A post over at Slashdot highlights one of the biggest problems with patents today. Since every little tiny narrow idea is patented and controlled by different players, putting together the best pieces to create a "perfect" product is prohibitively expensive -- if possible at all. Sure, you could try to create that perfect phone (which the article focuses on), but you'd have to deal with angry patent holders who would either sue for huge amounts or try to prevent the new device entirely. Once again, it's an example of how the patent system holds back innovation by forgetting that most innovation is in doing a better job combining various ideas, rather than having a single spark of genius out of the blue. Competition helps drive innovation. Patents reduce competition. Guess what that does for innovation?
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