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Australia Scrambles To Block Ecommerce Patent

from the just-how-screwed-up-is-this-system? dept

You know your patent system is screwed up when your own government needs to “scramble” to stop a patent from being approved because it “represents a serious threat to the nation’s e-commerce industry.” Since we’re always told that patent systems encourage innovation, you wouldn’t think a patent could create such a problem, but, apparently, that’s not the case. The Australian Parliament is scrambling to stop one of these ridiculous “intellectual property houses” from getting an Australian patent covering e-commerce. Specifically, the patent is for electronically automated transactions involving international commerce. This is patentable? Already it’s been approved in the US, and (of course) the guy who owns the patent is suing anyone he can. This is yet another example of someone owning a patent for an obvious idea, not doing anything with it, and then suing others who actually build something, entirely independent of the patent itself. That’s not encouraging innovation at all. It actually discourages innovation. Hopefully, as Australia realizes how silly this is, it will create a situation where patent law can be reformed to create something that doesn’t discourage innovation.

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