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Re: http://walkerdigital.com/html/patents.html

--- begin forwarded text

Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 15:18:40 -0800 (PST)
From: <Somebody (who founded a software company :-))>
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: http://walkerdigital.com/html/patents.html
Status: U

IMHO, the patent office has no clue what the hell they're doing.  Maybe
it is time we do away with patents and let people who feel ripped off rely
the courts for restitution.

I have always thought that patents were to protect the inventor from
being ripped off.  However, i now find that:

1. patents are slowing down progress, since someone with a better idea
can't use that idea since somehow, any incarnation of the patented idea,
however different it may be, is covered by the broadness of the patent,
thanks to some high paid lawyer.

2. patents are meant for "inventions", not ideas.  Ideas are getting
patented everyday.  I know of many.  Why do I consider them ideas and
not inventions?  Because the patented "thing" isn't available.  There is
a description of how it will work, what it will do and how someone could
build it, in a million different ways, if they could figure out the tiny
details themselves, since that is the part missing.  But can you go
anywhere and touch the invention, or see it operate or use it in some
manner, however preliminary?  No.

I still have the folder that E*Data sent me four or more years ago,
stating:  We would rather license than litigate.  Here is a list of
companies we've sued.  You'd look through the paperwork and everything
was spelled out except what you would get from them if you licensed
their patent, other than permission.  You remember E-Data?  Where are
they now?  Well they had a big blow a few months ago to their silly

All in all, I don't think patents help the small inventor any more.
Those who can afford it, tell a lawyer what they are thinking and in
60-90 days, the attorney will have filed a patent with no more than a
few follow-up phone calls or faxes.  Those who can't afford it will
continue to be robbed of their inventions.

My rant.

--- end forwarded text

Robert A. Hettinga <mailto: [email protected]>
Philodox Financial Technology Evangelism <http://www.philodox.com/>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'