It has been a long time since I wanted to express my views in regards patents!
I firmly believe as I have previously stated innovation is what drives success and "progress" on a personal level as well as society as a whole.
The concept of patents should be as originally set out - to protect the innovator - i.e. that they can profit on their intellectual as well as practical abilities. So how can this be achieved?
1 - As society benefits from innovation so it should bear the responsibility of protecting innovators out of their personal as well as social self interest, hence costs for patent protection should be social and upon expiry the knowledge should be for the benefit of all.
2 - As the innovator would not necessarily, and currently often does not, benefit from innovation if the cost of patent protection is social then there is a social responsibility in exchange.
So patent protection for a limited time only and not renewable thereafter, and as a basis a maximum needs to be set, eg lifetime of applicant, or 25 years, whichever is greater.Society should benefit for providing patent protection and not inheritance, as protection should be a social cost.
- Only the incremental changes gets new protection, and the original protection still remains as is under the original patent.
- Once a product is no longer supported it automatically looses any patent protection, i.e. production ceases as long as maintenance, support and spare parts if applicable are available for sale to users of the product and it becomes public knowledge free for society to use.
- If a patent is sold and the purchaser fails to bring the product of the innovation to market within 5 years, the patent automatically expires and become free for society to use.
With these simple steps both the innovator as society benefit, and the nonsense of being granted an extension to a patent because of often irrelevant stupid little changes that get granted for another 25 years etc. Finally it stops those with money invested in outdated and often inefficient alternative ideas stifling progress for their malinvestment and lack of innovation!
we halt the suppression of innovation through people that cannot afford patent protection having their innovation taken by someone that happens to have money.