[pp.int.general] Patent system similar to GPL?

Erik Lönroth erik.lonroth at gmail.com
Mon Feb 28 04:23:33 CET 2011

I have tried to follow on the discussion and it seems to me (correct
me if I'm wrong) that the patent issue is a "broken" path as far as it
is possible to implement a patent system that foremost targets the
"common" interest in developing ideas, such as GPL (that sponsors

So, would it be possible to try to initiate a work on trying to define
what fundamental principles a patent system must build upon in order
to function well, as we claim the current system(s) don't.

I'd like to quote this year nobel price winner in physics, Andre Geim,
on why he never patented their invention:

You haven't yet patented graphene. Why is that?

"We considered patenting; we prepared a patent and it was nearly
filed. Then I had an interaction with a big, multinational electronics
company. I approached a guy at a conference and said, "We've got this
patent coming up, would you be interested in sponsoring it over the
years?" It's quite expensive to keep a patent alive for 20 years. The
guy told me, "We are looking at graphene, and it might have a future
in the long term. If after ten years we find it's really as good as it
promises, we will put a hundred patent lawyers on it to write a
hundred patents a day, and you will spend the rest of your life, and
the gross domestic product of your little island, suing us." That's a
direct quote.

I considered this arrogant comment, and I realized how useful it was.
There was no point in patenting graphene at that stage. You need to be
specific: you need to have a specific application and an industrial
partner. Unfortunately, in many countries, including this one, people
think that applying for a patent is an achievement. In my case it
would have been a waste of taxpayers' money."

The tragic situation here is that is so clearly shows how messed up
the current situation is.


On Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 3:00 AM, Sina Amoor Pour
<sina.amoorpour at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Yes, you can do that.  It might be useful, but it is not very similar
>> to copyleft.
> What are the differences? I'm not an expert on copyleft licenses so it would
> be interesting to know.
>> It cannot reach trolls.  Also, if a company creates a separate patent
>> troll company, and they are both held by the same holding company, it
>> may be able to escape from these requirements -- unless someone very
>> clever figured out a way to prevent that.
> I agree the system is not perfect and there are probably a lot of holes
> opening up to unwanted activities, but I also believe it is a step in the
> right direction. Because lets face it, the law makers will not fix the
> problems with patents anytime soon. There is a need to take matters into our
> own hands. Hopefully the issues with these licenses will be fixed over time.
>> Are you involved in designing these licenses?
> No. I'm in no way associated with designing these licenses nor the
> organization (Cambia) that initivated and developed these licenses. I
> stumbled up on them a couple of years ago when I was doing information
> research about alternatives to patents.
>> --
>> Dr Richard Stallman
>> President, Free Software Foundation
>> 51 Franklin St
>> Boston MA 02110
>> USA
>> www.fsf.org, www.gnu.org
> ____________________________________________________
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