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Intel Mandates Universities Receiving Funds Not File Patents

Unknown Lamer posted about 3 years ago | from the constructive-solutions-who-would-have-thought dept.

Patents 223

sproketboy writes "Since January, four U.S. universities have agreed to host Intel Science and Technology Centers that will be funded at the rate of $2.5 million a year for five years. But wait, there's a catch: the company has made it a condition that in order to receive the millions, your university must open source any resulting software and inventions that come out of this research funding."

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Wait... (2, Funny)

Shikaku (1129753) | about 3 years ago | (#37391150)

Intel NOT acting anticompetitive?

Re:Wait... (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 3 years ago | (#37391162)

Here's the catch: There's no catch... that we know of yet.

Re:Wait... (-1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 3 years ago | (#37391474)

In a first to file situation, Intel is free to patent ideas they didn't invent. The first to describe it to the government gets it. Instead, the feds should have a fast-track system for patent filings which have a condition in them that they are licence-free. Encouraging innovation is the only purpose of patents, and having special low-cost or free patents that are license-free would encourage innovation much more than the current system.

But requiring that the people receiving the money not file is ripe for abuse as someone else files for the same thing.

Re:Wait... (4, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 3 years ago | (#37391502)

This is so wrong I have to ask, are you mentally challenged? First to file does not change rules about publication or who can claim inventions. It only changes the rules covering what happens when two groups attempt to patent the same thing at nearly the same time.

Re:Wait... (1)

v1 (525388) | about 3 years ago | (#37391518)

This sounded awesome until I was thinking about it...

so does this mean that if a beneficiary invents something cool, they can't patent it, and then intel can?

Re:Wait... (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about 3 years ago | (#37391558)

The summary says they have to open source any resulting software and inventions.

Re:Wait... (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 3 years ago | (#37391660)

But alas, open source and patents are not mutually exclusive. The presence of an open source demonstration of the technology in the patent would only make it possible for some interested third party to later claim that the patent was filed despite prior art that the inventor does not own, and they would then stand a slightly better chance at having the patent invalidated. See also: "Royalty Free Patent" which is a construct aimed at using the patent system to protect against abuse of the patent system, albeit at a significant cost.

Re:Wait... (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 3 years ago | (#37391918)

In this case, they are saying that any patentable invention must be published, nobody involved will file patents, and any 'significant' software will be released under an open source license. The only disadvantage is that existing patents are the first choice when looking at prior art, so it's not as good at invalidating patents.

Patent then open source (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about 3 years ago | (#37392030)

The summary says they have to open source any resulting software and inventions.

The only way to do this is to patent it and THEN open source it....but this costs money. Since the patent goes to the first to file, even in the US now I believe, this is the only way to do it safely.

Re:Wait... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37391166)

GNAA Endorses Construction of "Ground Zero Mosque"

Leonard K. Isler - New York, NY

New York, NY - GNAA today announced its endorsement of the
construction of the now-infamous "Ground Zero Mosque [park51.org] "
that is planned to be built two blocks away from the site of the September 11th
World Trade Center Zionist attacks.

The construction of the mosque community center is mainly opposed
by the Zionist hate group "Stop Islamization of America" and its Jewish
supporters, who argue that the construction of a mosque community
center would be a "victory for Islam against America".

What SIOA fails to mention is that the September 11th attacks were, in fact,
not carried out by Muslims, but by Zionist Jews. To combat this misconception,
GNAA has endorsed the construction of the mosque community center.

"Ms. Geller is a known Jewish sympathizer", explains GNAA associate Klerck,
"she is more than happy to spread these lies through fearmongering and the
exploitation of public ignorance, using this Zionist hate group as a mouthpiece.
It's not even a mosque, it's a community center. There was no other way to
combat these Zionist lies, we simply had to endorse the construction of the
community center."

"The community center is a much-needed thing in the Muslim community of New
York", explains GNAA operative Jmax, "what other location would be the ideal
place to pray for the extermination of the Jewish race five times a day?
Insha'Allah!"

Ms. Geller declined to comment in person, speaking only in a brief interview
conducted over the phone. The Jewish mouthpiece merely said "we must secure the
existence of our people and a future for white children", wiping humus from her
mouth while dining at a Bruegger's in lower Manhattan, and dialing her cell
phone with her nose.

SIOA has declined to comment on the synagogue that is planned to be built on
Ground Zero.

About Ms. Geller

Hates darkies. [imgur.com]

About SIOA

Supporters of the inhuman ideology known as "Zionism" that
slaughtered 3,000 [www.gnaa.eu]
precious souls on September 11, 2001, and funded by the Mossad.

About Jews

Did WTC.

About GNAA:

GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) is the first
organization which gathers GAY NIGGERS from all over America and abroad for one
common goal - being GAY NIGGERS.

Too soon?

Re:Wait... (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 3 years ago | (#37391728)

Dr Bob's chiro-trolls are better than this.

Lo, how the mighty have fallen.

It's competitive. (0, Troll)

whovian (107062) | about 3 years ago | (#37391220)

Open-sourcing also prevents competitors, like AMD, from getting the benefit of said patents. With that, I assume Intel doesn't perceive any serious competition any time soon.

Re:It's competitive. (4, Insightful)

DanTheStone (1212500) | about 3 years ago | (#37391296)

It doesn't prevent AMD benefiting from the useful technology, it just prevents the patents. That's the ideal situation. They're providing an incentive to invent things without the temporary monopoly.

Re:It's competitive. (5, Insightful)

mfh (56) | about 3 years ago | (#37391430)

You get to a point where you realize that as soon as you spend a shitload of money trying to corner the market on something, the time you've wasted ends up giving the competition a leg-up in a new area you SHOULD have been spending that time and energy working on.

Just open source fucking everything and use it to make money on support. There is no gross margin in hardware anymore, and none in the perceivable future -- and Intel knows it.

Re:It's competitive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37391514)

:) hehe that's what every one is led to believe / thinks... I laugh as I'm rolling in dough from high margin products. I'm not the only one who owns/runs/has stock in a company which is doing it. The key to success is being unique. If all you are competing on is price of course you will have shitty margins.

Re:It's competitive. (1)

Raenex (947668) | about 3 years ago | (#37391984)

Just open source fucking everything and use it to make money on support. There is no gross margin in hardware anymore, and none in the perceivable future -- and Intel knows it.

What a bunch of wishful thinking. You think Intel, AMD, and ARM are going to make the same amount of money if they just open sourced all their designs and relied on support? Intel is doing like IBM and other companies: Open sourcing at a limited level while still keeping their core products proprietary.

Re:It's competitive. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 3 years ago | (#37392054)

IBM does make 90% of their money on support. Of course, support doesn't mean what you seem to think it means. It doesn't mean answering the phone and saying 'no, click on the left button' it means saying 'well, we have these components, and you have these problems. We can solve your problems by deploying these components and writing these ones.' And that's always been where the big money has been in software: using it to solve real-world problems. Sometimes an off-the-shelf solution exists, but most of the time a company's problems are not quite the same as anyone else's, so the solution needs to be modified too.

Re:It's competitive. (5, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 3 years ago | (#37391592)

It doesn't prevent AMD benefiting from the useful technology, it just prevents the patents. That's the ideal situation. They're providing an incentive to invent things without the temporary monopoly.

Agreed. I see nothing at all wrong with this restriction.

Given that Intel funded them they could have asked for ownership, but instead asked for Open Sourcing any developments. Good on Intel.

Given that Universities are for the most part funded by government and other public funding sources one could make the case that they should ALL operate this way. Universities are the last entity that should be locking up ideas with patents.

I simply can't get incensed about this. Its a clever way to give back to society something bigger than you have in your own inventory.

Re:It's competitive. (2)

poetmatt (793785) | about 3 years ago | (#37391664)

where do you make this up? Open sourcing enables competitors, like AMD, to get the benefits from the work without needing patents or any form of protection. How backwards are you?

Re:Wait... (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | about 3 years ago | (#37391256)

With Meego, giving away tablets at free software conferences, and Nokia siding with Microsoft, Intel might just be the best hope for free software.

Re:Wait... (1)

mfh (56) | about 3 years ago | (#37391402)

They might be learning new things here.

Re:Wait... (0)

md65536 (670240) | about 3 years ago | (#37391632)

I don't understand.
"You can't patent things. We're going to keep patenting things."
How is that not anti-competitive?

Or yes... Intel is NOT acting anticompetitive when it comes to dictating what others should do (ensuring that others avoid making everything worse for everybody else), just not when it comes to what they do themselves. Wow... how noble.

Did I miss something that a little RTFA might clear up?

Re:Wait... (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 3 years ago | (#37392084)

Yes, you missed something. Intel is not dictating what random institutions can do, it's dictating what institutions receiving funds from Intel can do. A university is free to find funding elsewhere and still file patents. If they believe that patents are really worthwhile, then they can get investors to fund the research in exchange for a percentage of the patent royalties. In fact, if patents really were useful to universities, then they wouldn't be asking Intel for funding at all, they'd all be funding their research with their massive patent royalty income.

First to file? (1)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | about 3 years ago | (#37391172)

While I like this idea, doesn't it cause problems with first to file?

I just imagine a scenario where a university discovers something, doesn't file a patent, and megacorp comes along and patents it. With first to file, Megacorp gets the patent.

Maybe there's something I'm missing, but to me it would seem better that the university file the patent, but not be able to enforce it.

Re:First to file? (5, Informative)

psst (777711) | about 3 years ago | (#37391212)

In that scenario, the university publishes the idea and it becomes prior art.

Re:First to file? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37391462)

I was thinking the same thing, and why is this tagged as troll? Must'v been an Intel employee...

Re:First to file? (2)

ShiftyOne (1594705) | about 3 years ago | (#37392074)

Its even easier than that. A patent is granted to the inventor. You can't take another persons invention to the patent office.

Re:First to file? (4, Informative)

BitterOak (537666) | about 3 years ago | (#37391216)

While I like this idea, doesn't it cause problems with first to file?

I just imagine a scenario where a university discovers something, doesn't file a patent, and megacorp comes along and patents it. With first to file, Megacorp gets the patent.

Maybe there's something I'm missing, but to me it would seem better that the university file the patent, but not be able to enforce it.

As long as the university publishes their discoveries, there would be demonstrable prior art.

Re:First to file? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37391244)

What about 'first to file' don't you understand?

Re:First to file? (2)

DrgnDancer (137700) | about 3 years ago | (#37391356)

It doesn't matter if you're first to file if someone publishes the invention in the public domain before you file.

Re:First to file? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37391410)

Well, you proved to be really helpful and informative. I give your comment -9^9^9^9^9.

Re:First to file? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37391344)

That's the problem with first to file. And now they're trying to merge your shit USPTO into ours crap European one. So, thanks a lot America, your government has been nothing but trouble lately.

Re:First to file? (1)

imamac (1083405) | about 3 years ago | (#37391906)

"And now they're trying to merge your shit USPTO into ours crap European one."

Need a citation...not that I don't believe you, just would like to read about it.

Prior art doesn't prevent patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37391598)

Just because it is prior art doesn't mean that you can't get a patent on it. As an example, slashdot did a story on LSI who patented the doubly-linked list, and that's just one example off the top of my head.
http://slashdot.org/story/06/11/23/1546218/LSI-Patents-the-Doubly-Linked-List

Re:First to file? (1)

swan5566 (1771176) | about 3 years ago | (#37391246)

There's no problem as long as the discovery is publicly released. Then it's prior art, and no one could file a patent. Your scenario would only occur if the discovered something, didn't patent it, and didn't tell anyone about it either.

Re:First to file? (3, Informative)

Znork (31774) | about 3 years ago | (#37391278)

With first to file you still cannot patent anything that has already been published, so as long as the university publishes instead of sitting on the invention then nobody else can come along and file for a patent.

Re:First to file? (1)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | about 3 years ago | (#37391306)

Ahhhhh ok. This is the piece I was missing. Thanks!

Re:First to file? (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | about 3 years ago | (#37391330)

You are missing the prior art requirement. If someone else publishes, then no one can legally file to patent.

Re:First to file? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37392002)

If someone else publishes, then no one can legally file to patent.

Sure you can. It's not a crime to apply for a patent on something with previous art. In a perfect world the Patent Office will discover the previous art and refuse to grant the patent. In the real world the government drones at the Patent Office can be lazy and incompetent and award you the patent regardless.

Who gives a rat's ass. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37391178)

Fluttershy is the best pony.

Who gives a rat's ass. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37391186)

Fluttershy is the best pony.

I predict (0)

Dunbal (464142) | about 3 years ago | (#37391198)

Surprisingly unproductive yet very expensive research coming from these universities.

Re:I predict (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37391272)

The majority of the technology in existence and talent inventing technologies were created at a university.

Re:I predict (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 3 years ago | (#37391338)

Yup, so I'll do the grunt work on intel's dime, and when I make a discovery I will wait a year or so later and patent my own invention.

Re:I predict (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37391584)

You say that like its a bad thing.

Re:I predict (3, Insightful)

Just Brew It! (636086) | about 3 years ago | (#37391354)

If that turns out to be the case, then all the better for Intel to fund it instead of the taxpayers.

Re:I predict (1)

DaveGod (703167) | about 3 years ago | (#37391872)

Totally valid concern, and likely one only manageable through the threat of withdrawn funding.

One thing that does concern me is while the drive for open source is laudable and comes with a lot of (however fuzzy) wider economic benefits, universities develop patents and create new companies to spin off. This makes a lot of dough for the institution and births a lot of companies well worth having - they are good, well paid jobs and they drive significant applied science (all the key people involved taking a cut is a big motivator).

The significant university shareholding also often means surprisingly good governance for a small upstart. Partly from a longer-term mindset, partly the pool of non-exec directors and partly a university typically attaches vastly greater importance to any risk to it's reputation than, say, a venture capitalist.

The funding is clearly overall a good thing, but that is a significant caveat.

They should go for it... (1)

tonywong (96839) | about 3 years ago | (#37391208)

...as long as Intel makes all their software and inventions open source as well.

Re:They should go for it... (3, Informative)

Noughmad (1044096) | about 3 years ago | (#37391324)

For one, they are the only major GPU maker that actually releases open source drivers.

Re:They should go for it... (2)

networkBoy (774728) | about 3 years ago | (#37391600)

For two, if you want them to OSS their internal research, you can pay for it.

Re:They should go for it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37391902)

It takes balls of steel to open source drivers that may hold trade secrets that nobody wants because you're the worst performing video card vendor on the market.

Re:They should go for it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37391928)

Now if only they would only make decent GPU.

Re:They should go for it... (1)

baka_toroi (1194359) | about 3 years ago | (#37391594)

Why?

Research Universities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37391222)

Universities make a lot of money from licensing patents. It's one of the only advantages they have over traditional businesses: universities are a pretty wide open R&D environment where ideas get explored that would never get money from VCs or other sources of funding.

Re:Research Universities (1)

Captain Centropyge (1245886) | about 3 years ago | (#37391352)

Not a huge deal, really. They can still patent other ideas, just not anything that was researched with Intel's funding. If you think you'll want a patent on it, use other funds instead.

Re:Research Universities (1)

MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) | about 3 years ago | (#37391444)

Based on my own observations, this story is complete bullshit. Professor Goodnough at UT Austin invented the most practical methods for manufacturing LiFePO4 batteries and two key patents were granted in the late 90s. LiFePO4 is a great battery technology that is very stable and has the right voltages to replace lead-acid batteries. It is considerably more expensive, but there many applications where it would be much more desirable than lead-acid.

UT Austin never really cared about getting the technology to be manufactured. The licensing that they granted has, with few exceptions, only resulted in shutting down anyone who attempts to make LiFePO4 batteries. This is the complete opposite of what most private firms do after spending huge sums of money to develop a technology.

Apparently someone at UT Austin actually figured this out because starting this year, they have much loosened up their licensing requirements such that companies are now interested in using the technology since they may be able to actually make a profit (the previous license requirement was so ridiculous nobody was interested ). So, for the last few years before the patent enters public domain, marketers can begin to introduce consumers to the advantages of LiFePO4 batteries, however, my suspicion is that adoption will initially be slow, and UT Austin has lost out on probably at least a few hundred million dollars.

Re:Research Universities (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 3 years ago | (#37391844)

Universities also make a lot of money on their prestige, through the tuition, grants, and endowments. Research is a very good way of getting said prestige, and thus the money that prestige brings.

Intel is wrong... uh ... wait (4, Insightful)

Lexx Greatrex (1160847) | about 3 years ago | (#37391270)

I like bashing faceless mega corporations as much as the next guy, but this seems to be ... a benign act.

Re:Intel is wrong... uh ... wait (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 3 years ago | (#37391506)

I like bashing faceless mega corporations as much as the next guy, but this seems to be ... a benign act.

It's worse than that ... it's almost designed to improve the overall state of the art, without Intel gaining exclusive access to the research, thereby making it possible for just anybody to gain from this. I'm outraged.

I mean, that's almost communism. No patents? No royalties? No licensing fees? No lawyers? Just good old fashioned university research opened up for all to see?

Do you realize how badly this could cripple the economy? ;-)

(Kidding aside ... I wonder if the academic journals would muck with this somehow. They take copyright of the papers, for instance.)

I do applaud Intel for this ... when I first read this, I thought the string was they they get the patents. This really is funding open research.

Re:Intel is wrong... uh ... wait (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 3 years ago | (#37391724)

Intel gets to ensure that they get to use the discoveries causes by the research without having to pay licensing for it.

They're essentially outsourcing brain-storming to universities then take what they come up with and refine it with their own engineers at a cost far lower than what they would need to self invest. It's open source because Intel wants to be able to use the research and there's no way the universities would accept the money and give any inventions that came from it to Intel.

Re:Intel is wrong... uh ... wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37391972)

Also, if it turns out quality OSS solutions they are more likely to become accepted in the community (especially those without funding) placing Intel smack in the middle of a larger user base.

Re:Intel is wrong... uh ... wait (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about 3 years ago | (#37391874)

copyright != patent

While they could lay claim to the paper, they could never claim ownership to what the paper describes.

Re:Intel is wrong... uh ... wait (2)

tunapez (1161697) | about 3 years ago | (#37391522)

I, too, am skeptical. What's in the other hand? Would they be able to patent the tech ex post facto with the 'First To File' rules?

Re:Intel is wrong... uh ... wait (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 3 years ago | (#37391586)

First to file does not get rid of prior art.

Re:Intel is wrong... uh ... wait (1)

metrometro (1092237) | about 3 years ago | (#37391868)

Correct. Nor does "open-source" mean "you get exclusive rights". Rather the opposite.

The likely rationale for this is that having universities work on problems of Intel's chooseing gives them enough of an early-mover advantage that they don't much care who uses it later.

different (1)

kpoole55 (1102793) | about 3 years ago | (#37391282)

The usual condition to financing basic research would be that any resulting patents would go to the company that provided the financing, not that they'd be placed in the open source community. Someone has either had a stroke or needs their meds checked. Likely both.

Re:different (1)

d4fseeker (1896770) | about 3 years ago | (#37391368)

The results are usually only of mild interest to Intel and provide cheap ideas for further research (which again is novel and can be patented) while boosting the image of the company quite a bit.
Intel gives quite a lot back to the opensource world, be it with kernel development, MeeGo or research papers
I'd say they pulled a perfect cooperation stunt of PR and R&D which -additionally- is helpful to the public while not causing Intel any losses.

ABOUT TIME (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37391284)

It's just too bad it took a private company to make this requirement. My tax dollars should be enough already.

Re:ABOUT TIME (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 3 years ago | (#37391384)

Not to mention tuition.

Makes sense to me (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37391314)

Intel simply doesn't want to pay for patents on ideas generates with its financial support. Here's the precedent they are trying to prevent from happening again: http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1557536/intel-settles-university-wisconsin [theinquirer.net]

Awesome (1)

DaleGlass (1068434) | about 3 years ago | (#37391322)

Hope it sticks. Also should result in more of the money going to research instead of being used up on patent fees.

What Will $2.5M Get Ya? (1)

tgeek (941867) | about 3 years ago | (#37391496)

Don't get me wrong - I think this sounds like a fantastic idea by Intel. But is $2.5 mil a year (spit in the ocean for Intel) enough enticement to get a research university to forego any future revenues and other benefits of holding patents. Apparently it was at Carnegie Mellon . . . maybe i'm overestimating their annual research budgets . . . or perhaps overestimating the value of patents?

Re:What Will $2.5M Get Ya? (1)

Spunkee (183938) | about 3 years ago | (#37392104)

Don't get me wrong - I think this sounds like a fantastic idea by Intel. But is $2.5 mil a year (spit in the ocean for Intel) enough enticement to get a research university to forego any future revenues and other benefits of holding patents. Apparently it was at Carnegie Mellon . . . maybe i'm overestimating their annual research budgets . . . or perhaps overestimating the value of patents?

This is why I don't lend or give money to people. They always want more and what I do is never good enough.

NSF Next? (4, Insightful)

Xphile101361 (1017774) | about 3 years ago | (#37391504)

So why aren't we doing this with the national science foundation as well? Shouldn't research paid for "by the people" be available "to the people"?

Re:NSF Next? (1)

steelfood (895457) | about 3 years ago | (#37391816)

Maybe this will set a precedent, where all research funded by an external agent has patent clauses attached to them.

Of course, this could swing both ways. Oracle could insist that all patents to research results it funded be assigned to Oracle.

Re:NSF Next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37391946)

I've always thought that the NSF was approaching this all wrong, they should be getting in as VCs with very low standards and using the ensuing profit to make loans to other risky/immature inventors. The system becomes self funding and if they do their job right the pool of cash involved should grow exponentially.

Waiting for government to do the same... (2)

dalias (1978986) | about 3 years ago | (#37391512)

Now if only the government would grow some balls and make the same condition for government research grants...

Re:Waiting for government to do the same... (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about 3 years ago | (#37392026)

heck yeah, since the tax payers are footing the bill for a lot of research and development then the taxpayers and public should be among the first to benefit from products developed by them

If the university doesn't patent it... (1)

LordStormes (1749242) | about 3 years ago | (#37391528)

... someone else will. We have a first to file situation here. This is RIDICULOUSLY dumb on Intel's part. A nice sentiment, better executed by stating, "All fruits of this research must be patented by this foundation we've set up, which allows open, free licensing to anybody and everybody." Defensive patents are the only security you have; non-patent clauses just guarantee somebody other than your allies will patent! Ask Google, specifically whomever wrote the $12.1 billion check to acquire defensive patents from Motorola.

Re:If the university doesn't patent it... (1)

2short (466733) | about 3 years ago | (#37391562)

Prior art: look it up.

Re:If the university doesn't patent it... (1)

LordStormes (1749242) | about 3 years ago | (#37391700)

Sure. You'd win a legal challenge. If you spent millions litigating it first. And you get a decent judge/jury. A small startup wouldn't stand a prayer, prior art or no. Look at the suits Rambus won with 2 patents that were later invalidated (think it was on /. today). You think those companies are getting their money back? Why take the risk?

Re:If the university doesn't patent it... (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 3 years ago | (#37391764)

If we are going with the cold realities of our broken patent system, you can get patents on stuff that's already patented by someone else if you word it differently enough, so it doesn't really matter what the universities do.

Re:If the university doesn't patent it... (1)

LordStormes (1749242) | about 3 years ago | (#37392024)

Sure, but why not take all the defensive steps available to you?

Re:If the university doesn't patent it... (1)

_avs_007 (459738) | about 3 years ago | (#37391618)

... someone else will. We have a first to file situation here. This is RIDICULOUSLY dumb on Intel's part. A nice sentiment, better executed by stating, "All fruits of this research must be patented by this foundation we've set up, which allows open, free licensing to anybody and everybody." Defensive patents are the only security you have; non-patent clauses just guarantee somebody other than your allies will patent! Ask Google, specifically whomever wrote the $12.1 billion check to acquire defensive patents from Motorola.

The US is not first to file, it's first to invent. So you don't lose defensive capability just because you don't file, becuase your work will be considered prior-art, which will invalidate any filings made after your research.

Re:If the university doesn't patent it... (1)

LordStormes (1749242) | about 3 years ago | (#37391680)

They just changed to a first to file a few weeks ago.

Re:If the university doesn't patent it... (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 3 years ago | (#37391866)

Which doesn't change the rules on prior art.

Re:If the university doesn't patent it... (1)

LordStormes (1749242) | about 3 years ago | (#37391970)

Nor does it change the fact that patent inspectors are MORONS. I worked in a company that had a patent on a device. Patent issued 1991, device sold commercially beginning 1992. We had a patent on a specific device, that did a task. USPTO granted a patent, in 1995, on the whole IDEA of making a device that could do exactly what our device/patent did, to a patent troll. While we won the lawsuit the troll filed, it cost our small business over $750K to fight it. The CEO, on many occasions, thought to settle for a smaller fee, and finally, only after they demanded an outrageous settlement, did he decide to fight to the end. Had our company not had a pretty good couple of years during this fight, we'd have been out of business, over a bullshit patent that should never have been granted.

Re:If the university doesn't patent it... (3, Insightful)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 3 years ago | (#37391716)

As others have commented, first to file doesn't apply if the research has been made public. Since universities rely on publish or perish, the most likely scenario is that anything produced through Intel funding will be considered prior art when an outside party then tries to patent it. Assuming that the software is GPL'd, then it must include the GPL required headers, etc. So, if somebody does try to usurp it, then the university can sue them for license violations.

What Intel is proposing is how Universities used to operate prior to the 1980s. Somebody did research, presented a paper at a conference, others picked it up and expanded on that research and then presented at another conference, etc., etc. There were no patents and information flowed relatively freely and knowledge expanded. That is how the university system was designed to work.

Come the 1980s and tax law changes, universities focused more on monetarizing their research to fund other things (not necessarily a bad thing), but the way it played out was that the patents were then sold to other companies who then used them to build war chests and limit competition.

Intel is every bit in its right to insist that if you want to use their money for research, these are the stipulations. If a university doesn't like having to make the fruits of the research public and available to all, they are free to use the money from somebody else.

It is interesting to note that the biggest advances in science, at least in the US, came under systems in which the information was freely shared. Since keeping research private and seeking patents, the US has gone from being a leader int he scientific community to a follower. But at least somebody made a bunch of money of them.

Re:If the university doesn't patent it... (1)

LordStormes (1749242) | about 3 years ago | (#37391754)

I agree, openness is the point and I applaud Intel for taking that stance. I just think that patenting and putting into an open consortium that anyone could use would be a safer way to do it. Before the 1980s and the era when universities had to fight for survival, things were much less cut-throat. Now, it's everybody for themselves, and I sense that anything you don't explicitly protect is open to attack from all corners. Complicating matters is that in most IP disputes, might (money) makes right.

The patents would compete with them (1)

bigtrike (904535) | about 3 years ago | (#37391544)

They're probably doing this because universities were selling the patents to companies that would then compete with Intel.

Crowdsourcing universities (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 3 years ago | (#37391602)

Sounds like Intel is basically crowdsourcing the universities for it's research. They can go back and apply for the patents themselves.

Maybe the US government should pay attention (2)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 3 years ago | (#37391612)

I wish the US government would take a similar approach -- any royalties a university receives should go back to the government in the proportion of the funding provided. If a university payed for research costs with 50% from the government then royalties from the patent should be split 50% with the government. If the government provided 100% funding, then 100% of the royalties should go beck to the government. In doing this, then the government is truly investing in research instead of just paying the bills.

I also would include corporations, too. If the government provides x% of funding for the creation of a new drug, then x% of the profits should come back to the government, since it is the taxpayer that footed the bill in the first place.

The other alternative is what Intel is proposing -- we will pay for the research, but everybody has the right to benefit from it.

Thank You (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 3 years ago | (#37391630)

I for one would like to say "thank you" to Intel. For once you've chosen not to go evil. Hopefully this "federal funding for state adoption of policy" style of coercion will catch on a bit more with respect to freeing up university research from patent encumbrance. Now if only a similar carrot could be invented and dangled in front of the rest of the corporate world. Tax breaks in proportion to the value of openly published not patented R&D...?

Re:Thank You (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37391960)

Can Intel run for US Presidency? Supers said corps are persons and Intel seems like a nice person with a clear mind, lets put up a web site intelforpresidency.org. Well, how about Mr. Paul Otellini, then?

WOn't work (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 years ago | (#37391656)

Nothing can be open with the incoming patent changes. The new first to file rule means I could file a patent on anything open, and they can't do jack.

I spent several hours learning the expected ramification on the law last weekend. You think it's borken now? ha!

You heard me!

Re:WOn't work (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 3 years ago | (#37391858)

While first to file is about to become a reality in the US, if the patent is for something that you don't hold a license or copyright for, how can you patent it? Unlike the person sitting at home who develops something and somebody copies it (or even a corporation), Intel states specifically that it needs to be released as open source (which would imply something like GPL). Code under a GPL license doesn't grant the user the right to patent it. Just like if I broke into a research facility and stole their designs or ideas does not give me a right to patent them, even with a first to file patent system.

You still have to legally own what you are trying to patent, regardless of the system in place.

On another note, I do agree that the first to patent change is going to screw up an already screwed up system even more.

Mobile Influence? (1)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | about 3 years ago | (#37391698)

I wonder if this move is influenced from patent madness occurring in the mobile world, where Intel is currently behind on the curve and wants to catch up.

open source vs patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37391790)

The license of the code has absolutely no bearing on whether you patent it, in fact to patent something it must be open by definition since patents are public. Is there a less confused article about this somewhere?

That's right Intel! (1)

jprupp (697660) | about 3 years ago | (#37392018)

Hopefully they will eventually do the same with all research that's financed with taxes.

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