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Re: The patent process [Was Re: Sharing the Family PC is Patent-Pending]

From: AES/newspost
Subject: Re: The patent process [Was Re: Sharing the Family PC is Patent-Pending]
Date: Tue, 11 May 2004 13:29:53 -0700
User-agent: MT-NewsWatcher/3.1 (PPC)

In article <hf9oc.108$sD1.34@newsfe6-win>,
 "Barry Pearson" <> wrote:

> Chuckle! Some patents leave you a bit amazed, don't they?
> But what is the credible alternative? 

Need some way to have a meaningful downside for asking for and being 
awarded an patent which may later be found invalid.

Here's an idea, admittedly wildly unrealistic, but not impossible and 
not wildly nonsensical.

Inventor, who's asking for this special govt license to harm others, is 
the one who should presumably know what its possible future value might 
be (it's "upside").  

So, along with application the inventor states a dollar amount he thinks 
the patent is worth (amount is strictly his choice, not necessarily the 
same as his hoped for upside, but presumably some fraction of potential 

He then pays this amount as an entirely nonrefundable payment to the 
govt in return for being granted this license, if and when the patent 

Once patent has issued all income from the patent up to some multiple of 
the initial license fee (maybe 5 times the initial fee) is tax exempt or 
gets other special consideration; all direct receipts from the patent 
beyond that value are divided between the patent holder and the govt in 
some stated ratio (50/50?).

I'm not seriously proposing this; would obviously be extremely difficult 
to implement and administer -- but it would have the merit of making the 
patent applicants think hard about how much the patents (i.e., the 
exclusionary rights) they're asking for would really be worth.  If an 
inventor can put X million into developing an invention, hoping or 
expecting to earn Y millions from a patent on it, he ought to be willing 
and able to risk Y/5 millions at the start, in return for right to 80% 
of first Y millions of return and 50% of all return beyond that.

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