post here in play will violate future inventions.//   

       Yes, but to retrospectively claim rights on something you casually proposed years ago is unfair.   

       Example: you suggest making a bluetooth bagel. Two years later I see the idea, decide it's a good thing, and check to see if anyone (including you) has done anything with it - I find that nobody has. So, since the idea was posted freely and publicly, I decide to try and implement it, and I start making bluetooth bagels.   

       Note that I can't patent my bluetooth bagels, and anyone else can copy them.   

       Then, one day, you see my bluetooth bagels and realize there's money to be made, so you retrospectively patent them and I have to scrap my bluetooth bagel business.   

       In other words, one reason that public disclosure _should_ invalidate patent applications is to stop inventors from using the rest of the world as a test- bed to find out which of their inventions are worthwhile.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 09 2014
  

       As weird as it feels to defend a government agency, the Patent Office is one where they got it right, especially with the addition of the provisional patent a few years ago.   

       If you know how to use the process it's a great tool for an entrepreneur. For instance, say you get a product that's successful but would like to license or sell the idea. Without a patent the intellectual property is worthless. With a GOOD patent, (not all patents are good) you've got a real business proposition that can be taken to the bargaining table. the patent office does this practically for free.   

       It's kind of a major cog in the engine of the economy and to some extent civilization itself. It's the big guy (government) protecting the little guy's ideas so he can benefit from them. Societies that don't have this protection don't have incentive and therefore don't have many inventors.   

       Case in point. The ancient Chinese invented the sail, the compass, paper, printing, gunpowder and the oar a long time ago but they were a simple agrarian society until just a few decades ago. When the west got hold of these inventions hundreds of years after the Chinese, they used them to take over the world. Look at a map of the world showing countries that were never part of the British, Spanish or French Empires. Not very many. The difference was incentive. In the west, you get a ship and crew, you could go find an undiscovered land and get it named after you. In China, everybody lived under the iron fist of the dynastic emperors for thousands of years. You had your place in in the social strata and it didn't change. If you invented something it went to the emperor and they'd cut your head off if you disagreed with the 100% / 0% split.   

       The individual, no matter what social class they're from, having rights to what they invent is a cornerstone to western, and now, eastern civilization. Once China dumped the communist nonsense, which was just the flip side of autocratic dynastic rule, and gave property rights to the individual and it's associated incentive to the population, it went from a third world shithole to a contender for the most powerful economy in the world. All in a short few decades.   

       Anyway, back to the subject of learning about the patent process. Even if you hire a lawyer you need to be an expert on the subject or you won't know if the lawyer is creating a good patent or not. Just because it passes the patent office review process doesn't mean it will stand up in court. Remember, it's only a document that allows you to take the case that you own rights on an invention to court and outlines what you're claiming your specific ownership rights are, nothing more.
doctorremulac3, Sep 09 2014
  

       I would very much like to rationally continue this discussion but I don't want to anger the author of this posting. Say the word [xaviergisz] and I will post a separate idea and move any relevant annos to it.   

       //Why kill an enemy and end their suffering? The strong prey on the weak, the smart prey on the dumb, and the educated prey on the uneducated.//   

       So... the public is the enemy?
The laws are based on predation?
  

       ...and I am to obey them?   

       //Dark half bakery sub set, where people can go look at stuff, with obligatory non-disclosure? //   

       I can't even get companies to sign non-disclosure agreements as it is. Why should they? I have no credentials. They might be currently working on projects which would be jeopardized by signing anything to do with their industry.
I highly doubt anyone would sign up for such a group unless, like me, they had nothing/everything to lose from joining.
  

       // to retrospectively claim rights on something you casually proposed years ago is unfair.//   

       Please do not speak to me about fairness.
To have something casually mentioned violate an inventors claim to patent where no prior art exists is 'fair' is it?
If the system were fair then all of the original concepts of mine which have found their way to market and make other people, obscene amounts of, money would be attributed as originating with me even though I have yet to make a dime from any of them, and I would currently be sought out for my skills as an intuitive inventor rather than my skills as a tile-setter.
  

       'Fair' has no part of IP law as far as I can see.   

       //public disclosure _should_ invalidate patent applications is to stop inventors from using the rest of the world as a test- bed to find out which of their inventions are worthwhile.//   

       Alright, I'll concede that point.
So you agree then with my assessment that the patent system supresses innovation by forcing independent inventors to remain silent about their concepts until wealthy enough to move forward with them alone?
  

       //If you know how to use the process it's a great tool for an entrepreneur.//   

       And for those with good ideas who aren't entrepreneurs?
Where is this middle ground, between copyright and patent, covered by law to offer intellectual property protection for creative people who wish recognition for their works so that they can continue to create and not just to profit monetarily? Guess they're just shit-outta-luck then eh? Your autistic, your destitute, your people who don't fit the arbitrary bill... just don't exist according to the system. Easter bunnies the lot of them.
I mean, it's only their thoughts which have been stolen right? It's not like there's any detriment to them or anything, heck there's not even any proof of the theft. So that must be ok then... right?
  

       // The individual, no matter what social class they're from, having rights to what they invent is a cornerstone to western, and now, eastern civilization //   

       I have no rights to 'my' inventions! I've been told that I did not purchase them on time.
Your cornerstone is crumbling. Can you not see that?
  

       // Anyway, back to the subject of learning about the patent process.
Remember, it's only a document that allows you to take the case that you own rights on an invention to court and outlines what you're claiming your specific ownership rights are, nothing more. //
  

       ...and if you can not afford court costs?
...and any potential thief knows that you can not afford court costs? Where's your recourse then? Do losers of an IP case have to pay court costs as an infringement penalty? Or is it all just a candy coated glop of shit designed by a bunch of fat-arsed stogie-smoking prejudiced bigots to suppress the masses and keep them in line?
  

       The patent system isn't worth the powder to blow it to hell any more than most people I've met are worth their salt.   

       Credit should be given where credit is due.
Anything else is not just.
Any law which is not just is false.
Any false laws need overturning.
  

       I consulted with Hammurabi and he concurs.   

       //...and if you can not afford court costs?//   

       If it's a solid patent, and the infringer has made millions of dollars? You'll have attorneys falling over themselves to take it on contingency.   

       //I consulted with Hammurabi and he concurs.//   

       What law firm is he with? <-- comedy gold.
doctorremulac3, Sep 09 2014
  

       //I would very much like to rationally continue this discussion but I don't want to anger the author of this posting. Say the word [xaviergisz] and I will post a separate idea and move any relevant annos to it.//   

       Yes, please post as a separate idea and continue the discussion there if you want.
xaviergisz, Sep 09 2014
  

       Oop, you beat me to the button. Will do.   

       //What law firm is he with?//   

       They didn't have firms them, there were just legal flaccids.   

       // If it's a solid patent, and the infringer has made millions of dollars? You'll have attorneys falling over themselves to take it on contingency.//   

       Not when that invention comes out of China it doesn't. From what I've seen, if the idea is good enough and has no prior art it doesn't make it to patent stage if you rely on attorneys.   

       We're all just manatees swimming with piranha.   
      
[annotate]
  


 

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