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Submitting any patent to a standard | 282 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Submitting any patent to a standard
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, March 14 2013 @ 04:16 AM EDT
Problem with that is, that's not the rules the existing patents were licenced

Going forward, fine - but that has fish-hooks - like it's impossible to write
standards which don't infringe someone's patents.

I suspect the only viable fix is a mandatory patent pool.
i.e. if you want to sell cell phones in the US you automatically license all the
relevant patents, and get access to the others needed.

Don't want to play, fine, don't sell in the US.

Take a politician with more courage than I've ever seen to push that fix -
particularly in the US ....

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Submitting any patent to a standard
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, March 14 2013 @ 05:03 AM EDT
But if that were the case, why on earth would any inventer ever grant such a

This would lead to utter fragmentation of "standards" and,
essentially, chaos. Or at best competing consortia as per blu-ray and hd-dvd,
which wouldn't then offer public standards. Losing consumers would be left out
in the cold.

People should be rewarded for investment in innovation but that reward should be
commensurate to the contribution - and that's not a trivial assessment.

Regardless, they should not be rewarded for patenting the patently obvious.


[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Won't work - companies won't contribute to standards
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, March 14 2013 @ 08:56 AM EDT
As long as the patents are granted, they have value. If a company must donate
the patents in order to be included in a standard, they will choose not to be a
part of the standards process.

You either need to eliminate the patents themselves or find a way to reward the
company for their patents.

As long as the patents remain and as long as standards are patent encumbered, if
someone sells a product that implements a standard but refuses to license the
patents associated with it, the product should be removed from market. How is
doing anything different considered acceptable?

I suppose you can fight to invalidate the patent. This helps everyone. If it
survives that process, pay up or exit the market.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

What is a standard?
Authored by: cricketjeff on Thursday, March 14 2013 @ 01:12 PM EDT
A possible, and useful, definition of a standard is that it is simply a
definition intended to allow products from different manufacturers to interact.

Anyone can make a standard, you don't have to submit anything or discuss with
others, the first standards on nuts and bolts were made this way, Armstrong
published a set of specifications that anyone could follow, before then all the
nuts and bolts in machinery were made to match each other, afterwards you could
keep spares of a few types and mend many things. But the standard was made by a
private company for its own purposes.

Most standards are still made this way, many of them will be patent encumbered,
surely you aren't saying that these patents must be given up?

Standards published by international or national standard setting bodies usually
try to steer a course through publicly available intellectual space, where they
cannot without rendering the standard useless they usually negotiate what they
feel are "fair" terms for using the patents but they have no power to
force patent owners to give up their rights, usually a patent holder reasons
that millions of tiny payments are better than very few big ones so they make
their patents available.

Much of the trouble we are experiencing isn't with the patent holders it is with
the patent offices allowing monopolies on non-novel non-inventive ideas to be
given to companies who aren't interested in making anything except money for
their lawyers and owners.

In 35 years as a scientist and then an IT professional I have come across a
handful of ideas that were genuinely worthy of being granted a monopoly in
exchange for revealing them, I have come across thousands of much lesser ideas
that have been given patent protection, including all bar a couple of the
patents my employers have taken out on my ideas. None of these patents should
ever have been granted.

There is nothing in life that doesn't look better after a good cup of tea.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Submitting any patent to a standard
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, March 14 2013 @ 01:54 PM EDT

This case is not so much an issue with the patents, but with the standards themselves, though the underlining problem is the same.

The whole point of an standard is to allow for different things to coexist, if some limiting factor is thrown in it then it fails this purpose.

Take the S3TC debacle for instance, why would it in itself be part of an standard instead of what it accomplishes. Then any implementation would do.

As for a patent blocking all implementations, that is against the purpose of patents.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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