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Old 2022-08-15, 21:33   #12
Uncwilly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viliam Furik View Post
You have pointed out another selfish aspect of it - creating for the sake of reward, not for the sake of the creation itself.
If I have to toil in some work, such as being a black smith, to feed my family and there is no potential reward for working on something like the first car, then I would not want to take time out to work on that. No reward = no risk. If people can be pair to invent, more people will do so, society will be better. We should not leave invention only to the people that can afford to do it a charity enterprise. Self interest is a not always a bad thing.
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Old 2022-08-15, 21:41   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kriesel View Post
More creation likely occurs if the talented creators live longer, and have the means to do so. https://intellectualtakeout.org/2017...ied-penniless/
That's true. I'd like to point out that I never said nor intended to express that intellectual property is an entirely bad concept. There are some good things about it. But I stand behind my opinion on its being distilled selfishness.

EDIT:
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Originally Posted by Uncwilly View Post
If I have to toil in some work, such as being a black smith, to feed my family and there is no potential reward for working on something like the first car, then I would not want to take time out to work on that. No reward = no risk. If people can be pair to invent, more people will do so, society will be better. We should not leave invention only to the people that can afford to do it a charity enterprise. Self interest is a not always a bad thing.
Pretty much the same reply applies here.

Last fiddled with by Viliam Furik on 2022-08-15 at 21:44
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Old 2022-08-15, 22:05   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kriesel View Post
More creation likely occurs if the talented creators live longer, and have the means to do so. https://intellectualtakeout.org/2017...ied-penniless/
There is much that can go wrong with patents and copyrights. This is, however, IMO not an argument that the concept of intellectual property is invalid. It is, rather, more an instance of "the perfect is the enemy of the good."

Among the famous inventions whose inventors did not profit, despite holding relevant patents, are Nikola Tesla (radio, AC induction motor, etcetera) and Philo T. Farnsworth (Cathode ray TV system).

In Tesla's case, his potentially lucrative royalties agreement with George Westinghouse fell afoul of the "War of the Currents," which threatened to bankrupt Westinghouse's company, whereupon Tesla told him to tear it up. Later, J.P. Morgan used a bogus patent-infringement suit, and the threat of prolonging the suit until Westinghouse was broke, to force Westinghouse to relinquish Tesla's patents. By the time the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of Tesla in his patent infringement suit against Marconi, Tesla had already died in poverty.

Farnsworth's TV patents were tied up in court for years by a bogus patent-infringement suit by RCA. Farnsworth eventually did prevail in court, but then along came WWII, and TV's weren't selling. By the time the war ended, Farnsworth's patent rights had expired.

There was a relatively recent patent case having to do with digital computers. If memory serves, the judge was faced with the dilemma of awarding the patent to someone who didn't deserve it, and not awarding it at all. He did not award the patent.

One invention which was deemed too important to commercialize by its inventor is the lightning rod. The inventor was Benjamin Franklin.

A much more routine context in which inventors do not profit from their inventions by way of royalties - in fact, do not even hold the patents - is employees using company resources to create patentable inventions. The company, not the inventor(s), get the patents.
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Old 2022-08-16, 02:09   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
There is much that can go wrong with patents and copyrights. This is, however, IMO not an argument that the concept of intellectual property is invalid. It is, rather, more an instance of "the perfect is the enemy of the good."
Personally agree.

Very quickly...

1. IMO, the GPL should be considered Richard Stallman's greatest piece of software.

2. The Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act is, IMO, an example of corporations leveraging on the laws in ways that do not foster creativity.

3. It is interesting to note that in many countries Companies are considered "Persons" primarily so they can hold patents and copyrights (not the original intent).

4. Let's not even get started with Patent Trolls.

4.1. SCO anyone?

5. Many countries have been, shall we say, "encouraged" to follow the US of A's rules.

5.1. Even if not in their own best interests. And not all are so cowed.
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Old 2022-08-16, 12:42   #16
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Robert Kearns (1927-2005) invented the intermittent windshield wiper, only to have his idea stolen by Ford. He sued and, after twelve years in court, was awarded $6.3 million by a jury, which was reduced to $5.2 million by the judge.

His story was adapted for a movie, Flash of Genius, released in 2008.
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Old 2022-08-16, 13:16   #17
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I have tracked down another patent case I vaguely recalled, which featured the most egregiously stupid ruling in a patent case I have ever heard of. The appeals court judge's opinion was, basically, that an inventor doesn't deserve credit for turning an idea, however simple in concept, into a practical reality. The judge was apparently unfamiliar with the old saying, "The devil is in the details." The case was Peter M. Roberts vs. Sears, Roebuck & Co. The invention was a quick-release socket wrench.

From The Wrench Case we have:
Quote:
Later in 1980, after regaining the patent, Roberts sued for infringement and for willful infringement. The company countered that the patent was invalid because his invention was "obvious," meaning that "the subject matter as a whole would have been obvious at the time the invention was made to a person having ordinary skill in the art to which said subject matter pertains."

A long trial followed. At the end, Sears argued that there should be no jury instruction as to obviousness but was overruled by U.S. District Judge Nicholas J. Bua.

On March 31, 1982, the jury awarded Roberts $5 million for patent infringement. Bua increased the award to $8.2 million by doubling the portion of the award made for willful infringement.

Sears appealed. Ten months later, a unanimous three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit upheld Sears' claim of obviousness, reversed Bua and directed him to dismiss the case. The panel opinion was written by Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner, often mentioned as a possible choice of President Reagan for the Supreme Court.

"Roberts' quick-release mechanism was simplicity itself," Posner said. "The idea that a socket could be locked to a wrench with a pin and ball device and that a push-button could be used to make the pin release one socket and lock in another was not new. What was new was a device in which these ideas worked smoothly to enable sockets to be changed easily with one hand."

The opinion drew widespread objection in the Chicago press and legal community and, on a motion by Roberts, the full 7th Circuit struck it down.
Note: The case was eventually settled. As a condition of the settlement, the amount Sears paid Roberts was not disclosed.
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Old 2022-08-16, 14:57   #18
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https://www.volvotrucks.com/en-en/ne...seatbelts.html
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The Volvo management team recognised that their latest invention had the potential to save thousands of lives and it was far too important to patent the seat belt design for themselves. The decision was made. Volvo opened their patent and shared it with the world.
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Old 2022-08-16, 17:49   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xyzzy View Post
This is a good case where the patent was received, then made freely available. The casual reader may ask, "Then why go to the effort and expense to get the patent?". The reason to do so would be to prevent someone else from filing for a patent on the idea, getting the patent, then charging royalties on it. Getting the patent, but not charging for others to use it protects it for free use. This is a good an noble choice. With software, it is harder to do this, because of all the smaller pieces involved. But, it is still a good thing to use certain licenses to keep things free.
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Old 2022-08-16, 19:05   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncwilly View Post
This is a good case where the patent was received, then made freely available. The casual reader may ask, "Then why go to the effort and expense to get the patent?". The reason to do so would be to prevent someone else from filing for a patent on the idea, getting the patent, then charging royalties on it. Getting the patent, but not charging for others to use it protects it for free use. This is a good an noble choice. With software, it is harder to do this, because of all the smaller pieces involved. But, it is still a good thing to use certain licenses to keep things free.
In much of the world publishing an invention immediately renders it unpatentable. The US is an outlier in this respect.


I used to work for a US corporation and had close contact with patent lawyers.
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Old 2022-08-16, 19:42   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman View Post
I used to work for a US corporation and had close contact with patent lawyers.
I hope that you kept up on your vaccinations and antibiotics while that was happening.
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Old 2022-08-16, 20:24   #22
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I hope that you kept up on your vaccinations and antibiotics while that was happening.
Nope. It was ~20 years ago and back then such things were not regarded as very important.
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