Re: How to sort patents and trolls out easily
Do you have a patent that isn't used in a product? You have one year to either produce a working product using it, or to sell it to someone who WILL use it in a product.
"WILL use it" when? Does the clock start again when the sale of the patent is complete? And at what point is it considered used in a product?
In any case, one year is far too short an interval for many patented inventions to be incorporated into a product, unless the definition of "product" is extremely generous.
Otherwise, it becomes public ownership.
Gets rid of patent trolls, and encourages use of new ideas. Is there a downside?
The downside is that it does not get rid of patent trolls, and does not encourage the use of new ideas.
It doesn't get rid of trolls because either they can keep passing the patents around, restarting the clock; or if the clock doesn't restart, they can pay someone to develop a prototype "product" which they then sit on until they can use the patent for licensing. To prevent the latter behavior the regulation on what constitutes a "product" sufficient to defend patent ownership will become far more of a byzantine horror than the current system.
It discourages the use of new ideas because it strips patents of their investment value, which means inventors without the means or motive to develop products - individuals, research laboratories, universities - no longer have a way to profit from their work, and potential practicing entities can't use their IP as collateral for attracting investment.
Every single time the Reg runs a story about patents, half a dozen commentators have to propose their brilliant schemes for reforming the system. And they always suffer from these flaws. The Reg readership has a very short memory, apparently.
The patent systems in the US and other countries are clearly severely flawed. Proposals that fit on a t-shirt are not going to fix them, however.