Suppressed inventions

Reilly Jones (
Tue, 29 Apr 1997 17:11:35 -0400

Carl Feynman wrote:
<However, there is another way to suppress an invention: licence the
patent, and then don't manufacture it. This is entirely legal, though
people don't tend to talk about it, as it is anti-social. Does anyone
know of a time when this has definitely happened?>

Once corporations were illegitimately recognized as individuals (a form of
group rights thoroughly destructive to individual rights), the primary
usage and utility of patents changed radically.

In "The Evolution of Technology" (1988) by George Basalla, it is explained:
"Once the corporation gained control of patents, the monopoly was used to
suppress any inventions that might harm its own products or enhance those
of a rival.... Researching new frontiers of technological knowledge might
be far less productive than, in the words of a Bell president, occupying a
technical field with 'a thousand and one little patents and inventions.'
The prevention of competition was just one of the new uses Bell, and
others, found for patents. Patents also could be acquired to frustrate a
competitor's attempt to secure a strong patent position through its own
research efforts. Finally, patents are often used to provide a strong
bargaining chip that, at the right moment, can be traded to a rival for
other patents or concessions. Patents obtained for defensive purposes
often remain undeveloped. Instead of serving as a source of innovation,
research becomes part of a business maneuver aimed at preserving the status
quo, or at least assuring that novelties will emerge at a slowed rate."

The international cartel of corporate commercialists maintains monopolistic
patent practices; in the absence of this cartel, patents might not be
useful at all considering the accelerating product cycle times we are

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