Tom is more anti patent than I am, but as more and more whack ass patent trolls surface, I’m quickly rethinking my position to be patently (pun not intended) anti Patent. I think the idea behind patents is a good and noble one, however the patent office seems to be more and more nothing but an enabler for patent trolls. I mean really "A device that plays music"? That’s a valid patent? What about “method and system for playing games on a network.”? Really?
My biggest complaint about the patent process is the support of vaporware. I fully believe that any patent not accompanied by a WORKING prototype be thrown out. If you can’t build it, you can’t patent it.
That last one I cited, is fully real, and fully threatening the likes of CNET, DIGG, Ebaums, etc. Thankfully the EFF has stepped up (courtesy of Mashable) to defend this case as part of their patent busting initiative.
I still thinking protecting IP is important, but I think without serious over haul, the patent office, may be the single biggest contributor to a stifling of innovation. Searching the patent database is like looking for a unicorn in a horse pasture, and since most of the troll patents are so vague, you might not even see them, until you’re hit with a lawsuit.
It’s time to re-up my EFF membership, I’m thinking it’ll be a bit bigger this year to help further this patent busting, show these trolls where the door is.
If this patent non-sense irritates you even a fraction as much as it irritates me, think about joining the EFF, or re-donating if you’ve donated already.