Why aren't patent terms linked to the actual usage of the technology?
That is to say, I believe that reformulating patents so that they originally carry a short term which is extended only if the patent holder can prove they are doing something useful with it. This "something useful" could be one of two things, further development which is actually getting somewhere and adds value (innovation) or use of the patent in an actual product.
This would a) promote innovation from patent holders (you can't just sit on your laurels), b) reduce patent hoarding (getting a patent just in case you need it as leverage would be useless because you would have to do something with the patent to keep it) and c) avoid the sort of scenario we see here where a company is being sued for doing something useful by a patent holder who had the patent for 10 years and produced nothing.
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