Inc. Magazine Against Necessary Patent Reform
from the but-why? dept
Late last year, the FTC came up with a series of pretty good suggestions for reforming the patent system. They pointed out that the current system was hindering, rather than helping innovation. It was a good start, and a surprising declaration from a government that has been slow to really focus on necessary reform to the patent system. So, along comes Inc. Magazine to trash the recommendations, saying they’ll be bad for small businesses. Of course, they don’t actually back this up. They quote someone saying this will harm innovation because there won’t be incentive to bring products to market. That ignores the fact that many patents these days aren’t being used to bring products to market but to prevent others from bringing products to market without paying exorbitant licensing fees. The article trashes three aspects of the reform: allowing the USPTO to declare more things as obvious (and, thus, not patentable), taking into account whether patents are being used to stifle competition instead of create new products, and making it easier to challenge a patent. All of these seem like suggestions that will promote, not hinder innovation by making sure that the patents really are covering innovative ideas. Of course, Inc. Magazine seems to take the position that “more patents = more innovation” which is not true at all.