Sunday, June 15, 2008

Too Long for a Patent

Speaking with an acquaintance on the internet, he calls himself or herself bull874, but with a name like that let us assume he calls himself bull874. Discussing the importance of acknowledging a source because it is just plain courteous, we ended up discussing the Patent system, particularly in the USA, I assume he is from the United States of America.

To my alarm I discovered that it takes 18 months for a patent to become official, I used to think it is immediate. I believed as soon as your application arrived at the patent office your wish is granted, and it is immediately your invention, eighteen months is a long time, a lot can happen. Ones patent application can be in the patent office, but only the government knows about your invention. In those eighteen months what if somebody comes up with a similar invention, be it by crook, hook or honestly, one will have difficulty proving that their inventions is theirs. One can always say I never saw your work after all it was with the patent office how could they have access to it, unless of course the patent office is corrupt.

Having brought this to my attention, bull874 says he does not trust the patent system and I do not blame him. Given that knowledge generation, particularly derived knowledge is becoming more intense to make goods, patent systems need an overhaul. Patents need to be granted immediately, impractical some would say, but not necessarily so. Having been granted immediately claim of discovery can not be challenged, it will be known so and so did it first. If somebody invents something similar whilst ones application is in the patent office, they can both claim to have got there first, no moral judge can deny the other because he can rightfully claim he had no access to the claimed patent. But if patent is granted immediately there will never be confusion, how can there be confusion.

The copyright system is much simpler and the patent system should delve to be just as simple, once published the idea is yours, there is no dispute, for example, I was the first human to unitize knowledge, calling it the knowl, I have thoroughly discussed the term and analyzed it, immediately it was out the claim is rightfully mine no matter how it pains those who deal in racial matters. Those with big capital might try to take it and claim they first unitized knowledge, it’s a lie, they just have money and its convenient for the system. What I was made aware of is that at the end of the day one must be able to defend the patent, if somebody takes it and infringes on a patent or copyright one needs to be able to go to court to defend what is theirs, the system always bent on supporting the wealthy a backyard inventor is not likely to be able to afford a $500 per hour lawyer, that is a lot of money when the average person earns that in a week. The patent system as well as the justice system are against the backyard inventor, it gives time for people to steal the idea and it will be very difficult to prove in a court if one can afford the expensive lawyer, $500 per hour is a lot of cash.

Having a system that is so biased towards big capital, more fairness means immediate grant of patent or sooner or later patents will be off shored to countries that speed up the process. This is not difficult to grasp, the world is moving closer together and with patents being recognized world wide one might just have to apply for patents in Fiji if it will only take a week for the paperwork to be done, by international treaty that patent in Fiji will soon be able to stand in a US court.

I learnt about patent system from bull874, I acknowledge it, it does not cost me a cent and should he read this he will not be offended, I did not take what he told me and made it seem like I thought of it myself, simple courtesy. Maybe he is black, white, yellow, that is not of concern, he gave me the idea.

Bhekuzulu Khumalo

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Bhekuzulu Khumalo

I write about knowledge economics, information, liberty, and freedom