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Why Patent Reform is Needed

Remote User: Branko_R_Babic
Time: 20:18:51 -0000

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A case history exemplifying the need for patent reform. As an example of why changes to the Patent Law are needed, a case study is enclosed that is deposited on the Ideas 21, Inventors Profile page. Like most inventors, the rate of creative output by this inventor is measured in tens of patent applications rather than one invention in a life time. Any one of the patented concepts could potentially create a huge market world wide and earn billions of pounds during the 20 year life of a patent. The money generated by a new concept can only be enforced if patent rights are available so that granted patents become mandatory. The problem is that the patentee has to fund the enforcement action in a Civil Court of Law and anyone who has observed proceedings in patent litigation, will not be surprised to see bills for millions of pounds in litigation costs. The case of the owners of the IP relating to Winnie the Pooh verses the Walt Disney corporation, or the relatively small action of Dyson verses Hoover, amassed costs in millions. Clearly, for most patentees, the outlay of such monies is impossible and the action of attrition becomes the norm in cases of theft of intellectual property. Many cases are lost simply because patentees cannot continue to pay the cost being incurred. Branko Babic is a life-long inventor frustrated, robbed, abused and overwhelmed by his creative outpourings but still inventing. Like most creative people, the inventive drive is part of his character and he can no more help inventing than a painter or a sculptor can control their urge to put their visions into reality. A suitcase of abandoned patent applications is testament to the quantity of creative thought but as always, the cost of maintaining and patenting the inventions, relegates all but a few of the patent applications to the dusty suitcase. The scope and nature of the creative flood is extensive. Inventions, relating to chemical mechanisms that explain a step by step process of for example, how cement damages skin, why certain compounds like straw retard the formation of crystals, how certain molecules extract water from bacteria, how Homeopathic principles can mimic powerful drugs, the control of fires in damaged oil installations and oil wells, mechanisms for precise control of jet engine combustion chamber pressures, three-way jet engine exhaust catalyses, four and five way catalyses of combustion engine exhaust, slow rotating generators, systems for inducing extreme turbulence, homogenisation of gas liquid phase mixtures, direct impact heat exchangers, fusion reactors cooling systems, low density materials, high heat tolerating building blocks etc being an example of his work. For the year 2002, three patent applications are being processed and are in the final stages of being granted and some 12 patent applications, deposited with the Patent Office. Exceptionally successful technology has emerged, to earn vast sums of money worldwide: 1. During testing of a new concrete mix in 1980 a concept emerged that allowed the inventor to contain the size of the air vacuole in the mixture of concrete. By mixing expanded polystyrene beads of 1mm in diameter and less surprisingly large quantities of air could be mixed with concrete slurry, without any substantial loss in crushing strength. A great deal of work and experimentation later, patent applications were submitted to the British Patent Office and research continued to extend the properties of Styrocrete, the thermally insulating fireproof cement composite, with further developments and modifications. Patent Applications, GB 831754.9, 8927144.9, 9001935.7, 9006365, 9126821.9, 9203243.2, 9304172.1, 9313903.8, 9403808.0, 9416361.5, 9503125.8, 9516420.8, 9603341.0, 9616825.7, 9716609.4, 9814754.9, 9914754.9, 915769.5 and finally the patent was granted in 2004 i.e. the GB 2 340 125 B. During this extended time numerous attempts were made to introduce this new technology to UK industry and elsewhere. Today, many countries in Europe manufacture huge quantities of the concept, making millions of pounds annually from the sale of the composite. 2. The sailing board mast to boom clamp, was patent applied for in 1985 (GB 8515840) and was promptly copied all over the world to sell in tens of millions annually. To this day, the fitting remains the best way for board sailors to secure the boom to the mast. 3. In 1991 the Kuwaiti war prompted the development of a way to control burning damaged oil wells. The technology relates to patent applications (GB 8821860.7, 9105690.3, 9106872.6, 9107521.8, 9108270.1, 9109548.9, 9110973.6 and K 39/94 and K 40/94). The outstanding royalties on this technology was well in excess of £100M in 1991. Money people advise that had that sum been well invested at that time, the total value of those royalties should have multiplied many times. As an example of the potential earning capacity of a useful invention the above examples are not unusual but in most cases, inventors never obtain their just reward for the technology they create and indeed, Babic has not been able to retrieve any of the unpaid royalties on the above patents. Much effort is being invested in attempting to changing the Law relating to patents. The situation as it stands makes it impossible for the creative individual to protect intellectual property and representations are being made in many quarters, to change the Law so that theft of IP, becomes a criminal matter. BRB May 2004.


Last changed: Wednesday June 02, 2004