|Wired News recently did a top 10 worst patents that the EFF wanted to combat. This got me (again) to think about how stupid patents are, especially US patents.|
Here is my suggestion how patents should be handled (I doubt the US Patent office will ever be this smart though).
Prior Art, the US Patent office do try to enforce this. But many times a patent has been in use for many years before it's approved, in my eyes it's already to late then and the patent should be discarded.
Secondly, waiting 5+ years before going "hey, you guys are using our patent" should not be permitted. If a patent holder wait more than a year before they react to (the first) patent breach, then they forfeit their patent since they did not enforce it. (would have avoided that whole GIF incident for example)
Max 5 years patent limit, after 5 years the patent goes public domain. (makes sure 3rd world countries don't lag to far behind the industrial world when it comes to technology, since they normally can't afford license fees)
Technology/ideas/concepts that are common knowledge and used by more than 50% of consumers should be made public domain. (this avoids license inflation, any company/developer/consumer can only afford x number of patents until the product becomes too expensive resulting in stripping features or not supporting something at all)
So those of you that are US citizens, please feel free to steal my suggestions/views and contact your congressmen/women and let them know you'd like to see the patent office start doing what I suggested. That entire top ten worst patent list would vanish then, so would thousands of other patents that are equally bad. (I call them greed patents). And those in Europe and other countries, don't be too confident in your own patent offices either, they are almost as messed up as well.
The original thought behind patents was to ensure that an inventor would be secured profit on their invention for a few years after the invention. This does not work as intended any more. Non-existing inventions are being patented, ideas, concepts, and the language in patents are so legalese that even lawyers that are experts interpret it differently each time they read it.
I'd like to see the original thought of:
"Inventor: Hey, I invented xxxx see how cool it is?"
"Patent Office: Wow that is awesome, and it's original. Ok, we give you 5 years exclusivity for commercially exploiting this invention."
*sigh* and hoping a UN Patent office will be made is too much to hope for,
and I doubt they'd be much better than a US one...
I just wonder. How the hell are we supposed to explore space and settle on new worlds, if we keep being so greedy?
Greed stifles innovation and progress!