The Patent System Fights Back: Just Wants More Cash
from the nice-try dept
While more and more mainstream news organizations are pointing out the need for patent system reform, it appears those who support the current system are trying to fight back, by claiming that all the system needs is a little more money -- ignoring all the fundamental problems behind the patent system. The assumption is that, with a little more money, the USPTO could hire a few more patent examiners, and then, suddenly, they'd be able to search through "the complete record of the global human achievement to determine if any "prior art" would invalidate the claim." If the patent office can't figure out some of the most obvious cases of prior art, it's hard to see how a little more money is going to solve that. However, going even deeper, there's a fundamental disconnect here. The writer of the article defending the patent system states that without the current patent system, no innovation would occur in the US. This is (ahem!) patently false. It's already been shown that countries without patent systems can innovate rapidly and that innovation and invention are two very different beasts. The patent system protects invention -- but not innovation. In fact, with the rise of patent hoarding, the current patent system seems to be actively working against innovation. Dumping more money into the system for more of the same doesn't help matters. It just makes the mess more expensive.