Tuesday, May 16, 2006


hBOA patent issues

Pelikan and Goldberg's patent, "A Method for Optimizing a Solution Set" issued today as US Patent No. 7,047,169. See here.

Hallo, IlliGang!! :D

What a interesting subject! Correct me, please, if I am wrong, but is the hBOA method being patented?? If it is not, forget everything I ask below! :D

Now comes the "else":

1 - If hBOA is being patented, this can be harmful for the further development, in all ways, of hBOA, since this method is still in its childhood and we do not have (and can never have) rigorous and mathematical analyses related to hBOA.

2 - If hBOA is being patented, what if someone else would like to study/investigate the features of hBOA ? Should that person pay to do that ? What if that person find some new feature(s), undiscovered until the moment by hBOA creators (Dr Goldberg and Dr Pelikan), should that person pay something to them? Do you, The hBOA Creators, think that when someone patents a thing, that can be subject of academic investigation, that person can be committing a mistake, since the patent aspect can trap that subject inside a very limited/restrict group of investigators/persons??

3 - What are the reasons to patent hBOA? Why not leave hBOA free of patent?


Since we are talking about Patents, here it go a question to Dr Goldberg:

Please, tell us, Dr Goldberg: If you had invented/created the Genetic Algorithms, would you patent them (the GAs)? (I really do not know if GAs were patented by Professor Holland. I guess they were not)

I guess you would patent them! And "GA" would not mean "Genetic Algorithm", but "Goldberg's Algorithm"!! :)

Até Mais!!

We're all free citizens and are allowed by law to receive patents on the products of our minds.

hBOA can be licensed for research applications from the University of Illinois's Office of Technology Management and generally such licenses are granted without cost.

Those interested in licensing the software for commercial use should also contact the University to discuss terms.

I know that you from U.S.A are free people to patent everything you want. I only asked what were the reasons to patent a thing that can be subject of research in other countries and Universities around the world, and not only in U.S.A or UIUC.

When you want to patent something, of course you are free to do it, but persons should remember not to be so selfish. Doing that _MAY_ mean that you do not want anyone else to research what you had patented. From an EC Enthusiast view-point, that atitude can be very harmful for the future development of your patent, since, a priori, only you have the full permission to modify and research it in the way you want.

"hBOA can be licensed for research applications from the University of Illinois's Office of Technology Management and generally such licenses are granted without cost."

Gosh!! Imagine if we had to ask for licenses to research Genetic Algorithms, Evolution Strategies, Evolutionary Programming, Genetic Programming, etc, each time we need to research those subjects?? Would be a great absurd. That atitude restricts the innovation for hBOA (strange for a person who wrote a book about innovation - The Design Of Innovation). At least, each researcher that wants to research your patent would need to ask for license.

Patent the World if you want to!! But, remember: The Evolutionary Computation field would not have developed in the way we know it if the EC pioneers (Barricelli, Fraser, Brememann, L. Fogel, Rechenberg, Schwefel, Bienert and Holland) had patented their ideas. I guess if they did it, the EC field would be like an old book written by ghosts. (NOTE: Imagine how many royalties we should pay to Charles Darwin if he had patented his Evolution Ideas!?!?!??)

It is very strange that you patent hBOA and this atitude is very contraditory to the IlliGAl Blogging's Motto: "Life, _Liberty_, and the Pursuit of Genetic Algorithms"

But I suppose that "Liberty" is not for all.

You did not answer my question, Dr Goldberg. Once more: If you had invented/created the Genetic Algorithms, would you patent them (the GAs)?

I consider that you have an academic position where you can answer any kind of question related to your field. If the audience does not like the answer you might give, just invent some excuse "a la" little models, conceptual machines, BBH, Competent GAs, to distract us. §:-D

(To be honest, you did not answer any question I asked!)

$ee You), Dr Gold\berg!!!

Hallo, Dr Goldberg!!

Yesterday I forgot to say some words I consider important for our discussion. It is related to your patent investigations by your group at IlliGAl and the way how difficult can be to go against those investigations.

As you have some investigations related to your patent (see note 1), would be difficult to someone else (1) to go against or (2) even expand those investigations, since there are some terms to be discussed with an office at your University. Worse, as there are those difficulties, mainly the (1), would be hard to have a counter example to show us some results that you maybe did not find and that could explain us the drawbacks of your patent. The worst case would be if you hide the drawbacks of your patent and only show us the "good" part of it.

What I want to say is that, as you have the full permission to modify and research/investigate your patent, you also have the right to show us, the audience, only what you want! Yes, it is a very unethical and bad atitude, but that can happen and would be very nice to sell your patent for other persons, making money ($$$) with it!!

$ee You!



1 - Hierarchical BOA on random decomposable problems

Sporadic Model Building for Efficiency Enhancement of hBOA

Multiobjective hBOA, Clustering, and Scalability
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