A Quiet Observation

Story: Google's Schmidt hits out at mobile patent warTotal Replies: 5
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Sep 30, 2012
10:28 PM EDT
I read this article and realised for the first time that this staggering number of likely infringed patents means that it is now virtually impossible to design and market a smartphone without running foul of someone's patents and being stopped dead in the water. In other words, patents are now a gross impediment to new products reaching the market place and have lost all the dubious benefits that they might confer on the inventor. At one stage, I thought that just removing patents on software was enough. I am now of the solid opinion that it is time for all patents to be removed and there is already an article on Groklaw which expresses a similar viewpoint :


As many of us have already observed, the only winners in the patent war are the lawyers. For the rest of us, patents mean reduced: competition, innovation and choice; they also mean that we consumers are the mugs who ultimately are compelled to pick up the tab for the millions upon millions being spent on lawyers fees. The patent system is not just broken, it needs to be rubbish tinned. At the very least, let's get software patents into the garbage.

2 cents. :-)


Oct 01, 2012
10:14 AM EDT

What good is it to train and graduate good Engineers, if they simply cannot do the work?

The decline of engineering, manufacturing and the like in the US is certainly due to many factors, but why would someone with a keen mind waste its time when everything has to be passed through the hands of lawyers anyway?

It's no wonder that law and finance have become such a bloated portion of the national "output".

Oct 02, 2012
12:10 PM EDT

This is a pet theory of mine. Salary depends inversely on the distance from the money. Thus as an example an engineer earns much less than a Wall Street "quant" despite doing very similar things. The same applies to engineers and (successful) sales people or lawyers or bankers. It is easy to see why using a simple fluid flow model.

As for scientists like myself LOL.

Interestingly in my fathers day (he was a university engineer) this was not true.

Oct 02, 2012
4:42 PM EDT
Interesting, Monte, and not without precedent in the "higher order capital goods" process as well.

The diamond miner makes less than the cutter, less than the broker, less than the seller.

Each stage of production must itself be profitable, or at least worth doing, or it doesn't get done. This increases the costs of the final product relative to its original inputs.

Yet a single factory can receive inputs from many sources, just as an excellent salesman can put the production of many into the hands of those who want it.

Prices are the only way we can know what is worth doing, I simply hope that the incentives that make the lawyers and bankers so profitable vanish. And soon.

Oct 02, 2012
10:12 PM EDT
> I simply hope that the incentives that make the lawyers and bankers so profitable vanish. And soon.

Somehow, I suspect that a discussion about the source of those incentives would be labelled political, don't you?

Oct 03, 2012
10:07 AM EDT

I seriously considered not even talking about the salesman as a productive part of the process, or that prices are a form of communication, for exactly that reason.

Or for that matter, that 'diamonds' have high prices compared to water, etc etc etc.

Badmouthing lawyers seems just fine, as long as the underlying causes are never broached.

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