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Tech Firms and Regulators Meet At UN About Patents 65

another random user writes "Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and others tech firms met with regulators and patent officials in Geneva to discuss changes to intellectual property laws. The event follows a flurry of lawsuits involving smartphone makers. It is set to focus on how to ensure license rights to critical technologies are offered on 'reasonable' terms. Companies are split over whether they should be allowed to ban rivals' devices if they do not agree a fee. The talks have been organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN agency responsible for ensuring phone-makers agree standards so that their devices can interact with each other."
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Tech Firms and Regulators Meet At UN About Patents

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @07:42PM (#41614143)

    My guess: none.

    Why? They have severely contrasting views.

    My point? Nothing is going to change when your approach is biased.

  • Re:Let's hope (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @07:59PM (#41614265)

    This is not a step. Note the players involved: big, moneyed interests. They will probably say "maximum patent licensing cost is $10M/year per licensor" and be done with it. Two birds with one stone -- no more infighting amongst themselves, while small, disruptive players are barred from the market place.

  • Re:Let's hope (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @08:41PM (#41614555)

    Patents are, I think, supposed to give you a limited time monopoly in order for you to share your technological process with everyone else. This is to combat the rest of us being unable to reproduce your product after you've passed on; an example being the process in making some stained glasses are apparently lost to ages. This should mean that in order to be granted a patent your process should be:-

    Non-obvious - your patent shouldn't be part of natural progression.
    Difficult to reproduce - It shouldn't be resonably possible for someone else to copy your idea just from seeing the end product.
    Be a viable trade secret - as in, if patents didn't exist, you should still resonable be able to maintain your monopoly, possibly forever.
    Be a working product - use it or lose it.

    Obviously thats nothing like how the system works as the vast majority of patents are wielded against people who have seemingly implemented an idea without prior knowledge of the other patent existing. This would also pretty much make design ideas unpatentable. Put shortly I guess the two problems are a) the length of term and b) the bar of what is an accepted patent.

    Of course, if you believe patents are working as intended, you probably disagree on the why they exist. Personally I don't think anyone should be granted any monopolies unless it somehow benefits the commons.

  • Re:Let's hope (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kiriath ( 2670145 ) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @09:35PM (#41614911)

    In a perfect world a patent system would protect the 'little guy' who invented something awesome and wants to safely 'shop it around' to the 'big guys' who have the potential to release it. It should be a tool that allows and promotes the drive to 'get something patented' for mere mortals.

    Like I said, what we've got is a far cry from what a patent system should be... and this is probably not the best way to make any good changes but it is a step.

  • Ha! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Skapare ( 16644 ) on Wednesday October 10, 2012 @10:29PM (#41615205) Homepage

    You work for Monsanto or something?

  • by Luckyo ( 1726890 ) on Thursday October 11, 2012 @12:02AM (#41615725)

    Looking at the history, they will innovate and invent in countries not constrained by these rules. It's going to be rise of the New World yet again, only this time in the East instead of West.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11, 2012 @06:54AM (#41617443)

    If your product can't be released without giving away the patent without having to reverse engineer it, then that patent is not patentable.

    Patents were the opposite to trade secret. Exposure of the trade secret was paid for by the monopoly grant.

    If it can't be kept a trade secret, then it can't be patented.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun