Subject: Re: "incentive void" (was Re: A different patent covenant...)
From: <stephen@xemacs.org>
Date: Tue, 3 Oct 2006 17:11:03 +0900

Norbert Bollow writes:

 > I would suggest that those who have a breakthrough insight _and_
 > what it takes to create an marketable product around that insight
 > will not be so foolish to neglect that business opportunity for
 > the gamble of trying to win a prize.

But patents are not about "breakthrough insights."  They are about
useful improvements over current practice.

Nor are they about "creating marketable products".  They're about
following through and actually doing the marketing.

 > However I'm sure that there are people who'd have a decent chance
 > of succeeding in creating a marketable product and a successful
 > business around it, if they're given a $1mln prize which they're
 > free to use as seed capital.

They're also free to burn it or to create a non-marketable product,
because it's their money.  The point about patents is that they do not
pay off on burning money, nor on non-marketable products.