Patent Solutions

Your post advocates a

( ) technical ( ) legislative ( ) market-based ( ) vigilante

approach to improving the patent system. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws which used to vary from region to region depending on how deeply the patent industry has infiltrated your political establishment.)

( ) Your proposal actually endorses the patent system
( ) It pretends that patents are a reward for disclosure
( ) It pretends that industry needs patents to reward investment in R&D
( ) You ignore the basics of economic theory as explained by Adam Smith
( ) It is defenseless against attacks from the patent industry
( ) The pharmaceutical industry won't put up with it
( ) You are trying to fight a lot of money with a very little money
( ) You assume that the patent industry cares about society
( ) You falsely believe that patents can co-exist with free software
( ) You falsely believe that patents can co-exist with open standards
( ) You assume that monopolies promote innovation
( ) You ignore that the patent industry exists to make money
( ) You appear to have no idea of how the patent system works
( ) You are confusing patents with copyrights, or maybe puppies

Specifically, your plan fails to account for:

( ) Political strength of the patent industry
( ) Lobbying power of the pharmaceutical industry
( ) Lobbying power of large patent holders
( ) Inability of politicians to understand maths or economics
( ) Tendency of people to confuse correlation and causation
( ) Parkinson's Law
( ) Extreme profitability of patent litigation
( ) Technically illiterate politicians
( ) Personal dishonesty on the part of lawyers
( ) Utter lack of ethics on the part of most businesses
( ) Distaste of large businesses to see a real free market
( ) Protectionist and/or xenophobic tendencies of many politicians
( ) Ability of patent industry to create confusion through language
( ) Reality of politics and power
( ) Experience of the software sector from 1960-1999 or so
( ) People's desire to publish their research
( ) People's ability to hack the rules for profit
( ) The difficulty of keeping secrets
( ) The conflicts between patents and copyrights
( ) Businesses determination to shift costs onto others
( ) Special interests' ability to turn every 'reform' to their advantage

And the following philosophical objections may also apply:

( ) Ideas similar to yours have been proposed and rejected for 150 years
( ) You cannot ensure the scheme would be fairly administered
( ) Small firms should not be exposed to extra administrative burdens
( ) No economic study has ever shown that patents actually work
( ) Incompatibility with open source or open source licenses
( ) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem
( ) I don't want the government involved in “innovation”
( ) Killing them that way is not slow and painful enough

With thanks to Craphound

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