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Rebirth of Reason Website Attacks Patents

The website Rebirth of Reason, which is supposed to be an Objectivist website, posted an article entitled Patent Scam.  Below is my open letter to the author of this article.


Dear Ms. Vera S. Doerr,


If someone displayed the ignorance in criticizing Objectivism that this article does about patent law, Objectivists would be furious.  First of all it is clear that you do not know how to read a patent.  You don’t know the difference between the claims and the background, you don’t know the difference between an independent claim and a dependent claim or a patent and a patent application.  In fact it is clear that you did not read the patent application, which can be found here  If you had read the patent application and understood how patents are written, instead of the summary from the article, you would clearly have seen that the invention is not about a device which can turn into a “cell phone, a smartphone, a tablet PC, a laptop, a personal computer, a netbook, a personal digital assistant, an e-book reader, a TV and/or other computing devices…”  You would have seen that this was about a device with a foldable display that takes certain action when it is folded in different ways.  These actions are explained in the patent application as making or receiving a phone call, sending or receiving an electronic document, activating or deactivating a software program, and connecting to or disconnecting from a network.

Despite your ignorance of patent law, electronics technology, and the specifics of the invention, you pontificate that “the technology behind it (the invention) would be so diverse that no material, no hardware, no software, existing today even as a theoretical prototype, could be combined into such a device.” Perhaps you are unaware that one of the requirements of a patent is the enablement requirement under 35 USC 112.  It requires that the inventor explain his invention in enough detail that one skilled in the art be able to practice the invention.  But you don’t have to take my word for it, foldable displays are known, see displays.  Having a foldable display that when folded in a certain way receives a phone call, or sends a document, is well within the reach of today’s technology.  As a patent attorney, with a BS in electrical engineering, a MS in physics, and named inventor on nine patents, I can assure you that this patent application is enabled and could easily be built by one skilled in the art.  Now that I have shown that to you, you will probably turn around and say it should not be patented because it is obvious, further proving your ignorance of patent law, logic, and reason.

Next you state that everyone is doing this and you “simply cannot believe this patent scam! Worse: it’s actually legal!”  This is clearly an appeal to emotion not logic.  You continue this unsubstantiated attack on the patent system, suggesting it is a legal hold up game that people are using to get rich.  Your article is worthy of a muckraking SOCIALIST journalist or a follower of Kant, Hegel, or Kierkegaard, but not someone writing on the Rebirth of Reason  or someone who has studied Ayn Rand.

Rand stated that Patents and Copyrights are the source of all property rights, because they protect the source of all human creation, the products of man’s mind.  Patents are property rights for inventions and your attack on the patent system is really an attack on the very basis of property rights.

There is a SCAM going on here Ms. Doerr, but it is not patents.



Dale B. Halling


  1. Dear Mr. Halling,
    searching for some early postings on an old objectivist group I found your ‘letter’ to me tagged under my name. Obviously your reply to me was important enough for you to print it on this site also, so I invite you to kindly answer the points I raised in the discussion of my initial posting on Rebirth of Reason (see link above). I hope this letter will not be the only reply you deem worthy to adress the issues with patent law I pointed out. Replies taken out of context are so very unsatisfactory – especially if they are dealing more with the person posting than the topic discussed.
    Looking forward to your elucidations …
    Vera S. Doerr

  2. Dear Ms. Doerr,

    I think I answered all the questions you raised in your article and then some. Your article was short on facts and long on innuendo, but basically you think it is okay to steal the product of other people’s minds. I find that particularly appalling for a so-called Objectivist website.

  3. Dear Mr. Halling,
    thank you for taking the time to reply to my comment.
    At least now I know you are content to slander my person instead of discussing the subject. If criticizing patent office and patent law is in your esteemed opinion the same as ‘stealing the product of other people’s mind’ then we truly have nothing to say to each other.
    I’d suggest you at least keep up a professional distinction between a poster on a (semi-)public forum and the forum itself. I think a blogger of your reputation should be aware of such destinctions.
    Vera S. Doerr

  4. Like you slandered inventors and their attorneys. I already showed the few facts you provided were wrong. You do not understand how patent law works, but you are sure that you are qualified to comment on it.

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