[ExI] Problem with Pattents

Bryan Bishop kanzure at gmail.com
Fri Feb 22 05:55:24 UTC 2008

On Thursday 21 February 2008, ABlainey at aol.com wrote:
> I have been thinking recently about patents and whether they are
> fundamentally wrong. As an inventor I have no problem with people

What would it mean if they were fundamentally wrong? Would you boycot 
them? Would you stop inventing? Would you stop using them?

> 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.

Even the poor-quality products would survive in this information age. 
Look at how many low quality websites are able to survive. A few bits 
on a server somewhere, it doesn't take much. Scrapping the patent 
system will not happen. Instead, perhaps we can work on some collective 
way of bringing inventions into reality. I have been working on a 
project off and on this week which might be a suitable introduction 
platform (if there are any programmers which would like to collaborate, 
contact me) -- I need to do some quick code cleanup and test a few 
external APIs.

> 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.

Design is something that anybody can do. Art, etc. And why are you 
talking about income levels? When it comes to nanotech and fabricators, 
you're generally talking post "money" economics since you're suddenly 
able to basically make everything you need, if you can survive long 
enough to figure it out.

> 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?

Money. Old stuff embedded in billions of minds.

> 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?

There *are* people doing stuff just for the hell of it. Art. Open 
source. Writing emails late at night instead of programming. ;)

- Bryan
Bryan Bishop

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