[scribus] intellectual property

CLIVE CATTERALL clive.catterall at btinternet.com
Fri Mar 26 12:16:45 CET 2010

Andreas wrote:
> Mailing lists can display many many differnt and even
> contradicting ideas. I
> don't know why you think the general Scribus list member
> dislikes the idea
> of IP. 

I admit I may be tarring the general listmember with the same brush, but it was the very agressive way that a few weeks ago a number of list members dealt with a woman whose only crime seemed to be having a rather overlong signature which advertised a service to assess patents. Perhaps I was wrong to assume that a dislike of one particular sort of IP indicated a dislike of other sorts of IP. If I was wrong I apologise.

> b) If people claim IP rights for obvious and simple ideas,
> they hamper
> progress. How can someone work if his/her next thought
> might already be
> patented by someone else? 

That *ought* to be sorted out at the patent granting stage. The examiner should look at the application and see if it is obvious to someone "versed in the art". It is true that this is not always done, and as a designer my first task on receiving a new project is to gather everything I can on "prior art" - patents, competitors equipment, anything in the public domain etc. and work from there.

> c) The patent system in the US has evolved into some art of
> commercial/legal
> warfare and has very little to do with creativity.

The problem is not limited to the US. As you say, patents for small companies are worthless without substantial amounts of legal insurance.

I think we are blaming the patent system (which IMHO was originally a brilliant idea to encourage individual inventors) for wider problems with global companies who seem to be interested only in what they can do and not what they should do. If companies behaved ethically there would be very little wrong with the patent system.

I don't mean to criticise this list - I am just interested in commercial ethics.

Clive Catterall

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