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Swiftness versus Litigation

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Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 5:22 pm    Post subject: Swiftness versus Litigation Reply with quote

Ever since I had ideas...I feared them being stolen. It has been all too easy for the Microsofts and the Googles to take something read and turn it into product...leaving the originator behind.

Patents have become first to market took precedence.

I see another way...swiftness. Move so fast that the giants cannot keep up. Develop so many ideas, publish them so frequently and built them so rapidly (RAD) that as soon as they are exhausted, move on.

Take Twitter ( It's a place to post a quick sentence about what you're doing right web or by phone.

It's a great fast way to express yourself. And soon, it will be transmogrified into Google Quick Talk...or some other Frankensteinian corruption.

The answer is that twitter will fastly evolve or be replaced by a new, quicker, and more innovative tool.

The patent, the IP, the DRM is something we must escape and outrun...making new "stuff" before the old stuff gets caught.

Ideas are gazelles.

Patents are cougars.
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Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 712
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This reminds me of a flyer I saw at the recent 7th annual Zine conference
held in Portland Oregon. It advertised a site that offers
millions of hundred dollar ideas

Believe me, I was amused, but mostly abashed. Having made,
on more than one occasion, claims that some idea I had was a
"million dollar idea", it is distinctly humbling to think that I might
have been off by 5 orders of magnitude.

Ultimately, though, there is no general market for ideas. If I don't
reveal the idea to you, then you have no basis for deciding to pay me.
If I do reveal it to you, then you have no need to pay.

That is why I have concluded that the best way to sell ideas is to
give them away (see my post on the "potlatch economy"). I am
considering setting up a section of this site for million dollar ideas,
where if someone takes up the idea and makes a success of it, they
give a small portion of their profits to the originator. No lawyers,
no litigation, no lives ruined defending a patent, no inventors turned
bitter at how the world stole their better mousetrap.

I wonder how many idea originators would consider this kind of
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Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The typical thing is to mock the Idea Man as a either a lazy bones who didn't pick up on his idea, or a liar who only retroactively claims to have "come up with" the idea for spreadsheets, or color tv. I think of the recent SNL sketch with Ludacris as his friend Rick-Dick-U-Lous comes up, with an enourmous cell phone from the 70s, on his way to an interview for a job at a fast food joint, to claim that it was he who developed that Crazy Rapper style that Ludacris profitted from.

However, historically, we can see that inventors, who were working in the field and may have even been quite well known, were left behind when it came to the attribution of wealth made on that idea.

Notable examples would be Gordon Gould, who, very late in life and after prolonged legal battles, harassment and other problems during his life, was awarded basic patents for the laser. Another would be Douglas Engelbart who, working at Xerox Parc, demostrated the mouse, the GUI, windowing applications and 1968!!! Yet few even know his name...certainly much fewer do than "Steve Jobs".

Today, it's a big economic problem. With all our information technology and machinery, access to capital can still be very limited. The number of venture capital funded businesses still number in the hundreds. There may be a few wild cards, but they are often restricted to people in certain industries...and are funded very often by the big capital pools of the existing Big Tech Corporations. These businesses have as much an interest in seeing these upstarts success as keeping an eye on them in case they challenge their central business.
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