[ExI] Problem with Pattents

ABlainey at aol.com ABlainey at aol.com
Fri Feb 22 05:26:37 UTC 2008

I have been thinking recently about patents and whether they are 
fundamentally wrong. As an inventor I have no problem with people getting credit where 
credit is due. , likewise no problem with monetary gain from one's endeavours 
however I get a biting feeling that patents are purely selfish and uncivilised.
My reasoning is that many super rich people and companies got that way from 
patent license fees. In many cases the 'invention' was done by some hard 
working minion of the company who probably didn't get much more than their basic 
salary for the accomplishment. 
I know that as an inventor, I have sat on quite a few inventions, simply 
because I didn't have the cash for patents. In several cases this has led to 
someone else beating me to the market. Believe it or not, my first invention was 
radar for cars that stopped you bumping into things when you were parking. Sound 
familiar? So is my hard work worth less than theirs? How many thousands of 
useful products are currently gathering dust or being kept secret?

It has made me wonder what would happen if the patent system were scrapped.
As I see it, the immediate effect would be a whole bunch of very cheap 
pharmaceuticals hitting the market. I also think this is the only way to create a 
truly competitive market place, where only the best quality products (or 
versions of) for a reasonable price would survive. 
I can imagine it somewhat levelling the income levels of many people as there 
would be many more companies in the world, with much flatter structures. Not 
only that, but you would also be more likely to get paid according to how 
much/how well you work, rather than how well you can exploit others.
I think this is probably a very timely subject with the possibility of 
desktop production machines getting closer and closer. Imagine a world where you can 
create anything you want in a desktop nano machine, but have to swipe your 
credit card to pay some corporation patent licence fees, just because they had 
the resources to beat everyone to the patent office.
New inventions are just progressions of existing technology, so given the 
wheel it was inevitable that someone would build a cart. So why are we paying the 
cart builders?
It would be nice to live in a world where invention was done for its own 
worth rather than the dreams of piles of cash. Wouldn't that kind of world be 
better at inventing more useful and effective things rather than the same old crap 
in a different package?

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