THE PROBLEM WITH PATENTS REVISITED

Jack H. Pincus jhpincus at cris.com
Mon Apr 8 18:11:25 EST 1996


In article <4kbcmm$h3h at itssrv1.ucsf.edu>, bgold at itsa.ucsf.edu says...
>
>Readers should note that the solution to the difficulty with our
>present day patenting system is clearly defined in the original
>post:
>
>That Patents should and must be awarded to INDIVIDUALS who
>established the invention.  That these INDIVIDUALS should and must
>be 'free agents' to sell these PATENTS to corporations when and
>if they wish to.
>
>Anything less is denial of honesty of authorship and is for me
>in clear contravention of the framer's original intentions on
>this issue.
>
>

Your posts indicate you understand nothing about patent law or patenting 
and insist on whining to promote your personal agenda.  You are also 
blissfully unaware of several pertinent facts about corporate 
inventions.

The facts are:

1.  Under US Patent Law ONLY inventor can apply for a patent.  
Corporations CANNOT apply for a patent.  Inventors must sign an oath 
that they are the true inventors of one or more claims.  Falsely signing 
that oath can be grounds for a court striking the patent so true 
inventorship is not a trivial matter.

2.  Individual inventors can and do still file for patents to protect 
their inventions.  More experienced inventors often prosecute their 
inventions without the aid of a lawyer.  For those who cannot, it si 
sometimes possible to work out a payment arrangement with an attorney.

3.  Individual inventors can and do license their inventions.  One 
succesful one that comes to mind is a device for regulated ignition that 
is licensed to every auto company for $1.00 per car.  The inventor is a 
garage inventor in Detroit.  Their are many successful individual 
inventors in the medical device field.

4.  Inventors can assign their invention to a a person or corporation.  
Companys hire researchers to invent, provide them with equipment, 
laboratory space, assistants, reagents, a salary, and beneifts.  In 
exchange for that, companies require that the inventor assign all 
inventions to them. In this situation, corporations take all the risk 
and pay for those experiments that fail.  The inventor assumes no risk 
the way Edison or Ford did.

5.  Although corporate inventors may not directly get a share of the 
profits from an invention, they are frequently rewarded with bonuses, 
raises, promotions, and sometimes stock options.  If they receive stock 
options they are indirectly sharing in the profits of their inventions.

6.  Whether somone can be a garage inventor is largely dicated by the 
requirements of the field.  It is relatively easy for individual 
inventors to exist who develop mechanical or electronic inventions.  
Contrary to your statment, there are many that of these. Being an 
individual inventor in chemistry and biology is more difficult.  It is 
beyond most people's means to set up a molecular biology laboratory in 
their basement, and it is not practical.  Some types of science can only 
be practiced in institutional settings.  That is the problem.  Not the 
patent system.

Jack H. Pincus
jhpincus at cris.com




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