Re: poly: Idea Futures, some questions

From: Nick Bostrom <>
Date: Mon Jun 08 1998 - 14:59:24 PDT

Robin Hanson writes:

> Nick B. writes:
> >If, on the other hand, many people are involved in developing the
> >idea and the application, then there will presumably be datable
> >records. If somebody (perhaps a friend of a person involved in the
> >project) went ahead and applied for the patent for his own benefit,
> >the lab could prove that he had stolen their ideas by pointing to
> >their preexisting documents. So in this case there is a good chance
> >that the thief can be caught.
> In most of the world all that matters is who files first, not who
> invented first. I think the U.S. is moving to this standard as well.

The ownership of the patent might depend only on that. But companies
and labs often require their employees to sign a contract that
prevent them from leaking the company's information. These contracts
are often enforceable today, but might not be so with idea futures.

Nicholas Bostrom
Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
London School of Economics
Received on Mon Jun 8 21:25:18 1998

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