Daniel Lepage on 7 Oct 2003 02:33:18 -0000

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

On Monday, October 6, 2003, at 07:40 PM, Baron von Skippy wrote:

-I'd have to edit the patent every time I wanted to make a new type of Gnome, it looks like.

You'd have to if they were simply in the rules, too.

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. 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.

I don't like the idea of such things being hardwired into the rules... if BDSM drops out, what stops me from changing my name to BDSM and becoming the sole owner of Gnomes? (besides being scorned for my name, that is)

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.

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.-

Of course, it's pretty standard practice for large companies to release products that are basically the same as the opponent's, but with a silly hat (think Pepsi vs. Coke); perhaps people should be allowed to create the objects even if they are infringement, and then you can sue them once they've made them? 'Cause they haven't actually done anything wrong until they start production, really. That also adds a new dynamic - you can vote in favor of somebody's "idea" because you think it's close enough to yours that you can sue them for lots of money; but if you're wrong, you've just voted to create competition for yourself.

If we had hundreds of players, we could get Holy Wars going between the vSOI Gnome enthusiasts and those who swear by the WBE Homonculi :)


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