India's Council of Scientific and Industrial Research blew so much money on rubbish patents, it's gone broke


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/03/24/literal-demonitisation.html


#2

Note for the confused: in South Asian English, a Lakh is what North Americans call one hundred thousand, and a Crore is ten million. Currently a lakh of rupees equals about $1500 US.

The numbering system there increments by hundreds after the first thousand, so you have 1,00,000, 10,00,000 and 1,00,00,000 for a lakh, ten lakh, and a crore. As with North American english, names for higher numbers exist (a hundred crore is an arab) but common usage often just cobbles together two smaller units: a hundred crore, a thousand crore, a lakh crore, a crore crore.


#3

What a fucking mess.


#4

low-quality patents of no commercial value…

Is commercial value the only value of a patent? This is not a rhetorical question; IANAL. Is it possible to patent pure research?


#5

IANAL, but I don’t think I’d get much argument from one on the basics:

In a word? No. In another word? Yes.

This hinges a lot on what you mean by “pure research.” In chemistry at least, a lot of “pure research” has potential applications, but the phrase “pure research” has basically no meaning in law. For scientists, it certainly doesn’t mean “can’t be used to make money ever,” it just means “fundamental.” You cannot patent an idea, you can patent implementations and inventions. To the extent that “pure research” gets you from A to B, it’s often patentable as a process, just not an idea. So the research isn’t patented. You patent the device, process, substance, design or improvement to those things. So the actual information isn’t patented. It might lead to a process rather readily, and that process has to be useful or have utility, but having usefulness or utility doesn’t mean it’s worth money. It’s just whatever the patent offices and courts decide “useful” means. Whether my originally $6 Spider-man lunchbox is useful has no bearing on the fact that I probably couldn’t sell it if I tried.


#6

The should have just outsourced everything


#7

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