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Apart from all of the above, Coppercore and LAMS were the first software systems to implement Learning Design concepts, and so any subsequent work after these systems would be affected by this “prior art” - again, if a concept already exists or is anticipated in an existing system, then it makes later patents invalid. So I think there are strong arguments against any attempt at patenting generic activity structures because of a lack of novelty, their “obviousness”, and the existing prior art.

Having said all this, it is worth noting that the systems for granting and litigating patents have become deeply flawed in certain countries (especially the US), so that despite all of the above, inappropriate patents can and are sometimes used against the public good, even in education. So there is no guarantee that a patent fight could not erupt - only that there are good grounds to believe that such an attempt to take something beneficial away from the common good, and to then give a monopoly right to a commercial endeavour based on restricted use of a previously common good, would fail. But let us hope that none of us ever have to tread this path - it would be a colossal waste of time for those seeking to build a better world through better education.


3. simon_shurville - may 17th, 2007 at 2:23 am

Dear James

Thank you for a detailed and reassuring reply. I am in complete agreement with everything you write here. I was particularly impressed by the idea that “all possible combinations of generic activities are anticipated by the way the LAMS software operates, and hence any possible copyright in them vests in the LAMS Foundation (which owns the LAMS software and makes it freely available as open source software)” and by the noble sentiment that “The LAMS Foundation would assign copyright in all possible generic structures to the public domain (or failing this, the most permissive open content license available, say CC BY).” It is lucky for us all that LAMS emerged from the community of “those seeking to build a better world through better education”.

A great blog so far and I look forward to further installments, Simon

4. ken udas – may 17th, 2007 at 9:34 am

James&Simon, this is great. I am really enjoying the direction that this discussion is taking. As I was reading through the comments I was thinking a bit about the practical limitations and flaws of the US intellectual property regime. I too am not a lawyer or a self-taught expert on IP law, but it does seem that the notion of ownership and commercialization of intellectual assets that were created with the intent to be used openly for the public good is quite contentious. That is, the dialog can become pretty polarized pretty quickly, which in my estimation is good. How the debate, particularly around the Non-Commercial restriction is framed is important because respectful but critical dialog will be the quickest way of addressing the practical problem that James identified in his post.

So I remain uncertain how to address this challenge: if most of my colleagues only feel comfortable to share their work on a non-commercial basis, then is it better to encourage them to share their work (and hence ultimately improve education) rather than trying to persuade them to change their mind about allowing commercial use (and run the risk of them not sharing if they are not persuaded)?

Questions & Answers

what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
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