Friday, February 12, 2016

Patents and the Poor

I came up with an idea that should be patented. It is not a great idea, in fact it is mostly a humorous idea, but it is certainly a patentable idea. I have searched and, amazingly, no one has patented it yet.

Patents are not what most Americans seem to think a patent is. A patent does not keep anyone from using an idea, the way the stupid and hysterical children of SIGGRAPH seemed to think when PIXAR patented something a few years ago. A patent, at most, allows you to spend a lot of money to try and defend an idea from being used by other people.

But a patent is many other things as well, and one of those things is contributing proof to who had an idea when. If, for example, I had patented my performance animation idea when I had it, rather then just doing demonstrations with it, then when former employees or partners who later claimed I had nothing to do with the idea tried to steal it, they would have had much less success.

But everyone has a different idea of what a patent is for and what it is not for.  Please do not lecture me about it, I have heard quite enough.  I think I know more about it than you do. I already know that without a lot of money you can not defend it. I know that most patents do not make money.  I know all this. Patents are a tool of business, generally very big business.  But it has other purposes as well as long as you are modest in your expectations. And as my readers know, I am a very modest person.  What I am looking for is credibility.

A patent, once accepted, is published for all time. It will be there in several hundred years, and people will know where to look for it.

But a patent costs money, anywhere between $5,000 to $100K depending on how you go about it.  So the poor are just not in the game it would seem.

That is the American Way.

Or is it?  Surely those of us who believe in the "free market" to allocate scarce resources can come up with a better way?  A way to use the otherwise crass invisible hand to create a new, better patent handjob as it were and create a more equitable society?

One thought is to give everyone a coupon for a "patent" that could be traded on the free market and allow those who want to have more than their normally allowed one patent to have as many as they can afford, and yet allow even the most poor to get one patent by right of birth.

I hope you will support this plan for a patent coupon exchange with your elected representative(s) the next time you get together with him, her or it.

Thank you.

No comments:

Post a Comment