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Our system of intellectual property is pretty good but a litigious
society is increasingly pitched to the side with more money to
on litigation. A PDC is a co-op style legal service for the defense
of intellectual property. Instead of the conventional submission
submits the idea to a PDC review board. This board
reviews the condition of the patent documentation and the fiscal
merits of the technique or technology. If the patent is complete
ready for submission the review board would decide if the patent
was a property they were able or willing to protect. If they decide
not to become shepherds of the property then the idea owner may
take it to another firm or submit it in the normal fashion, loosing
only the submission fee which would be proportionate to the
reputation of the PDC. If on the other hand the PDC decides to
accept the property the patent is re-worded to best legal effect,
expounded, properly demonstrated with top end working models
a legal agreement is written up between the inventor and the
The agreement is a symmetrical ownership-asymmetric profit
agreement between the two agencies. Both agree under binding
arbitration, inventor to take the idea and make it as profitable as
possible, and law firm to vigorously defend and supply legal
to the idea for a fixed fraction of the profits from it. Some ideas
would be sold quickly to industries others might become the basis
profitable companies. Either party may undertake to sell the
but may only force such a sale if they can demonstrate that the
party has failed in their obligation. The PDC is barred from
otherwise owning or taking share in properties which they were
former shepherds. Obviously the nature of this agreement is
complicated and well in the territory of the lawyers themselves.
basic underlying point is that the PDC may only make money on
idea if the inventor does and then only at a fixed ratio and vice
versa. The PDC would specialize only in the inventions that it felt
confident about making money from and defending easily and the
inventor would seek out the firm that gave the best balance of
historic results and bid terms. The inventor gets a partner invested
making money off of their idea and expanding the terms of the
patent as much as possible to cover as many profitable
as possible and the PDC gets to act as legal representation to ideas
that may make them lots of money for little effort. The PDC
effectively insulate inventors and speculative patent lawyers from
risk by pooling liability and profit.
[leinypoo13, Feb 05 2010]
Actually not patented
[normzone, Feb 05 2010]
Reductio ad Absurdum
[leinypoo13, Feb 05 2010]
||You couldn't make this a bit more concise, could you?
||OK: Patent law firm legally bound to provide needed services
in exchange for fraction of profits, invested in making the
patenting process as profitable as possible.
||I applaud the idea of helping inventors to protect their IP,
but I see some problems with this idea, and also some
redundancy against current practice.
||First, how is it determined whether the inventor is making
his idea "as profitable as possible" (even assuming that this
is the inventor's aim)? Second, the "review board" is going
to have to consist of a lot of extremely gifted people from
all disciplines (though this could be overcome, I guess, by
||What you're really asking, sort of, is for this "PDC" to invest
in the IP and help protect it. Why is this better than the
inventor approaching VCs or other funders, who may
undertake the exploit the patent and, in the course of so
doing, will also do their utmost to defend the patent they
have invested in?
||I guess I am asking: why give someone a share in your
patent (which will deter the crap out of investors) in
exchange for protection, when you could go straight to
the investor who will provide both exploitation of the
patent and protection?
||The concept of the PDC protects or "shepherds" the idea
through the submission (scope and wording, material
demonstration, prior art, etc. with motivation to make the
asset as profitable as possible) then defends the patent
while the inventor attempts to bring it to market. This
additional support allows the inventor to freely bring the
idea to market without fear of having it stolen in the
investor/buyer seeking phase, then help negotiating in that
sale for maximum value to the inventor/PDC unit.
||Hmmm - fair enough then. A good patent lawyer should
draft the patent as well as possible, and make the best
acheivable claims, though he won't help in providing
material demonstration, and will want payment up-front.
||What you're really talking about here is a business angel
who is prepared to come in at a pre-patent stage. I
suspect that many such arrangements are already made on
an ad-hoc basis, but there is no harm in setting up a
company to do this.
||One snag for the inventor: early investors will need (and
want) a far bigger share of any returns, since early
investments have a far higher likelihood of failure.
||+. A Menlo Park for the modern era? I think Universities do this all the time. I also think companies like Invention Submission Corporation do it too, though I don't feel like looking it up. I think the standard protocol is to shop around a provisional see if there are any takers, and if not abandon it. The more interest in the idea, the more "defense" provided. I like the idea, but you would have to have a lawyer with an inventors heart, because "normal" lawyers (whose 80% of their work will soon be replace by a turbo tax-like algorithm) are in it for the dough, and as you said can make far more money off of litigation than something like this.
||I don't know squat about intellectual property, but the
"reputation" angle reminds me of the review process for
learned journals. The journals want high quality papers, to
enhance the journals' reputations, and the scholars want
high quality journals, to enhance the papers' reputations.
There are lots of journals of varying quality, and an
equilibrium is reached in which the name of the journal
signals, with enough accuracy to be useful, how good the
||The point is, heuristics like that are invaluable, because
nobody can evaluate every paper in detail. One has, at
least, do decide which ones deserve a careful reading. I
assume this applies as much to patents (or pre-patents) as
to scholarly papers. So, the key, so it seems to me, is
having lots of PDCs with varying reputations. An inventor
would get the chance to pitch to a better class of venture
capitalist if he could say he'd "signed" with one of the
really high-reputation PDCs.
||I suppose some VC firms provide, in addition to
investment, this sort of "reputational" service, but the
ratio of money at risk to reputational enhancement is
high, in that arrangement. A PDC would reverse that ratio.
||The question remains whether the VC's reputation carries
weigh only *because* it puts its money where its mouth is.
Would a PDC be unable to acquire a high reputation
because it wasn't puting as much money at risk?
Perhaps the PDC could sell equity, whose value rose or fell
with the market's estimation of total value of its patent
portfolio, that'd be an index of "reputation," analogous to
Impact Factor for journals.
||I don't really understand your objection. If you are trying to sell a good idea rather than implement it yourself (an impossibility in most cases) you are in peril of being out lawyered simply because you do not have the money to litigate against a clear violation of the law. This is crappy but it's a reality. You have a lot of options this is just a new one. I think it has a lot more "heart" than paying consultants who have no investment in maximizing your return.
||//a clear violation of the law
||What's the violation? Ideas are not patentable, only some "thing" is actually patentable. (Be it a process, device method etc.) But it does actually have to exist and work, prior to filing, (called "reduction to practice"; part of the invention process) and if challenged in the future evidence must be produced to that effect. This is why going to VC with an idea instead of a patent protected prototype, is ridiculously stupid (also writing an idea on the HB you might pursue). They say "Yeah, I was thinking of something similar", will steal it, file it and backdate their "reduction to practice" prior to meeting you.
||IF you conceive of ideas, choose the good ones, search for prior art, build it or send it off to engineers, then file for your protection, properly then you will be in good shape (or at least patent trolls will come to your defense if you have a legitimate case for infringement). Problem is this will cost probably around 50K for a mechanical device. 10-15K for attorneys, 30K to build the prototype.
||I think that what you are trying to do is lower the bar for turning an idea into a reality. And I agree that it is so high for modern inventors that it is frustrating. What your idea is about, is establishing a niche for inventors within in the context of our litigious society, from the moment of idea conception. This is extremely laudable. But, I think the solution may be the other way around, a consortium of inventors from different science or engineering disciplines, practiced in the legal arts, at first perhaps with an experienced patent attorney who can teach them the how to write a patent from a litigators perspective. If you sit around the table, come up with ideas, choose the good ones and someone in your consortium can actually build a protoype, then you have alleviated most of your capital costs (barring materials), as the inventors are comfortable and knowledgeable about filing bulletproof patents (-15K) and team members can build it (-30K).
||45k is a high bar to set on innovation. Although I have no great love for intellectual property law or litigation as a method of justice I know of to many cases of nice intelligent people who had work stolen but did not feel that they could afford to fight it. This is an idea that could help protect small inventors by providing the kind of fierce legal and technical support of a big company or co-operative. The interdependence is what makes the situation fair and effective.
||//Ideas are not patentable, only some "thing" is actually patentable. (Be it a process, device method etc.) But it does actually have to exist and work, prior to filing//
||This hasn't been true for many years. The filing of the patent application is nowadays considered reduction to practice, and no model or working prototype is required except in special circumstances--like when the examiner suspects you're trying to claim a perpetual motion machine.
||//The filing of the patent application is nowadays considered reduction to practice.
||It is considered by the examiner yes, but only because they take your word. It is still a legal requirement for a patent. There are many opportunities in which outside parties, can protest your patent, in which you may be required to prove you reduced it to practice prior to the filing date. They can: 1. File a protest about your application before publication, 2. Around issuance, if you told someone your idea and they file near the same time, there can be interferences (in which two parties filed an application around the same time). These may be served on the applicant or told to the examiner. Know who gets the patent? First to reduce to practice. After issuance there are other opportunities to challenge 3) ex parte or inter parte reexaminations all of which may require you to file affidavits of conception and reduction to practice. If it is proven that you lied and you only filed an idea, or another reduced it to practice before you, you lose the patent.
||In many (most?) jurisdictions outside of the US you only need to provide sufficient explanation/detail in the patent for a 'person skilled in the art' to build the invention. There is no requirement to prove you actually built it yourself.
||If inventorship is in question, in the us, the date of invention
is not the filing date, but the date of "actual reduction to
practice". "constructive reduction to practice" is what is
needed to fulfill the requirements of a patent and like Xavier
says. Skilled in the art, etc. -link- I say it is important with
regard to litigation, only because if someone steals your idea,
builds it, and claims the same invention, even though you may
have the earlier priority, if you did not actually reduce it to
practice before they did, you lose in an interference.
Especially, if it is a good idea and only an idea, even if you
file and you pitch it to people with money, they too can file
and have the resources to beat you in the race. Or concoct
evdience that they thought of it first. That's why it's better to
build it IMO, if you are afraid of people stealing it.
||I really think there is an unmet need here. Maybe I didn't hit the nail straight on the head with this but I think there may be some good ideas hiding here.
||You could help them come out into the open using the patented paragraph breaker.
||I have conflicting views on this idea.
||On the one hand, I agree with the sentiment that there should be more efficient systems of collaboration wherein each member of a collaborative project focuses on what they are good at (inventors invent, lawyers lawyer etc).
||On the other hand, people involved in a collaboration should have an understanding/interest/ commitment in all aspects of the project; if members of a project become 'silos' the coherence/cohesiveness is lost to the detriment of the project.
||Other thoughts: the patent system is arbitrary, messy, inefficient. If you can navigate your way through it there are many different ways of making money; from the genius of Dean Kamen, to the nastiness of patent trolls, to the somewhere-in- between of "Innovation Ventures". Basically, if you can make money from your PDC, all the power to you.
||//Know who gets the patent? First to reduce to practice.//
||Again, in such a case, the patent goes to the first to document that he had the concept, not the first to build anything.
||[ld] Checked the MPEP. You are correct. First to conception and reduction to practice (where reduction can be either actual or constructive (i.e. filing)). My bad.