Saturday, July 23, 2011

Patently absurd

Here's a really good article from NPR about the sad state of patent law in the U.S.. Especially software patents and tech companies. It appears tech companies are buying patents to defend themselves against the other guy's patents, and all the cost is really doing very little to spur innovation or bring anything new to market because so many patents are vague, broad, and obvious.

from the article:

"we talked to a half dozen different software engineers. All of them hated the patent system, and half of them had patents in their names that they felt shouldn't have been granted. In polls, as many as 80 percent of software engineers say the patent system actually hinders innovation. It doesn't encourage them to come up with new ideas and create new products. It actually gets in their way.

Many patents are so broad, engineers say, that everyone's guilty of infringement. This causes huge problems for almost anyone trying to start or grow a business on the Internet.

"We're at a point in the state of intellectual property where existing patents probably cover every behavior that's happening on the Internet or our mobile phones today,"

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