Mark Karasek on 7 Oct 2003 00:08:54 -0000

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Re: [spoon-discuss] Proto-prop: Patents

--- Baron von Skippy <bvs@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> -I'd have to edit the patent every time I wanted to
> make a new type of Gnome, it looks like.

This is a problem.

> And once I
> did that, someone else could make a slightly
> different patent and make every type of Gnome except
> the one I just added.

This is probably not a problem. Remember, the patent
application is a proposal; if someone tries to patent
something that already exists, people (probably) won't
vote for it.

> I think if a society vanishes
> mysteriously (I don't plan on quitting, just so
> everyone knows), just change or repeal the rules
> that screws up. Losing the ability to buy Gnomes
> isn't going to break the game.

Speaking of societies vanishing, if we do end up using
patents we should figure out what happens when the
controlling entity ceases to exist. I suppose any
patents held would just become Public Domain.

> Hmm. What about this... Patent applications only
> cover the class of object (Gnomes, Speeder Upgrades,
> Whoopass and Whoopass Accessories), and all of the
> various types of those objects (Fire Gnomes,
> Vertical Boosters, Monoliths) have to fit some
> definition in the patent (Gnomes are: blahblahblah)
> to be covered by it.

This is probably a better way of doing it. When I
created the example, I debated whether or not to list
different types of gnomes; I decided to go ahead and
do it just to get the idea out there instead of
spending time to figure out how the rules for
different types of a patented object would work. I'll
work on it. There could be problems, however, if
patent holders could make new variations on an object
without any oversight; for example, a Points Gnome
that costs 5 points but when squeezed gives you 10.

> If someone then attempts to infringe on my patent
> with a similar product (Pixies, Homonculi) which is
> like Gnomes but has a silly hat on, I can sue them,
> which basically amounts to a CFI with damages paid
> if it's found in my favor. Now, I'm assuming I'd
> have to sue them while the proposal that would make
> Pixies into something Gnome-like is still on the
> ballot. That way, instead of letting CFIs repeal
> rules, we can let a Lawsuit CFI perma-shelve a
> proposal until it's resolved. Although there /would/
> need to be some sort of safeguard against various
> players (Wonko) dropping in a prop like that in the
> eleventh hour the day I go away for a few days and
> lose the ability to sue eir ass. That is, a
> safeguard other than Dave stopping the Clock for
> four days at the end of every nweek. Not coming up
> with anything there.-

The lawsuit thing could work; I'll think about it when
I get a chance to work on the prop some more. Maybe
players could vote Infringing on a patent prop; if the
Infringing votes had a plurality, then a lawsuit would
be issued.

--The Pusher Robot
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