Mr. Gibby’s book makes an excellent case for sensible patent reform
Mr. Gibby’s book makes an excellent case for sensible patent reform that better protects the small inventor. He uses 19th patent history to paint a picture of the need for balance between inventor protection (and the promotion of future invention) and technology distribution. The stories about the 19th century patent wars are particularly enjoyable. Mr. Gibby has a stylistic gift for narrative and does a great job of bringing the “inventor’s passion” to life. This comes through in both the sad stories (Eli Whitney, Catherine Green) and the heroic ones (Morse, McCormick, and especially Goodyear with his multiple trips to debtors’ prison). It’s remarkable how many key 19th century leaders got involved in patent cases — Lincoln, Chase, Stanton, Webster, Ellsworth, et al (where are those leaders today?). This “small inventor’s perspective” really helps when Mr. Gibby gets to his recommendations on how to fix the system. These recommendations make a lot of sense and follow logically from his historical narrative — especially his proposal to do away with the obviousness standard and the doctrine of equivalents. It almost makes too much sense (for today’s Congress?). I recommend this book for a read that is both enjoyable and informative!
B. K. Williams,