In defense of patents

You come up with a great idea.
You want to see hundreds, thousands  or maybe millions of people use it.
But the people you compete with have many more resources than you.
You dont have millions of dollars or thousands of smart people to help you.

In a perfect world you start making something and put a disclaimer on the front of each product "I am the inventor of this product. Please feel free to use it but please do not copy it and produce it yourself."

Unfortunately that doesn't work.

This is why governments step in and try to protect inventors of great ideas by 1. Make sure no one else has done the thing before and 2. Give the inventor a fair amount of time (20 years) to make a living from his thing before allowing everyone to use the idea as they see fit. Oh yes. The ideas is free to use... in 20 years.

So why isn't everything patented?

Because patenting is expensive and complicated.
You have to prove that no one else has done your thing before.
You have to clearly define how your invention works.
And it has to be valuable enough for some one to want to buy (for at least the cost of you going through the arduous patent process)

In this way patenting is to some extent self regulating. I had to spend $40,000 back in 1992 to protect my idea. It was not frivolous for me... it was the difference between having a deposit for a house and having a patent.

I have met some patent examiners. They are not stupid. They are not push overs. And they honestly do not want ridiculous patents clogging up the system.

I hope you as a reader take this into consideration next time you are tempted to make sweeping statements about inventors and other honest people that just want to be protected from their work being stolen.
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