An Understanding of Patents
Patents are rooted back to the US Constitution and defined as the ability to “promote the progress of science and useful arts.” However, many seek issues with Patents as they believe it causes much room for abuse and having an impact that is opposite from its original intent. This leaves the end result of tech-industry shakedowns and costly litigations.
The Right Idea
Currently there are 8 million parents on file with the US Patent and Trademark Office, including innovations that have change the world we live and daily lifestyle.
Some of the most notable Patents are considered the light bulb, ice machines, and cotton gin. Less notable Patent ideas were the thermally freshened bread also known as toast, comb over for concealing partial baldness, and a disembodied robot arm that high fives you.
If each of the known 8 million patent ideas were given a half hour infomercial to advertise, this would cover 456 straight years. If you add the additional 3 million pending patent applications, this would bring the infomercial timeframe to 627 years.
An estimated 30% of patents are for things that already exist resulting in over 2 million patents performed on replicated content. At a cost of $700 minimally, almost 2 billion has been spent on pre-existing patents that would have served as enough funds to build and launch the space shuttle endeavor for an outer space transport system for space exploration.
The Wrong Direction
The idea of a Patent is to represent an idea that is non-obvious to a person of ordinary skill or art more so than a common sense based idea. Many of the redundant parents are made as an attempt to capitalize on fundamental systems and behaviors in technology and online.
Some examples are ideas such as backing up data online, pop-up windows on the web, providing a user interface, one-click purchasing, and an application that allows users to purchase from a mobile phone. The current state of intellectual property is that Patents are covering just about every behavior that is happening on the internet.
Ideas Meet Intellectual Ventures
It is believed that ideas are considered valuable, calling for investments in both expertise and capital to develop new inventions. Intellectual ventures have created around a thousand patents without one making it to commercial user. One of the top 5 owners of US Patents owns at least 35,000 Patents accounting for 98% of other people’s ideas and 2% of their own ideas. This high majority accounts for purchased “business tools,” while collecting more than a billion dollars from licensing fees to date and 90% of their overall revenue.
These intellectual venture capitalists also tend to file infringement lawsuits against companies that use the technology or software they own through one of their 1300 shell companies. Many of these shell companies do not actually employ anyone are hosted all in the same empty office. These intellectual owners have struck deals with over half a dozen universities that entail the management of intellectual assets generated by faculty, students, or staff.
Profiting from Patents
Over the last 20 years, patent lawsuits have cost innovators over $500 billion in lost profits due to these non-practicing entities that are considered nothing more but opportunistic companies that never use patents. These lawsuits result in 17% of all patent lawsuits and 41% of all software patent cases with a resultant destruction of profit totaling $332 billion over four years.
Over the last seven years, these opportunists have received more than three times the award of practicing companies in lawsuits, totaling $12 million compared to the standard $3.4 million awarded to practicing entities. Statistically, 80% of software engineers say the patent system hinders innovation.
Lead by Example
It can be noted that the developer of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee is one of the world’s more selfless innovators. He joined hypertext with the internet, revolutionizing and universalizing the web experience for wide usage. As a result, he refused to patent his innovation so that it could become available for everyone.