Tech Monopolies Killed The Patent System And Innovation

The tech monopolies sit in your frontyard, and sell lemonade, with your lemons. The tech giant oligopolies have killed innovation: they want to own everything, not just your soul and your passions. To insure their monopolies they have broken little inventors.
Small inventors are not rewarded anymore: the Patent System is broken, in the USA, and it was broken by the tech giants and their legions of lobbyists and lawyers.

The breaking of the Patent System started with an Ebay judicial decision: NO INJUNCTIVE RELIEF except if one practiced the invention 2006. That should be called legislating from the bench [0]. Of course the inventor of an idea cannot in general exploit that idea… Because s/he does not own a company. S/he owns an idea. To claim one needs a company to profit from an idea is to claim there is no such a thing as intellectual property. So giant US tech monopolies have succeeded to kill the very idea of intellectual property… or one could say they have monopolized it.

Specifically, a patent is supposed to be the granting of a monopoly by the state, for a number of years (20). In exchange, the invention is published. During that time, if someone uses the invention, without authorization and compensation, there used to be injunctive relief: the violator could be ordered to cease and desist. But no more.
The law, through a SCOTUS decision now requires in particular compulsory licencing (the statute and US constitution say the opposite). If a giant tech company wants to use your invention they can, and they do… compensation is under reasonable conditions. The tech giant decides what is reasonable and an armada of lawyers will block the small inventor if s/he objects.
Invention is central to progress, or even survival of society, as the ecology suffers, and we have to learn to do things differently. Interestingly, in Europe or… China, the patent system is intact, so we can expect them to become relatively more inventive. This is clear in the case of China (and a good thing! [1])

It inventors are not rewarded, there will be no more invention


The concept of economy was created by the philosopher Xenophon (400 BCE). There was never a market free from government. Laws decide what freedom means, and also what can be traded, and how. Intellectual property and freedom lost value, when emperor Vespasian (69-79 CE) forced an engineer to not divulge the invention of a machine which could replace the work of a huge number of people. Censorship of innovation went against the Roman Republic prior tradition of engineering creativity. One general had decided that Rome should stop innovating [2]. 

The main cause of the collapse of the Roman State was monopolist thinking, what one should call intellectual fascism. It means that a number of ideas and feelings are bundled together, and monopolitistically imposed. The powers that be then stay in power. 

However, any society is dynamic, even, and especially, if it is successful, causing ecological devastation [3]. Thus success of a society requires changing mindsets… the exact opposite of a society mentally dominated by a few persons. There is no stability of world society, so invention is mandatory. The world needs beautiful and powerful inventions, not world censorship, and the tragedy of the most common basic instincts.

Humanity has a strength: there are more human minds now than ever. We will innovate more if they can all contribute to the world’s mental debate… In a civilized way. This will not be achieved if only a few are in control… And motivated mostly by will to power and greed.

Patrice Ayme


P/S: The first recorded patent for an industrial invention was granted in 1421 CE in Florence to the architect and engineer Filippo Brunelleschi. The patent gave him a three-year monopoly on the manufacture of a barge with hoisting gear used to transport marble. The first US patent was granted in 1790, to Samuel Hopkins for an improvement “in the making of Pot ash and Pearl ash by a new Apparatus and Process“.


[0] A jury found that MercExchange’s patent was valid, that eBay and had infringed that patent, and that an award of damages was appropriate. Following the jury verdict, the District Court denied MercExchange’s motion for permanent injunctive relief. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed, applying its general, traditional rule, central to patent enforcement, that courts will issue permanent injunctions against patent infringement absent exceptional circumstances.

Then the Supreme Court of the US (SCOTUS) reversed the decision.

SCOTUS is endowed with nine permanent members supposedly only animated by the spirit of justice, yet, who are not separated from the influence of the most influential persons in the world. According to the US Sup Court, the decision whether to grant or deny injunctive relief rests within the equitable discretion of the district courts, and such discretion had to be exercised consistent with traditional principles of equity, in patent disputes no less than in other cases governed by such standards. Little guy against giant corporations and enormously malevolent plutocrats: this is what SCOTUS calls “equity”.

Some may say that robbing innovators is less dramatic a problem than systemic racism, social injustice, poor education, bad health care, etc. But such a position would be actually naive. After all, tech monopolies themselves depend upon innovation (at least at inception). Thus it is colossally hypocritical for tech monopolies to kill innovation: it shows them to be vicious ingrates, abysmally stupid, or both. Now one has to remember of their enormous influence on decision makers, worldwide. The end result is that colossal hypocrisy wrapped in hubris and motivated by greed is at the helm of the world. So no wonder we do not progress well on social issues the same leaders under the influence are supposed to decide.

In any case, a society can perdure with inequity for millennia. But without innovation, it will die, especially when the times are rushing by.

Patrice Ayme


[1] Many US inventors now file in Europe and China, because they have given up on the USPTO.


[2] Vespasian was a fascist general, and Rome was not a republic anymore. Thereafter, Roman creativity fell off a cliff, never to recover… while the crises piled up. One man had decided that Rome should stop innovating. 

Fascism comes from fasces, an Etruscan symbolism of a bundle of rods representing the people, bound together. Fascism is fundamentally a defense mechanism, making one mind out of many, to better react to aggression. It is crucial in war, but can be misused in peace.


[3] Success implies ecological devastation or exhaustion (today we have a carbon dioxide crisis, from industrial success, and a nitrogen crisis, from agricultural success, and a biological diversity and abundance crisis, from human population success, etc…). Rome became metal dependent in a systemic way as a socioeconomy, and then had a metal penury crisis….

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2 Responses to “Tech Monopolies Killed The Patent System And Innovation”

  1. Patrice Ayme Says:

    [To Brooks, New York Times]

    Biden says he cares about research and development. Sending more money to basic, fundamental research is how the government can help. Biden should go as big as possible there. But the consequences, including a better educational system, will take time.

    However there is one thing the government can do right away, with quasi immediate effect, it is to fix the broken US patent system. The broken system has dumbed down innovation and has augmented oligarchy and inequity. The US system has been the victim of laws and legal interpretations which have made small individual innovators incapable of protecting their inventions against giant tech monopolies and big money. In particular injunctive relief should be reinstated in full (tech monopolies decide whether they will compensate inventors or not, and how much). Right now big tech monopolies can steal inventions with impunity. This destroys US innovation.

    By comparison, the Chinese patent system works as patent systems are supposed to work: by giving a lot of power to little inventors. The patent system is a colossal help for China.This would also help in cutting down the power of the tech monopolies. Unfortunately many officers in the Biden administration have been loaned from the monopolies, and will not like this suggestion.

    Ah, last detail: sending money to infrastructure such as battery chargers should not be the role of government. Better send that money to fundamental research and education.


  2. muunyayo Says:

    Reblogged this on Muunyayo .


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