General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

US carmakers (other industries) are dropping production because of the shortage of computer chips. Why can't the US simply ignore the patents owned by Intel and other chip manufacturers, and use that intellectual property to make more chips?

Asked by elbanditoroso (29913points) 1 month ago
11 responses
“Great Question” (2points)

After all, the US is suggesting that the drug company patents can be ignored because of Covid needs.

Why shouldn’t the US decide to ignore computer chip patents?

lots of articles – here’s one

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Tropical_Willie's avatar

The chips are for their computers in the autos not the kind in your laptop.

oh it costs millions and millions to start a “chip” manufacturing facility and trained personnel.

The chips aren’t an I5 or an AMD.

Kropotkin's avatar

It takes a few years to build a microprocessor factory.

That said, I’m all for an open source economy.

Information is best when it’s shared, so it can be built upon, improved, and recombined with other ideas—and not when monopolised and restricted for the private gain of a few, or in many cases, just not used or applied at all.

ragingloli's avatar

Who would make the chips?
The car manufacturers? They do not have the expertise to do it. Even Intel has problems getting their 10nm process going. Setting up a fab takes years. They would be crippled by lawsuits.

Demosthenes's avatar

I understand the point you’re making, but I think there’s a greater need for vaccines to be widely available to save lives than for chips to be available so there can be new cars and more graphics cards for gamers. I think the conversation should be about health as a for-profit industry more than “patent suspension”.

rebbel's avatar

Because cars and computers and what have you with a chip is not the same as a decimating pandemic.

stanleybmanly's avatar

There is more than one problem with the solution proposed. The first is with the idea that auto manufacturers are prepared to bring chip production into being faster than current producers can catch up. That ain’t gonna happen. Then of course is the liability resulting from all of those cars in production with ILLEGAL chips. The financial penalties would be staggering.

ragingloli's avatar

They would also need all the data packages from chip manufacturers to know what to make. And they will NOT hand them out willingly.
You think that a corporation like Intel will just give Ford their chip blueprints? Not a chance in hell.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@ragingloli but Moderna and Pfizer may have to give up their secrets for COVID vaccine. Intellectual property is intellectual property.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Intellectual property is intellectual property.

Nope. Life- and society-saving vaccines are not like new cars.

YARNLADY's avatar

The real problem is getting the raw material, which comes from Japan and Mexico. With Covid taking out so many workers all down the supply chain, everything has gotten scarce.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Problems in the supply chain of chips has been an ongoing problem for years. COVID just pushed it over the tipping point.
You could build a fab but you’d just end up with the same problems as everyone else.

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