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Re: Red Hat on patent FUD

From: amicus_curious
Subject: Re: Red Hat on patent FUD
Date: Sun, 22 Mar 2009 21:13:48 -0400

"Alan Mackenzie" <> wrote in message news:gq6hl2$3066$
In gnu.misc.discuss amicus_curious <> wrote:

"ml2mst" <> wrote in message

You are wrong.  Patents are simply a means to protect the ideas of
innovators from wanton copycatting by others.

Sorry, but you are wrong here.  There's no protection involved, because
the ideas aren't in any danger.  The ideas are enhanced rather than
damaged if they are copied by others.

No, patents are a means of _restricting_ the use of the ideas of

You are entirely correct insofar as you state, but you ignore the element of reward. Allowing others to copycat lessens the revenue that can be obtained and so the idea needs protection from copycatting. The purpose of the patent is to expose the idea so that it can be extended by others who can, in turn, patent the extensions they make.

Certainly it restricts, by intent, the use of the idea to those whom the innovator has agreed upon a license to use the idea.

Those who can think of new things to do need to be rewarded or else we
will be faced with a steep decline in technological progress.

Well, that's a very vague and very woolly.  Traditionally, especially in
the USA, people who've thought of new things set up companies and get
rich by making those things and selling them to eager customers.  "need
to be rewarded" suggests more the idea of a large government fund paying
out taxpayers' money to privileged people.

That is an odd conclusion to arrive at under the circumstances. Certainly the innovator obtains his reward from the commercialization of the invention. The protection of a patent affords the innovator with a clear field in which to present the idea and market it to those who can benefit from its use. Perhaps in Germany there are large government funds for paying privileged people, but no such system exists in the USofA to pay inventors simply for inventing.

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