Slings and Arrows…

Something so simple, yet so patent-able...

Well we won’t wax so much about the later as in arrows, as its the sling which has my interest today as hey!  We all know what a sling is as well as the action of “slinging” right?  Assuredly as a kid you would sling something over your shoulder, maybe a backpack, a BB gun or even a camera as it’s just a natural action, no biggie right?

Well guess what, you’re violating a US patent in doing this as a maker of a camera strap has been recently awarded a patent for this so guess what you won’t be seeing a lot anymore?  If you guessed camera slings your right as they just put everyone else out of business.

Also don’t get me wrong, as protecting ones investment in R&D is a reasonable ask, yet the discovery or implementation must be unique.  Otherwise it is considered “prior art” and not subject to patent protection, so how could something like happen where there is clearly prior art in place?  Well if you find out please let me know too as this is just plain crazy, yet this is a good example of the failing of the entire patent system which I have an issue with.

As for economic growth to take place, one has to be able to perform an “economic activity” which creates “value” such as in manufacturing camera slings.  Second, since we operate in a capitalistic market place, competition is key to control price and drive affordability.  It is here that the current patent laws which are undermining our ability to grow our economy as it has grown to broad in nature and in power.  As just think of the commercial power which is wheeled by the US Patent Office, as while it may appear to be an obscure governmental organization.  It in fact has the power to make or break the US Economy as well as that for most of the free world.

As please keep in mind this is only one example of the failures of the system, and its also worth keeping in mind that “averaging” doesn’t apply as in most cases where for each failure, one missed equals out.  As the original intent of the patent system was never to create monopolies, instead it was to encourage investment and growth.  However in its current state, if there is one thing Mr. Obama could do to spur “job growth”, it would be to force an over haul of the current patent system stricter rules, as well as liberalizing the basis and application of prior art, as it can’t get any simpler then this…

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About Joseph Campbell

As a strong believer in the fact that "people work for people", it has been a life driver to better to understand the complexities of the various aspects which drive efficiency within this axiom, especially the concepts of leadership. Supporting this, I have been fortunate enough to having experienced this as leader on a global basis over the last decade and half. During this time it has been clear there are three core drivers being Life, Leadership and Economics.
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