Because Without Patents, No One Would Ever Come Up With News Feeds
from the no-status-updates-allowed dept
A bunch of folks are talking about a patent that was recently granted to Facebook (7,669,123) that covers creating an automatically generated news feed based on things that you do. While not quite as broad as some of the original reports claimed, it’s still fairly broad, and highlights pretty clearly how ridiculous the patent system is.
The purpose of the patent system should be to create incentives to come up with something that is both new and non-obvious, which would not be created without that incentive. And, then, of course, the idea is to share that information with the world, via the patent. But here we have a case where this is an obvious next step advance. Such automatically generated news feeds are found in all sorts of systems and social networks these days. But now we have a case where one company may have the right to prevent others from doing what it makes perfect sense for them to do. That’s not what the patent system was designed to do at all. A patent like this should never have been approved at all, as it serves no useful purpose in “promoting the progress” and seems to go against everything that the patent system is supposed to do.