A look at the US patent system

LA Times:

PATENT LAWS MAY BE AN inventor's best friend, giving someone with a groundbreaking idea the means to capitalize on it. But on many levels, the U.S. patent system is profoundly flawed. Too many patents are issued for “innovations” that are obvious, vague or already in wide use. Too many patent holders try to extend their claims to devices and services that weren't even contemplated when the patents were granted. And it's a difficult, costly exercise to overturn a questionable patent after it has been awarded.

It's a short peice that brings up some of the unintended consequences of patent law, and suggests that a current Supreme Court case might be set to overturn it. Between that and the UK ordering a review of IP rights, dare I hope that these laws might be reformed in favor of something that makes sense in the digital era?

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