Monday, 12 April 2010
Patent? No thanks.
The subject of patenting has arisen again and I'd still prefer not to patent, assuming I was in a position to consider patenting Bessler's wheel.
I understand the advantages of patenting such an invention, having had them drummed into me constantly by people who are both pro-patent and fully versed in the intricacies of the legal protection system, but there are a couple of disadvantages which to my suspicious mind, outweigh any advantage you care to name.
The first is the expense. Although the total fees only add up to £200 in the UK, there are other costs such as patent agents fees, renewal fees as well as the possible cost of enforcing your patent which will add significantly to this initial cost. I couldn't write it myself so I'd have to pay some patent attorney to do it for me. No, trust me, I couldn't write it for myself. I am reliably informed that it could cost over £30,000 to get patent protection across Europe and further afield; and a simple dispute could cost over £200,000 if not resolved out of court.
Now I know that many will immediately suggest such fears are groundless; "think of the fortune you will be getting! The cost will be peanuts compared to what you will receive," some will say. Although potentially true, there is one small point that has been overlooked and that, or rather she, is my wife. There is no way she is going to allow me to remortgage our home to finance the patenting of a machine whose very existence is denied by science. So that's that.
Then there is the more spooky prospect which I have also been relentlessly warned about. Should I have the temerity to go ahead and make my outrageous patent application despite my beloved's warnings of impending doom, if I decide to follow that route, I have to face the distinct possibility that certain sinister groups, mascarading as gentlemen in dark attire, will pounce upon my patent and seize it and all persons connected with it and bury the lot in some secret location, never to be seen again.
Seriously, there is a mechanism whereby the British government oversees all patent applications to ensure that there is no chance that they might conflict with their interests, with a view to censoring the release of information on the subject. It is a distinct possibility that any government might, for its own purposes - i.e. tax revenue - wish to seek control of such an invention. Such action, however remote the possibility, means that I could not afford to apply for a patent just in case it never sees the light of day. Although I cannot answer for other patent offices in other countries, I am of the opinion that all of them have similar options available to them.
I don't even accept that patenting is the right thing to do in this case. If I succeeded it wouldn't be my invention, but Bessler's. I couldn't have got as far as I have without his help and I shall prove that soon - working wheel or no working wheel.
But the main reason why I wouldn't patent is because such a device needs to be openly discussed and promoted to the whole world. More than enough money would find its way to my bank account for me not to be concerned about losing out on the vast sums of money purported to be mine, should I patent. Books, interviews etc, for a few weeks would more than suffice to replenish the family coffers.
So don't tell me I'd be screwed every-which-way if I didn't patent - its a case of screwed if I do and screwed if I don't!
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