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jprooney

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About jprooney

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  1. Thanks for this. My version which was sent today, and which takes large chunks from other versions posted earlier: Dear ... UK Housing Market – please support the proposed increase to Capital Gains Tax on second homes It is clear there is considerable opposition to the proposed rise in CGT on non-productive assets, such as second homes. Whilst all that noise is coming in your direction, please can I urge you to speak with your colleagues in the Cabinet and provide them with reassurance that this is the right thing to do, for the good of the country as a whole, and for the under 40s especially. Contrary to one message being raised, there will be no lasting housing shortage in the rented sector caused by landlords cashing in on their property portfolios. Actually, the additional volumes of property that will come onto the market may helpfully reduce house prices to a level, dare I say sustainable level, that First Time Buyers can actually afford, thereby removing prospective tenants and decreasing rental demand proportionately. I say this will cause a healthy long-term rebalancing of a currently very unbalanced market. I believe the new government has a significant opportunity here to help correct one of the biggest social injustices of the last 13 years of Labour leadership - that is the huge increase in house prices relative to incomes, which in turn appears to be the major reason (because of bad debt worries) that the banking sector turned to the tax payer for help, and lots of it. In reality increasing the CGT rate would only be a small step, and other measures should also be considered, such as limiting the amount of credit available for house purchases to sensible salary multiples, and perhaps even introducing CGT on first homes (at a relatively small rate, perhaps tapered). If the price of housing in the UK were reduced, then the younger generation of UK citizens would have more cash to spend which in turn would be channelled it into the economy to fuel growth. Or we would be able to work for less, thus becoming more competitive globally. Flexibility would ensue. The Treasury will benefit from a significant tax take, and you will be able to redirect investment from non-productive assets and rent-seeking, into genuinely productive business activities that will start to lift our nation out of recession. You'll also simply be taking back just a proportion of the huge capital gains that have been made from speculative – not productive – activity in recent years; gains which it seems have been indirectly supported and subsidised by Government policy, and by taxpayers' cash. From this point of view, there really is very little room for those affected to claim that an injustice has been done, with any degree of credibility. Overall, from an economic and social point of view, what's not to like? Again, may I take this opportunity to strongly encourage you, David Cameron, George Osboure, David Laws and Vince Cable to demonstrate strong leadership and make a significant statement that this country encourages work and endeavour, investment in production, and discourages property speculation at the expense of the next generation. I fully support a rate of 40% or even 50% CGT.
  2. Yes, agreed. The 20 year term is a maximum. Renewal fees are due from the 4th anniversary. See here. Prices begin at £50 for the fifth year, and rise to £400 for the twentieth year. An incentive to give up patents, and hence the knowledge protected thereby. Of course, renewal fees are halved if you make your technology available on a fair royalty basis. See here under Licence of Right. I'd be interested in your evidence for 1,000,000+ people applying for patents. Do you mean 1,000,000+ applications, or people, and where exactly? The average success rate for a European Patent Application is around 50% - see their website. Patents can last for 20 years, let's say an average of 10. Therefore, there should be 1,000,000 x 0.5 x 10 = 5,000,000 patents in force in the UK, roughly, very roughly. But we know there are 383,000. I'd be surprised if the figure wasn't nearer 100,000 applications for separate inventions, per year. Still a lot mind you, so the system must be attractive to some. "getting milked" - what do you mean exactly. I'd be interested to know. jpr
  3. Out of interest, would you be referring to products which are sold on the open market, or machines/techniques used to make those products, but which remain under your control?
  4. OK, so patents are necessary in your opinion. Patents have been 20 years in the UK since the 15th Century. See here. Maybe you are thinking of something else. Worldwide patent protection is beyond even the largest companies in the world because of the costs, and there is little point. See the European Patent Office. There are 383,000 patents in force in the UK, and approaching 2,000,000 in the USA. Not quite 1,000,000 per year, but a lot. See here for more. I think the big challenge for small-scale innovators is commercialising the invention. It is not easy, and requires lots of money and expertise, and a large dose of luck. IMHO, we need more commercialising in the UK, patent system or not. jpr
  5. Yes, but I'd like to see them try. Theory is one thing, practice another. Copyright is really there for commercial reasons, not private, so probably no point blurring the argument here. More here, and here. jpr
  6. Not sure about this. I know of quite a few software engineers whose career and fortune has depended on patents - they make computers able to do technically very, very difficult things. Spin-out - SME - takeover by large company with large cheque. No patents, no cheque. No patents, no big progress. Most happy here. jpr
  7. Almost certainly copyright, as a literary work. Maybe a patent, if the software brings into being a process or a product which is protected by a patent. Patents can protect new and non-obvious technological advances which could be implemented in a computer. Bog-standard programs which do not bring about a previously unforeseen technical advance will not be covered by a patent, or at least an enforceable patent. CAVEAT - this is a grey area, with the UK Patent Office being particularly against software-related patents, and the European Patent Office and US Patent Office being more relaxed. Conflict arises, unsurprisingly. jpr
  8. Well, no actually. Nobody can get protection for an idea. Ideas are free. However, somebody can protect the specific implementation of an idea in a precise form. If that idea is artistic, like a play, or a piece of music, then they get protection in the arrangement of words embodying the dramatic idea, or the musical notes and rythyms embodying the musical idea. But not the idea itself. Noone has a monopoly on the idea of a novel, or the idea of a pop song, for example. But people have protection for their particular novel, or their particular pop song. As it is a product of their imagination, their mind, then they are allowed to keep it for a while, all to themselves. Others are absolutely free to have their own ideas, to do their own imagining and creating. And with copyright, you are absolutely free UNLESS you COPY unfairly. So do it independently, and you are fine. Patents are different. They are more for technical principles, normally embodied by physical entities or processes. jpr
  9. No, not someone failing to understand a legal document? Would never have thought it. Seriously, for a patent to be strong, it needs to be written in very general language, which is legally sound, if sometimes technically vague in places. However, most decent lawyers should be able to satisfy both the inventor and the courts (if necessary). With regard to reading patents, they are there should Microsoft change their minds, and possibly contain lots of useful information about solving various types of technological problems. Microsoft technicians, like most folk, probably don't read a lot of stuff, including textbooks in their field. Maybe it helps them think more freely. The point is, the information is there if someone wants to look it up and build upon it. jpr
  10. On one hand, you say patents are a waste of money. On the other hand, you need them. Come on, get off the fence ;-) Your invention - what efforts did you make to commercialise it? Did you start a business, make it, sell it, etc? jpr
  11. Nearly, but it's not quite so simple. Patents are for technological advances. Copyright is for artistic and aesthetic effort (including music). Patents last for 20 years max, copyright ranges from 25 years from first marketing (e.g. industrially produced sculptures) to 70 years from the death of the author (e.g. music, books). See the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended). The UK Patent Office website has a copy. Copyright and patents are quite different beasts. It is best not to confuse them. Throw in designs (3-25 years) and trade marks (no limit) and you've got the big four. jpr
  12. There is actually a wee bit of misinformation coming through on this thread. So, just to sort out one or two things (see this, from the UK Patent Office): Patents already last for a maximum 20 years. There is no need to shorten the term to this - it already exists as 20 years, max (subject to certain exceptions for drugs taking a long time to be approved). Then, everything disclosed is for the public to use, as they like. Patents aren't complusory - if a company or person wants to keep something secret, they are perfectly entitled to play it that way. Patents are for new technological advances, which are not obvious. In other words, you cannot patent something already known, or something very close to what is known. Patents don't cover discoveries, like Einstein's discovery of the general theory of relativity, etc. Perhaps Einstein knew this, hence the lack of a patent. Albert did patent stuff though (linky) Patents in the UK go back to the 15th Century (linky) jpr
  13. Got a letter from the agent this morning, inviting me to submit another offer. Apparently, my offer is way below the current leading bid....(which is over £200,000). Also, the deadline has been extended until 5pm Tuesday due to significant interest. All the best to whomever gets it. Another opportunity will come along for both of us s2r2005. On another note, I went to see a 6 bedroomed house (part of a Victorian mansion) this morning. This place was renovated not too long ago, and is very big. Unfortunately, the layout and fittings are way below par. It is on for £500,000, is a repo, and imho will go for way less, perhaps £400,000 or less. According to the agent, it was bought from the developer for £680,000 a couple of years ago. No wonder they were repossesed. Also, the next door house sold for £750,000 a few years ago, and was sold again a year or so ago for £550,000 ish. A little pocket of HPC in posh West Yorkshire, it seems. A lesson in how not to play the housing market. jpr
  14. s2r2005 - I've noticed that offers are due in at 5pm. As this building has been on my radar for several years, I have put in an offer (of course, my offer is an "hpc-style" offer ) Just thought I ought to let you know. Of course my offer will be too low, as there is bound to be a lunatic offering silly money for this very challenging and expensive opportunity, as you have indicated all along. jpr
  15. s2r2005 - I've requested an upgrade, and I tried to PM you. Your username wasn't recognised for some reason. Could you try to PM me, cheers. jpr
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