a Californian jury, in front of a Californian Judge, decided that the patents of a Californian Company have been infringed by a S.Korean company

I’m getting really pissed off with Patent Law, or rather the abuse of its intent.

The latest case is one, whereby a Californian jury, in front of a Californian Judge, decided that the patents of a Californian Company had been infringed by a S.Korean company.

I’m sure that it was a fair and unbiased decision, although I read a report that said: “Samsung employees testified through interpreters, or in video depositions that alienated jurors”.

The Californian company was awarded $1.05 Billion in damages.

Why?

Apart from the fact that the individuals, who created the product, didn’t directly benefit from the patents (the patents will stay with the corporate bodies, long after the creators are dead), how do these patent rights encourage, instead of stifling further advances, which will benefit The World?

Patents were never intended to be like American land rushes, where the first person  to push a stick in the ground, owned (as would his descendants) everything around him for as far as he could see.

Patents were intended to reward those who had improved the lot of their fellow man, or at least their compatriots.

They were life pensions, or sinecures. They weren’t intended as a licence to kill off the competition and the ruler, who had granted the patent, would have swiftly rescinded it, if he had thought the recipient was doing so.

Apart from that, why so much?

Is it a reflection of the effort put in to the design?

Is it a reflection of the original outlay?

Will it guarantee better, further advances that couldn’t be made by Samsung, or any other innovator’s?

Does it allow for payment’s to the creator’s of the technology that preceded thiese patents? For instance, how much is the designer of the transistor getting?

It’s time a new patent law was designed, based on:

1. A “lifelong” benefit only (possibly the patentee, could sign over the life-benefits to another individual, such as a son, or living grandchild).

2. A diminished benefit, if a subsequent patent would improve the original. The degree  of diminishment to be arbitrated by jury 3. A jury chosen from a global mix of randomly selected jurors from an agreed population. I would propose that they be of a basic literacy level and from the second quartile in terms of intelligence (able to have some appreciation of the arguments but not divorced from the common world view). 4. I propose the jury consist of 100 people (expensive to cater for but also expensive to nobble). The cost would be administered through the U.N. as guardians of the arbiters. Bearing in mind that no two people completely agree on anything a majority vote of 66% would decide on y/n votes and in terms of deciding on degrees of apportionment then an average of all juror’s evaluations would be accepted. 5. The juror’s would decide according to strict criteria:   a) Would the patent benefit anyone, or harm anyone   b) How many people would benefit or be harmed?   c) The degree of benefit harm would need to be assessed on some scale to give a weighting against the numbers affected. (a hundred gaining the pleasure associated with the taste of a srawberry would be balanced against the pain of one person’s sore tooth). ….. needs a lot of thought on such a grading.   d) How much benefit should accrue to the originator and how much to his empoloyer’s (regardless of any contracts signed by the originator)   e) should the benefits be capped (i) in terms of total payments to be received or (ii) in terms of the % of net profit per unit.   f) should the benefits have a review date, in case they stifled further advancement e.g. a decade. This could be invoked in regards to item 2.   g) etc. to be added as others think of them. 6. Patents to be denied on basis of lack of originality, or reasonable and possible alternative. (e.g. Microsoft’s touchscreen “gesture” protocols.) 7. Patents not to be disallowed on religious or political grounds. 8. Anymore that I can think of later.

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