THE PROBLEM WITH PATENTS REVISITED

Marc Andelman drgonfly at biosource.ultranet.com
Tue Apr 9 08:47:02 EST 1996


> Bert, the situation is both worse and better than you both 
think.  To Those who want to patent things as individuals,
go right out and buy "Patent it yourself"  Nolo Press, Berkely, CA.
There is also a Windows version.  In fact, any inventor anywhere
should get this book, so that you understand patent law and
won't drive your patent attorney crazy.

Bert is right, that the real cost is suing people.  Right now,
I have five issued and two allowed patents that clearly supercede
a big national lab's 2MM effort.  I have to file an interferance
to through their patent out,which costs me dearly, thank you
to uncle Sam and everyone who works so hard with my tax dollars
to bring everyone under the yoke.  However, a new law says, that
for a mere 5K, anyone can have anyone else's patent re-examined.
This is  not as fun as an interference, but is also effective.
Barring any dishonesty on the PTO's part, it does not matter how
much money your opponent has.  Five grand may seem like a lot
for a scientist, but even somenone with a real job at a burger king,
if he/she is determined enough, can amass this much.

One glaring issue not touched on is employment agreements.  Typically
often, a company asks you to sign something that owns your brain,
or any creative invention you make anywhere.  While there is some
sense to some of this on industry's part, how do university's
compell scientists to assign over their work?   Like I said,
who cares, however, as what business do they have patenting
work funded by the taxpayer.

Marc Andelman




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