Thursday, 6 October 2011

Patent licensing

I've seen a question about patent reform where the question was asked: should we be looking to overhaul the whole system, or would we do better to institute a flat licensing scheme to which patent owners can't say "no"? Rather than preventing the implementation of their ideas and suing everyone who tries to copy it, now inventors just get a license fee from everyone who wants to use their idea. Of course, it would still be up to them to find and point out that people are using the idea, and sometimes that argument might go to court to argue about whether or not the patented idea has been used at all, but anyone anywhere is free to build on any ideas anyone else has. Right now, if there are two technologies that are patented by different people or companies, nobody anywhere is allowed to put them together, even if it would work well and do amazing things. In this proposed system you can patent an idea and you don't even have to implement it to benefit. You just need to make sure people who use your idea are paying royalties.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Which, to be fair, is as hard as enforcing a patent in the existing system.
PPS - But it should enable more innovation.

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