Does no one see the implications for patents?
Posted May 12, 2012 21:03 UTC (Sat) by giraffedata
In reply to: Does no one see the implications for patents?
Parent article: SAS v. WPL decision addresses boundaries of copyrights on software (opensource.com)
I think that forcing people to document their inventions in the public domain was one of the justifications for having monopolies over processes, but I don't think it's a primary purpose at all.
I wouldn't say forcing, any more than I'd say the tax credit for oil exploration forces people to explore for oil.
I also don't think that the eventual passing of the invention into the public domain was the essential goal. The essential goal was the immediate disclosure of the invention. There's lots society can do with knowledege of an invention even without the ability to make, use, or sell it. Beside that, with the monopoly in place, inventors are better able to sell the ability to make, use, and sell to others for a reasonable price.
But that's just historical. Today, many people recognize an equally important reason for the monopoly: to encourage people to invent in the first place. Sometimes that's expensive and a monopoly means the inventor can get paid back.
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