Why The Battle Over Search May Rely More On Patents Than On Search

from the ugh dept

Unfortunately, here’s yet another example of how our patent system is harming, not helping, innovation. Everyone knows that the search engine battle is heating up – especially with the recent moves by Yahoo to take on Google, soon to be followed by Microsoft’s entrance into the space. Generally speaking, more competition should be good for users as it pushes these companies to get better and offer more useful features to us lowly end users. Unfortunately, it’s looking like important parts of this battle won’t be settled in the marketplace, but in the court room. The various players are all trash talking with each other about the various patents they own and filing (or threatening to file) lawsuits to prevent each other from making their search engine better for us end users. We’d get a lot more innovation if the companies could just compete, rather than worrying about what intellectual property they’re violating. The patent system is supposed to encourage innovation, but this is a perfect example of how, instead, it’s making everyone slow down.

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