If Patents Are Supposed To Support The Independent Inventor, Why Isn't There An Independent Invention Defense?
from the copycats dept
And that, of course, highlights one of our biggest concerns about the patent system. It's the total lack of an independent invention defense. In fact, I still contend that if you can show multiple people invented the same thing, independently, around the same time, you've established a pretty clear case that the concept is obvious to a person skilled in the art -- and thus, unpatentable. Unfortunately, this argument is rarely used in court (though, sometimes...).
I always find it amusing, however, when the strong patent system defenders rush into the comments and automatically accuse any accused infringer of "theft" and "destroying the small independent inventor." That's because they never have an answer for the "theft" and the "destruction" of the independent inventor (or, more likely, inventors) who came up with the invention entirely independently, but are totally barred from using the invention without purchasing a license. That seems like a much bigger "theft" both to those other independent inventors and to the rest of the world, who is left with a single monopolist provider.