Patents

When the Americans wrote their constitution they made provision for patents. Patents had two purposes:

  1. To encourage people to invent by giving them a short monopoly.
  2. To encourage inventors to fully disclose how their new technology worked so it could stimulate others.

The idea was to allow patents on novel and significant innovation. However, in modern times patents have been severely abused.

I had a talk with a clerk in the Swiss patent office (no it wasn’t Einstein). He said he had four days to decide if a patent should be granted. A typical patent application is 5 cm (1.97 in) thick. It takes a day just to skim it. It is written in opaque language to make the invention sound much more important than it really is. It also attempts to disguise the prior art. The clerk is not necessarily an expert in the field.

I call for the following reforms:

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)