Why the Patent system is flawed and why the world should run Open-Source

13 replies
I'm feeling myself disgusted at the current state of the patent system in 'Merica, it's crucially flawed and outdated. Not only is it a terrible thing for mankind but, inhibits the development of man-kind. Everyone should have the information at the fingertips; knowledge is power. If it's new tech everyone should be able to band onto this and make the invention better - isn't that how capitalism should work?

The world should run like an open-source project, everyone contributing to subjects or niches they're interested in, it's proven to work, just look at the Internet; a clear example.

Companies that go out off there way to benefit other people and help them learn new skills such as Ray Tracing should be commended.

Just my thoughts 'round here. What does everyone else think of this? Agree?
#flawed #opensource #patent #run #system #world
  • Profile picture of the author Green Moon
    I agree that there are problems with patent systems anywhere, not just in the U.S. but I disagree with just about everything else you say. Who would pour money into innovation if the say after they create something it is free for the taking. Almost every major invention - telephone, electric light, radio, transistor - was subject to a patent on the original invention.

    Where would we be today if the patent system hadn't encouraged Thomas Edison to hire scores of people to work under his guidance to invent many of the things we take for granted? Or Bell Labs? Or the pharmaceutical companies that spend hundreds of millions of dollars to discover, test and bring to market a single drug.

    The patent system encourages innovation. The open source projects are great, but open source never would have put a man on the moon or even built the iPad.
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    • Profile picture of the author simplybeastz
      Originally Posted by Green Moon View Post

      I agree that there are problems with patent systems anywhere, not just in the U.S. but I disagree with just about everything else you say. Who would pour money into innovation if the say after they create something it is free for the taking. Almost every major invention - telephone, electric light, radio, transistor - was subject to a patent on the original invention.

      Where would we be today if the patent system hadn't encouraged Thomas Edison to hire scores of people to work under his guidance to invent many of the things we take for granted? Or Bell Labs? Or the pharmaceutical companies that spend hundreds of millions of dollars to discover, test and bring to market a single drug.

      The patent system encourages innovation. The open source projects are great, but open source never would have put a man on the moon or even built the iPad.
      No, You're flat out wrong, the patent system does not encourage innovation, it discourages it. Take the Apple V Google lawsuit, they're being hindered saying that Apple own the App Store idea... Without this, may new and revolutionary apps might not have been developed. Now, imagine Apple patented the smartphone, that would have DECREASED INNOVATION. By have competition you're encouraging innovation, it's simple yet fair. If you have a patent you have no one to compete against, letting innovation slide as you're the the only project on the market.

      I'm sorry, but your argument is invalid.
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      • Profile picture of the author MidlandsMarketer
        Originally Posted by simplybeastz View Post

        Now, imagine Apple patented the smartphone, that would have DECREASED INNOVATION.
        Disagree, it would have driven innovation amongst competitors to create something different, rather than hopping on the bandwagon with 'me too' products.

        The system may be flawed, but it's the best one we've got. No way in hell should everyone be able to benefit from the hardwork of others- why spend $billions in R&D every year if your competitors can instantly access the results of your hardwork?

        This is what I feel Green Moon meant- if you don't have the security of being able to profit from your innovation, then there is less cause to do so.
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    • Profile picture of the author JEasy
      Yep would be great, but greed will always jump in and take control of people who see nothing but dollar signs. This is why the world is jacked up and not just in terms of business and technology. Maybe one day...
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  • Profile picture of the author SteveJohnson
    So you're saying that intellectual property shouldn't be protected? That you should be able to to take my idea and profit from it? Oh, sorry - open source isn't about profit, is it?

    Bottom line is that you're advocating that my ideas and my work product should belong to the world at large and not to me. You don't know the first thing about capitalism - or human nature, for that matter.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy Fletcher
    Capitalism requires strong patent type laws to be effective. Pharma companies are the best example.

    It costs about $400million to R&D a new drug and about 0.0001c to manufacture each pill.

    If everyone could just wait for someone else and then pay the manufacturing cost then no one would ever spend the $400million on R&D.
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by simplybeastz View Post

    it's proven to work
    It is proven to work under one and only one condition.

    The people who want the product are capable of building it.

    The internet runs on open source software because the people who wanted it were highly skilled and talented engineers.

    Meanwhile, the corporate marketing world runs on Salesforce and there is no open source equivalent for it, because marketers can't build software and programmers don't understand marketing.

    And if you sit programmers down with pretty much anyone who isn't a programmer, you'll find that programmers honestly don't understand a whole hell of a lot that isn't programming.

    Mostly comic books, Monty Python, and anime.

    The open source paradigm is a really great one for anything that fits the mold. Folk, country, bluegrass, and jazz music are a great non-software example: the entire tradition of these musical styles is to trade, borrow, combine, and modify.

    And the hip-hop / DJ / sampling culture is a great example of how the model doesn't work when applied to the same field (music) where the people who want it can't build it (and hence sampled the work of others). The people who were perfectly happy to hear others PLAY their drum beat were shocked and offended to hear others loop a recorded sample of it.

    With notable exceptions, e.g. Clyde Stubblefield.
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    Without the Patent, Research & Development will die.

    Sure, there will still be "some" innovation, when the little guy wants to improve on something...

    But, industries like pharmaceutical would stop spending hundreds of millions on product research, if they were not guaranteed to reap the rewards of the innovation.

    Talk about stifling growth and innovation!!

    Who is going to pay for the high cost of R&D going forward? A bunch of out-of-work Occupiers?
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    • Profile picture of the author fin
      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      Without the Patent, Research & Development will die.

      Sure, there will still be "some" innovation, when the little guy wants to improve on something...

      But, industries like pharmaceutical would stop spending hundreds of millions on product research, if they were not guaranteed to reap the rewards of the innovation.

      Talk about stifling growth and innovation!!

      Who is going to pay for the high cost of R&D going forward? A bunch of out-of-work Occupiers?
      Just curious,

      I clicked on your WSO - why is it priced at $2500.00?

      I'm sure it was cheaper yesterday.:confused:
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      • Profile picture of the author tpw
        Originally Posted by fin View Post

        Just curious,

        I clicked on your WSO - why is it priced at $2500.00?

        I'm sure it was cheaper yesterday.:confused:

        LOL

        I was slow on the uptake and checked all of my WSO's to see which one... :p
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        Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
        Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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      • Profile picture of the author Bill Farnham
        As someone who spent decades as a professional inventor I agree the Patent system is flawed.

        But not from the perspective the OP talks about. As others have stated, once you remove the incentive to pour money into R&D due to an inability to recoup your costs and create profits so you can continue the cycle, society as we have become accustomed to will collapse.

        Now it's true that prior to the Patent culture people lived happy lives hunting with spears and foraging for plants to eat. But the population has far outstripped the chances of ever going back to those days.

        The world should run like an open-source project, everyone contributing to subjects or niches they're interested in, it's proven to work, just look at the Internet; a clear example.
        There are actually quite a few open source communities devoting their time, monies, and energies to create physical items. But they are largely supported by grants and what could be called excess wealth created under the Patent system style of commerce.

        But to believe for a second that technology such as the internet would move forward without an infrastructure that is rewarded under the current system is polyannish of the first order.

        ~Bill
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  • Profile picture of the author HonestCoder
    Open source helps drive innovation indirectly by providing some competition in a market. As an example, Internet Explorer is having to catch up with certain other browsers' features to protect their market share.

    Personally I do a bit of both, I work on OS software some of the time and commercial closed source (and some freelancing) to help pay the bills. If you are in it *just* for the money you will probably never be super-successful financially IMO, you have to believe in providing the best product/service you can and let the money take care of itself.
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  • Profile picture of the author ScooterDaMan
    Hmmm ... I can't help but think of how I feel every time someone has scraped my content and apply it here.
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