Re: poly: Idea Futures, some questions

From: Robin Hanson <>
Date: Mon Jun 08 1998 - 15:10:08 PDT

Nick B. write:
>> >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.

I don't see why such contracts need be less enforceable. If need be,
patrons who subsidize a market on question hoping to encourage research
could prohibit anonymous trading in their market. This would make it
easier to show that it was an employee's brother who made a killing off
of information that only a certain lab could plausibly have had.

Robin Hanson
RWJF Health Policy Scholar, Sch. of Public Health 510-643-1884
140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 FAX: 510-643-2627
Received on Mon Jun 8 22:34:01 1998

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