Hall, Philip wrote:

>I was expanding on the fact that whoever has the patent, whether by their
>own research or by buying it, will often just do that - hold the patent with
>no intention of using it other than to protect themselves (more specifically
>the concept) from others.
So? You were "expanding" on these points and your comments simply
directly contradicted the very statement I objected to. Yet here you are
again telling me how wrong I am.

>>My belief is that nobody, or perhaps a very few somebodies, enters
>>into a research project or works to build a working model of a
>>technology for the purpose of filing a patent to stop that technology
>>from being used.
>Not been around too many research labs ? Patents don't just cover 'working
>models' they more often protect research that can't yet be turned into a
>working model or to allow a person who hasn't the facilities to create a
>working model to offer it to someone who has.
You cannot get a patent without a working model. Now, maybe something
has changed, but I don't think so. A few years ago when I was
researching this I was informed by a patent attorney that among the
first steps in getting your patent is the creation of your prototype (or
working model). You cannot simply patent something because you have a
good idea.

>>For example, if Company A researches networking hardware
>>technologies and discovers 5 new "Network Hardware Solutions" called
>>NHS-1 through NHS-5 and they patent these then they pick NHS-1 as the
>>one they will be marketing, to say that their patents on NHS-2 through
>>NHS-5 are "to stop them from being used" is a mis-statement of fact.
>Not at all - the very fact they are patented stops the technology from being
>used by anyone other than Company A.
Quite wrong. After all, IBM does not have the patent on token ring
technology, yet they use it. I would venture to guess that there are
very few technologies only used by the patent holder.

>>If Company B comes along and asks to license NHS-5, Company A will
>>makes its choice based on the profitability of not selling the license
>>vs. the profitability of selling it. If it is worth $1 billion to
>>Company A to not sell the technology and Company B is only offering $1
>>million, it is doubtful they will part with their discovery. If those
>>numbers are reversed, a license is much more likely.
>And how does this differ if Company A decides not to license or sell, from,
>in your words '..."to stop them from being used"...'
    Well, glad you asked. After all, this is exactly what this whole
discussion is about, a matter of intent.
    To state that patents are filed to stop the technology from being
used implies a ridiculous intent.
    Patents are filed as a result of discovery/invention. The work
applied to achieving that patent is usually for the purpose of making a
profit. Of course there are zillions of patents that never make it to
market. That doesn't mean that they were patented to stop the technology
from being brought to market.
    If IBM, or any other company, files 100 patents out of a research
project, they are hoping that all 100 will be profitable products. The
fact that only three turn out to be market worthy does not dictate the
intent of the filing. Are you really willing to say that you think that
IBM (or anyone) files patents hoping that they will never be profitable
enough to be used? That is exactly what you (and Leif) have been saying.

>>Saying, "patents are filed to keep the technology from being used"
>>is a little like saying, "rich people keep their assets to keep others
>>from being wealthy."
>I tried, but I fail to see the analogy.

>>The patent is filed to protect the rights of the inventor.
>Yes, that's the whole point of patents.
What? You mean they aren't filed to stop the technology from being used?
Then what is this all about?

>>inventor is likely to want to make a profit off their patent.
>>If the market is not willing to pay what that inventor feels
>>the patent is worth, that does not make the patent filed
>>"to stop the technology from being used."
>Again, often the patent is for something that cannot yet (or the company is
>not in a position to) be productised - go for a brief browse around any of
>the online patent offices (be warned you could end up spending lots of time
>browsing !) and you'll see lots of patents for stuff that will never, ever
>see the light of day.
Hey, guess what! I _have_ spent time looking though patents. It didn't
help with this though, because none of them listed a "reason for patent
filing" so I couldn't see all the ones filed to "stop the technology
from being used."


Chris Rehm
If you believe that the best technology wins the
marketplace, you haven't been paying attention.

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