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Re: Gates Patents Flipping a Light Switch

From: T . Max Devlin
Subject: Re: Gates Patents Flipping a Light Switch
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2004 17:42:05 -0000

On Thu, 10 Jun 2004 14:13:14 -0700, AES/newspost
<> wrote:

>In article <x5wu2fe2u5.fsf@lola.goethe.zz>, David Kastrup <> 
>> Uh, you are forgetting one thing: everyone else has the option of
>> buying a licence from you.  That's the whole point in the first place.
>a)  Buying a license is NOT an option that's necessarily available to 
>everyone else -- only if the patent holder chooses to offer a license, 
>at whatever price he sets.

Indeed, it is not an option available to anyone else unless the patent
holder wants to make money for something he's already done.

>Other than a few exceptional situations, 
>there's no general requirement that a patent holder offer licenses; he 
>can just bar everyone else from using the idea at all.

Other than a very few specific situations, there's no reason at all
why a patent holder wouldn't offer licenses.  Those situations are
generally covered by anti-trust law.

>b)  And in any case allowing the patent holder to make a profit on the 
>patent is not at all "the whole point in the first place".

Well, yeah, it kinda is.  In order to encourage them, we make it so
they can make money by selling/renting/licensing their otherwise
exclusive rights.

>Read the 
>Constitution; the (alleged) purpose is "to promote progress" of the 
>broader community.

And how is that done?  We promote progress by giving them the right to
sell their intellectual property.  It's all there.

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