The New Scientist notes.... www.newscientist.com...
A book dealer friend once told me of an affluent American who walked into his London shop and asked if he could buy "20 yards of books". It didn't
matter what they were, he announced airily, as long as they were leather bound they'd look good on the mahogany shelving in his new abode. Well, it
appears such attitudes now dominate the thoughts of what we once thought of as innovators, as they treat patents as a similar commodity to be bought
As our global "leadership brain trust" has evolved. one might say that they have channeled the fate of nations by their ideals of governance and
policy. Once upon a time, for instance, The United States was a nation with economies of industry, agriculture, and scientific innovation. But some
subtle paradigm shift occurred and America subsequently became an "information" economy... herein you will find some (but by no means all) of the
fall-out from that 'ideal.'
The Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard 2011 finds that patent quality has declined by an average of around 20 per cent between the 1990s
and 2000s, a pattern seen in nearly all countries studied..
Now of course, we can't assess the meaning of this without a clear understanding of how this organization measures 'quality.'
The OECD measures patent quality by the number of times a patent is cited as "prior art" in another patent - showing its importance to the
inventor community as a whole. On this basis, they found that US, German and Japanese patents "produced about 70 per cent of the top 1 per cent of
highly cited patents between 1996 and 2000, but their share had fallen to 60% five years later."
OK then, a 20% drop in significant (i.e. 'cite-able') patents in a decade, and a 10% drop over the last 5 years Apparently this means that the
patents which have been submitted, evaluated, and approved are - for the most part - relatively narrow in scope, perhaps trivial tweaks to existing
Now a word about the OECD
OECD stands for "Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development"
and is a body of 30 countries, whose ministers meet to "cooperatively
discuss, develop and refine a broad range of economic and social policies including macroeconomics, education and science." Although in 2004 the self
description went something like this "The primary purpose of the OECD is to gather information about the activities of various countries and regions,
so that senior government persons can use this to make informed decisions."
Either way, the concept of this body scream NWO. I have had some difficulty in identifying exactly "who" are the members of the OECD, aside from the
identified nations in the organization. It would behoove us to nail that down.
Back to patents..... Among the statistics gathered by the OECD are the tell-tale indicators that the paradigm shift to "information as commodity" has
been implemented without consideration it the bureaucratic structures in at least the US; if not other nations.
A small example of what we are seeing is this:
[Google has this year bought 2000 software patents from IBM (a good few shelves' worth and twice as many as Thomas Edison, the virtual godfather
of this blog, ever filed). It is also buying Motorola's cellphone division and its portfolio of 17,000 wireless-centric patents. It's part of the
search engine's attempt to defend against patent lawsuits in the US, where high volumes of low quality patents have led to the magic of human
inventiveness being replaced oftentimes by "non practising entities" - companies who file overly broad patents on obvious ideas in the hope that one
day the technology will become feasible, allowing them to pounce and sue. And it's forcing firms to act defensively, salami-slicing their innovations
and filing patents on almost imperceptibly tiny improvements.
As the value of patents shifted from the substance of the invention to the 'filing' of the claim,. a bum rush of large corporation are amassing every
patent they can... ultimately this seems to be a clear sign that someone wants to establish a patent market; where packages of patents can be
exchanged traded or used as some kind of currency, or collateral. There is grave danger in this, we are not talking about physical reality, we are
changing the patent as a symbol of something that has value, into something that has value in and of itself..
Very recent history demonstrates that our own legislators and political appointees are very much accommodating the shift away from protecting the
exclusivity of rights for inventors towards the right of property of filers. This can be further discussed here:
In short, the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act recently passed by an almost unprecedented super-majority (thus obviating the need for a Presidential
endorsement) rejects over 200 years of American Jurisprudence and strips the protection afforded to inventors, preferring instead to protect 'filers.'
(All this while specifically excluding banks from the change - to further add insult to injury.)
Now the fact that the US remained one of the few nations who recognized the 'exclusive' right of inventors to their inventions without proviso or
condition was one of those things I saw as potently pro-innovation, and very capitalistic.... now... certainly not so much.
Are we learning yet?
edit on 21-9-2011 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)