I’m not keen on the idea of patents, let alone our broken system which is only really available to companies, not inventors.
Copyright is another form of intellectual property which works everywhere, lasts a very long time and is free. It is intended to stop somebody making and selling copies of eg somebody else’s poems. As such, copyright is no damn use to inventors…until now.
The image shows part of a poem which I have just written. Imagine a computer generating pages of this stuff using random combinations of characters like A, V, Z, N (although I would take the credit for the writing, of course).
Now imagine that these poems are actually 2-D meshes which, if implemented using steelwork, 3-D print or Meccano would have interesting mechanical properties. These could be automatically analysed using eg FE programs so that useful ‘poems’ could be selected. These might represent eg sections of aircraft fuselage in which some regions were highly rigid (eg XXXX) and others made deliberately elastic (eg NNNNN).
So now I have a way for my structural designs to be protected by copyright. No-one is free to make a copy of my invented frameworks because they are actually poems. There is no chance that anyone can get a patent for this idea, since I just published it.
I still have to pursue people through the courts to prove infringement, but that should be relatively straightforward once the test cases get established (20 years or so).
Poems would also need to be of limited length, so that infringers couldn’t grab huge areas of mesh and then claim ‘fair use’.