The slowed economy is probably one of the key reasons so many patents are filed, when the sales are bad the companies are looking elsewhere for revenue and what is a better target when you can patent "Generic use of toilet paper in bathroom" or "Open mouth to breath air" and the like? /sigh
Considering how hard they are to get, IBM's patent farming operation is quite impressive. For some reason I assumed Apple would be higher on the list... maybe they are running out of other people's ideas?
These are companies with large R&D departments, and many of them focus on core research too. See the history of other US companies, like the telcos and so on. They invented a lot of usefull stuff.
Apple does really not invent that much. They have a few software patents og user experience patents. But they are not a hardware company. They design a phone, and call the screen Retina screen for example... but it is a regular LCD ISP screen with a high resolution that they buy from Lg in Korea. That is the case with most of their stuff. Lets use the phone as an example again. The CPU is an ARM processor made by Samsung, that Apple only have made a few minor changes to (and that is not the core of the CPU). The memory is made by Samsung too btw. And all the parts are asembled in China by Foxconn.
If you look at IBM for example.. they do research in CPU design and production. They design technology from the ground up. Look at harddrives . . . they invented better heads, they did research on bearings related to drives, they invented "pixie dust" and so on. Even though they sold the drive division, they still make parts for drives.
If all companies stopped to research by themselves, and just let other assemple theirs stuff - there will be no new cutting edge stuff. Just old technology in fancy design. And yeah... you can get a patent on design - but what we need is patents on core technology.
Look to Germany and Fraunhofer for example (http://www.fraunhofer.de/en/about-fraunhofer/) .
Here in the US we have a lot of technology. We should focus more on the fabrication too. Not just invent tech, and let others make the products.
Manufacturing gives a lot of jobs that we need.
When you patent true innovation, is when the patent systems works very good: protecting innovation from tech thieves. I'd give IBM the benefit of doubt, but I also know they might patent "troll stuff" just because they can and it will gives them profit someday.
You should pay for your patent to stay alive IMO (not a creation fee, but a monthly one according to the type of patent asked). That way there wouldn't be patents standing alone in the dark, waiting for someone to break them and sue the ones who does it. When the patent expires because of payment, then it becomes void or becomes "free to use". It's a rough idea, but it might work xD!
[citation][nom]Yuka[/nom]You should pay for your patent to stay alive IMO (not a creation fee, but a monthly one according to the type of patent asked). That way there wouldn't be patents standing alone in the dark, waiting for someone to break them and sue the ones who does it. When the patent expires because of payment, then it becomes void or becomes "free to use". It's a rough idea, but it might work xD!Cheers![/citation]
Dude, there is a fee for having a patent stay alive: it is called a maintenance fee. In the US, these fees are due at 3.5, 7.5 and 11.5 years after patent grant. In other countries, these fees are due annually, i.e. in Canada.
It only proves that America has the ingenuity and innovation, now if we could just keep the manufacturing jobs here instead of outsourcing them. Then, and only then, will we regain our global economic dominance.
[citation][nom]tangkong[/nom]Isn't this the same company that files an application to patent the patent process? I am least impressed...[/citation]
I just found out that IBM isn't too impressed with you either.
[citation][nom]malikxaxu[/nom]Dude, there is a fee for having a patent stay alive: it is called a maintenance fee. In the US, these fees are due at 3.5, 7.5 and 11.5 years after patent grant. In other countries, these fees are due annually, i.e. in Canada.[/citation]
Yeah, the time gap is what I'm saying it should be shortened. And rise the price according to what type of patent is. The more patents of X type you have, the more you will be charged for each! That way, at some point, it won't be lucrative to have so many patents and you would be forced to have them spread out (thinking about a big player), it's gonna even out at some point, letting new innovation into play from people interested in creating stuff.
At least, there has to be some economic way to do this without getting in the way of free market reign.
If it is obvious in hind-sight or retrospect, then it wasn't really obvious was it?
Without patents there is no incentive for technological progress, and as such we would all be running something akin to the Pentium-90 today, instead of several years ago, mass produced, at an affordable price (for the time).
Would IBM patents include Lenovo or are they separate?
Excellent question, I imagine there is some sort of agreement between the two companies.