Monday, August 18, 2008

Are We Heading for a "Subprime Patent Crisis"?

Alberto Barrionuevo, president of the anti-software-patent Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII), seems to think so:

In many countries, many regulations (financial controls) were removed and so the market was finally flooded by what any common person would denominate "fake money". The same fake money as the one created with a fake notes machine, out just that much more complex and nicely sold.

But equally, and curiously roughly matching in dates, it has happened in the patent system during the last ten to fifteen years mainly. The regulations have been raised time ago. To get a patent has become almost for free. No innovation effort is almost needed. No innovative step almost. No disclosing of technical knowledge is needed. No invention "as such" is needed, using the patent jargon words. Artificial complexity of the system has reached levels where only the experts bureaucrats working on it understand it. The innovation of the bureaucracy reigns. Real inventors, formerly experienced and brightly engineers, have been replaced by patent technocrats and patent trolls. Those same patent technocrats who indeed decide, with little or no political implication, the patent policy of some of the biggest economical sectors of the
world.

The result of this is a patent inflation. The most important patent offices of the world (mainly the namely "Trilateral") have granted surely some millions of subprime patents… that at the end mean fake assets and fake money. Many of these patents are fake because imprecise, too wide and/or non inventive, but many others are fake because are just out of the limits of the patentability. Their subject matter never should have constituted an "invention", but they were granted. "Obvious" is a word who lost it sense time ago.

[S]o, Great Patent Sirs, just continue enjoying today the patent pollution party.

But remember that the hangover will come soon or later and the crisis will reach all the technology market but specially the patent establishment.

In Spanish we have an old saying for this: "A todo cerdo le llega su San
Martín".


Read Barrionuevo's post on Digital Majority here.

4 Comentários:

Patent Hawk said...

Why would you cover the rantings of a nobody lunatic?

Ronald J Riley said...

I agree with Patent Hawk. This clown makes a number of flat out wrong assertions and then draws conclusions from them.

The software industry is full of uninventive drones.

Clearly open source/free software group does not understand the purpose of patents. The purpose is to offer an incentive to an inventor to put the time, work, and money into fully disclosing the invention for the purpose of advancing the arts. The cost of a patent, both labor and to file for the patent can easily top $100,000 and may even represent millions of dollars.

Software hacks do nothing to advance the collective arts. Rather they code for their own profit and rationalize that other's creations should be socialized for their selfish interests. Contrary to their beliefs, recoding someone else's invention in a marginally different way does not make the person doing so an inventor.

What is really ironic is that the software cult shares the same goals as the corporate patent pirates and that both groups have an entitlement mentality. In both cases they are unimaginative dullards who lack ethics. That sounds to me like their mentalities are very similar to those whom we incarcerate. Now there is a good idea.

Ronald J. Riley,


Speaking only on my own behalf.
Affiliations:
President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
Senior Fellow - www.patentPolicy.org
President - Alliance for American Innovation
Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
Washington, DC
Direct (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

Step Back said...

Peter,

In the full article ( link here )the author admits he is using "psychological reasonings" to press his point.

Indeed there is nothing substantive in his rantings. The home mortgage business is not analogous in any way to the obtaining of a patent.

1) Neither lender nor borrower have to invent anything, let alone 101 subject matter

2) The borrower does not go before an "examiner" to argue the novelty and nonobviousness of his case

3) The borrower is not subject to reexamination or court review of the loan

4) Mortgages do not arise under Article I section 8, clause 8 of the US Constitution

The author is using psychological trickery to fool those who know nothing about patents (software developers) into "feeling" that they understand patents. Gee, now I get it, a patent is just like a home loan and a software patent is just like a subprime home loan.

We get it too. Software developers are "people". And people can be easily manipulated by psychological manipulations and the trickery of resonant words.

NY NJ Patent & Trademark Attorney, Lawyer said...

Extremes in either direction are often not good. Software patents are no exception, however, they are just a subset of every other type of novel method or system, etc.

As the Supreme Court has already stated ... just because a process is implemented over a computer does not make it unpatentable. If it is new and unobvious (and is within 35 USC 101, i.e. non-abstract), then it is patentable.

The failing of the Patent Office, in my opinion, is that they are trying to use 103 (obviousness) arguments while citing 101 (abstract) arguments. They should be saying why it is obvious to carry out certain processes... whether computer implemented or not ... saying they are abstract when they're not is a cop out.

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