> From: Jon Crowcroft <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>

> ...
> perhaps the length of patent protection should be directly related to
> the cost of developing an idea - in pharmaceutical industry, long
> patents make sense because of the large investment in testing a new
> drug safely - similar i nthe automotive and aero industries
> in software, its pretty obvious that this is silly - one-klik took
> someone about 6 nanoseconds to think up, and 3 to test...

Why should it a priori take decades to check an idea in the automotive
industry but seconds in the computer industry?  What about overlapping
areas, such as computer networks in cars?
Would you have the same people checking the claims of how much it cost
to develop an idea that now check the technical claims, including those
who checked http://patent.womplex.ibm.com/details?&pn=US05446889__ and
(The main purpose of "6025810: Hyper-light-speed antenna" is "to allow
signals to travel great distances at many times the speed of light.")

Patents have been a dire mess for more than 100 years.  Look at the
patent games played with firearms 125 years ago.  Consider the "defensive
patents" in the ink jet printer business in the last 20 years.

> ...
> the ietf has a very good protection in principle against people who
> think that a patent is power to "own" a standard 

"Protection in principle" is right, as plenty of experience in the
IETF demonstrates.  I care a lot more about protections in practice.

>                                                    it would be nice
> to try to identify the mistaken "stakeholders" who belive that 
> patents are a weapon...

The only mistake I see is the idea that patents are other
than very effective weapons.  It sounds like an insane idea to
anyone who reads a newspaper.

Vernon Schryver    [EMAIL PROTECTED]

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