The problem with patents

We’ve all heard and read about the fact that profiteers are stifling patents.  They buy up patents, not to encourage innovation, but to shake down people who come up with ideas they claim overlap with the patents that they’ve purchased (and that sit, unused, in their faults).  Frugal Dad came up with a charming graphic showing the problem:

patents infographic



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  • CollegeCon

    While not directly connected, its the same sort of problem that makes legislation like the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) so awful.  While SOPA is more concerned with copyright, the point is the same: information should be free flowing, and while artists and innovators have rights, they are not as important, especially with the practice of buying copyrights and patents.

  • riw777

    The company I work for uses patents as a “defensive mechanism” –when someone sues them for patent infringement, or they want to license the use of another company’s patented material, they offer to trade patents instead. If you want to see a lot of interesting material in this space, take a look at the patent disclosures often released in conjunction with drafts in the IETF. You can quickly tell who’s in patents for what by reading them, at least in the technology field.