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China Leads In Graphene Patent Applications

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the how-many-do-you-got? dept.

China 86

hackingbear writes According to British patent consultancy CambridgeIP, China has filed for more than 2,200 graphene patents, the most of any country, followed by the U.S. with more than 1,700 patents, and South Korea with just under 1,200 patents. In terms of institutions, Samsung, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, and IBM lead the way of number of patent filing on this futurist materials with seemingly unlimited potentials, followed by Qinghua University of China. As China's moving its economy to be more innovation based and strengthening its IP laws, American companies will perhaps soon be at the receiving ends of patent law suits.

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So now we can steal their IP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47297029)

After all, that's what they do to us. Now we can turn the tables on them and rip off their intellectual property.

Re:So now we can steal their IP? (4, Insightful)

JosKarith (757063) | about 3 months ago | (#47297047)

The only ones to get rich will be the lawyers.
Who drafted all these laws in the first place...

Re:So now we can steal their IP? (2, Interesting)

SourceFrog (627014) | about 3 months ago | (#47297111)

It's time to abolish patents completely.

Ten, twenty years ago we were hearing all about this 'wonder material' .. then suddenly we stopped hearing much at all, and didn't really see applications come to market. Now we know why. It's been all but killed by this patent minefield. Your children someday might have a terminal illness that could have been cured by some graphene-based medical product? Sorry, they must rather die so that the corporations who control these patents and patent lawyers can sit on the tech forcibly preventing anyone else from benefiting from it. We could help green deserts and make new regions of the planet liveable with cheaper desalination? Sorry, that must be killed by patents. Cheaper solar? Kill it. Potential electronics applications? Kill it.

Unless we abolish patents, our children and grandchildren are going to be living in a world that is scarcely more technically advanced than our own is now.

Even patent attorneys [mises.org] are starting to agree that patents are not or are no longer encouraging innovation, are stifling it, and are imposing a great cost burden on us, both financially and in terms of being robbed of our 'jetson's future'.

This is also the reason we've stopped seeing much real innovation or cost reductions in smartphone development: "There Are 250,000 Active Patents That Impact Smartphones; Representing One In Six Active Patents Today" [techdirt.com]

Study: Patent Trolls Cost Companies $29 Billion Last Year [theatlantic.com] (that's a conservative estimate)

There is no way to "reform" this system. It's non-reformable as it's intrinsically unethical. It should be thrown out entirely.

Re:So now we can steal their IP? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47297145)

We need to distinguish between a discovery and an invention, and prevent patenting the former. You shouldn't be able to patent graphene, as it is a discovery. If you invent a clever way to manufacture it cheaply, than you should be able to patent that method as it is an invention. Also, if you bring a lawsuit against someone for patent infringement and you lose, you should be executed.

Re:So now we can steal their IP? (5, Insightful)

MacTO (1161105) | about 3 months ago | (#47297185)

I highly doubt that the solution is to abolish patents, though a great deal of patent reform is certainly necessary.

What we should de doing is looking at when patents are and are not useful, and modifying patent law accordingly. A lot of the analysis should be fairly straight forward to do. Patents themselves have to be registered, so we have records. When patent disputes are taken to the courts, we have records. Many, if not most, of the businesses that license patents have to publish financial reports. (Again, there are records.)

Questions can be asked and answered through all of that data. We can look at the optimal duration for patents for different sectors. We can look at what types of patents stimulate innovation, and what types of patents stifle innovation. We can even look at licensing practices in an effort to reduce the burden that patents place upon the courts.

It isn't all or nothing. Patents are neither entirely good, nor entirely bad. We simply need a way to separate the good from the bad so that we can keep the former and discard the latter.

Re:So now we can steal their IP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47297807)

> the businesses that license patents have to publish financial reports. (Again, there are records.)
> Questions can be asked and answered through all of that data

That is some serious wishful thinking. The financial reports (that only public companies must file) rarely contain the detail necessary to measure the value (much less the effectiveness) of a company's patent portfolio.

> Patents are neither entirely good, nor entirely bad. We simply need a way to separate the good from the bad so that we can keep the former and discard the latter

More wishful thinking. The two are inextricably intertwined. You will always have bad with the good. You might be able to adjust the ratios, but it will be extremely difficult because all of the money is on the side of the bad - businesses don't have an interest in seeing the patent system work, their interest is in using it as a weapon, nothing more. That means all the pressure will be on the side of abusing the patent system.

Re:So now we can steal their IP? (1)

SourceFrog (627014) | about 2 months ago | (#47298291)

There were also people who sought to partially end slavery. No, slavery was evil, and you either ended it, or not. There is no such concept as "slavery isn't entirely bad". Likewise with patents. From a patent attorney: "Intellectual Property Is “Evil” - And Businesspeople Should Oppose It" [bamsouth.com]

Yes and now (1)

pablo_max (626328) | about 2 months ago | (#47298853)

Patents, in their current state are certainly vastly more harmful to both consumers and industry then they are helpful. As such, having no patents would be more beneficial.
Patents were NEVER intended to be used the way they are now. The intention was simply give the inventor a short time period in which to bring his product to the market before everyone could copy it.
I would think a blanket restriction of two years is enough. Not from time to market, but from time of filing. This will prevent patents for ideas. Only a product should be able to hold a patent. Not a process or an idea.
Not a slide to unlock to a bounce scroll. These things are destroying the global economy and destroying innovation.

Re:So now we can steal their IP? (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 3 months ago | (#47297271)

Are the Chinese patents filed in the U.S.? Are patents filed in China accessable for foriegners to read? Would a patent filed in China be honored in Vietnam? Our children are going to be busy learning stuff it appears; which may save their lives after we are "busy" elsewhere.

Re:So now we can steal their IP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47297819)

> Are the Chinese patents filed in the U.S.? Are patents filed in China accessable for foriegners to read?
> Would a patent filed in China be honored in Vietnam?

Patent Cooperation Treaty [wikipedia.org]

Re:So now we can steal their IP? (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#47297341)

There is no way to "reform" this system. It's non-reformable as it's intrinsically unethical.

[citation needed]

It should be thrown out entirely.

Possibly true. Certainly true that only products should be patentable, and never business methods or technologies. Reducing the time scale on a patent significantly would also solve the problem. Meetings and bureaucracy aside, things happen much faster now so there is no good reason for a patent term to be so very long.

Novel tangible goods (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 3 months ago | (#47297781)

Certainly true that only products should be patentable, and never business methods or technologies.

You have to be a little careful there because some products are essentially processes made tangible such as machines to build other products. I think it would be better to say that only novel tangible goods that have actually been produced should be eligible for a patents. If you cannot make one even in crude prototype form, it is science fiction and should not be patent eligible. The good seeking patent protection should be made available to the patent examiner in order to receive a patent. No math, algorithm, software, firmware, chemicals found in nature, intangible idea or process or conceptual tangible goods that have not actually been made should be eligible for patent protection. Creative intangible and written works including software, firmware, music, literature, art and video can be adequately covered by copyright.

Re:Novel tangible goods (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#47297949)

You have to be a little careful there

If I'm submitting a bill to the floor, I have to be careful. Here on slashdot, I can just leave it for someone else to fill in the blanks :p

Re:Novel tangible goods (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 2 months ago | (#47298063)

No math, algorithm, software, firmware, chemicals found in nature, intangible idea or process or conceptual tangible goods that have not actually been made should be eligible for patent protection.

Where do you stand on rounded corners?

Design patents & trade dress (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 2 months ago | (#47298409)

Where do you stand on rounded corners?

I think they are lovely. However they aren't particularly novel and rounded corners do have a functional aspect to them so they should in principle be ineligible for patent protection. I'd need a lot of convincing to think they are worthy of trade dress protection. At most I think they *might* qualify as a trademark but even there I'm a bit dubious.

Re:Novel tangible goods (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47307475)

Aside from the fact that most of what you say makes no sense if you think about it for 30 seconds (if you can patent only goods that have actually been produced, what happens in the majority of countries in which publicly disclosing or displaying an invention makes it unpatentable per se? Or are you trying to say that we should return to the policy, which greatly prejudiced small inventors, requiring a physical prototype to be submitted with an application? If the latter case, that would clearly not bar software patents any more than did Bilski's machine or transformation test. Think about it.).

But more to the point, how do you propose to even distinguish between software, firmware, and hardware? Yes, a copy of Word is software and an iPad is hardware. But drill down & the boundaries get fuzzy. If someone can patent a Blu-ray player that sings Dixie simply because the player incorporates firmware or circuitry that can sing the song, why should a computer program that implements the same logic not be patentable? It's just as inventive and it contains exactly the same inventive concept. The only thing that differs is the platform -- and that's likely the same platform that would be licensed by an owner of the software patent. From a standpoint of encouraging invention, there's no difference.

And, if you understand the case law, it should be obvious that you can't lump abstract concepts, math, and software into the same legal category (although that certainly doesn't stop obsessively patent-hating IANALs from doing so). The characteristics that make pure concepts unpatentable are not intrinsic to mathematics and software, although unpatentable math and software may certainly exist that have such characteristics. Simply asserting that "software is math" doesn't get you anywhere, because: a) you can patent mathematical steps and always have been able to in this country; and ii) you can only show that software is math by assigning a meaning to "math" that is incompatible with the legal definition in this context. As has been stated on multiple occasions by the Supreme Court and the CAFC, abstract concepts (like laws of nature) are unpatentable. The patent system was ALWAYS clearly intended to include methods. Just check the text of the original U.S. Patent Law. This is really not arguable among persons who have some knowledge of the topic.

And that's a good segue: To answer the earlier ANAL question "Who created these laws," the answer is "Thomas Jefferson." The original U.S. Patent Law differs greatly from what we have today, but as stated above, its definition of statutory subject matter (that is, its listing of classes of inventions that are patentable) has not changed significantly. If Jefferson were alive today, without a doubt, he would have no problem with the patentability of software per se. Not ALL software, of course -- see, e.g., last week's Supreme Court decision re: Alice v. CLS and the earlier decisions upon which it was based. But he would certainly support patenting software that satisfies the same requirements of patentability that one would find in a patentable hardware invention.

Re:So now we can steal their IP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47299297)

There is no way to "reform" this system. It's non-reformable as it's intrinsically unethical.

[citation needed]

Holy fuck... we need citations for opinions now?!

Re:So now we can steal their IP? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#47299507)

Holy fuck... we need citations for opinions now?!

Actually, I just wanted a citation for the first part. Seldom does it make sense to throw everything away and start over. There's upheaval and you usually don't end up that much better off. Citation: Look around.

For the second part, I demand more of an explanation. What is wrong with the system that shorter patent terms wouldn't cure? Say three or even two years for software, maybe five years for ideas, seven years for products? Or whatever numbers would actually solve the problem, but I just made these up as a starting point. Perhaps it is also necessary to raise the bar such that less patents are granted — indeed, I believe that to be the case. But I still haven't seen any invalidation of the concept of patents, only of the application.

Patents make sense in a lot of ways, and most of the ways in which they do not are related to the length of their terms. If the idea is to enable profit to encourage investment (of whatever sort) in research, then the length of the patent should be related to the potential time to profit. It's not reasonable to determine that for each individual patent, so a standard must be applied. I contend that it's the specifics of the standard which make the system unfair.

How have you solved the free rider problem? (3, Interesting)

sjbe (173966) | about 3 months ago | (#47297659)

It's time to abolish patents completely.

It's clear that the patent system has serious problems. Patents on software or algorithms or business methods are absurd. However before we go ahead and abolish patents altogether, what is your proposed alternative solution to the free rider problem [wikipedia.org] ? Patents were created as a means to mitigate that specific problem. If you have no alternative to solve the free rider problem that is better than a well executed patent system (our current one is not well executed), then your argument is a non-starter. If you do have a solution to the free rider problem then let us know so we can alert the Nobel committee that they owe you a prize.

And before anyone says it, just abolishing patents and doing nothing else is NOT a better system even as screwed up as our patent system has become. If you need evidence of this, please show me how many inventions that would be patentable in the US or Europe that were invented in places without a patent system. Drugs, vehicles, integrated circuits, etc. You will find that places without something resembling a patent system also have a rather low rate of invention. While this is evidence based on a correlation, the correlation is VERY strong. Without some way to mitigate the free rider problem there is limited incentive to solve certain types of problems.

Unless we abolish patents, our children and grandchildren are going to be living in a world that is scarcely more technically advanced than our own is now.

Oh cut out the hyperbole. Technology is advancing very quickly even in the face of an arguably broken patent system. There is no evidence that our rate of technological advancement is slowing down.

Study: Patent Trolls Cost Companies $29 Billion Last Year

While I'm not arguing that patent trolls aren't a real problem (they are), $29 billion is pocket change compared to what companies made off of patented products last year. Intel alone had $52 billion in revenue last year, virtually all of it from patented products. Patented inventions account for literally Trillions of dollars of economic benefit to society, much of which would not exist without some sort of system resembling patents. For many types of inventions, it is virtually impossible to bring products to market in the face of the free rider problem. The solution to the free rider problem doesn't have to be patents in their current form but there does have to be some sort of solution to that problem. Simply tossing out patents without some alternative way to mitigate the free rider problem will almost certainly do more harm than good.

Re:How have you solved the free rider problem? (0)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 2 months ago | (#47298049)

what is your proposed alternative solution to the free rider problem [wikipedia.org]?

Tragedy of the commons doesn't apply to the intangible. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/pa... [ssrn.com]

Simply tossing out patents without some alternative way to mitigate the free rider problem will almost certainly do more harm than good.

If the patent system is a net harm, then doing nothing is a superior alternative.

Tragedy of the commons != Free rider problem (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 2 months ago | (#47298221)

Tragedy of the commons doesn't apply to the intangible.

I wasn't talking about the tragedy of the commons. I was talking about the free rider problem which is not the same thing. Furthermore patents shouldn't apply to the intangible either so exactly what is your point?

If the patent system is a net harm, then doing nothing is a superior alternative.

Your logic is faulty and I don't accept your attempt to frame the question either. I disagree that the patent system is a net harm and you certainly haven't established that as a fact. There is a HUGE difference between showing that the patent system causes some harm (which it demonstrably does) and showing that it is a net harm. You have not shown in any way that it is a net harm.

But let's assume for a moment that the patent system as it stands is a net harm as you claim. If the patent system as it stands is a net harm, it does not follow that doing away with it in favor of no system at all is automatically less harmful. It's entirely possible that by doing away with the patent system and replacing it with nothing that you will do an even greater harm. Your logic only works if those are the only two alternatives and if you can somehow prove that any possible patent system would be inherently more damaging than no system at all. In reality there are many potential alternative systems to mitigate free riders. In addition to leaving the system as is, or abolishing it altogether, the patent system can be reformed in various ways or replaced with a different system that accomplishes the goal of mitigating the free rider problem.

Basically if you can find and prove that no system at all is a better way to mitigate the free rider problem then please publish your work, have it peer reviewed and collect your Nobel prize.

Re:Tragedy of the commons != Free rider problem (0)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 2 months ago | (#47298615)

I wasn't talking about the tragedy of the commons. I was talking about the free rider problem which is not the same thing.

The paper I cited explains how complaining about free riders doesn't make sense in regards to innovation.

Furthermore patents shouldn't apply to the intangible either so exactly what is your point?

Patents themselves convey control over something intangible. They control how knowledge can be used, when knowledge is not expendable. That's why they make a poor analog. It's also why patents are called 'intangible assets' from an accounting perspective.

I disagree that the patent system is a net harm and you certainly haven't established that as a fact. There is a HUGE difference between showing that the patent system causes some harm (which it demonstrably does) and showing that it is a net harm. You have not shown in any way that it is a net harm.

I would recommend reading Against Intellectual Property. It's full of real world evidence as well as theory on why patents and copyright range from roughly the same output to significant harm.

But let's assume for a moment that the patent system as it stands is a net harm as you claim. If the patent system as it stands is a net harm, it does not follow that doing away with it in favor of no system at all is automatically less harmful.

No system is by definition zero harm. That's where we draw the baseline. Whether the patent system is harmful or helpful is measured by a comparison of how we would function without a patent system. SO please tell me what the hell you thought net harm was in comparison to?

Your logic only works if those are the only two alternatives and if you can somehow prove that any possible patent system would be inherently more damaging than no system at all. /blockquote. No, it doesn't, because I'm not saying that no patent system is the ideal. I'm just saying that it's better than having a patent system. So long as it's better than not having a patent system, it's still an improvement. Let's say that you moved to a country in which they treat cancer by shooting patients in the foot. You don't have to cure cancer in order to tell them that they are better off doing nothing than shooting patients in the foot, and to claim otherwise would be idiocy.

Libertarian opinion pieces != evidence (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 2 months ago | (#47299143)

The paper I cited explains how complaining about free riders doesn't make sense in regards to innovation.

The paper you cited is a long winded opinion piece. It contains no discernible actual research regarding the effects of the free rider problem on innovation.

Patents themselves convey control over something intangible.

What patents themselves are is irrelevant. The only questions are whether it mitigates the problem (free riders) that it was intended to mitigate and does minimal economic harm in the process.

I would recommend reading Against Intellectual Property.

No thanks. I briefly looked and I have zero interest in opinion pieces from someone pushing an ideological (libertarian) agenda. I think you are suffering from confirmation bias.

No system is by definition zero harm. That's where we draw the baseline.

No, you draw a baseline on the system you actually have and compare changes to that. Here in the real world we have a patent system and so that is the baseline for any analysis. If you want to assert that every possible system to combat the free rider problem is more harmful than no system at all, then you need to provide actual objective evidence for that hypothesis. Heck you might even be right. But you haven't done that and until you do this debate is finished as far as I'm concerned.

Re:Libertarian opinion pieces != evidence (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 2 months ago | (#47299519)

I doubt this conversation will be fruitful, as you handwave any arguments contrary to your own as being biased, despite our current policy suffering from much heavier bias. There are more thorough factual analysis in what I've cited there than pretty much anything I've seen presented by anyone that actually supported patents. It's mostly boils down not understanding how exponential growth works and the fact that patents haven't make technology regress. I don't even agree with many of Mark Lemly's conclusions, but he does great work overall.

No, you draw a baseline on the system you actually have and compare changes to that.

How are you going to compare the system we have now with the system we have now? There is by definition no difference. You could apply that with any number of practices. If the current treatment for throat cancer was shooting the patient in the foot, and someone said we need to abolish that practice, would you say that shooting yourself in the foot is no worse than shooting yourself in the foot, or point out that not shooting yourself in the foot is roughly equally effective at curing cancer and results in far less injury to patients?

If you want to assert that every possible system to combat the free rider problem is more harmful than no system at all

I don't want to assert that every possible system is more harmful. I just wanted to assert that one method of doing so is. That is enough to make a decision that will improve our outcome.

Re:How have you solved the free rider problem? (2)

m00sh (2538182) | about 2 months ago | (#47298905)

Patents were created as a means to mitigate that specific problem. If you have no alternative to solve the free rider problem that is better than a well executed patent system (our current one is not well executed), then your argument is a non-starter.

Patents were not created for that purpose. From wikipedia,

In accordance with the original definition of the term "patent", patents are intended to facilitate and encourage disclosure of innovations into the public domain for the common good. If inventors did not have the legal protection of patents, in many cases, they might prefer or tend to keep their inventions secret.[citation needed] Awarding patents generally makes the details of new technology publicly available, for exploitation by anyone after the patent expires, or for further improvement by other inventors. Furthermore, when a patent's term has expired, the public record ensures that the patentee's invention is not lost to humanity.[29][specify]

source [wikipedia.org]

The word "patent" itself means expose and make accessible. The patent system was created to spread information while keeping the inventor protected. Otherwise, the inventor would not share his method with anyone else.

The free rider problem is a modern problem. The original intention of the patent system was not to solve the free rider problem.

Free riding (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 2 months ago | (#47299369)

The word "patent" itself means expose and make accessible. The patent system was created to spread information while keeping the inventor protected. Otherwise, the inventor would not share his method with anyone else.

Patents are (supposed to be) for tangible expressions of ideas. Once the idea is expressed, most of them are easy to copy. Without some protection against others copying the original work, there is no economic incentive to work on certain problems because it gives an insurmountable price advantage to the copier. This IS the free rider problem. Even better patents (ideally) harnesses free riders to productive work by making the results of the invention public so others can build on the works in the future. It accelerates getting the information into the public by the same method it mitigates the free rider problem in permitting the inventor to benefit from their efforts. It's a fairly ingenious solution actually. But make no mistake that the entire purpose of patents is to advance society though mitigation of the free rider problem.

The classic example is making a medicine. Doing a chemical analysis and manufacturing a pill is a trivial exercise and costs very little. The research to determine whether a drug is effective however is complicated and very expensive. That cost has to be recouped and if someone else can easily copy their work that someone else has an insurmountable price advantage. $Reseach + $Production >> $Copying + $Production. Always. Why would any sane person invest large sums in research if their work can be trivially copied and their prices undercut as a result?

The free rider problem is a modern problem.

It most assuredly is not. The free rider problem has existed almost since the dawn of life on earth. I can show you examples in the animal and plant kingdoms. Parasites are a form of free rider. Some of the permutations of the problem are new but the problem itself is not new at all. The "solutions" such as patents are (relatively) modern innovations but the problem is nothing new at all.

Re:Free riding (1)

m00sh (2538182) | about 2 months ago | (#47299655)

I agree with you. All I'm pointing out is that when the patent system was created, it was to encourage inventors to share their knowledge. Of course with time the patent system has changed and all you have said have become more important than the public disclosure of inventions aspect of patents.

Re:So now we can steal their IP? (1)

emanuele_fanton (2529260) | about 2 months ago | (#47299257)

Bad example. Graphene isn't actually patented!

Re:So now we can steal their IP? (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about 3 months ago | (#47297629)

Well said.

Re:So now we can steal their IP? (3, Insightful)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | about 3 months ago | (#47297213)

What would be the point? We have no real manufacturing capability, so we'd just end up sending the stolen back IP to China to be made into products.

Re:So now we can steal their IP? (2)

cavreader (1903280) | about 3 months ago | (#47297321)

Depending on what metrics you chose to use the US is still at or near the top of international rankings. The U.S. still remains the largest producer of advanced technology products, SO I say the US appears to have some manufacturing capability and that capability is growing stronger because the surge of domestic gas and oil is bringing down energy costs. There are foreign companies that are in the process of moving some of their manufacturing to the US because of the reduced energy costs and reduced shipping costs are balancing the higher labor costs. The only advantage China has had in growing their exports is cheap labor. Their economy was certainly not built on quality and innovation. Their success has resulted in it's workers agitating for more money plus they now have completion from the other emerging South East Asia countries who can match their labor costs. China has had to manipulate it's currency to keep it's export costs down and attract business but there are limits to the manipulation.

Re:So now we can steal their IP? (3, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#47297361)

The U.S. still remains the largest producer of advanced technology products

Like everything else, these are mostly produced in other countries and then assembled here. Only a small portion of the manufacturing is actually done here, but we take credit for the whole thing. If everyone did that, we could probably double the world's reported production, but it wouldn't actually result in anything more being produced. I like to point to my engine, which is an International-Navistar supposedly MADE IN 'MERICA but whose block was cast in China. And that's over a decade old.

There are foreign companies that are in the process of moving some of their manufacturing to the US because of the reduced energy costs and reduced shipping costs are balancing the higher labor costs.

A little bit of manufacturing, and a whole bunch of assembly. Most of the actual manufacturing is being done in China, then the parts get shipped over and assembled. Subaru might assemble an engine here in the USA, but they don't cast parts here, either. Etc. This practice is restricted to large and heavy items, predominantly automobiles. All the modules (relays, computers etc) are made in other countries, like China or Malaysia. The leather is imported. The metal is imported if it isn't virgin; we send our steel to other countries for recycling so that we can abstract away the pollution.

China has had to manipulate it's currency to keep it's export costs down and attract business but there are limits to the manipulation.

Only the fat cats at the top win a race to the bottom.

Re:So now we can steal their IP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47297599)

There are quite a number of car companies that ship vehicles sans side view mirrors or maybe door handles, just so a "factory" here in the US can have those slapped on, so the vehicle gets a Made in US label.

Some vehicle companies that make vans are purported to do this to get around the "chicken tax".

Re:So now we can steal their IP? (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 months ago | (#47297989)

The U.S. does make quite a bit of industrial machinery domestically, mostly higher-end stuff. I believe it's 2nd to Germany in that market.

Re:So now we can steal their IP? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#47298667)

The U.S. does make quite a bit of industrial machinery domestically, mostly higher-end stuff. I believe it's 2nd to Germany in that market.

Yes, we are still very good at making shit that kills people, and shit that rapes the earth. Not so good at anything else, except in the design phase, using our imported foreign scientists (a proud tradition since WWII or so.) Construction equipment tends to be made out of virgin steel, we still make that here. It's less brittle and more predictable than recycled, important in stuff you don't want to break.

Re:So now we can steal their IP? (1)

cavreader (1903280) | about 3 months ago | (#47302485)

Yea I can see exporting bull dozers, cranes, and dump trucks is an ecological disaster just waiting to happen. And rest easy the US never sells the really top of the line weapon systems capable of killing people individually or wholesale when required. And without the US providing the "design phase" none of the other countries would have much to build now would they?

Re:So now we can steal their IP? (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 3 months ago | (#47297605)

We have no real manufacturing capability

Hogwash. American factories produced goods worth more than two trillion dollars [nam.org] per year. That is about 20% less than China, but still the second highest in the world [curiouscatblog.net] , nearly as much as Germany and Japan combined. Manufacturing output in America is at an all time high. American manufacturing employment has declined, but improved productivity has more than compensated for that.

Re:So now we can steal their IP? (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 3 months ago | (#47297743)

Pirating their IP would imply that we were actually going to do useful things with graphene, such as large-scale desalination for our coastal cities. But we're not doing to do that. We're going to sit around trading legal punches with the Luddite lobby until the tech becomes available off the shelf and cheap from China. Then we can whine about the 'Chinks stealing our jobs'.

Learn your histroy son (1)

pablo_max (626328) | about 2 months ago | (#47298751)

Specifically, learn about America's adherence to IP after WW2. Protip. They didn't recognize it at all! In fact, WW2 machinery production coupled with the Americas unwillingness to recognize the IP of other countries is what allowed America to become a super power.

On the other hand, with a history like that, one would think America could see that all the blanket IP crap is good for no one.

Well that explains (2)

SourceFrog (627014) | about 3 months ago | (#47297033)

why development has stagnated on this 'wonder material'. Patents are killing innovation and development. This is an insane number of patents .. pretty much nobody can realistically develop any graphene-based products and navigate this patent minefield.

Re:Well that explains (3, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 3 months ago | (#47297067)

On the other hand, in 20 years or so there won't be a single valid patent :)

Re:Well that explains (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47297071)

why development has stagnated on this 'wonder material'. Patents are killing innovation and development. This is an insane number of patents .. pretty much nobody can realistically develop any graphene-based products and navigate this patent minefield.

Just out of curiosity how is this any different than, say, the advent of silicon? Wasn't that also heavily patented at the start and became more and more patented as it became more and more specialized?

Re:Well that explains (0)

SourceFrog (627014) | about 3 months ago | (#47297133)

Are you refering to things like this quagmire [techdirt.com] ?

Re:Well that explains (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47297183)

Are you refering to things like this quagmire [techdirt.com] ?

Sure, one could just as easily point to a "quagmire" of that magnitude in the automotive industry years back. And yet, there are automobiles everywhere.

But your original argument seemed to consist of: "We don't have graphene products yet because patents." and my response was "Perhaps it's just too early for them to be fabbing up the products yet and silicon was equally patent laden (and continues to be) yet it is utterly pervasive."

Do patents really stifle the onset of a technology or are you just preying on knee-jerk reactions that score well on Slashdot?

I'm not here to defend patents, just would like to see some rationality exercised. Who would research graphene if someone could just take that research and make their own product? Personally I find it easier to argue that adoption would be much much slower without patents.

Re:Well that explains (2)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 3 months ago | (#47297269)

Letters patent, the predecessor to patents, came about more or less as a way of rewarding those who won the favor of the reigning monarch or collecting income without a visible tax. This was a time period before anything resembling modern economics, game theory, or psychology, so it would be quite an oddity if such an institution were to actually succeed in accomplishing a task as complicated as increasing the rate of innovation. It'd be roughly on par with a chimp constructing a nuclear bomb.

Re:Well that explains (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47297283)

Letters patent, the predecessor to patents, came about more or less as a way of rewarding those who won the favor of the reigning monarch or collecting income without a visible tax. This was a time period before anything resembling modern economics, game theory, or psychology, so it would be quite an oddity if such an institution were to actually succeed in accomplishing a task as complicated as increasing the rate of innovation. It'd be roughly on par with a chimp constructing a nuclear bomb.

Yep, because the thing before it was bad this must be equally bad or worse, right? And then you compare it to an absurd scenario in order to discredit it without really having to explain how that logically follows.

Well done, you must have received your debate, logic and reasoning skills from the American education system, no?

Re:Well that explains (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 3 months ago | (#47297339)

The legal monopoly functions pretty much the same. The differences are in how that legal monopoly is obtained, and that is based on absurdly simplified and utterly incorrect models on how invention happens. Furthermore, I am saying that it was clearly beyond the capability of 17th century Parliament of England to create a system that increased the rate of innovation starting from scratch, let alone adopting an existing tool for a new purpose for which it is ill fitted. Even if you assembled the brightest minds in relevant fields TODAY to create a system with that goal, success would be surprising.

Re:Well that explains (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47299377)

Well done, you must have received your debate, logic and reasoning skills from the American education system, no?

Well, he seems to realize name-calling does not equal any of those things, so he's at least one big step ahead of you.

Re:Well that explains (1)

SourceFrog (627014) | about 3 months ago | (#47297413)

> And yet, there are automobiles everywhere. Oh wow you blew my whole argument out the water right there. Ladies and gentlemen, there are vehicles on the market. Therefore, patents are all good!

Re:Well that explains (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 3 months ago | (#47297647)

Just out of curiosity how is this any different than, say, the advent of silicon?

Without patents, perhaps the semiconductor revolution would have happened even faster. Or maybe slower. Certainly differently. It is silly to think that the current situation was the optimal outcome.

Re:Well that explains (1)

Kalriath (849904) | about 3 months ago | (#47303143)

No it's not silly to think that. It is, however, silly to assume that.

Re:Well that explains (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 3 months ago | (#47297151)

They were just examining what they were scraping off the walls of the buildings in all the Chinese cities.

actual referenced article (1)

iamagloworm (816661) | about 3 months ago | (#47297057)

actual referenced article, not lousy BusinessInsider. http://moodle.epfl.ch/pluginfi... [moodle.epfl.ch] Roadmap.pdf

Re:actual referenced article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47297897)

All BusinessInsider links should be replaced - it is run by a guy so unethical he was fined 4 million by the SEC for giving intentionally bad investment advice!

quality? duplication? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47297059)

The Chinese patent system is a bit lax, encouraging crap applications and ones based on prior art. Incentives make it worse.

Re:quality? duplication? (1)

tebee (1280900) | about 3 months ago | (#47297077)

Doesn't that also apply to the US one as it is implemented, rather than as it was intended?

Opera 24 for Linux Released (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47297103)

In more important news, Opera 24 has been released with support for Linux [opera.com] , after many months of delay. Opera representatives then proceeded to post comments to that article mocking and taunting the Linux users:

Ruarí Ødegaard Mod 4 hours ago
What the ....!? I never expected this!!!

Marcin Mitek Mod > Ruarí Ødegaard 4 hours ago
It's obviously a fake.

Jonathan Aanesen Mod > Marcin Mitek 4 hours ago
Agreed, no way this can be real.

Helge Andre Gjølme Mod > Ruarí Ødegaard 4 hours ago
How did you manage to get this out the door?!

Ruarí Ødegaard Mod > Veger an hour ago
Yeah all the linux users quietly sat by and watched and said nothing! ;)

And even after mistreating Linux users for so long, the Opera representatives expect Linux users to do work that the Opera devs should be doing themselves:

Ruarí Ødegaard Mod > Anton Chelnokov 2 hours ago
Any user who knows a little about packaging is free to submit their own packages to their distro of choice. Hell the Arch guys have already done it: https://aur.archlinux.org/pack...

Ruarí Ødegaard Mod > Arjan van Leeuwen 3 hours ago
I'm hoping and half expecting that some users will step up and repackage for their distros and/or put together a quick install/uninstall script. Those notes should be enough to get things going.

Disgraceful.

Why even pay attention? (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#47297143)

China doesn't pay any attention to trademark, copyright, or patent law.

Why should anyone pay attention to their trademark, copyright, or patent applications? Or grants? They should just be round-filed until China takes on the concept of intellectual property. Not that I'm so in love with the whole idea myself, but there still nothing which is not hypocritical about the nation of China expecting us to give a shit about their IP.

Re:Why even pay attention? (2, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 months ago | (#47297171)

Don't worry, the US are similarly ignoring patents when it is in the "national interest", you should be careful when casting stones, might destroy your own glasshouse.

And likewise, don't worry, as soon as China holds a lot of important patents they will instantly start not only honoring patents and IP but becomes one of the strongest advocates of it. They would be the first that don't turn from copycat to IP zealot as soon as it becomes more profitable.

Re:Why even pay attention? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#47297181)

Don't worry, the US are similarly ignoring patents when it is in the "national interest", you should be careful when casting stones, might destroy your own glasshouse.

Shit, I sure hope so. I think we'd be better off as a species without patents, and probably without copyrights. Trademarks I'm OK with, nominally. I don't like it when someone ends up owning a color.

Complete lack of US involvement (4, Interesting)

Required Snark (1702878) | about 3 months ago | (#47297165)

Note that the US is not directly involved in any of the major patent holdings. IBM is not really a US company anymore. They are "international". To a great extent they are getting out of the US. A few year ago they stopped listing their employment by country, because they wanted to hide what they were doing. So if there is ever a situation where US interests collide with IBM economic interests then the US will get the short end of the stick.

This is what happens when you let everything get privatized, including basic research. You end up with no stake in the future.

Re:Complete lack of US involvement (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47297253)

Note that the US is not directly involved in any of the major patent holdings. IBM is not really a US company anymore. They are "international". To a great extent they are getting out of the US. A few year ago they stopped listing their employment by country, because they wanted to hide what they were doing. So if there is ever a situation where US interests collide with IBM economic interests then the US will get the short end of the stick.

This is what happens when you let everything get privatized, including basic research. You end up with no stake in the future.

This is the sort of thing someone would say who hasn't surveyed the actual patents. Many of these patents come from US & Chinese universities. Tell me, if University of Chicago holds this patent [uspto.gov] , would you restate your position? Don't forget about the Bayh–Dole Act ... a lot of those universities happen to receive money from -- guess who?

And another thing, when the state itself controls companies and decides where cities are built and who gets contracts then of course they're in control of all the research and deeply imbedded in the patents. They're also the ones doing the corporate espionage for said companies ... would you prefer the USA be like that?

Re:Complete lack of US involvement (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 months ago | (#47297275)

Note that the US is not directly involved in any of the major patent holdings. IBM is not really a US company anymore. They are "international". To a great extent they are getting out of the US. A few year ago they stopped listing their employment by country, because they wanted to hide what they were doing. So if there is ever a situation where US interests collide with IBM economic interests then the US will get the short end of the stick.

This is what happens when you let everything get privatized, including basic research. You end up with no stake in the future.

The federal government shouldn't have a "stake in the future" They aren't qualified.

This idea that government is some sort of benevolent wise-man on a throne, there to guide its naive flock to the promise land with a gentle hand and sage advice, needs to die. There are plenty of ways to get research funding that don't involve a trillion dollar bureaucracy.

Re:Complete lack of US involvement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47297365)

This idea that government is some sort of benevolent wise-man on a throne, there to guide its naive flock to the promise land with a gentle hand and sage advice, needs to die.

The idea that private industry will ever do any better without completely screwing the rest of us over is also utterly laughable.

The government is (in theory) beholden to the citizens.

Corporations are beholden to their shareholders, and pretty much controlled by the board, who do not give a flaming pile of shit about the rest of society.

You're an idiot if you think corporations will ever achieve anything in the best interests of society unless it's purely by accident.

Re:Complete lack of US involvement (2)

retchdog (1319261) | about 3 months ago | (#47297377)

oh, it'll just be a different trillion dollar bureaucracy, don't kid yourself. maybe a better one (or maybe worse, who really knows?), but it'll still be a bureaucracy with a shitton more money than most people could imagine.

Re:Complete lack of US involvement (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 3 months ago | (#47297589)

This is just wrong. Basic R&D does not work for companies because it is not usually the the company that pays for the work that benefits from it. It's just too long term and the results are too unpredictable. Even the drug companies are finding R&D gives them questionable returns.

Basic R&D is an external economy with a societal impact. The only way to get enough of it is to fund it across society as whole.

Re:Complete lack of US involvement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47297851)

Now now, you can't go using reality to smash libertarian fantasies - it's cruel!

Re:Complete lack of US involvement (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 3 months ago | (#47297657)

There are plenty of ways to get research funding that don't involve a trillion dollar bureaucracy.

"Plenty," such as....

Filed? (2)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | about 3 months ago | (#47297167)

Filed with whom? And where? Does this mean 2200 filings within the Chinese patent system? (cambridgeip.com is vulnerable to heartbleed bug and keeps telling me I need Javascript running even if I have it running.)

Defilers of patents, filing patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47297261)

Filthy PRC trolls.

How does a country lead in patents? (2)

asylumx (881307) | about 3 months ago | (#47297333)

Patents are implemented within a country, and then honored (or not honored) by other countries by means of treaties, right? So how has China "filed for" 2200 patents?

Re:How does a country lead in patents? (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 3 months ago | (#47297557)

Not right. Patents only apply to the country they are filed in. So a patent granted in China has no relevance in the United States.

Samsung has by far the bulk of the patents in this field. If we are going to see anyone suing a US Company it's most likely to be Samsung.

Re:How does a country lead in patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47297845)

Except they are Korean....

Re:How does a country lead in patents? (2)

asylumx (881307) | about 2 months ago | (#47298041)

Either you misread my question, or I have no idea how I'm supposed to interpret your answer: If patents only apply to the country they are filed in, how did China file for 2200 patents? Do they really mean that Chinese companies filed for 2200 US patents? Or do they mean Chinese companies filed for 2200 Chinese patents? Samsung is a Korean company, as another comment mentioned, so the lawsuit you mentioned doesn't really make sense.

Reciprocity (2)

Virtucon (127420) | about 3 months ago | (#47297483)

I'm hoping the rest of the world ignores the Chinese Patents much like the Chinese ignore those of everybody else. [globalecon...arfare.com]

Re:Reciprocity (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47297873)

I guess you don't know much of US business history - the US firms did the exact same thing with every single european patent until they developed enough of a market and advantage to play along. China just did the same thing, and now with new ultra-high technology it will gain advantage and follow the pattern.

Re:Reciprocity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47298107)

Other developing countries will do the same, and undercut them in price. The cycle will continue.

Re:Reciprocity (1)

number17 (952777) | about 2 months ago | (#47298987)

That article doesn't say much about China ignoring patent laws. It talks more about how China is using them like everybody else and that Chinese hackers would steal ideas and patent them. As if the people developing those ideas wouldn't patent them themselves.

Re:Reciprocity (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 2 months ago | (#47300499)

John Bennett points us to an article in the NY Times that claims to be about how China is gearing up to be an innovation powerhouse rather than just known for “copying.” Of course, the actual focus of the article is about how China is trying to get a lot more patents. In fact, we covered this very issue back in October, highlighting how China has set an “innovation policy” that appears much more focused on getting more patents, rather than increasing innovation. There are, of course, some people who still think that the number of patents is a proxy for innovation, but this claim has been debunked so many times, it’s just kind of cute when people still bring it up.

So, could it be that thanks to sustained US pressure on China to “crack down” on infringement, that China has suddenly come to believe that patents equal innovation? Last month, just before some diplomatic meetings between the US and China over trade issues, US officials did their usual misleading grandstanding about how China doesn’t do enough to “protect” US intellectual property. And, in response, Chinese officials did their usual song-and-dance about how they’re really serious about intellectual property now, and we should stop worrying.

Of course, as we’ve pointed out, China seems to be much more aggressive with intellectual property lately, but not in the way the US wants. That is, it’s been using patent and copyright laws to make life more difficult for foreign companies, specifically US companies. And, in reading through the details of that NY Times article above, it looks like they’re planning to do more of the same.

And curiously.... (1)

argStyopa (232550) | about 2 months ago | (#47297905)

....if it comes to patents that they want to use but don't hold, the Chinese will likewise lead in the number of graphene patents IGNORED.

IP = not a big deal for China....unless they hold it.
It's so much easier to compete when the rules apply only to everyone else.

Patent's are an Western Imprial tool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47299043)

The Chinese don't respect Western patents and consider them an Imperialistic tool. Now they are filing patents?
Aside from poisoning their air,water, food supply and the smart and rich trying to flee, China is a great country. :-)

Number of patents (1)

GuB-42 (2483988) | about 2 months ago | (#47299117)

Is the number of patents really meaningful ?
For example, a patent on the ballpoint pen is much more powerful than 1000 patents on various ways of making ink cartridges for fountain pens.

LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47299135)

Its fun to see how China is beating USA to the ground on its own game, the one they've been playing for decades on other countries.

Im not so sure I want china to be the most powerful country, tho.

Patent Strategy (1)

Livius (318358) | about 2 months ago | (#47300463)

Patent application:

<insert well-known invention here> made of graphene!

Where? (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 3 months ago | (#47302693)

TFA does not says in what country the patent were filed. Are they US patent? Chineese patents? Sum of patent filed in every countries?
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