Stop talking about "Software Patents" as being special
Posted Nov 7, 2012 15:57 UTC (Wed) by pboddie
In reply to: Stop talking about "Software Patents" as being special
Parent article: Let’s Limit the Effect of Software Patents, Since We Can’t Eliminate Them (Wired)
My preferred hack would be to acknowledge the rate of change in the computing and create a Monopoly Patent for Computer-Implemented Invention which has a short time-span: 3 extensible to 5 years.
I think that people have to step back and ask why we're giving people monopolies on anything at all. Normally, monopolies are highly undesirable things: imagine how popular you'd be if you stipulated that only Dell could sell computers in your country, only Ford could sell cars, only AT&T could provide mobile services, and so on. The question that comes to mind is "What benefit does society get from granting this favour?" and the answer often appears to have something to do with someone benefiting, but not society.
At the risk of dredging up another political discussion, having a patent bureaucracy tracking every man and dog's monopoly entitlement claim, along with the disputes resulting from such claims, is a huge waste of resources not dissimilar to having a huge tax bureaucracy because people can't work up the courage to reform the tax system properly, and so instead of simplifying the system and risking an unforeseen loss of revenue, more loopholes and concessions are tacked on to ease the tax burden and make the system seem kinder. Naturally, this only helps those who have the time to waste or the money to spend on accountants, and so we all know who benefits from such meddling.
Ultimately, such bureaucracy and the associated baggage starts to drag everyone and everything else down with it. Even countries with money to waste on such work-creation schemes would be better off putting those employed in such schemes into more productive employment.
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