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White House Targets Patent Trolls
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AryehF891
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AryehF891,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/21/2014 | 11:26:43 AM
Crowdsourcking patents is a horrible idea
Frankly crowdsourcing patent resource sounds like one of the dubmest ideas ever (this is from someone who has been "screwed" by the current system).     The bottom line why should I offer for *FREE* my ideas so someone else can *STEAL* them.   Yes I know someone will make the arguements that it is not really stealing because any such theif would find it impossible to sell the idea (it is aleady publicly known).

 

The only real solution is have a full proof escrow system that stamps it with proof of creation timestamp and then controls access to it.   The exact details are the subject of a patent application it self.   So sorry no details.   

 

The problems above force many small developers like my self to focus our works on things that do not require patents like my work on http://www.petitecloud.org ... our business model will helpfully enable us to pay for the legal fees to fle most of this ... 
Somedude8
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Somedude8,
User Rank: Ninja
2/21/2014 | 12:18:23 PM
Re: Crowdsourcking patents is a horrible idea
It sounded to me like the crowdsourcing part was only for researching prior art. Lets someone tried to patent something like, oh I don't know, 90 degree corners on electronic devices. Certainly someone in the crowdsourcing pool would say "Hey! My grandparents TV in the 50s had 90 degree corners, and here is a picture of it!". Then perhaps 90 degree corners would not get patented.

I can see this being a massive aid to the patent system, and also introducing a whole new dynamic. Apple tries to patent something, Samsung spends millions researching prior art, and maybe finds something, maybe doesn't. Still, a whole new angle to this thing.

Sounds good to me!
hho927
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hho927,
User Rank: Moderator
2/21/2014 | 1:36:22 PM
There is no protect for little guys
Serously!?

More protection for big guys. If I patented my invention and I don't have money, then someone can still my patent and there is nothing I can do about it because I'm not practicing my patent.
WKash
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WKash,
User Rank: Author
2/21/2014 | 2:19:48 PM
Re: Crowdsourcking patents is a horrible idea
I'm with somedude8.  The idea is that patent examiners can't know all there is to know to prove the uniqueness of a design.  Crowdsourcing isn't the only answer.  More training and better tools are needed to. But it is essentially free, taps into a greater body of observers, and hopefully makes sense to fold into the process with today's technology.
WKash
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WKash,
User Rank: Author
2/21/2014 | 2:26:10 PM
Re: There is no protect for little guys
No question, it's not easy for the little guys. But innovation doesn't start with playing the victim. I encourage you -- and every underdog -- to go and read Malcolm Gladwell's latest book, "David and Goliath" and what it says about underdogs, misfits and the art of battling giants! 

 
AryehF891
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AryehF891,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/21/2014 | 4:05:02 PM
Re: There is no protect for little guys
Perhaps it is not playing the victim per se but starting with one hand tied behind our backs.   Perhaps there should be a weaker level of protection such as I have done enough to prove that the orignial idea is mine and that I created it on some date (the same basic requirements as copyrigts) and then use a document escrow service (there are several if you can spare a machine dedicated to them... something only realistic with wide spread private cloud computing) yo keep it confidential
AryehF891
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AryehF891,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/21/2014 | 4:09:31 PM
Re: There is no protect for little guys
Large companies often purposely over generalize their claims so that they include areas that are not even in the domain of the original patent.   For example the company I worked for in the mid-90's was blocked from a key patent for video compression because some Sony patent for audo enhancement (which required even more data to be sent) managed to claim that a optional component (not present in their "working prototype" [they never publically demostrated this as far we know]) without this the style of video compression we had in mind was impossible [even to this day compression can be improved 5 to 10 times].
Thomas Claburn
IW Pick
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
2/21/2014 | 5:03:47 PM
Re: There is no protect for little guys
Individual inventors with truly novel ideas deserve patent protection. But no one seems willing to address the possibility that much of what is currently patentable should not be patentable at all. The notion that Amazon could patent purchasing an item with a single click is absurd. Business method patents for software should not exist.
WKash
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WKash,
User Rank: Author
2/21/2014 | 5:04:23 PM
Re: There is no protect for little guys
Thanks for sharing your story. I'm sure you're not alone in experiencing how inventive ideas can get blocked because of overly general patents held by companies w/ deep pockets. 

I'd be interested in your thoiughts on how useful the new "Patent Litigation" toolkit is on  the USPTO site, that I understand is a first for USPTO in helping business with some of these issues.  See http://www.uspto.gov/patents/litigation/index.jsp

 
AryehF891
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AryehF891,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/21/2014 | 5:37:42 PM
Re: There is no protect for little guys
Agreed the law (paraphrased [I am *NOT* an attorney]) says:

 

1. The idea most be novel and non-obvious

2. It must be repeatable (as described) by any one well versted in "the art"

3. Pure Ideas and/or discoveries about nature are *NOT* patentable

 

Under the above rules I would argue that:

 

1. Design patents be elimianated as a catagory (GMA will hate this one as will all the fadish "patent my business model" tricks)

2. Reclassife math/computer science as being a "physical" science in the sense it does control/respond to the real world

3. Require a public demostration of a working prototype and/or scholarly journel publication as being sufficent proof of being novel and non-obvious (doing either one puts a 1 year block on anyone filing for a patent but the author/demostrator)
4. Claims be limited to what can be directly observed as a result of the described process

5. The inventor's attorney must be a subject field expert (for example our attorney also has a BA in CS... but method of knowledge aquistion not be dictated) and anything that fails the novel and non-obvious test is usable as cause for action by the Bar and/or the PTO against the attorney.

 

<Added after replies made>

 

6. The subject matter/claims of the patent must not contain classified and/or other restricted knowledge

7. The peroid of exclusive use should be shortened to 5 years (you still have the 17 years of protection) after which anyone one who wants to use the patent can license it for a reasonable fee/commission (universities/goverment agencies [ex. NASA] often just sit on patents doing nothing with them and some cases even effectively blocking their use with insane fees like 1/3 of gross revenue and/or preventing facility members from having commerical ineterests {Univ. of Ca. is one of the worst hear and MIT one of the best}) for the 17 years of protection (maybe even grow it to 20 years)
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