THE PROBLEM WITH PATENTS

Bert Gold bgold at itsa.ucsf.edu
Tue Jan 9 18:42:34 EST 1996


Yes, but the issue here is that our way of doing business disincentivizes
intellectual workers from doing their work!

You see, intellectual workers, who are often prohibited from forming unions
under U.S. law (See the Yeshiva University Decision by the U.S. Supreme
Court, upholding the right of the University to prevent a union election
by Professors, because they are too intimately connected with management,
in contrast to the NLRB ruling on the matter), do not have the same
protections as AUTO workers.

Intellectual workers, those who are engineers, who work for microsoft,
or even Jobs or Wozniak, take a HUGE FLYER when they invent something
new:  There is little help for them from the venture capital community
until they prove themselves (economically) and there is certainly
no investment in zero-stage development.  Government will not and
does not help with this either.

So, what you've got is a system that succeeds, sometimes,
and often in spite of itself.

If we are to maintain national competitiveness into the next
century, I would tell you that provides QUITE A BIG PROBLEM.

Especially, if other cultures and/or countries are prepared to
reward their intellectual achievers.

Bert Gold, Ph.D.
UCSF
San Francisco

P.S. A copy of this thread has been mailed to Bill Gates
at Microsoft for his comments.



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